Our Annual Pitchfork-Artwork Matching Game

POSTED BY , ON July 18, 2013, 12 COMMENTS

Go get your vintage sewing machine tattoo touched up, because this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival starts tomorrow! The annual festival is an institution at this point, bringing dozens of bands and thousands of canvas shoe enthusiasts to Chicago’s Union Park. It has become a tradition here at ARTicle to dig through the Art Institute’s collection for pieces that evoke the names of a few of the fest’s featured artists. Below is this year’s selection. The current popularity of band names that are just a noun or adjective+noun should hopefully make most of the answers pretty straightforward. Check the festival’s line-up for point of reference. Leave your answers in the comments. First person to get them all correct wins 2 free tickets to the Art Institute. GO!




Joanna Newsom







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What’s Your Story?

POSTED BY , ON May 15, 2013, Comments Off on What’s Your Story?


They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1910–1950 showcases art that speaks to artists’ journeys to Chicago in the first half of the 20th century. Whether it was Mexican immigrants coming north for better work opportunities or African American migrants moving from the rural South toward more industrialized cities or Europeans crossing the ocean to escape persecution, every newcomer to the city had their own story of how they arrived.

But the fact of the matter is that all of us have migration stories, tales of how we ended up in Chicago instead of San Antonio or Stockholm. To showcase that diversity of experience, the museum has created a Tumblr where you can share your story. You can write text or upload videos or images in which you describe you or your family’s path to Chicago. We currently have examples from places as diverse as Peru, Russia, and Iowa. The Tumblr also includes some of the (adorable) drawings created by children in our Ryan Education Center over the last few weeks.

So what’s your story?

Image Credit: The Ochieng Family


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An Insider’s Look at the Armory Show

POSTED BY , ON March 12, 2013, Comments Off on An Insider’s Look at the Armory Show

 Armory Show Splash Page-1

The recently opened Picasso and Chicago will celebrate the long history of the artist’s relationship with the city. But 100 years ago this month, when the art of Picasso and his contemporaries was displayed at the museum for the very first time, it was met with shock, controversy, outrage. . . and record-breaking crowds. In 1913, the Art Institute hosted the International Exhibition of Modern Art, better known today as the Armory Show. That revolutionary exhibit introduced the Chicago public to some of the most radical art of the day.

The Armory Show had such a huge impact on modern art in America that critics and art historians have continued to write about it for the last 100 years. To offer something new, we wanted to create an in-depth and interactive resource about how the exhibit came to be, what the public thought about it, and even what it looked like. This month we’ve launched a special online exhibition all about the Armory Show in Chicago and its legacy.

Just as the organizers of the Armory Show wanted to embrace the “new spirit” of the times, the online exhibition marks this important anniversary in a way that celebrates 1913 but belongs to 2013. A permanent part of the museum’s website, the Armory Show online exhibit will be a lasting tribute to the show that established the Art Institute as a venue for modern art and that changed the course of art collecting in Chicago. This project called for a museum-wide team, involving many different departments. Old newspapers were scoured, personal letters were brought to light again, and the original exhibition pamphlets were tracked down and digitized. Now you can tour the 1913 show on your phone or tablet while walking through the very same galleries today. Or read about the fate of “Henry Hairmatress” at home in your pajamas.

AS Gallery Explorer - Gallery 50 Northeast

Possibly the most exciting part of the website is the gallery explorer. Looking at photographs of the exhibition found in our Archives, we went through each image trying to identify as many works of art as we could. High-res scans of the photos let us zoom in incredibly close, and we were able to recognize previously unidentified works. Now on the website, you can take a virtual tour of the Armory Show, wander through the museum galleries as they looked 100 years ago, and find out where many of the artworks can be found today. Try and spot the works that now belong to Art Institute’s permanent collection—many of which are currently on view in a special presentation in the third floor of the Modern Wing.

Visitors to the website will quickly learn that the Art Institute’s audience was not shy about voicing their opinions back in 1913, and we hope you’ll share your thoughts, too.

—Allison Perelman, Research Associate in Medieval through Modern European Painting and Sculpture

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Expounding on EXPO CHICAGO

POSTED BY , ON September 21, 2012, Comments Off on Expounding on EXPO CHICAGO

The inaugural installment of EXPO CHICAGO is in full swing throughout the weekend at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. Galleries from across the globe have set up shop, bringing with them a museum-load of modern and contemporary art. There’s more, though—artists’ installations dot the floor, the contemporary art media have set up outposts (shout-out to Bad at Sports), and an active schedule of talks and discussion panels (including Art Institute curators Katherine Bussard and Lisa Dorin) round out the bill.

Organizers describe EXPO as a concept-driven affair, an approach broadly evident in their choice of Studio Gang (founded and headed by certified genius Jeanne Gang) as fair architect. Studio Gang’s layout for the fair echoes the grid of Chicago’s streets, organizing galleries numerically along parallel axes running the length of the hall. You could compare these to, say, Ashland, Damen, and Western. A diagonal path intersecting the main avenues leads visitors to highlights of the fair. This is probably analogous to Milwaukee Avenue, but I’d like to imagine it’s Elston (Chicago’s cool up-and-coming diagonal avenue).

Hiring an architect to imbue the fair with Chicago’s wayfinding DNA makes perfect sense—Chicago has a history with art fairs and loads of famous architecture, and Studio Gang is Chicago-based. So, as you can imagine, the Art Institute of CHICAGO isn’t going to let such a Chicago-y event go by without getting our artistic mitts all over it. Nope! This coming Monday, we’re opening the first-ever exhibition devoted to Studio Gang’s wildly creative output. Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects explores not just the firm’s projects, but also its processes, materials, and practices. So go check out EXPO and stop by Aqua on your way out, and head to the Art Institute before February to get the full Studio Gang scoop.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! The Art Institute has its own booth at EXPO, entirely dedicated to a sneak preview of seminal conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg’s installation No Time Left to Start Again/The B and D of R ‘n’ R, opening today in the Modern Wing. Designed as a survey of American vernacular music—folk, gospel, blues, rock (you know, the good stuff)—Ruppersberg collects album covers, amateur music photography, and musicians’ obituaries, along with hundreds of recorded songs, as an invitation to consider the history of America’s colloquial music and the lives of those who made it.

So there you go, you’ve got something to do this weekend. Tell your friends you won’t be at brunch! You’ve got art to put in your brain!


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Artapalooza, Take Two

POSTED BY , ON August 02, 2012, 23 COMMENTS

It’s quickly become one of our favorite blog traditions to connect our local music festivals to works in the museum’s collection. So in honor of Lollapalooza this weekend, here are eight artworks from the museum’s collection that remind us of eight of the acts playing at the gigantic music fest. If you’re the first to guess all of them correctly (in the comments), we’ll send you some extra special Art Institute swag…


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