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Happy Mother’s Day!

POSTED BY , ON May 07, 2010, Comments Off

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If you’re still trying to figure out what to do with your mom on Sunday, look no further. Moms love the Art Institute! And in order to make your job even easier, we’ve created a maternally themed self-guide for the museum. Thank your mom in front of Picasso’s Mother and Child or reminisce about your awkward relationship in high school in front of Tina Barney’s Jill and Polly in the Bathroom. Who said motherhood was all sunshine and roses?

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And in honor of my own mom, here’s an image of her favorite painting in the Art Institute’s collection, Renoir’s Two Sisters (On the Terrace). Although I don’t think my mom would be too pleased to find out that these aren’t actual sisters, but models hired for the occasion. Oh, well… Happy Mother’s Day!

Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Two Sisters (On the Terrace), 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection, 1933.455.

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Six Degrees of Francis Bacon

POSTED BY , ON January 29, 2010, Comments Off

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As you may remember from reading one of my previous posts, my dream job at the Art Institute is that of museum tour guide. So it should be no surprise that my favorite meeting of the month is one where we choose the themes and artworks for upcoming museum self-guides.

A little self-guide background…every month we create a self-guided tour of the museum that includes six to seven artworks that fall under a theme. The theme might be inspired by a holiday (see January 2010’s self-guide on avoiding the seven deadly sins in your New Year’s resolution), an exhibition at the museum (check out the August 2009 version, which pairs works from A Case for Wine with actual wine pairings chosen by Terzo Piano’s sommelier), or pop culture (November 2009’s guide features works filled with symbols a la The DaVinci Code). It is in the latter category that our February self-guide (one of my personal favorites) fits in—“Six Degrees of Francis Bacon.” Inspired by the popular game with the perhaps more commonly known film star Kevin Bacon, the paintings and sculptures listed begin with the artist Francis Bacon and move through a number of degrees to end with the artwork listed. Who would have guessed you could link Francis Bacon to Shakespeare and the Moulin Rouge?

So print one out before you come or, for you tech-savvy folks, pull it up on your iPhone in the museum. Happy hunting!

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