Day in Chicago with the Holders: Art Institute, Game Room, Blue Man Group

Big day with the Holders today, as they’re visiting Chicago and hanging with us post-Christmas. First up: a trip to the Art Institute.

Despite what looked like crazy lines, we got in fairly quickly/easily (we purchased tickets ahead of time). The museum had been closed the prior two days, so it seemed like there were more folks than usual walking around.

I have to say – it’s been a while since I’ve actually been out and about in public.

Chagall’s windows.

I love the Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room at the Art Institute. It’s this hidden little space, next to Chagall’s windows… and you wouldn’t know to go in, unless you knew it was there.

In fact, it always feels like you’re trespassing, when walking in. But after the throngs of people everywhere, to slip into this massive (and massively ornate) space, and to suddenly be alone… it’s a joy.

Liz, describing the room to Jackson and Grace.

It would have been amazing to have had our wedding reception here.

One of my favorite things: seeing people “discover” this room for the first time. It’s like this little secret in the museum, and a bit of an oasis amidst the crowd of visitors.

Even when a display is empty, it requires a placard.

I’ve developed a soft spot for this piano by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott. As lovely as it is, it saddens me that it will never perform its function (to be played, and to produce music) as long as it remains on display. It will never do the thing it was designed to do.

A funny/depressing quote from John F. Runciman in the Art Journal in 1894:

The cottage [upright] piano has not been discussed here because there seems no more possibility of making it elegant than there is of making a household pet of an elephant.

A painting I was taken by: Pardon in Brittany, by Gaston La Touche.

I don’t know anything about the painting at all, but found myself wondering what the story was. Need to do some more research.

Another painting that stood out for me: Fisherman’s Cottage, by Harald Sohlberg.

On seeing this painting, I had a good laugh to myself. I had forgotten all about it.

Several years ago, when we were demo-ing out our first floor closet, Liz found an old slide. It belonged to the prior owners, and someone had taken the wife’s head and superimposed it on the woman riding the horse in this painting.

Worth noting: this was done in an age prior to Photoshop. And then converted into a slide. Pretty impressive.

Liz actually took the slide and got it blown up into a larger sized photo (which ended up being a Christmas gift a few years back). She also sent a copy of the photo to the previous owner’s son, which was a nice touch.

On seeing this piece at the Art Institute, Equestrienne (At the Cirque Fernando), by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec… my immediate thought is “Oh yeah, I’ve got one of those at home.”

People watching.

More people watching, main stairwell.

A quick jog over to the Chicago Athletic Association found us at the Game Room. We snagged a table, and ended up being able to play a few games. In particular – a fun round of Bocce Ball!

On the way out, a hidden bar that Jackson spotted.

Later in the evening, we attended Blue Man Group. I snagged this photo of every single member of the Holder family, on their phones. I found this hilarious.

We arrived at the show separately, and offered to drive everyone back to the hotel. We had to scrunch, but were able to pack everyone in. Jackson took the hit, and agreed to hop into the trunk – with the rest of us ignoring this clear act of child endangerment.

Back at the Drake, where the Holders were staying. We went in the bar for a late drink, ordered some late night tacos for delivery, and hung out for a while. A long and lovely Chicago day.

Redline VR with Grace and Jackson
Date Night at the Art Institute
A Vacation Day in Chicago: Visiting the MCA, Art Institute, and Wandering Downtown

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