My Favorite Places

My Favorite Places: The Art Institute, Chicago

Chicago maintains its reputation as a tough, broad-shouldered city by generously consuming unhealthy foods and living near the farmlands of America where, at least once a year, a farmer manages to get his arms pulled off by some machine.The armless farmer then walks five miles to the nearest farmhouse to call for a doctor. He is airlifted to Chicago where his arms are reattached and he is on the evening news for a week saying things like, “I thought about trying to take the cell phone out of my pocket to call, but I didn’t want to get blood on my pants. I wish I had gone with the iPhone 4s, then I could have asked Siri how to cauterised a wound.” It is this stoic, midwestern attitude that dominates the city of Chicago, at least as far as I remember.  I lived there many, many years ago.

I returned to Chicago a couple years ago to see one thing: George Seurat‘s, Le Grand Jatte. No, Le Grand Jatte is not a restaurant that serves bratwurst covered in green relish and onions–although Le Grand Jatte would be a good name for a restaurant or picnic store–it is a painting housed in one of my favorite museums: The Art Institute.

The Art Institute has one of the greatest collections in the WORLD. That’s right, the WORLD. In other words, one of the greatest museums on planet Earth resides in the city of broad shoulders, stacker of wheat, player with railroads and freight handler for the world. If you don’t believe me check this out:




Judo Chop!



I would have put another picture in this location, but Hopper‘s Nighthawks was on vacation in Boston when I visited.  Instead I will leave a large blank space here to represent my bitterness and anger after I discovered the painting was on loan and I would just have to live with it.










I spent four hours in the museum. I wish I had set aside a full day because the four hours I had allotted myself was not enough.  I sprinted through the collection and didn’t really have a chance to savor the paintings like the true art connoisseur that I am, and I am not in great shape so four hours of walking fast wore me out.

So if you are visiting Chicago after pulling your arms off, or just on a regular vacation, you owe it to your eyeballs to go to The Art Institute, it is one of my favorite places.

2 replies »

  1. I have been to the CAI many times over the years and I agree with you. It absolutely does have one of the best collections in the WORLD!


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