We got lucky during a quick trip to Chicago to celebrate my sister’s 50th birthday last weekend (feb. 20). The temperature was near 60 degrees. Runners along the lakefront wore sleeveless tops and t-shirts. Bicylicists were out in force. Along Michigan Avenue, many strollers, including me, had their puffy down coats tied around their waists. A year ago when we drove to Chicago, our car temperature gauge kept sinking lower and lower below zero.
This trip we met family at Cafecito on E. Congress for some good and fast Cuban food (Cuban sandwich, roasted pork platter) and then on to the Art Institute where we had advance tickets to the Van Gogh “Bedrooms” show, the highlight of which were the artist’s three yellow bedroom paintings, usually found in three different museums, far apart. It was really interesting to compare the three side by side. Reminded me of a few things: a painting we have at home that is two different versions of the same scene (different light and perspective); how my mother’s paintings changed as her dementia advanced; and the People mag. feature where you pick out the differences in two versions of the same photo. I spent a lot of time starring over the shoulders of fellow museum-goers starring at the three paintings before moving onto to find a very cool film that made this exercise much easier – with a screen split into three segments so you could do a close comparison of different aspects of the paintings, for example the three different versions of the bednight table. They also had a fun option where we could put ourselves inside a Van Gogh painting. (see below)…add it to our collection (which includes posing as Grant Wood’s American Gothic couple outside the Iowa house where he set the painting.