The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the nation’s leading museums devoted to the preservation, interpretation, and presentation of the highest quality of art from around the world. Whether you’re a first time visitor or a “regular” at the Art Institute, the vast permanent collections and changing exhibitions are guaranteed to offer you new insight into how art has effected culture, politics, and lifestyle in the past and present, and it will inspire you to think about the influence art will have on our future (as well as the influence the future will have on art!).
One of the coolest things about the new exhibitions at The Art Institute of Chicago is their focus on the relevance of the artistic in daily life.
Here’s a look at some of the current and upcoming exhibits at the Institute.
Galleries of African Art and Indian Art of the Americas
Overview: Now on permanent display, the Art Institute of Chicago has an African art collection that includes sculpture, masks, household objects, personal adornment, and regalia from across the continent. See beautiful sculptural works in the way they were intended to be seen- in full 360 degrees as well as rotating textile displays. The museum’s collection of Indian art of the Americas span more than 4,000 years and include works from across the United States as well as ancient Mesoamerica and the Andean countries of South America.
Avant-Garde Art in Everyday Life
June 11–October 9, 2011
Overview: Nearly a century ago, progressive artists in central and eastern Europe
demanded that true art revolutionize the objects and habits of daily life. Their new
ideas responded to the innovative rhythms and images of the industrial marketplace,
the nascent mass media, and urban popular culture. For the first time in the museum’s
history, this vibrant and critically important moment in east-central European modernism
is comprehensively explored in this exhibition of nearly 300 works of photography,
photomontage, and photographically illustrated posters and books, as well as rare
examples of porcelain and glassware by six of the period’s most influential international
Japanese Kimono, 1915–1940: From Tradition to Ready-to-Wear
June 16–November 13, 2011
Overview: Clothing’s ability to express and convey information such as age, class,
marital status, or social condition is not limited to a single culture or locale but is truly
universal. Japanese kimonos are no exception with features such as sleeve length or
decoration offering the viewer information about the wearer. This exhibition explores
the role that traditional motifs, techniques, and modernization played in the development
of pattern design in women’s kimono and haori, a short kimono-like jacket, during the
Taishô period (1912–1926) and the early Shôwa period (1926–1989).
Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941–1945
July 31–October 23, 2011
Overview: During World War II, the Soviet Union’s news agency, TASS, enlisted
hundreds of artists and writers to bolster support for the nation’s war effort. Working
from the TASS studio in Moscow, these artists and writers produced hundreds of
storefront window posters, one for nearly every day of the war. Windows on the War:
Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941–1945 is a monumental exhibition
centered on these posters, which have not been seen since the Second World War.
Impressively large and striking, these posters were sent abroad, including to the Art
Institute of Chicago, to serve as international cultural “ambassadors” and to rally allied and neutral
nations to the endeavors of the Soviet Union, a partner of the United States and Great
Britain in the fight against Nazi Germany. Windows on the War is not only a fascinating
glimpse into one of the most significant government-sponsored cultural efforts of the
20th century but also a major undertaking that brings these posters into the public eye for
the first time in six decades.
Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention
September 17, 2011–January 15, 2012
Overview: Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic honeycomb structures along the Chicago River
are recognized the world over. This exhibition will take you through the architect’s
work, from his origins at the Bauhaus to new never before seen drawings, sculptures
and furniture to his futuristic plans for the postwar American city. A fitting honor to one
of Chicago’s great builders, this retrospective showcases Goldberg’s work at its most
inventive and progressive.