Thursday, January 12, 2012

Five Things I Learned at the Art Institute of Chicago

Here are five things I learned in my first fifteen minutes at the Art Institute of Chicago:

1. Ever wonder where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got their names? You know, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael? The creators who were making decisions about the names sat in a restaurant across the street from the Chicago Institute of Art and got to reading the names on the building as they talked.... 

2. Guess what writer Lewis Carroll(Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) did besides write Alice in Wonderland?  In 1856 took up the brand-new art form of photography and even considered earning his living with it for a while. Dodgson was a well-known "gentleman-photographer" according to Wikipedia. 

3. Photographer Lewis Wickes Hine's photographs were some of the first used to enact change in social laws. He was hired by the National Child Labor committee to document scenes of child labor. His images influenced states to prohibit employment of children under age 14.

4-foot tall Sadie Pfeifer works with dangerous machinery in a South Carolina cotton mill

4. George N. Barnard, the photographer who is famous for documenting Sherman's Civil War campaign in the South, also took this panorama showing the devastation of Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871 which killed 300 people and left 100,000 without a home.

My sister Sandy enjoyed Paige's commentary on the photography 

5. Photographer Nadar (Gaspard-Felix Tournachon) was the first ever to make aerial photographs in 1858. His first flight in his hot-air balloon on October 4, 1863 ( he constructed the largest one in the world) was a big success. On his second launch the balloon crashed and he ended up with a fractured leg. 

Next post: more from the fabulous art museum in Chicago

In case you missed it... 

For January, I am going to give a free copy of an art book to each of my top five commenters. The books are published by Prestel. You'll receive one of the titles: Rembrandt, Monet or Van Gogh. The books are lovely and fit well with our visits to the Denver Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.

I invite you to make it official and join this site if you like Visits and Verse. It would help me out a bunch. It only takes a minute or two and makes a significant impact when editors and publishers drop in.

Thanks. I've enjoyed your comments this week. Have a wonderful weekend.


The Prude said...

These are fascinating! Thank you for the interesting tidbits. I have to drag my family to the Art Institute soon. You are giving me lots of incentive!

Susan said...

Wonderful information. I love your blog.

Lori Lipsky said...


I know with you've spent much more time in this area of Chicago than I have... glad you are inspired to 'drag' the family. Lucky family.


Thanks for your sweet comment.

Robin J. Steinweg said...

If I were to get to the museum, what section would you recommend seeing first? I'm sure one can't do justice to the whole place in a day.

Thank you, Lori, for taking us along on these visits.

Lori Lipsky said...


It's probably always best to head toward your favorites first if your companions are willing. Since you love Monet so much, you'd probably want to head toward the impressionist/post-impressionist section. There's lots of oil on canvas by Monet at the museum :-).

Suef said...

Because I love photography this was a fascinating post for me!

Lori Lipsky said...


I've read that the museum has a significant collection of photography that they rotate out on display. Visitors who go on a regular basis are exposed to a variety of photography, plus I've read they host extraordinary photography exhibitions on a regular basis.