Another, truer photograph of the Art Institute’s South Garden.
I’ve learned more about the garden since posting a photo of it the other day. It was designed in the 1960s by modernist landscape architect Dan Kiley and is considered to be one of the better surviving examples of his work. Kiley died in 2004. You can read more about his life and work here.
Why, you may wonder, is Celia angry about the city’s decision to fell a few old trees? Here, in the north garden of the Art Institute, we may find an answer.
For, on one side of the garden—just steps from Michigan Avenue—, are two improbably aged, enormous, gnarly, overreaching trees. They are not decorous, they are not over-managed; they are awesome, merely.
In a town incessantly straining against its nature to be great, these trees are possibly the most cultured things around, because they are dignified, and because their stewards have accorded them the respect and even reverence necessary for them to survive. Though the garden they’re situated in has been remade several times, they have been left alone to achieve the majesty and character that is the work of time.
Next time you are at the museum, be sure to take a moment out for these glorious trees.
The view out may be the best feature of the Art Institute’s new modern wing. The greatest artistic treasure seems to lie outside, where (come to think of it) admission is free.
In the wake of the Boston bombings, renewed appreciation for all that that means.
The Caillebotte at the Art Institute. There are rumors of what happens if you get too close . . .
Yes, I’m one of those people who saw summer from a city bus. Sure, I grabbed a few nice country days, but I missed so much! As my bus crept down the Avenue the other day, I admired the beautiful planters, and thought longingly of the Lichtenstein exhibit at the Art Institute, which I had yet to see. (And didn’t see—it ended Monday.)
The idealist in me wishes to walk all around the city photographing the mature planters. It would probably take days, but the wish is there, the wish to pay homage to the beauty of summer.
This photograph has been photoshopped using the “watercolor” effect.
It was a way to dignify a photo taken through the window of a city bus.