Posts Tagged ‘art institute’


So Delphi and I went to the Art Institute a while back to see a lecture from a doctoral candidate on the miniature houses of the Thorne room, because that is actually the kind of shit we do on dates (for reals though, no irony, them shits is pretty cool and you should go check them out). We are self-aware enough to know that this is kind of a weird way to spend a Saturday afternoon and on the train ride there we started joking about what kind of people would actually be there and made a list to check off when we found them. Here’s the list:


A precocious kid and cool parent

College student for extra credit

Hipsters/unemployed twenty somethings here to pick up art students

A Recently retired dude that doesn’t know what to do with his free time

An old lady with membership that will go to anything

House wife who feels neglected by her spouse and is probably already drinking wine

Best friend and family members of the speaker there to show support

A foreign tourist that came for something in but got roped into the lecture by accident because they didn’t know what it was
not found

A couple, only one of the two is enthusiastic about this
Not found

SAIC student who has changed her major three times

Manic Pixie Dram Girl looking for a boring white guy to bring whimsy and joy to.
Not Found (damn)

A High Powered career woman who’s crying on the inside

Middle age couple nearing divorce, here on the orders from couples’ counselling
not found

Family with grown children dragged here by one visiting parent
not found


And here are some people we saw that we didn’t think of before we got there:

An old widow and her best friend

A mother and daughter trying to reconnect for the sake of the next generation

A lonely guy… Like really really lonely

And old gay couple

Our Doppelgangers

A young mother trying to keep her baby quiet

Broish students there playing a drinking game

Wealthy, self-important patrons

Overly enthusiastic fan who hold the lecturer hostage WAY too long after the presentation




My letter to The Make a Relatively Reasonable Wish Foundation


Dedicated to Delphi, who always advises me to make very reasonable wishes.


If there was an organization that granted very moderate wishes for painful but mostly survivable diseases (and there should be an organization like that) I’d want a museum for a day.

One full twenty-four hours. Locked inside the Art Institute of Chicago with no one else to bother me.

I was thinking about this last week at the Magritte exhibit. I’d seen some of his work before, but didn’t really know anything other than “This is not a Pipe” and the one with the train coming out of the wall.

The way they set up the exhibits reminds me of cattle runs. Everyone starts moving in a direction on each others heels at a trudge.

I understand they wanted to set it up chronologically so you can watch his work evolve, but I wanted it to be more open, easier to move back and forward from one to another without being scowled at for going the wrong direction.

People move through the gallery with an unspoken agreed-upon pace. Approach the painting, look for a minute until the person ahead of you moves on, step a little closer, look it up and down like checking out a woman at a bar, maybe read a little plaque next to it, then move on as the next couple (people seem to always go to museums in twos) steps forward.

The guards begin watching more closely if you take too long and their gaze begins to interfere with your enjoyment of the work so you leave. There’s only a bench in every three rooms or so, so stopping to take it all in, or in my case, to write, doesn’t really seem like appropriate action, but you do it every chance you get anyways and God forbid you get to the end and want to go back to the beginning.

—Sorry, says the guard —you’ve use this pass. I can’t let you in

—No I haven’t. I mean. I still am using it. I just want to move to a different part.
—Well, you can’t come in through here.

But now they won’t let me in through the back either because they can’t let people in that way and I didn’t realize I was at the end until I was in the gift shop and this isn’t fair. I’m not sneaking back in another day, I just want to see them out of order or multiple times. I didn’t know there was a one view per painting rule or a time limit.

At this point, I’m just carrying my large ledger style journal around with me, content to write standing, benches be damned and I gesticulate with the thing as I talk.

I leave. I can look at other stuff for now.
I want the people gone. I want twenty minutes with each painting at least. I want to be able to get very close to them. I promise not to actually touch. I want to sit on the floor of each room and write until I decide I’m done. I want to flip back and forth to compare times or just because I want to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. When I need air, – because so much beauty condensed in to one small place makes you want to kill yourself or destroy things – I want to take a break for tea and wine and toilet and return when I’m good and goddamn ready.

Most of all I don’t want to have to fight from letting all that magnificence and mystery reach my soul and causing me to collapse and weep just knowing that it exists.

Anyhoo, that’s what I’d ask for