Friday, March 14, 2008

Sunday Afternoon on the Coast of La Lac Michigan

A few weekends ago I went to visit my friend KTBB in Chicago, where we spent a lovely Sunday at the Art Institute. There we saw George Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte":

Or as I kept thinking when I was in the room with it:
By the blue purple yellow red water
On the green purple yellow red grass
Let us pass . . .

Or also: dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot

In another room, we found, I must say, the fattest baby Jesus I have ever seen in my life, the son of an equally rotund Virgin Mary. I forget who the artist was, but -- living up to stereotype -- he was a medieval German.

The Art Institute also has a wonderful Matisse collection. Matisse is my favorite artist, and I'm always on the lookout for images of this room:

The carpet and red curtains recur here, as you can see:

and the furniture, draperies, and carpet also come up in The Inattentive Reader at the Tate Gallery and Interior with a Violin Case at MoMA. I hope very much this room is preserved in Nice somewhere. . . . If you ever see any other images of it, let me know.

Art museums always make me want to take artistic-seeming shots of my own, like these pictures of a perfect stranger looking at a map and his digital camera:

The afternoon ended, unexpectedly but delightfully, with tea at American Girl Place. Say what you will about the evils of Pleasant Company, they do a bang-up afternoon tea, complete with champagne, many delicious sandwiches, scones, and our very own doll on loan:

To paraphrase Sondheim again:
There are worse things than staring at the pictures
while you're visiting your best friend
having tea in corporate girldom
in the city of Chicago
on a Sunday . . .


  1. I love the Art Institute of Chicago! I was surprised at how many pictures in their collection I already knew. (And I had no idea La Grande Jatte was so big!)

    The extremely fat baby Jesus certainly is German. I'm pretty sure I've seen his double a fair number of times in strollers here. :)


  3. And I had no idea that La Grande Jatte was at the Art Institute of Chicago. Somehow I thought its permanent home was at the Musée d’Orsay!
    Thanks for sharing, Cheryl.

  4. All I think of when I see that painting is "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

  5. I first learned about Seurat in an art class I took the summer between fourth and fifth grade. We had to paint a picture using dots, and I wondered if the man was insane, if not when he started, then by then end? When I saw how big La Grande Jatte is, I no longer wondered...


  6. I really liked the first snap you took. It fits the rule of the one-thirds in photography perfectly, wherein you divide a potential photograph into three zones horizontally and vertically and then adjust the horizon, the ground and other rather obvious objects accordingly within the divisions.
    So, a picture like this can be quite appealing because the stairs cuts through the top third and the botton two thirds have been taken by the man, who isn't facing the camera, and that makes for an interesting snap.

    I'm sorry if I've bored you, Cheryl, it's just that photography always gets me excited, coz it's something I love :)

  7. Love your blog

    I also take pictures of strangers -I try to get people kissing too!