Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: as part of my 47th birthday celebration, my wife Anne and I drove from Indianapolis up to the Art Institute of Chicago and spent four hours with our eyes wide, jaws dropped, and cameras and phones at the ready (my camera battery actually ran out). We barely saw half the museum and will have to return someday for more.
Upon entering and paying, we headed directly toward the collective galleries of “Modern American Art 1900-1950” because they hold two of the Institute’s biggest names in classic paintings and, to be candid, I’m a sucker for art celebrities.
There it was, right in front of us, that iconic depiction of survivors in the face of the Depression. American Gothic was one of the many paintings I learned about in eighth grade art class, the first time anyone ever taught me the names of any artists or paintings beyond Mona Lisa. I have no idea whatever happened to my teacher Mr. Stickler, but ever since then I’ve owed him more than I realized at the time. It helped that I wasn’t one of the class malcontents sniffing rubber cement fumes during class.
Even before we got to Grant Wood’s greatest hit, the museum’s Modern American section kicks off with another, giant-sized piece of Americana and subject of the occasional parody.
…and of course there was more, more, more. Please enjoy this highlight reel of numerous paintings that leaped out at us and demanded our attention.
More to come! Other chapters in this very special MCC maxiseries:
Gallery 1: The Grounds Alone
Gallery 3: Georgia on Her Mind
Gallery 4: Two Americans Abroad
Gallery 5: Ye Olde Tyme America
Gallery 6: Very Contemporary
Gallery 7: Monet Growing on Trees
Gallery 8: Posting Post-Impressionist Impressions
Gallery 9: Picasso and the Surreal
Gallery 10: The Last of the Famous International
Gallery 11: Caveat Sculptor
Gallery 12: An Omnibus of Outtakes