Day Two - Enough Culture to Last a Lifetime


Thursday, December 10th we started our day out at the Art Institute of Chicago. For the first two hours we followed along with a tour guide who took us through China, Japan, India and Africa. The Chinese and Indian cultures both believe in Buddah, although sometimes protrayed in different ways. Looking at the cultural art of Africa was particularly interesting. Art from west to east differs immensely. Art in West Africa is typically made of wood and represents royality using animal hair, beading and tapestry. Art in East Africa, however, is much more simple. The art is typically made of ceramic. We saw an interesting peice from Ethopia, The Miracles of Mary, an illustrated book of the life Mary.
The Impressionist art work was a great exploration of different artist's work. We saw work by many famous artists such as, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, and Georgia O' Keefe. It was very interesting to see how painting evolved over the years. An interesting artist I discovered was Ivan Albright, a surrealist painter. One of his pieces, Picture of Dorian Gray, was particularly dark but used bright colors to show a morbid picture. Contemporary art, on the other hand, is much different. For example chairs and tires are sometimes considered art. Some artists are very well know for modern art although, like Andy Warhol.
We also visited the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center. The museum itself was not big at all. Our guide said they are only allowed to show about 25% of their ownings. Nevertheless it was very interesting to learn about their holidays and traditions. It was also sad to hear the horrifying stories of the Holocaust.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was truely an amazing experience. Music is the universal language. We listened to pieces by Mozart, Haydn, Telemann and Strauss. Mozart was my favorite. Our seats where behind the orchestra, in the terrance, so it was particularly interesting to see the musicans' and conductor's face during the perforamce. It was a beautiful house and a joy to experience.

Posted at 10:01 AM by Leah Schmidt