Around Town: AIC Lions back home and a pygmy hippo finds a home

 

Photo courtesy of Conservation of Sculpture and Objects Studio and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Photo courtesy of Conservation of Sculpture and Objects Studio and the Art Institute of Chicago.

If recently downtown Chicago did you notice the absence of the city’s kingly statues guarding the Art Institute of Chicago?

After getting a thorough cleaning and new coat of wax, the historic pair of the museum’s lions were moved back to their plinths by noon July 19, 2022.

The lion pair, created by artist Edward Kemeys and installed May 1894, were cleaned and reinstalled by AIC partner, Conservation of Sculpture and Objects Studio.   For more about their creation visit “The Lions of Michigan Avenue” and “Lion, one of a pair.”

 

Pygmy hippo Banan. (Photo by Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
Pygmy hippo Banan. (Photo by Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

Meanwhile, in the southwest suburb of Brookfield, female pygmy hippopotamus Banana, is getting acclimated to her new home in Brookfield Zoo’s Pachyderm House and can sometimes be seen outdoors on that building’s west side. (Smaller than the river hippo, the pygmy weighs between 350 and 600 pounds and can grow to about 5.75 feet long,)

Jodie Jacobs

 

Three outdoor family activities for Memorial Day Weekend

 

Chicago skyline. (J Jacobs photo)
Old photo of Chicago skyline. (J Jacobs photo))

Chicago’s warm (finally) weather this Memorial Day weekend is perfect for a day laughing at monkeyshines at two zoos or a pirate-ship sail along the city’s shoreline. (Zoo note: both zoos require masks at their indoor animal houses).

 

Sorgum and baby calf at Brookfield Zoo. ( Photo courtesy of Chicago Zoological Society)
Sorghum and baby calf at Brookfield Zoo. ( Photo courtesy of Chicago Zoological Society)

Brookfield Zoo

Visiting the 235 acre Brookfield Zoo can be an all-day family event.

Starting May 26, visitors can see the cute tapir calf just born to his mom, Sorghum. He has been staying indoors at the Pachyderm House but mom and baby might wander to their outdoor space on the north side of the building because the weather will be warm. Now is a good time to see the calf with his white stripes. The marking fade by age six months. The South American tapir is related to the horse and rhinoceros.

Beginning May 28, the Butterflies area, closed the past two years, has reopened and includes moths. Located near the North Gate, entry is $4 adults, $3.50 seniors 65 and older and $3 children. Visitors will be able to see the transformation to butterflies in an off-exhibit space.

Monarch butterfly at Brookfield Zoo. (Photo courtesy of Jim Schulz and CZS)
Monarch butterfly at Brookfield Zoo. (Photo courtesy of Jim Schulz and CZS)

While wandering the zoo, be on the lookout for such ice-age creatures as a 15 ft tall wooly mammoth and the 18 ft long mastodon. They are among Dino Dan’s 30  life-sized animatonic animals staying at the zoo April 1 through Oct. 30, 2022.

Brookfield Zoo entrances are at North Parking Lot 8400 31st St, and South Parking Lot 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways. Current hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

There are admission and parking costs. Tickets can be purchased ahead on line and are good for the entire day of entry. Adults $24.95, Seniors 65 and older $19.95, Children age 3-11 $17.95, age 2 and younger free. Parking is $15 and can be paid upon arrival.

*Visitors who have a general admission pass with a barcode, a member guest pass, a Chicago Public Library Museum Pass or a Museum Adventure Pass, can bring that to the zoo for entry, no reservation required.

For tickets and more information visit Chicago Zoological Society and CZS-Brookfield Zoo.

 

The Patio at Cafe Brauer may be a well-kept secret of where to lunch along a quiet Lincoln Park Zoo path and entrance. ( J Jacobs photo)ell
The Patio at Cafe Brauer may be a well-kept secret of where to lunch along a quiet Lincoln Park Zoo path and entrance. ( J Jacobs photo)ell

Lincoln Park Zoo

At 49 acres, Lincoln Park Zoo is doable in half a day. Get a zoo map at the Visitor Center near the main entrance at 2400 N. Cannon Dr.

Time the visit to watch Seal Training at 11:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. near the main entrance . Then, be sure to visit the Pepper Family Wildlife Center.to see Pilipili, a recently born, African lion cub. His name means “pepper” in Swahili.

Lion cub at Lincoln Park Zoo (photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)
Lion cub at Lincoln Park Zoo
(photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

Lincoln Park Zoo is north of Chicago’s Magnificent (shopping) Mile.There are are several entrances with East gate near the paid parking lot being the main one. View the free parking map for all entrances. Current hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The zoo is free and opened every day. For more information visit Lincoln Park Zoo.

 

On a Tall Ship sail from Navy Pier. ( J Jacobs photo)
On a Tall Ship sail from Navy Pier. ( J Jacobs photo)

Sail on  Tall Ship Windy

For a different sailing experience, take a 75 minute trip along Chicago’s shoreline on Windy, a Tall Ship docked at Navy Pier. Listen to pirate and maritime stories.

Cost is Adults (age 13 and older) $39, children age 3 to 12 $17. For more information visit Chicago Skyline Sail/Tall Ship Windy Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

The Cezanne you may not know

 

Paul Cezanne.
Paul Cezanne. The sea at L’Estaque behinf trees 1q78-79, Musee National Picasso-Pariss

Walking through Cezanne, an extensive exhibit now at the Art Institute of Chicago and co-curated with the Tate Modern in London, is like pulling back a curtain to really see and understand the French artist’s various approaches to portraitures, landscapes and figures.

Influenced by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cezanne (1839–1906) was also admired by Pissarro, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Indeed, “The Sea at L’Estaque Behind Trees” done by Cezanne, 1978-79 was owned by Picasso, and is in the Musee National Picasso-Paris collection on loan for this exhibit.

Works are on loan from several museums and private collections. Visitors should expect to spend close to two hours. The exhibit features 80 oil paintings, 40 watercolors and drawings and two sketchbooks. Some will look familiar. Others will be less known and seldom viewed.

Still Life with Apples; Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 - 1906); 1893–1894; Oil on canvas; 65.4 × 81.6 cm (25 3/4 × 32 1/8 in.)
Still Life with Apples; Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 – 1906); 1893–1894; Oil on canvas; 65.4 × 81.6 cm (25 3/4 × 32 1/8 in.)

Beautifully curated, the exhibit places watercolors of the same or similar subjects close enough to compare. As with many artists, Cezanne’s works reflect different stages of life. Boards near each phase talk about those periods.

Called by some artists and art historians as the “Father of Post Impressionism,” Cezanne’s paintings are a bridge from Impressionism to Post Impressionism.

His early and middle years paintings also became his own bridge. Visitors who think they can identify a work as by Cezanne may be surprised .  His “Still Life with Apples,” 1893-94 oil painting, is quite different from “Still Life with Knife and Watermelon” a watercolor done later, about 1900.

Cezanne’s still life paintings of apples and fruit could easily fill an exhibit on their own. But you will see a still life series of another subject, skulls. They were done in his later years.

Paul Cezanne. The Three Skulls, 1902–6. The Art Institute of Chicago, Olivia Shaler Swan Memorial Collection.
Paul Cezanne. The Three Skulls, 1902–6. The Art Institute of Chicago, Olivia Shaler Swan Memorial Collection.

Part of his appeal to other artists was how his feelings about a subject were expressed by his brush strokes.

“Cezanne pursued an art distinct from his Impressionist colleagues,” explained Gloria Groom, Chair and David and Mary Winton Green Curator, Painting and Sculpture of Europe.

“Whether looking at the countryside around Paris or at a still life arrangement indoors, his was a laborious process and state of mind that involved finding the exact brushstroke to evoke his feelings, his sensations. The exhibition aims to deepen our understanding of this deliberate, singular process,” said Groom.

By the time a visitor exits the exhibit there should be a feeling that some  paintings seen in art galleries and art shows in the current century are not that different in technique from how Cezanne painted.

Paul Cezanne. Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses), about 1894–1905. The National Gallery, London (Photo courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)
Paul Cezanne. Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses), about 1894–1905. The National Gallery, London (Photo courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)

“While Cezanne himself was as interested in long traditions of painting as much as its modernist future, it’s simply not possible to envision twentieth-century avant-garde art without Cezanne’s influence,” said Caitlin Haskell, Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

“Cezanne approached painting as a technically rigorous yet deeply personal search for truth in art making. And in the process he upended the conventions of artifice in European painting, laying bare the components of color and brushwork used to compose images, and establishing the fundamentals of what would become Cubism, Fauvism, and non-objective art,” said Haskell.

(Note: If you go, get the Art Institute app (know your Apple store password) and go to the number accompanying some of the paintings to hear about Cezanne’s technique and aims. The museum hasn’t been using individual recorded devices since COVID began.)

The exhibition is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and Tate Modern, London. It is curated by Gloria Groom, Chair and David and Mary Winton Green Curator, Painting and Sculpture of Europe and Caitlin Haskell, Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago and Natalia Sidlina, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern.

“Cezanne” is at the Art Institute of Chicago May 15 through Sept. 5, 2022. The museum has two entrances: 111 S Michigan Ave and 159 E. Monroe St. For more information including tickets and hours visit AIC.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Find Spring Break ideas at Chicago museums

 

 

Adler Planetarium is back open with new inter-active and reconfigured spaces. (Photo courtesy of Adler Planetarium)
Adler Planetarium is back open with new inter-active and reconfigured spaces. (Photo courtesy of Adler Planetarium)

Chicago and some area schools are on Spring Vacation through April 17.  But even if your youngsters’ schools already had their break, terrific exhibits at Chicago’s museums are worth a weekend visit.

Fortunately, there are some free museums, free days and free to certain ages deals that can make a Spring Break outing less of a budget breaker. Most museum no longer require masks or vaccination proof but they do require advance tickets. However check the museum website for its current requirements.

For example of “free,” the National Museum of Mexican Art is always free. Located in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood at 1852 W. 19th St., the museum is currently featuring Freda Kahlo photos. But it is always filled with colorful and interesting galleries. Visit National Museum of Mexican Art for entry information. It is currently asking for masks and social distancing.

Also, the Illinois Holocaust Museum  at 9603 Woods Dr., Skokie has a promo code “SPRING 22” that is good for free admission to children and students through April 17, 2022. The museum is also free to all the last Friday of each month.

Check out the following museums for more ideas and cost saving deals:

Chicago Museum Campus

After closing for two years due to covid, the Adler Planetarium at 1300 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. at the east end of the Museum campus, recently reopened with more interactive exhibits and reconfigured spaces. The museum is free Wednesdays from 4 to 10 p.m. Among the fun, family-friendly spaces is the Clark Family Welcome Gallery with video presentations, interactive motion-sensing displays and pop-up exhibitions. Chicago’s Night Sky is also worth experiencing.

The Field Museum, at 1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. at the front end of the campus, has its free admission days May 14-15 and discounts the Discovery and all Access Pass those days so cost to Illinois residents would be $16 adult and $14 ages 3-11. Known for its dinosaur halls, The Field has gone further by going underwater to find giant species in its new temporary exhibit, Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep.  Up through Sept, 5, 2022, this special exhibit needs a Discovery Pass or All Access Pass but there is plenty to see with General Admission.

Shedd Aquarium, at 1200 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr., sits in the center of the Museum campus. The museum had free days earlier in the year but if living in Chicago find reduced fares through the Chicago Public Library: Kids Museum Passport.

Hyde Park Neighborhood

Museum of Science and Industry at 5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. has free days coming April 21 and 25 and May 2, 4, 9, 17 and 18. MSI, as the museum is usually known, can fill a day without its special exhibits but it currently has the blockbuster Art of the Brick, an amazing  sculpture collection of LEGO Art that is up through Sept. 5, 2022. An extra ticket is needed but the display is worth the cost.

The DuSable Museum of African American History  at 740 E. 56th PL, is celebrating 61 years as the country’s oldest independent African American Museum currently has free admission for all every Wednesday. Masks are  required for ages 5 and older. Among the exhibits are “Freedom: Origin and Journey” which looks at several key periods in African American history and South Side Stories such as “The Art and Influence of Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs, 1960–1980.” It looks at Burroughs’s “legacy as an artist, creator, activist and institution builder.”

 

Art Institute of Chicago main entrance. (Photo by J Jacobs)
Art Institute of Chicago main entrance. (Photo by J Jacobs)

Art Museums

Art Institute of Chicago, has a main entrances at 111 S. Michigan Ave. and around the corner at 159 W. Monroe St.  to its Modern Wing (connected to the main building). It is free to Chicago teens under 18 and all youngsters  under 14. Frequent AIC visitors have favorite galleries such as French Renaissance and the Thorne Rooms (miniature periods). The current exhibit is “Life and Afterlife in Egypt,” an impressive, recently re-done permanent display of items already held by the museum.

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave. is free to visitors under age 18 and Illinois residents receive free admission every Tuesday. Visitors who enjoy debating what is art and what does it illustrate should see “Based on a True Story.” Using items mostly owned by the museum, it puts together the works of 20 artists who “play with fact, fiction, and the grey areas between” that “wrestle with truth and belief by exploring fiction.”

Lincoln Park Neighborhood

Chicago History Museum at 1601 N. Clark St. is on the edge of the park. Check out its “Crossroads of America” which includes stepping aboard a fancy, old train car. Also up is an exhibit of women’s voting struggles and items from the museum’s Costume Collection. The museum is free is Illinois teens under age 18 and all children under age 12.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum at 2430 N. Cannon Dr., is a Chicago Academy of Sciences museum that is also on the edge of the park. Come here to see, walk among and learn about butterflies. Exhibits also include climate change, weather and rivers.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago zoos sparkle for the holidays

 

Brookfield Zoo Tunnel of Light sponsored by Xfinity. (Chicago Zoological Society photo)
Brookfield Zoo Tunnel of Light sponsored by Xfinity. (Chicago Zoological Society photo)

Both Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoos have upped the sparkle wattage with new light experiences. But with LED lights keeping cost down and ComEd on board as a co-sponsor for both holiday shows, what the popular destinations mention are estimates. Just expect more than one million lights.

In suburban Brookfield, IL wander among twinkling lights at Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic co-sponsored with ComEd by meijer.

The festival includes a new, two-mile Sea of Lights. But also take photos at a 41-foot-high magical tree and by an illuminated animal sculpture or as you approach the 600-foot Tunnel of Lights.

Just for fun, join in the Game of Gnomes to find 27 of these creatures at the zoo. Get a map of the zoo to help. All ages can play.

Zoo entry cost varies according to membership and age. As an example, rounded-off by five cents, a non-member senior 65 + may be about $20, an adult aged 12-64 is about $25 and a child age 3-11 is about $18.  Skating rink usage is a $7 add on. Passes from a Chicago Library may discount the tickets. Parking may cost $15.  Advance tickets needed.

Holiday Magic hours and dates: Friday through Sunday Nov. 26-28. Then Wednesday through Sunday, Dec. 8-12 and Dec.15-19. They end Sunday through Friday. Dec. 26-31. Hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Animal residences stay open through 8:30 p.m.

Brookfield Zoo has two gates: 8400 31st St. and 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield, IL

For more information Read more on czs.org

 

Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo feature an Enchanted Forest and a Light Maze in 2021. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)
Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo feature an Enchanted Forest and a Light Maze in 2021. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

Zooights turned on its more than a million lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo Nov. 19, 2021 and will keep them on during select nights through Jan. 2, 2022.

Explore a twisting path at the Light Maze where you wear a pair of 3D Holospex® glasses to up the glow. Also, every age is welcome at the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo section’s Enchanted Forest of butterflies, flowers and mushrooms.

See the zoo’s holiday tree at the recently redone Pepper Family Wildlife Center and do the Endangered Species Carousel and the Lionel Train Adventure through a sculpture garden and past whimsical animals.

Zoolioght entry is $5, free on Monday and Tuesday but there are additional charges of $3 per person at some of the sections and experiences. Advance tickets needed. Check the calendar for more program information.

The basic fee and extra charges help support the zoo’s animal care, global conservation efforts, and learning programs.

Co-sponsored by ComEd and Invesco QQQ, see Winter Wonders at the Zoo – Lincoln Park Zoo (lpzoo.org) for more information.

Jodie Jacobs

The art of photography via Ansel Adams

 

Ansel Adams, "Moonrise" can be seen at theLake County forest P:reserves' Dunn Museum in Libertyville, now through March 27, 2022.
Ansel Adams, “Moonrise” can be seen at the Lake County Forest P:reserves’ Dunn Museum in Libertyville, now through March 27, 2022.

Many admirers of the art of photography are familiar with Ansel Adams’ remarkable shots of the US western landscape taken in the 1970s. Arguably less known or viewed in an exhibition are Adams’ prints from the 1920 through the 1950s.

Now, “Ansel Adams: Early Works” a traveling exhibit organized by art2artCirculating Exhibitions, LLC, and sponsored at the Bess Bower Dunn Museum by the Lake County Forest Preserves’ Preservation Foundation and Dan and Shirley Mayworm, opens a portal to  the famed photographer’s interests, artistic development and his thoughts on his objectives. The works are  from the collection of Michael Matts and Judith Hockberg.

Wander through the Dunn Museum, worth a trip on its own for its early Illinois history and objects, to see “Moonrise” which proved, as a video in the exhibit explains, that some, great photography moments are unplanned.

Read the plaques that accompany the exhibit for insight into some of Adams’  observations of photography’s power. Going through the exhibit then retracing ones steps brings out changes in his artistic and unique view of nature.

One plaque reads: “When I first made snapshots in and around Yosemite, I was casually making a visual diary – recording where I had been and what I had seen – and becoming intimate with the spirit of wild places. Gradually my photographs began to mean something in themselves; they became records of experiences as well as of places. People responded to them, and my interest in the creative potential of photography grew apace.”

The show’s prints are part of Adams’ photo output. But to better understand the photographer don’t miss the plaques next to some of the photos. This one is next to Mount Brewer, Circa 1925, a vintage gelatin silver print.

“When I first made snapshots in and around Yosemite, I was casually making a visual diary – recording where I had been and what I had seen – and becoming intimate with the spirit of wild places. Gradually my photographs began to mean something in themselves; they became records of experiences as well as of places. People responded to them, and my interest in the creative potential of photography grew apace.”

Another plaque says that trees are not just trees. Look for a photo where the forest looks lacy then look for “Aspens” that is a study in design and contrast.

Dan Mayworm  who worked with Adams for a few weeks includes some pointers in the exhibit that he gleaned from Adams including “Expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights.”

A sample of what is in the exhibit can be found virtually at Ansel Adams Early Works Arc.

“Ansel Adams: Early works is at the  Bess Bower Dunn Museum of the Lake County Forest Preserves, 1899 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville, IL from Nov. 6, 2021 through March 27, 2022.

For more information visit Dunn Museum | Lake County Forest Preserves (lcfpd.org) or call (847) 968-3400. To see an exhibit virtual sample visit Exhibitions.

Jodie Jacobs

Up close at Lincoln Park Zoo Lion House

 

At Lincoln Park Zoo a lion looks over its shoulder at some members of the Chicago Uptown Lions Club (L.R. Mark Kotz, Sharon Howerton, Suzy Travers-Byster, Julie Lovison, Bob Solomon, Albert Anderson)
At Lincoln Park Zoo a lion looks over its shoulder at some members of the Chicago Uptown Lions Club (L.R. Mark Kotz, Sharon Howerton, Suzy Travers-Byster, Julie Lovison, Bob Solomon, Albert Anderson)

Thanks to a $15 million gift from Roxelyn and the late Richard Pepper, Lincoln Park Zoo broke ground on a $41 million renovation of their lion house in December 2019.

After being closed for about 2 years, the new Lion House opened in October 2021 and is home to a pride of lions that includes one male and four females. Rumor has it that locally born offspring may result.

The state-of-the-art habitat has been renamed the Pepper Family Wildlife Center, home not just to lions but also Canada lynx, snow leopards and red pandas.

Fans of the old Lion House will be happy to see the renovation was achieved to preserve and enhance the architecturally significant features of the historic structure built in 1912.

The dramatic entrances on either side bring a flood of natural light into the interior and the beautiful vintage vaulted ceiling has never looked better.

Small cages and cells with their archaic painted backgrounds are gone, replaced inside and out with expansive viewing windows for close-ups of the big cats.

Pepper Family Wild Life Center at Lincoln Park Zoo
Pepper Family Wild Life Center at Lincoln Park Zoo

The habitat has nearly doubled, now providing the lions with a variety of choices  from plenty of outside fresh air and thermal comfort zones to  trees for climbing, and elevated rocks to give them high vantage points plus areas to seek privacy, shade, and shelter.

A unique indoor design element known as the Lion Loop, funded by the Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo, enables guests to view the pride even more intimately from the center of the habitat.

The $41 million renovation of the building is the final phase of what has been dubbed The Pride of Chicago, a $135 million capital campaign that began in 2012.

It was my good fortune to tag along with the Chicago Uptown Lions Club on a special tour conducted by Bill Green, accessibility and inclusion manager for the zoo.

About seventy-five percent of the Uptown Lion members are visually impaired. Thanks to a grant by the Hart Prinze Fund, special accommodations have been made to allow those with special needs to enjoy the experience.

Albert Anderson, Sharon Howerton and Bill Green at the newly re done Wild Life Center at Lincoln Park Zoo (Reno Lovison photo}
Albert Anderson, Sharon Howerton and Bill Green at the newly re done Wild Life Center at Lincoln Park Zoo (Reno Lovison photo}

Green outfitted our small group with wireless earpieces that allowed us to easily hear his commentary as we toured the Lion habitat inside and out while he creatively and thoroughly explained what was being shown so that those unable to see would understand what the rest of us were experiencing visually.

On several occasions there were tactile displays that allowed both the sighted and unsighted members of our group to feel the size of a lion paw, the impression of their print, the feeling of their fur or the rough texture of their tongues.

Inside the building Green produced a special three dimensional map of the African savannah that the visually impaired could run their fingers over to get a sense of the various distances a lion might travel and kinds of terrain they may encounter in their journey.

All-in-all the Pepper Family Wildlife Center and its inhabitants are indeed destined to be the Pride of Chicago and should definitely be on your things to do calendar in the Windy City.

If you haven’t been to the zoo lately you might like to know that there are a number of restaurants and cafés on the grounds and several more within a short walk.

The Lincoln Park Zoo can be approached by car at Fullerton and Cannon Drive just west of Lake Shore Drive. Parking is available and might be considered pricey by some but admission to the zoo is free. If you’re a little more adventurous street parking is available along Clark Street on the west side of the park and there are bus routes that include the zoo entrance.

For more information about the zoo visit lpzoo.org. For more information about the Chicago Uptown Lions Club email info@chicagouptownlionsclub.org.

Reno Lovison

Around Town: Art News

projections on theMart start April 1. No joke. (Photo courtesy of Adler Planetarium)
Adler Planetarium projections on theMart start April 1. No joke. (Photo courtesy of Adler Planetarium)

The path  back to normal begins to look more like the yellow brick road as an insightful Comics exhibition gets set to open at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute of Chicago is happily welcoming more and more visitors to its Monet exhibit and the Adler Planetarium reminds folks they can explore the museum and space online by putting space  projections on theMart. Plus, over in Pennsylvania the Philadelphia Museum of Art gets ready to show off the major renovation of its 1928 building by architect Frank Gehry.

Bisa Butler. 'The Princess,' 2018. The Art Institute of Chicago, Collection of Bob and Jane Clark. Copyright Bisa Butler. (Photography courtesy of Art on theMART)
Bisa Butler. ‘The Princess,’ 2018. The Art Institute of Chicago, Collection of Bob and Jane Clark. Copyright Bisa Butler. (Photography courtesy of Art on theMART)

Art on theMart

April . No fooling. Projections on theMart at the Chicago River and Merchandise Mart Plaza promise to fascinate drivers and walkers as they move from the Adler Planetarium’s Astrographics about how we viewed the Earth, Other Worlds, the Stars and the Beyond April 1 through July 4.

In addition, the Art Institute’s Monet and Bisa Butler’s works simultanesously go from April 1 to May 19 followed by CPS class of 2021 projects May 20 to June 26.

The timing works because the Adler’s projections are about 16 minutes so the remaining time is filled by the other partners. Projections start at 8:30 p.m. CT and continue for about 30 minutes. Then, they begin again at 9 p.m. For more information visit Art on theMart and Spring art on theMart 2021.

EXPO Chicago

Also in April but online is a curated digital exposition of contemporary and modern art put together by EXPO Chicago, the organization that has annually held its highly regarded show at Navy Pier pre-COVID. It runs APRIL 8-12, 2021 and includes gallery works plus knowledgeable art sessions. For information and registration visit EXPO Chicago.

 

Upon entering the museum via the Robbi and Bruce Toll Terrace, visitors will be able to see up into the Great Stair Hall and down into the Williams Forum, revealing pathways to art on multiple levels. Architectural rendering by Gehry Partners, LLP and KX-L, 2016. (Photo courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021.)
Upon entering the museum via the Robbi and Bruce Toll Terrace, visitors will be able to see up into the Great Stair Hall and down into the Williams Forum, revealing pathways to art on multiple levels. Architectural rendering by Gehry Partners, LLP and KX-L, 2016. (Photo courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021.)

 Philadelphia Museum of Art

May, With travel returning as more people get their second vaccine, visiting museums outside the Midwest sounds enticing and doable. Among the places to visit is the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see how architect Frank Gehry (designer of Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion renovated the museum’s 1928 building. The unveiling is May 7, 2021. For more information visit Philamuseum/renovation.

 

Lynda Barry, 100 Demons: Dancing, 2000-02. (Photo Courtesy Adam Baumgold Fine Art)
Lynda Barry, 100 Demons: Dancing, 2000-02. (Photo Courtesy Adam Baumgold Fine Art)

Museum of Contemporary Art

June brings “Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now” at the MCA. “From radical newspapers to literary graphic novels, encompassing autobiography, satire, absurdism, science fiction, horror, and fiction, the exhibition foregrounds comics and cartooning as a democratic medium that allows artists to grapple with the issues of their time,” says an MCA statement about “Chicago Comics”

Running June 19 through Oct. 3, 2021, the exhibit reveals Chicago as a center for comics and cartooning. For more information visit MCA Chicago Comics.

Turtel Onli, Nog comic book page, 1980. © 1981 Turtel Onli (Courtesy of the artist)
Turtel Onli, Nog comic book page, 1980. © 1981 Turtel Onli (Courtesy of the artist)

 

Jodie Jacobs

More Chicago area museums open

See an in-person exhibit on Nelson Mandela, Women in the Military, Monet or Marvel Comics.

As the number of COVID cases go down Chicago’s museums have begun inviting visitors back, enticing them with special exhibits.

Safety protocols will be followed including timed tickets and, of course, wearing masks. As an old, once popular ad said, “Don’t leave home without it.”

The Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum opened in January. The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Lake County Dunn Museum are opening in February and the Museum of Science and Industry opens in March.

 

Illinois Holocaust Museum in skokie (Photo courtesy of the IL Holocaust Museum)
Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie (Photo courtesy of the IL Holocaust Museum)

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

The museum welcomed the public back with free admission on Feb. 3, 2021 and will continue to offer free admission on Wednesday through March. Hours are 9 a.m. -5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday but tickets must be purchased online ahead of time. See safety procedures.

Current main special exhibition is “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” up until about Feb. 20, 2021.

Upcoming special exhibit is “Mandela’s Struggle for Freedom” opening Feb. 20.

For tickets and other information visit ILholocaustmuseum.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum is at 9603 Woods Dr., Skokie, (847) 967-4800.

 

Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs photo)
Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs photo)

Art Institute of Chicago

The museum’s blockbuster “Monet and Chicago” seen only as a virtual exhibit after the pandemic closed its doors, is now possible to view in person through June 14, 2021.

The museum reopened Feb. 11 with limited days: Thursday-Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Member are invited to come from 10 to 11 a.m. and the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For tickets and protocols see Visit a Chicago Landmark | The Art Institute of Chicago (artic.edu).

The Art Institute of Chicago is at 111 S. Michigan Ave. and 159 E. Monroe (Modern Wing).

 

Lake County Dunn Museum (photo by John Weinstein)
Lake County Dunn Museum (photo by John Weinstein)

Bess Bower Dunn Museum

The museum, a Lake County Forest Preserves property, reopens Feb. 13 with online, timed tickets.

“Modifications have been made throughout the galleries and gift shop to minimize touch points and support social distancing,” said Director of Education Nan Buckardt.

Along with displays of Lake County history and artifacts, the museum is currently celebrating Black History Month. Its special exhibit, “Breaking Barriers: Women in the Military,” will be up through June 13, 2021.

Modified hours are 10 am to 3:30 pm, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with visitation time slots available from 10–11:30 am, 12–1:30 pm, and 2–3:30 pm. The galleries and gift shop will be closed between these time slots for cleaning and disinfecting.

The museum will be open on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb.15 and  then will resume its regular schedule.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors back again to the Dunn Museum,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. “Our priority remains to create a safe environment and provide peace of mind for all our visitors and staff while connecting them with Lake County history and culture.”

For tickets, safety protocols and other information visit Bess Bower Dunn Museum. The museum is  at 1899 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville, (847) 367 6640.

 

MSI opens with Marvel Universe exhibit (photo courtesy of Marvel and the Museum of Science and Industry)
MSI opens with Marvel Universe exhibit (photo courtesy of Marvel and the Museum of Science and Industry)

Museum Of Science and Industry

MSI as Chicagoans call the museum, will reopen  with the premiere of “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes,” when it welcomes members on March 4 and the public on March 7.

A major exhibit, the ” Marvel Universe” will contain more than 300 items ranging from sculptures, interactive displays and costumes to props from Marvel films and original comic book pages.

After opening weekend, MSI will be open Wed -Sun  from 9:30 a.m. to 4.p.m. For tickets, protocols, hours and other information visit MSI status.

The Museum of Science and Industry is at 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive.

Jodie Jacobs

Related Chicago museums opening now and next two months – Chicago Theater and Arts

 

 

 

Chicago museums opening now and next two months

Some Chicago museums are opening to members beginning Jan. 23 and then to the public in the coming days. The museums’ reopening comes on the heels of IL Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s announcement this week that the city has moved to tier 2  mitigation.

(Pritzker is expected to announce today, Jan. 23, that the city has also reached tier 1 thus restaurants and bars will be be allowed to re-start indoor seating at 25 percent capacity.)

The Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum on the city’s Lake Shore Drive Museum Campus are among the current open museums. The Art Institute of Chicago plans to reopen in February.

Shedd penguins (J Jacobs photo)
Shedd penguins (J Jacobs photo)

Shedd Aquarium

Visitors can start purchasing tickets to the Shedd Aquarium at noon, Jan. 23, 2021. The Shedd, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, is home to the penguins seen by thousands of viewers across the world on UTube.

Members can visit on the early access days of Jan. 27-29. To join the Shedd  visit  become a Shedd Aquarium member and visit free for a year and support its aquatic life.

The public can visit beginning Jan. 30. To obtain tickets visit Shedd aquarium/purchase. visit To get tickets.

Field Hall dinosaur (J Jacobs photo)
Field Hall dinosaur (J Jacobs photo)

Field Museum

The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, opened to members Jan. 21 and is opening to the public today, Jan. 23. To buy tickets visit Calendar/FieldMuseum/ticketing. Members should sign in at Verify your membership.

Illinois residents can visit for free on January 25 and 28. Tickets for Free Days are only available onsite and cannot be reserved in advance.

For hours, safety protocols  and exhibits visit Know Before You Go.

Chagall Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs phto)
Chagall Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs phto)

Art Institute of Chicago

A world-renown art museum, the Art Institute of Chicago at 111 N. Michigan Ave., will reopen Feb. 11. It will start with a limited schedule Thursday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open to members only the first hour.

More museums have indicated they will open in March. For more museum information and future openings visit Choose Chicago/museum reopening, the city’s tourism site.

Jodie Jacobs