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Humanities Assignment

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Rgiron
Words 918
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Rafael Giron
4/25/13
Humanities Final Paper
Art Institute
I took a trip to the building on 111 South Michigan Avenue, it is the home of the Art Institute of Chicago, which to give a little history that I learned while my visit there I learned quite of bit of history and even though there is a lot art work inside the building itself is piece of artwork as well and that is what I want to focus on and some paintings as well, it was opened in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition. The building was passed on to the Art Institute after the end of the exposition. The building has become an icon for the people that live there an tourists alike. The Modern Wing, the Art Institute’s latest and largest addition to date, opened on May 16, 2009. While there I took notes of the historical building and saw many exhibits which I will get into later. The 264,000 square foot addition now houses the museum’s collections of modern European painting and contemporary art, sculpture, architecture design, and photography. The new Modern Wing looks and feels very different from the original Art Institute building because of its materials. While in there I took the breath taking sites and looking and walking around for most of my day I noticed something and it makes sense to me that a gallery for classical art would be housed in a building with a classical style, and a gallery for modern art would be housed in a more modern building, which is how the Art Institute has reorganized it’s collections with the opening of the new Modern Wing. Journeying on the main building of the Art Institute is constructed mostly of masonry, with very few windows, and feels very heavy and overpowering like an indescribable feeling takes over. Huge staircases and large columns make the visitors small as they move through the galleries towering over them. This is similar to the way the art in the space makes you feel: small, unimportant, and sometimes even afraid. The Modern wing in constructed of steel and glass, and is very open and bright. The large north wall facing Millenium Park is one large expanse of windows, letting in plenty of indirect sunlight, and opening the gallery to the park. Like the seasons, it is a wonderful site to see when someone were to get a chance to, like the changing seasons, the scenery changes with it too, from the blanket of soft white snow to the falling leaves in fall, to the trees and grass in the spring and we cannot forget the hot weather in the summer. The space feels very light, in both senses of the word. As with the old building, the art feels similar to the space in that it is more open and less opressive. The two buildings also differ in the way they interact with the city, since they have vastly differing neighbors. The main building is centered on Adams street and faces the Loop, the busiest area of the city. Flanking the main entrance are two large, bronze, lions that seem to protect the building from the city, while still allowing visitors to enter and exit the museum. The new Modern Wing, however, faces Chicago’s Millenium Park. The face of the building along the park side is a large face of windows. So, while the old building is trying to shut out the city to create a space for itself, the Modern Wing is opening itself up to let the park in. How the two buildings relate to the street is another way in which they differ. Much like it’s relationship to the Loop, the main building feels very separate from the street. The fact that the main entrance is raised almost an entire story, and there are almost no windows on the main floor really isolate the building from people on the street or sidewalk who are just passing by. The gardens on the north and south sides of the building also separate it from the neighborhood and the street by creating a spatial and visual barrier. The Modern Wing, however, with it’s large glass wall is very welcoming even if you have no idea what it is. Located very close to the street, and at the same level, the Modern Wing feels more like a part of the park than just a building in the middle of the city. Though the Modern Wing is a part of the Art Institute as a whole, it differs in many ways from the original building. The way the building opens itself up to Millenium Park as opposed to closing itself off from the city, and the way the building draws visitors in from the street as opposed to hiding behind gardens and a large staircase, make the Modern Wing feel very different from the main building. The styles and the materials of the two buildings not only make them look different, but make them feel different as well. The exhibit that I wanted to focus on is the Picasso effect and basically all of the Picasso paintings, with its many colors shades, and designs, I truly appreciate art in a new way that I have not done so before.

Works Cited
Employee at Art Institute and my notepad of paper, this was mostly all opinion based like the instructions, I just got some information regarding the building from one of the workers.…...

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