At the Art Institute of Chicago

Gustave Caillbotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877. Artwork captured by iPhone.
Little Dancer Aged Fourteen by Edgar Degas, 1881
Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884
My date knows the way to my art. July 2017.
Portrait of Jeanne Wenz by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1886
Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gough, 1887
Vincent Van Gogh’s The Bedroom, 1889
Vincent Van Gogh’s The Drinkers, 1890
Notre Dame de Paris by Jean-Francois Raffaelli,
1890 – 1895
At the Moulin Rouge by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892 – 1895
The Girl by the Window by Edvard Munch, 1893
The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso, 1903-04
Fisherman’s Cottage by Harald Sohlberg, 1906
Water Lilies by Claude Monet, 1906
American Gothic by Grant Wood, 1930
Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses by Georgia O’Keefe, 1931
René Magritte’s On the Threshold of Liberty, 1937
White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall, 1938
Nighthawks by Edward Hopper 1942
Nude under a Pine Tree by Pablo Picasso, 1959
Ohhh…Alright… by Roy Lichtenstein, 1964
Four Mona Lisas by Andy Warhol, 1978
Anybody know this one? Credit fail.
Stamford after Brunch by John Currin, 2000 (or as I like to call it, The Three Sisters)
At The Art Institute of Chicago
I gazed at the blue-eyed
Vincent Van Gogh. 
With turbulent stroke, 
deep dejection clear,
hospitalized a whole year 
before the ear incident.
Then death by suicide.

His eyes held mine. 
“I want to touch people 
with my art,” he said.
“I want them to say: 
he feels deeply, 
he feels tenderly.”
I felt it down deep, 
faced him, and cried.		

“You remind me 
of my son,” I said.
“His gift, the cello,
sings. Yet other voices 
reside inside his mind.
Relentless and mean. 
I see you, dear Vincent.
Your help arrived too late. 
My worst nightmare 
is your fate.”

56 thoughts on “At the Art Institute of Chicago

  1. Very moving. Especially your thoughts at the end. There are certain situations in life where we feel utterly helpless. But we always have hope and prayer. Thank you for sharing the amazing artwork. It is fascinating. And it also brings a sense of gratitude as I think about the fact that we all have unique and extraordinary gifts.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Your poem brought tears, Crystal. I enjoyed the art work, but was touched more by the “heart”work of your poem.

    I too fear for my son, who struggles with bi-polar disorder and alcohol/substance abuse.

    May God work where we cannot.

    🙏 for your favorite cello player.


    PS. Cody is a handsome guy!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I haven’t been to Chicago in such a long time. I remember seeing many of these paintings. Thanks for the review and the reminder that when we start traveling again, we need to get ourselves back to the Magnificent Mile.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a beauty this post is. Filled with something other worldly. Each painting, even the one with date siting like the fate. And this poem dear Crystal sums an autobiography of a beautiful beginning of sorts. My wishes and love.

    Nara x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the way you used art = heart in the caption 💖. Thank you for sharing you experience of art with us. The Girl by the Window and The Old Guitarist stand out to me, the first is dreamy mysterious, the other captivating with its blueness. Beautiful poem as well! A beautiful reminder that artists feel deeply and tenderly.🎨


  6. An emotional saga, my friend. For you in assembling the post, obviously, but also for me, to some degree, in experiencing it.

    First came the smile, as any mention of my former hometown sparks nostalgia. Oh, many a happy afternoon spent at the Institute. Among other places.

    Then came your gallery and its sighs. Moments (or eternities?) of contentment. …and of contemplation.

    Finally, your intensely moving poetry in conclusion. When I spied van Gogh’s work, I hoped the same parallel hadn’t occurred to you, but somehow, I knew it would.

    Yes, there are similarities between Vincent’s experiences and Drew’s, but the comparison goes only so far. For one thing, Drew has you and Cody. Vincent didn’t. In a world made entirely of interactions, that makes all the difference.


  7. Amazing, allows me to remember the times when I used to paint day and night. Theres no better avenue of expression than a tube of paint and a sea of brush strokes. It communicates in a way that nothing else can. Profound, thank you for this.


  8. Dear Crystal, thank you for the art collection. As you like Narayan’s extraordinary post on the plight of people, children, in particular, in the high mountains in India, I would like to ask you for any suggestions where I could send a copy of this post, as I do believe the world should know about it.
    I would greatly appreciate your help. I live in England.



  9. Stirring poetic verses add to the mystery-filled agony seen in some of Van Gogh’s paintings. A couple days ago I read more about Grant Wood and his Midwestern influence in his art. Crystal, thanks for sharing.


  10. I visited The Art Institute of Chicago years ago and loved it. It was nice to revisit through this post. Thank-you for sharing.


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