Archive | 1:10 am

A Day in the Windy City

27 Jun

 

images Although the ALA Annual Conference runs through Tuesday, Monday was all about visiting Chicago.

The day opened with breakfast, a few blocks from my hotel,  at the Eleven City Diner on S. Wabash.

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There were many good things to choose from, and I finally settled on Lox & Latkes, with cream cheese.

The service and food were both excellent.

 

 

Full and happy, my sister and I walked over to the Field Museum, enjoying the panoramic vistas along the way.

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As we entered the Field Museum, we were greeted by Sue.

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We arrived just after opening and left just after noon, and our timing was great. The museum was pretty empty and was only just starting to get busy when we were ready to leave. There were lots of amazing things to see but the unexpected treasure was a display of the sculptures of Malvina Hoffman.

Museum Summary: In the 1930s, The Field Museum commissioned talented sculptor Malvina Hoffman to create bronze sculptures for an exhibition called The Races of Mankind. A gifted artist who studied under Rodin—and a woman in a male-driven art world—Hoffman travelled the globe in order to sculpt many of her subjects from life. The resulting sculptures were intended to portray “racial types,” as the theory of the day categorized them.

These sculptures have recently undergone conservation treatment, and fifty of the most beautiful are now featured in The Field Museum’s new exhibition Looking at Ourselves: Rethinking the Sculptures of Malvina Hoffman. The new exhibition is a rich inquiry into the concept of race, which has changed drastically over the past eighty years but is still very much with us today.  Hoffman’s artworks embody the complicated ways we look at culture and race, but they are also detailed and nuanced portraits of individual persons.

My sister had to take a conference call. so we returned to the hotel, walking along the lakefront before cutting across through the park.

After the call we headed out again, taking a water taxi to Navy Pier, where we took an Architectural River tour. Several people had recommended this tour and it was well worth it. I learned about architecture in general, in addition to the history and architecture of Chicago.

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Although it was a long walk – we ended up with over 22,000 steps for the day – we walked from Navy Pier, down the Magnificent Mile to the Lou Malnatti’s pizza near our hotel. I was a little hungry, tired and cranky, so the wait for a table was hard, but the deep-dish pizza was delicious.

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I am probably at some point in my return journey as you read this, happy after an excellent visit to the  Windy City, but looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.

 

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