Today is the last day of my spring break. Tomorrow it's back to school. We had been talking about going into Chicago to see the Van Gogh show at the Art Institute, and with one day left, this was the day.
We took the train, catching the 10:32. It was a full train by our station, and there were quite a few more stops after we got on. Lots of moms with school-age children. It seems that this was the first day of spring break for many. Once downtown, we began walking across the Loop to Michigan Avenue, where the Art Institute is located. It was a breezy spring day, but cold enough to require a jacket.
The Van Gogh show is "Van Gogh's Bedrooms," and it is popular - the line to get into the museum was out the door and down the steps. We are members and got to bypass the long line. After checking our coats, we turned out attention to finding the gallery with the show. My son studied the map of the museum while discussing the likely spots with my husband. Then I saw the large sign pointing us to the Van Gogh Bedrooms. "Look!" I said, "It's that way!" Then I laughed and said, "Just like in Star Trek 4." Both of them got it instantly - Kirk and Spock are back in the time in the late 20th century looking for humpback whales. Spock is applying scientific thinking and deduction as to where whales might be found, when Kirk spies a poster advertising the Cetacean Institute, where two humpback whales are on view. My son even quoted more dialogue. A nerdy moment.
The show was crowded, but really interesting. There is only one bedroom, but Van Gogh painted it three times and each painting is slightly different. The show includes a timeline of his life, showing the 37 places Van Gogh lived in his 37 years, many paintings, not just the three bedroom paintings, and a video showing how high tech detective work has discovered what the original colors were probably like. I also liked the "Night Cafe" where a video surveyed the films, books, cartoons, and so on that have featured Van Gogh, both seriously and in fun. Altogether, an excellent art show.
By the time we left the museum, after lunch and a quick visit to the 16th century to look for Caravaggio, we walked back to the train station and traveled home. We are all tired and somewhat sore now from a lot walking and looking. It was a great way to end spring break.