The shadows of summer are getting long as we are nearing the end of construction season, and while the weather is still warm and the daylight hours are still in abundance, I always like to utilize this time of year to visit museums. This year, there are a few places on my to-do list.
First and foremost is the Field Museum, to see the Pirate exhibit. The centerpiece of this exhibit is the Whydah, the ship used by the pirate "Black" Sam Bellamy. The Whydah sank in a huge storm off of Cape Cod in 1717, and legends came to life speaking of the massive amounts of treasure (not to mention almost all of the crew) that went down with the ship. But due to the diligence of underwater recovery expert Barry Clifford, the remains of the Whydah have recently been discovered and excavated, finally providing historical truth to almost 400 years of legend about "Black" Bellamy and his ill-fated voyage. What they have found is on display at this exhibit - I'm a real sucker for shipwreck exhibits (not to mention pirate ones)!
The next item on the list is the is the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, located in Evanston, IL. I have long been fascinated by the cultures native to this land, and this institution "focuses exclusively on the history, culture and arts of the North American native people", to quote their website. They not only have exhibits featuring tobacco pipes and the sacred role they played in native cultures or a collection of cradleboards from different cultures throughout North America, but also of artwork submitted by modern-day artists of Native American heritage. The clash of traditional heritage and pop art casts a fresh perspective on Native American cultures.
Art also brings us to my third planned destination: The Art Institute of Chicago, specifically the Modern Wing. This 264,000 square foot new addition just opened in May 2009, houses the artwork of the 20th and 21st century, and makes the Art Institute "the second largest art museum in the United States" (according to the website). In fact, the Des Plaines Public Library is hosting a trip to the Modern Wing in late September, the 26th to be exact. Art historian Jeff Mishur will provide commentary on the way down to the museum in coach transportation, as well as a guided tour of the Modern Wing. Transportation, commentary, a guided tour, and admission to the Modern Wing as well as general museum admission are all included for a cost of $65 per person. Tickets to this excursion can be obtained at the Customer Service desk on the first floor of our library.
Now, let's go see if we can get some Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh! (this joke is courtesy of my father). Which museums have you gone to or still plan to visit this summer (or ever)?