Monday, August 25, 2014

The Summer Sun in the Gardens of AIC

The Pritzker Garden
Today everyone is officially back in school, so it might seem like summer has technically come to a close.  But if you hadn’t picked up on this yet, it seems our summer weather has only just begun – just in time for the remaining 29 days of the season.  So, until the Autumnal Equinox gets here, you should get yourself to the remaining summer events at the museums!  You might have noticed that we’ve been to a few already this summer, and we will be posting about a few more this week (to make you feel just the slightest bit more sociable now that everyone’s cooped up for the session). 

One of our recent trips was to the Art Institute of Chicago. Last month we went to the AIC for Martini Mondays, a summertime event bolstering “libations, light bites, live music and special exhibition viewings.” This particular program (different from the monthly “Art After Dark” and “Night Heist” events the AIC already hosts) varies from month to month in location, trying to make use of the outdoor spaces of the museum before leading inward to a particular exhibit inside.  July’s event started off in the Pritzker Garden – the bright, sunny courtyard amid the trees, located off the east side of the Modern Wing.  There were several tables offering generous amounts of antipasto options (the Art Institute provides some of the best food at these events), as well as a few bartenders mixing up pretty martinis (pictured right!) and the standard bar classics.  Visitors dined and sipped as the sun lowered in the skyline, all to the tune of a live jazz band at the end of the courtyard.  It was as lovely as it sounds!

Post-martini, this event was to lead back inside for a special look at the “Chicagoisms” exhibit.  Sadly, there was a miscommunication and “Chicagoisms” ended up being closed that night, so the museum instead had the Classics hallways opened for the guests.  Although I had been looking forward to viewing the “Chicagoisms” architecture exhibit, this was no great disappointment.  The cool blue hallways hosting the Greek, Roman and Byzantine works are among my favorite spots in the museum - for the jewelry, artwork and sculpture as much as for the views overlooking the pretty garden and fountains of McKinlock court below.  As an added bonus, we got to watch the sun finally disappear behind the buildings downtown.

The sun sets over McKinlock Court

This event provided visitors all the best things that summer in Chicago has to offer.  The weather was perfect, and it was easy to see why the AIC would add a third program to their already full schedule of social events.  The gardens of the museum are so peaceful and visually beautiful, and yet we are only offered a few short months to enjoy them.  Incidentally, tonight is the last Martini Monday of the summer.  So get yourself there before the summer does officially end!  You can go here to buy tickets.

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