Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte, The Art Institute of Chicago
In less than twenty-four hours I am going to board a plane and end up in the city of my childhood. I am returning to the Windy City because it is Spring Break and because I yearn to have a Marcel Proustian experience of all the familiar places, tastes, and scents from the times of my youth. In honor of this trip, I am going to write about early experiences involving art that have left a lasting impact for years to come.
The story begins in the early nineties when I was not exactly a lover of art. As a matter of fact, it would appear from my early years that my love of the arts grew after a Stockholm Syndrome sort of relationship. I attended a classical elementary school in Chicago that incorporated Latin into the curriculum and an exposure to the art world made possible by frequent trips to the Art Institute. Living in a major city has its advantages when stressing the importance of the arts.
Unfortunately, a trip to the museum (similar to a trip to Orchestra Hall) meant no talking, no playing, and having to walk around for hours while a curator spoke about random pieces of art. The permission slip labeled “Art Institute” would let out a resigned sigh from many of my grade school classmates.
It was not until years later when I was sitting in a modern Art History lecture that I was wholeheartedly thankful for the opportunity presented to me in my youth. I was able to appreciate impressionism by Monet and Gustave Caillebotte, Georges Seurat's pointillism, and ready-mades by Marcel Duchamp up close and in person in real life, which is always way cooler than a slide image.
The emphasis in the study of arts in my formative years made a lasting impression on me that I carried into adulthood. I believe it is important to teach youngsters about art by taking trips to museums even if it seems boring at first.
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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, April 10, 2017
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