This morning my memory was sparked by the sharing of T.G.I.F and my thoughts that I’m just happy to know that I’ll have two days with my husband. After 22 years of marriage we have been back to having the house to ourselves for a few years and at least I always feel the happiest when I know he and I have days together.
So I sat here and thought back to a trip we took in 1998. My hubby reserved tickets to an art exhibit for Mary Cassatt at the Art Institute of Chicago for the day after Thanksgiving as an early anniversary gift (12/8 anniversary). Impressionist art used to be my very favorite yet now it is one of many. You can imagine my elation!
He also reserved a room for us at the Airport Hilton. Such a magnificent and most definitely memorable weekend. My only regret that year was that our thanksgiving dinner was spent in the hotel restaurant instead of with our family (probably a first for my life). Although I remember having duck (my favorite) so that had to at least make up for things a little, huh?
The day after thanksgiving was unseasonably warm that year. I was feeling quite cozy and lovely in my blue jeans with the peach colored lace blouse and my woolen sweater with the fur collar. An outfit with the availability of carrying a small concealed crossbody bag underneath for riding the EL which we could enter from our hotel with plans of running around Chicago all day.
Our first stop was the Art Institute. The institute greeters were dressed to
look like Carolers from a vintage postcard, carrying trays of cookies. The lions at the front were graced with huge wreaths around their necks (see photo). Chamber music resonated through the front doors as we walked inside. Live chamber music played upon our entrance. The days started out as if in a fairy land.
We walked through rooms of Mary Cassatt, Monet, Manet, Degas, and Renoir (my favorite). I never dreamed of being in such a place. Then I saw it, my most favorite painting of Renoir’s.
from across the room and by the time I got over to it, tears were running down my face. The only passion I’d felt stronger was for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I never knew it was in me! No wonder I had to be an artist! As Joe rushed to my side, I looked to see who might be watching me. And that day continued to be moving and a time I will never forget!
We went on to experiencing Chicago in this fairy tale setting. There was a band playing in the city center along with Salvation Army bands playing the sounds of the season. Everything was decorated for Christmas. One place had several stories of escalators and decorations hung from the ceiling down. And another with a tree that stood several stories high. We ended our day in this grand city in the lounge at the top of the Ritz Carlton at sunset. OH MY, what a day!
Chicago Tribune - NEWS
By Alan G. Artner, Tribune Art Critic | October 18, 1998
Mary Cassatt was an artist of unfailing taste and seriousness. Sometimes she painted daringly, often she drew beautifully, always she made prints exquisitely. But Cassatt also concentrated on female subjects that express the narrow range of activities open to even the most independent 19th Century women. And that ultimately will determine how viewers react to her large retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago, for it's what causes 90 paintings, drawings, pastels and prints to have a decidedly small impact.
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