Art & Design

My America

Since I’m a huge art history nerd, I thought, why not have a week where I talk about my favorite art history masterpieces? This week, I’ll be talking about art pieces that can be found at The Art Institute of Chicago (the house of dreams).

The first piece I’ll be writing about is Marc Chagall’s America Windows, ca. 1977.  Back story: Chagall came to Chicago, seven years prior to making his art piece, to install one of his other completed works titled, The Four Seasons. Due to the amazing feedback the people of Chicago had, he wanted to create a piece that would celebrate the wonderful progression and independence of America.

When Chagall came back with his finished masterpiece, he came back with six panels of pure beauty. Chagall never put a label on the type of art his artwork was, but to me, it’s a fusion of Cubism, Surrealism, and Fauvism; that’s what makes this piece so special. Additionally, the deep indigo background along with other colors presented, could captivate any audience. Other thing to look for would be figures that are crafted into the panels: people playing instruments, floating guitars and fiddles, dove, olive branch, Statue of Liberty, etc. Each panel has a significant meaning and I’ll post a link below of a great summary of just that. Seeing America Window in person has been one of the best experiences at a museum and it’s a must see every time I visit The Art Institute of Chicago.

From the Art Institute of Chicago’s website, it states, “The resulting six-panel work celebrates the country as a place of cultural and religious freedom, detailing the arts of music, painting, literature, theater, and dance. Because of his admiration for Chicago and its strong commitment to public art during the 1960s and 1970s, Chagall chose to dedicate the work to Mayor Richard J. Daley, a great supporter of public art projects.” Chagall gave this gift to the city of Chicago, but after evaluating this particular gift, America Window has become a gift to me. With everything going on lately, it could easily discourage anyone in believing in the future of America and it’s people. When I look at this masterpiece, I see hope.

Knowing that this art piece represents the beauty of America’s culture, freedom and art influences, that is the America I choose to see and believe in.  I see it everyday with the people I surround myself with; people who are kind, loving, hard-working, strong and filled with dreams. For that, I am truly blessed to know them and I hope I meet more people who exude those qualities. Just like America Window, I still believe this is what America represents. Except now, we just have to look a little bit closer.

-Michelle

 

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For more information on America Window, feel free to check out these links:

http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/Chagall

https://blogs.colum.edu/reviewing-the-arts/2014/04/07/visual-art-the-america-windows-1977-marc-chagall-art-institute-of-chicago/

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