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An 11-Year-Old Reviews the Art Institute

A fifth grader at Waters Elementary guides us through highlights from the permanent collection.

‘Three Men Walking II’ by Alberto Giacometti

Three Men Walking II by Alberto Giacometti

(Modern Wing, third level)
Photo: © 2018 Succession Giacometti/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

So many sculptures are smooth and show muscular men, but the Giacomettis are skinny and bumpy and a little frail. It seems as if you could snap off a piece of them with just a twist of your finger. Which maybe you can! (But don’t try.)

 

Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room

Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room

(Rubloff Building, first level)
Photo: Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

I like this one because it’s a different style of art: It’s a whole room that they just built right into the museum. I like how old and fancy it looks, and that you can walk around and explore it.

 

Arthur Rubloff Collection of Paperweights

Arthur Rubloff Collection of Paperweights

(Michigan Avenue Building, lower level)
Photo: Arthur Rubloff gift

It’s a room full of dozens and dozens of beautiful glass spheres, and it’s like there’s a whole world inside every one of them. It’s neat to think that all of this art and design was just for an object that holds paper down in the wind.

 

‘Visions of Eternity’ by Salvador Dalí

Visions of Eternity by Salvador Dalí

(Modern Wing, third level)
Photo: © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, 2018

Surrealist paintings really spark your imagination. To me, this one looks like skeletons on ice with pieces of macaroni. Macaroni is something most kids are acquainted with.

 

American Decorative Arts galleries chair

American Decorative Arts galleries

(Rice Building, first level)
Photo: © 2018 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

All the old furniture in these rooms makes you feel like you’re in a house, which is cool. And it’s pretty great for making up imaginary games — pretending that it’s your home and you’re the regal-looking people in the paintings on the walls.

 

Thorne Miniature Rooms

Thorne Miniature Rooms

(Michigan Avenue Building, lower level)
Photo: Gift of Mrs. James Ward Thorne

I like how detailed these tiny rooms are. Each one seems like a real place that had a spell cast upon it that miniaturized it. It really is quite magical. I was attracted to the miniatures because of the book series The Sixty-Eight Rooms, where the rooms become fantastical worlds that you can go into using a special key.

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