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Mute Impressions at the Art Institute

Attempting to recover from the prancing and pawing of rooftop hooves, I decided to spend a post-Christmas morning at the Art Institute of Chicago. Even before I checked my coat, I knew my visit would leave a mixed impression on me. As always, I expected to exit with an uplifted imagination but somewhat disappointed expectations.

Let There Not Be Light at the Spertus Institute?

As reported in today’s Chicago Tribune, this week, downtown Chicago’s Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies bowed to pressure from Jewish United Fund (JUF)/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago president Steven Nasatir and closed its multimedia exhibition on Holy Land boundaries, ‘Imaginary Coordinates’, three months early. For reasons that smack of reverse racism.

Museum Flopping

If you aren’t anal retentive, you shouldn’t be curating art exhibits. If the idea of dropped apostrophes, mis-attributed dates, and dog-eared inscriptions doesn’t keep you up at night, you shouldn’t be responsible for the hanging of museum shows in major metropolitan areas. Why does this problem afflict so many Chicago museums?

Happy 2nd Birthday “Looper” Photoblog!

Today, Devyn Caldwell’s Looper photoblog celebrates its second anniversary. For the past two years Looper has focused intently on downtown Chicago, featuring edgy, insightful, and often unexpected images of the city’s urban core for a loyal and growing audience. Browse Looper and see for yourself why I consider Devyn to be Chicago’s best urban photographer since the seminal work of the mid-20th century’s Charles Cushman.

Pueblo Post-Modern

From the way the Art Institute of Chicago talks about its latest temporary show, Casas Grandes, you might decide to give the exhibition of ancient North American pottery a pass. You’d miss out on some surprisingly modern fun–as, apparently, did the show’s curators.