INTRODUCTION TO GALLERY
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INTRODUCTION TO CHICAGO GALLERY
Once the second city, said to be founded by the Potawatomi-loving Jean Baptiste DeSable; a once famous entrepôt for waterborne trade followed by trains to distribute beefs, now a lesser air transport hub; Frank Lloyd Wright and the “L” are as Chicago as the Water Tower, Marshall Fields, Wrigley Field, Willis Tower and John Hancock Center, and Millenium Park; a Ukrainian Village in Middle America and the twentieth century’s great artists; Lake Michigan and the Chicago River; and sports teams such as the Blackhawks—a name audaciously pluralized because even the man who led the last great resistance to white settlement in Illinois has been forgotten.
In a big city like Chicago, I think my eye is drawn to the artistic workmanship of old like the architectural details of the Wrigley Building [CHI14 and CHI15], the Carbide and Carbon Building [CHI24], and the door of 124 South LaSalle Street [CHI33]. I also enjoy the history revealed in a scene such as the wall in the West Loop [CHI86] where the old arch is still visible in the wall through the painted brick where the previous window has been replaced almost comically by glass blocks which still let light in but only permitting a small amount of air in through a tiny jalousie window so as to keep the cold out--what could be more urban? Compact, highly populated urban environments lend themselves to experiments by people to distinguish themselves from one another and so where else would you expect the simple yet nonfunctional window detail at the Charnley-Persky House by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright [CHI76] which exists as an abstract art masterpiece on a pedestrian level. Finally, what evokes a warm neighborhood and Midwestern hospitality better than a small boy standing next to a sign for a lemonade stand with his own reminder for passersby to take a quick diversion for a light refreshment.