Part of the reason that the Modern Wing feels so harmonious is because, well, it is. And the secret behind that lies in one measurement: 6 ¾”, aka the width of the oak floorboards in the Modern Wing. That’s right—everything in the building is based around that one tiny measurement. Of course, not everything in the building is 6 ¾”, but everything is a multiple of that number. To lay it out for you:
Not that I don’t trust the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, but I decided to test this for myself. . . photographic evidence is below.
Width of a floorboard: 6 3/4"
You'll have to take my word for it, but each of the large wall panels is 9' wide. . .
. . . and dividing each of the panels at exactly 4'6" are horizontal poles attached to the lighting fixtures. Also, as you look higher, each of the beams that divide the skylights are also 4'6" apart.
Here's a view of all of Griffin Court so you can get a better sense of the panels/skylights.
And it's not just the architecture that follows these rules. Here's a bench in Griffin Court. It lines up with the floorboards exactly, coming in at 2'3".
And here's one in the Balcony Cafe: 4'6"
Finally, I headed into the galleries and you guessed it. . . even this stand (holding de Kooning's Head #3) is 2'3" wide. Also, for our loyal readers, please note the "reveal" at the bottom, previously discussed here by Erin H.
As you can tell, everything was just as precise as I expected. So the next time you enter the Modern Wing and wonder why you feel so peaceful, remember it’s all in the math.
12 hours 14 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago #TBT A view of George F. Harding’s “castle museum,” built in 1927.
The prominent businessman and politician had already amassed a sprawling collection of artworks, arms, and armor when he built an annex to his home on Chicago’s South Side. The Gothic Revival stone turret—complete with cannonballs embedded in the exterior walls—also included a dungeon and secret passages. Following Harding's death in 1939, the “castle” became a public museum for two decades until it was demolished during an urban renewal project. The collection was eventually brought to the Art Institute, fulfilling Harding’s intention to offer his stunning collection of art, arms, and armor to the people of Chicago.
See Harding's collection like never before in Saints & Heroes: Art of Medieval and Renaissance Europe.
14 hours 49 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SUNDAY—Rodney McMillian: a great society
Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, Rodney McMillian employs elements of performance, public speaking, oral history—and his interest in the science fiction genre—to expose the social and psychological consequences of economic inequality and endemic racism. While his work engages the often stark realities of history and contemporary culture, it is motivated by the potential for alternative realities and future transformation.
17 hours 36 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago "These galleries will make even the saint-averse stop and take notice."
via Chicago Tribune