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.
2 days 17 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago "Real painters understand with a brush in their hand."
Happy birthday to the trailblazing artist Berthe Morisot, a core member of the Impressionists and the only woman to be exhibited in seven of the eight Impressionist group exhibitions between 1874 and 1886.
See two paintings by Berthe Morisot, now on view in Gallery 201.
Image: Berthe Morisot. Woman at Her Toilette, 1875/80. Stickney Fund.
3 days 10 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago John Singer Sargent’s portraits have captivated audiences for over a century. ARTicle takes a closer look at his work, on the week of the American Impressionist’s birthday.