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Six Degrees of Francis Bacon


As you may remember from reading one of my previous posts, my dream job at the Art Institute is that of museum tour guide. So it should be no surprise that my favorite meeting of the month is one where we choose the themes and artworks for upcoming museum self-guides.

A little self-guide background…every month we create a self-guided tour of the museum that includes six to seven artworks that fall under a theme. The theme might be inspired by a holiday (see January 2010’s self-guide on avoiding the seven deadly sins in your New Year’s resolution), an exhibition at the museum (check out the August 2009 version, which pairs works from A Case for Wine with actual wine pairings chosen by Terzo Piano’s sommelier), or pop culture (November 2009’s guide features works filled with symbols a la The DaVinci Code). It is in the latter category that our February self-guide (one of my personal favorites) fits in—“Six Degrees of Francis Bacon.” Inspired by the popular game with the perhaps more commonly known film star Kevin Bacon, the paintings and sculptures listed begin with the artist Francis Bacon and move through a number of degrees to end with the artwork listed. Who would have guessed you could link Francis Bacon to Shakespeare and the Moulin Rouge?

So print one out before you come or, for you tech-savvy folks, pull it up on your iPhone in the museum. Happy hunting!