Every year Lindsay Mican Morgan, the caretaker of the Thorne Miniature Rooms, chooses a new room to add to our collection of rooms decorated with historically accurate holiday decorations. This year, she picked the Pennsylvania Dutch Kitchen from the 1750s and conducted extensive research on how the family that might have lived in this home would have celebrated the holidays.
She discovered that the people who lived in this house would likely have been Lutheran and would have celebrated the coming of the Christ-kindel, or Christ child. The Christ-kindel would bring small gifts for the children in the house and leave them in a rye basket filled with linen, which was meant to signify the manger and swaddling clothes. A bale of hay sits by the door to reference hay that the family would leave out for the old grey mule that would carry the Christkindl—another reference to the Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem. It's also quite similar to how, in present day, some people leave out carrots for reindeer. Other holiday decorations in the room include a hand-carved wooden cookie mold, a turkey, and ice skates hung over the bannister.
But it doesn't stop there. Because you can see through the doors and windows "outside" the room, Morgan worked with a local artist to reproduce the landscape, but change it to a winter scene. She also changed the quality of the lighting in the warm to a bulb with a cooler tone that more accurately reflects the sun's light in colder months.
Stay tuned for more on the Thorne Rooms in the coming weeks!
8 hours 17 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.
10 hours 53 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.
13 hours 39 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago "These galleries will make even the saint-averse stop and take notice."
via Chicago Tribune