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!
3 hours 51 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Just like the museum's collection comes from artists around the world, so does the Museum Shop’s assortment of products. We source exclusive products from artisans that are inspired by the cultures, mediums, and techniques represented in our museum collection. View our assortment of unique items from India.
12 hours 59 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960–1975
Provoke was the English-language title for a Japanese photo magazine of the late 1960s; the name also designates the group of photographers and writers who put that formative publication together. Their influence has grown so great that the “Provoke era” is now international shorthand for sixties counterculture in Japan. This generational uprising swelled from the massive unrest, and sheer cultural disorientation, that accompanied the country’s transformation from ruined empire to superpower after World War II.
This exhibition places the achievements of Provoke alongside those of protesters and protest collectives, who made riveting photobooks, films, and photographs throughout the same era, as well as artists and art collectives keenly interested in live performance and its relation to the mechanical image.
16 hours 32 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NEW ACQUISITION—In the early decades of the sixteenth century, Antwerp was a great center of commerce, finance, and luxury trade. The Flemish city attracted innovative painters like Quentin Massys, Jan Gossart, and Joos van Cleve working in a style that combined northern traditions with Italianate forms. Numerous other painters, whose work is only known under names of convenience, like the Master of the Lille Adoration, swelled the ranks of the Antwerp guild.
Saint Jerome in Penitence (by the Master of the Lille Adoration) is an ideal addition to our collection and can be seen alongside other exemplary paintings from Renaissance Antwerp—on view in Gallery 207.