The early 1970s: a good time for America, or the greatest time for America? Yeah, not the best time for the global economy. And okay, airlines disasters were a regular news segment alongside weather and sports. But also, facelifts were invented. Cars averaged 8 miles a gallon. Southern rock. The Munich Olympics.
Ha ha, okay, full disclosure: I'm using irony here. The early '70s weren't the best. I haven't even gotten to the big one: Watergate. During this month 40 years ago, the Senate began hearings on the whole fiasco. It's easy to imagine that our generation invented dysfunctional politics, but c'mon. Watergate created quite the scandal.
It wasn't all bad, though. First off, the Jackson 5, right? But also, art. On a sunny day in 1974, Ivan Albright sat in room 603 of the by-then-infamous Watergate Hotel and, with a set of colored pencils, sketched the view he saw. Albright, an artist famous for pulling no punches in depicting the innerugliness of his subjects, seems to eschew any hint of the toxicity associated with his location. Instead he shows us the Potomac river with Impressionistic directness, using bright greens and deep blues. I was in Washington, D.C. last month—I saw the beauty Albright saw here. The news is always going to be a bummer, so remember to look around on a spring day. Have a nice long weekend, everyone.
Image Credit: Ivan Albright. View from Room 603, Watergate, Washington, D.C., 1974. Gift of Ivan Albright.
1 day 12 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago OPENING TOMORROW—Jacques-Louis David’s "Napoleon"
French painter Jacques-Louis David created the quintessential image of Napoleon in 1812 and this rare loan provides occasion to highlight related works in the Art Institute's own collection as well as an interactive digital reconstruction of the artist's sketchbook
2 days 9 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago #TBT 1924: An old favorite—The Art Institute included German Shepherds as part of our crackerjack security team from the 1920s until the 1940s. Here we see guard dogs Billo and Bella posing with their handler, along with a few paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.