In this case, McCloskey's Wrapped Oranges speaks to industrial and agricultural advances of the 19th century. Prior to 1881, a painting like this one would have been almost impossible. First of all, McCloskey lived in Philadelphia. Oranges were grown in more tropical climates. And because of this, oranges were a costly luxury. But the invention of refrigerated rail cars in 1881 (by a Chicagoan!) enabled fresh produce to travel great distances. By the end of the 19th century, oranges were a widely available commodity. The tissue paper surrounding the oranges (which looks incredibly life-like in person) also served to preserve oranges during transit.
Check out the exhibition before it closes on January 27 for insights on early locavores and home gardening, the rise of the restaurant and food pairings, and what just might have served as the equivalent of the first food truck.
William J. McCloskey. Wrapped Oranges, 1889. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Acquisition in memory of Katrine Deakins, Trustee, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 1961–1985.
11 hours 1 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago OCTOBER 14—Join us for After Dark in the Modern Wing!
See the groundbreaking exhibition Moholy-Nagy: Future Present with special tours and late-night access. And check out live performances by Phebe Starr and Campdogzz, plus DJ sets from Shaka 23.
Attendees must be 21+. Hosted by The Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago.
15 hours 5 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Each Thorne Miniature Room is a tiny window to a larger world.
In Drawing Rooms, see the tiny rooms scaled to life-size. Remix and decorate them with drawings, then create your own miniature space—now available in the Ryan Learning Center's Interactive Gallery.