If you’ve been to the Modern Wing in the last year or so, you might have noticed some additional seating outside our galleries on all three floors. These gray and blue benches are the work of Swiss designer Yves Béhar. A number of Béhar’s works are in the Art Institute’s collection, but you might also have some of his work in your home, or even on your wrist! The Jawbone activity monitor and Puma’s Clever Little Bag shoebox were also designed by Béhar. Our new benches were produced by Herman Miller as a part of their Public Office Landscape line. They are the perfect seat for basking in the sun.
In the American Art galleries, you might have seen some benches scattered around the sculpture court. Many visitors don't realize that these iron settees and chairs are available for you to sit on. So while pondering our American Neo-Classical marble sculptures, rest in period chairs and benches. These are artworks you can touch.
Spring is on the way and with that, the reopening of Pritzker Garden. Nestled within the Modern Wing, the garden is a serene and enclosed space, unlike anywhere else on our museum campus. There you will find simple and elegant chairs for you to rest upon. In a verdant Aniseed Green, the Luxembourg Side Chair designed by Frédéric Sofia and produced by Fermob lives quite comfortably in our city garden. These chairs are a great spot to spend a few minutes reading. Chat with friends. Plot your next visit.
And finally, there are a few chairs in Van Gogh’s Bedrooms that are of no small importance. Unfortunately, you can’t sit in these, but they were intended to be a personal retreat from the chaos of life. They were specifically chosen for their respective owners—Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin—and their function was just as much for mental rest as it was for physical rest.
Have you enjoyed any of these chairs? Let us know in the comments what your favorite seat is in the museum. And whether checking out nineteenth-century marble sculptures, Ellsworth Kelly’s White Arc, or Renzo Piano’s Modern Wing architecture, we invite to come and have a seat!