Friday, November 11, 2011–Saturday, January 7, 2012
The tiny but joy-filled rooms are back, trimmed in historic holiday finery! This year, the New Orleans and New Mexico rooms join the festive tradition, and the never-before-seen Americana Room from Marshall Field V’s private collection will also be displayed.
The seven rooms that inaugurated this seasonal offering last year will return with even more liliputian trimmings. Among the most elaborate of the rooms is the English Drawing Room of the Victorian Period, the only room with a Christmas tree. Now a ubiquitous feature of the season, the Christmas tree or tannenbaum, was only brought to England from Germany in 1840 with the marriage of Prince Albert to Queen Victoria. The Thorne Room tree and accoutrements are based on a famous engraving of the royal couple and their children surrounding a trimmed and toy-bedecked tree, an image that would forever popularize this holiday fixture. Other ornamented rooms include the English Great Hall of the Tudor period with a wassailing bowl, yule log, and an essential part of the costuming for that period’s singing-dancing revelers—a mummer’s mask; the Virginia Entrance Hall with mistletoe, wreath, and garland; the French Provincial Bedroom with shoes, or sabots, lined up before the fireplace, a crèche, and puzzle; the modern-era California Hallway with an Otto Natzler mid-century menorah and box with a dreidel; and the traditional Chinese interior set to ring in the Chinese New Year.
Play the new online game—Escape from Thorne Mansion!
Mrs. James Ward Thorne. English Drawing Room of the Victorian Period, 1840–70, c. 1937. Gift of Mrs. James Ward Thorne.
8 hours 22 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—Commissioned for the 1945 Hollywood movie and based on Oscar Wilde's novel of the same name, Ivan Albright's grotesque painting captures the moral decay of the story's protagonist. The hedonistic Dorian Gray sells his soul in exchange for eternal youth. Ultimately, the corruption of his wicked life is revealed in the disfigurement of his likeness in the portrait.
See Picture of Dorian Gray in Gallery 262.
10 hours 55 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Our newly renovated restrooms are sure to wow and impress even the most seasoned user of restrooms. Check out their bright and modern new look on your next visit to the Photography galleries near the Thorne Miniature Rooms; you’ll see once and for all why the Art Institute is the #1 (and #2) museum in the world.
16 hours 7 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Enjoy a sampling of napkins from our collection with this tongue-in-cheek overview by tastemaker Matt Maldre (Spudart).