While the Art Institute has a long tradition of collecting and displaying works from the pre-Hispanic cultures of South America, this long-term installation offers the museum’s first presentation of work from the viceregal period. Fourteen paintings and related works on paper—including pieces from the collection of Chicagoans Marilynn and Carl Thoma never before displayed in a museum, as well as important loans from the Newberry Library and Denver Art Museum—introduce visitors to explorers, artists, and patrons who lived in the Spanish-governed Andes during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
The metaphorical guide of this journey is Antonio de Ulloa (1716–95), a Spanish naval officer and cartographer who traveled to South America with a French scientific mission in the 1730s and 1740s. His portrait introduces the group of works assembled—paintings of identified sitters, signal works by important South American artists, and devotional paintings that include historical figures. Each work has its own direct link to individual biography and lived experience in the New World, offering a more personal look at the themes of exploration and discovery and bringing to life the culture and artistic production in South America as European conventions combined with indigenous traditions.
The installation is accompanied by a bilingual brochure as well as bilingual treatment of all object labels, wall texts, and audio guide stops. Select works have also been added to the museum’s “Closer” app, featuring slide shows, videos, archival materials, and more for further insight into this unique period of cultural convergence.
1 hour 33 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—The Shogun’s World: Japanese Maps from the 18th and 19th Centuries
Now on view in Gallery 107, The Shogun's World showcases the distinct beauty of Japanese mapmaking. These heavily image-based maps occasionally explore spiritual landscapes in addition to physical geography. The importance of spirituality in this tradition is shown in this detail from a mid-19th century map of Yokohama Harbor, where the legend color-codes not only landmarks like Buddhist temples, foreigners’ residences, and stone bridges, but also the locations of spiritually significant trees and rocks.
1 day 1 hour ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SOON—The Inspired Chinese Brush
Chinese artists of the 16th through 18th century elegantly capture details from nature with a range of visual effects, on view through July 11.