It’s hard to put into words how much I love art galleries. I’ve always loved them. When we went to Florence on our first big trip, we had so little money I had a choice – the Uffizi or the Accademia Gallery. The Birth of Venus or the statue of David. One, not both. It was heartbreaking.
Not this time. For this trip I have tagged all of our potential gallery and museum visits, with time up our sleeves for the unexpected extras. I’ve been quietly excited since we left.
However I was unprepared for today’s visit to the Art Institute of Chicago.
When I walked into the first Impressionist gallery, I cried. I couldn’t help it. The sheer magic and colour of the room, paintings I’d studied in high school, all laid out in front of me.
I gasped out loud as I entered the next room, Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte – 1884 slowly revealed as we walked down the short corridor.
It went on, Monet, Matisse, Renoir. Degas, Van Gogh. Every gallery we entered another painting to take my breath away. We were being slammed from all angles. I was overwhelmed, even more than Bluesfest 2013, when there were so many sensational acts Disco Jen and I thought we might have to surrender on the first day.
After three hours of sitting, standing, staring, gasping, and perhaps more crying, we had to retreat to restore our energy.
Then back into battle. Picasso, Pollock, Warhol, Kandinsky. American Gothic and Nighthawks. To quote Don, every room was a winner.
We had other things planned for today, instead we’re back in the hotel, emotionally bruised and battered. We can’t go out again.
The only solution I can see is cocktails in the hotel lobby.