Chicago, Volume 21 Number 3 July 2010


In the spring, Chicago dresses for a wedding, with oceans of tulips setting the scene. The meridian down the center of Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile is dense with blooms in pink, purple, blush, lavender, cream, red, yellow — every imaginable hue — while the Water Tower lawn is blanketed in pristine white, and the parkway trees are centerpieces in elaborate bouquets of tulips, lilacs, daffodils, and hyacinths. The bride and groom approach the white, fragrant lawn with blossoms swaying in unison, accompanied by an attendant spreading her train and a corps of photographers following closely. Suddenly, we see that we’re part of a fashion photo shoot and all around us spectators are murmuring, “Well, the mayor simply loves flowers, you know!”  We’re told that each season is more beautifully embellished than the last. More power to you, Mr. Mayor! Perhaps this could happen only in a city that takes such huge pride in its visual grandeur.

Chicago, we needn’t even argue, is the grandest site for architecture in America, and whether your heart lies with the great Beaux-Arts mansions of the Edwardian era, the decorative genius of Sullivan and Adler, the American Bauhaus of Mies van der Rohe, the prairie-hugging houses of the remarkable Mr. Wright, or the witty, billowing forms of the 21st-century Frank (that would be Gehry, not Wright), there is simply no skyline like this one.

While we centered our trip around the pleasures of Art Chicago, the International Contemporary Art Fair held each spring, you may want to consider making SOFA Chicago — The International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair — scheduled for November 5-7, your fall destination. Although SOFA began in Chicago 13 years ago, it has since added New York, and last year Santa Fe, and remains the most prominent event to focus primarily on three-dimensional art that bridges the boundaries between fine art and the decorative or applied arts.

Plan to spend all of one of your precious fall days at the Art Institute of Chicago. It is too much to absorb (one million square feet!) in one visit, but it’s a fine opportunity to take the measure of the most recent addition — barely a year old — by the Genoese architect Renzo Piano. Along with significant museum education space and new exhibition galleries for modern/contemporary art, the building features galleries for temporary exhibitions, the department of architecture/design, a grand-scale circulation hall and — on top — the wonderful Terzo Piano, a major restaurant effort by chef Tony Mantuano of Chicago’s favorite Italian eatery, Spiaggia. The pure white modernist space, filled with the curvilinear chairs made famous at mid-century by George Nelson for Herman Miller, feels blissfully serene — even during the most bustling lunch hour.

From Terzo, be sure to step out onto the Nichols Bridgeway, which connects the Modern Wing to Millennium Park. Peer over the tree tops to Barcelona artist Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain, with its digital portraits of delighted locals; Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, which reflects the park’s visitors head-to-toe, sky-to-concrete in a playful, surreal mode; and Gehry’s afore-mentioned band shell — almost floral in its exploding titanium forms. There is also another bridge —a snaking, reflective Gehry form that entertains, transports and provides an additional viewing platform. While Chicago is very thoroughly sprinkled with public art works — from the famous Picasso to a recent Magdalena Abakanowicz, which is particularly striking, Millennium Park has certainly become the heart of the magic.

While you savor the Art Institute’s Modern Wing and the adjacent park, don’t ignore the splendor of the main building and the array of stupendous collections. If nothing else, choose a favorite painting, a favorite room and sit down for a tête-à-tête — you’ll need it! I chose a room of remarkable paintings by Pierre Bonnard — delicious! This summer, exhibitions to look for include: Looking after Louis Sullivan: Photographs, Drawings and Fragments (the most splendid Sullivan fragment—the great arch—is outdoors adjacent to the Monroe Street drop-off for the Modern Wing), through December 12; Piere Huyghe: Les Grands Ensembles (The Housing Projects), through October 19; Contemporary Collecting: Selections from the Donna and Howard Stone Collection, through September 19 and Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century, July 25-October 3.

If it’s a beautiful day, don’t pass up a short stroll south on Michigan Avenue to, first, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and second, the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College. No city in the world enjoys such a well-organized architecture tour/exhibition/education program (London comes in second with an active association with an organized annual program). The big favorite is the River Cruise that departs from the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue bridge at Wacker Drive and includes such famous landmarks as Willis (Sears) Tower, Navy Pier, Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and Merchandise Mart — among 50 buildings featured. If you have a burning desire to see Mies van der Rohe’s renowned Farnsworth House, a graceful glass box floating above the prairie grass some 75 miles away in rural Plano, the Foundation will take you there too, among its dozens of themed tours. Be sure you drop in at Foundation Headquarters at 224 South Michigan Avenue, if just for the shop—it’s full of architecture/design treasures. The current exhibition — Chicago Model City—is so popular it has been extended.

Just beyond the Foundation, at 600 South Michigan Avenue, is Chicago’s best stop for art photography: the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College. The exhibitions range from those featuring emerging Midwestern photographers to shows that are of international importance. Openings are lively, members are enthusiastic, there is a top-quality membership purchase program, and artists from around the U.S. and beyond are often on hand.

Further south (by bus), our most extraordinary visits were to the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), especially to see Crown Hall (1956), arguably Mies van der Rohe’s premiere achievement, and the new student center by Rem Koolhaas, plus the campus of the University of Chicago/Robie House. The exterior of Crown Hall—“a pure, rectangular form, 220’ by 120’ by 24 feet high” with the great, black steel girders extending above the roof supported by steel exterior columns, allowing a free, open interior space—is breathtaking to behold. The airy steel and glass façade floats magically above the formal, double staircase entrance. The lower floor is below grade and the main floor is a single, glass-enclosed architecture laboratory, which Mies called a “universal space.” An extensive renovation was completed in 2005, but, as the College of Architecture at IIT, it is obvious in the interior that the building gets hard daily use. Two white enclosure columns for modern technology equipment are unfortunate additions to the open interior, but otherwise, the restoration is impressive. This summer, from June 1–August 1, the vast space will be filled with hundreds of Andy Warhol’s helium-filled, floating Silver Clouds — the largest installation yet — in a program made possible by the Mies van der Rohe Society in partnership with the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. If you are anywhere within possible distance, see this installation! It will be spectacular (entry Wednesday-Sunday, 10 AM-4 PM; admission $5, 10 and under free).

Before leaving Mies’ campus, cross the street adjacent to Crown Hall to Koolhaas’ student center sited at the raised train stop, where his hollow stainless form is wrapped around the length of the stop — a strategy designed to dampen noise. The contrast between the two structures is so great that your reaction will be intense — love it or hate it!

From IIT, continue south, as we did, to Hyde Park. On your own or with the Architecture Foundation, your destination is the University of Chicago and South Woodlawn Avenue, which cuts through the heart of the Gothic-Revival style-campus built by John D. Rockefeller in the image of Oxford. Finally, at the north edge you’ll arrive at number 5757 Woodlawn, the site of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-Style masterpiece, Robie House. Commissioned in 1906 by the bicycle and motorcycle manufacturer Frederick Robie, the house was completed in 1910 and occupied by the Robie family until 1912, when it was sold to Marshall Wilber who owned it until 1926, when it was converted into a school by the Chicago Theological Seminary. In 1957, they decided to demolish it, but fortunately, developer William Zeckendorf purchased it and in 1963, gave it to the University of Chicago. Presently, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust manages it on behalf of the university. The visual hallmark of the house is very precisely expressed horizontality, emphasized by horizontal burnt-red brickwork with concrete outlining. The interior, fully designed by Wright, is beautifully preserved and the windows gleam in the abstract, geometric patterns we’ve come to associate with Wright’s stained-glass.

Directly across the street is a new university building by Rafael Vinoly, which, although thoroughly postmodern, echoes the horizontal planes of the legendary residence. Beyond its Gothic origins, the campus is replete with the works of the 20th century’s major architects: Mies’ School of Social Science Administration, Eero Saarinen’s Bell Law Quadrangle, Fredrick Law Olmsted’s Midway Plaisance (the parkway remaining from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, known as the Chicago World’s Fair, and called “The White City”), and the soon to be completed Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

This IIT/Hyde Park adventure is only one among seemingly endless itineraries. Return to the Architecture Foundation for more and more outstanding days or get a good guide and go on your own — “just do it!”

After architecture immersion, it’s back to the visual arts. Don’t miss the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), housed in a contemporary design by Berlin architect Josef Paul Kleihues (1996)—a design that’s a bit forbidding if you climb the huge, challenging façade staircase. It’s fun to enter at the ground level on the corner, through the museum shop—one of the best contemporary gift shops in the country. Upstairs, you’ll find a museum that both tips its hat to modernism with exhibitions like this summer’s Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy (through October 17), while also exploring the cutting-edge of international art. Through September 5, you can also still catch the celebration of the museum’s acquisitions titled Rewind: 1970s to 1990s: Works from the MCA Collections. At this writing, it has just recently been announced that Southern Californian Michael Darling will be the new curator of contemporary art. He comes via MOCA Los Angeles and the Seattle Art Museum.

Beyond the Art Institute, the MCA and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, there are a number of other important museum venues that contribute to Chicago’s rich art fabric: the Smart Museum of Art and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, the Block Museum at Northwestern, the Spertus Museum (Institute of Jewish Studies) and, finally, the non-art museum that is a work of art — the Museum of Science and Industry, formerly the Palace of Fine Arts, the last remaining major structure of the aforementioned “White City,” which reopened in 1933 under the present name.

Perhaps it’s time to remember that art isn’t by any means Chicago’s only stellar attraction. Consider the elegant hotels, the flourishing fine-cuisine scene and the amazing shopping opportunities on Magnificent Mile, in River North and beyond. Our hotel was The James Chicago, named one of the top ten art hotels in the world this April. The James is an Art Chicago partner, a contemporary boutique property, in a superb location just two blocks off of Michigan Avenue, within walking distance of the best restaurants and shopping. The staff is a fine example of the famous Midwestern hospitality, and Chicago’s top steakhouse, David Burke’s Primehouse, is on the premises. And, of course, there is commissioned art in every room — the photographs by Michael Kenna are a treat. There is one downside. Although only four years (2006) old, it’s getting a bit dog-eared — contemporary design just isn’t as forgiving as chintz and berber.

Other hotels we recommend are The Peninsula Chicago (opened in 2001), which is truly lovely, but certainly not in the modest price range of The James; the Hotel Burnham, in the historic Reliance Building (1895) by the great architect Daniel Burnham; the W Chicago Lakeshore, a boutique hotel with spectacular views over Lake Michigan, and, naturally, beyond The Peninsula, the city’s other two five-star hotels: the Ritz-Carlton Chicago and the Four Seasons. There are three five-star hotels in the Midwest and they are all here within a few blocks of each other.

Now, accommodations once settled, the subject must be Chicago cuisine. New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas: they just don’t put Chicago in the shade. Famous chefs show mind-boggling talent here: Rick Bayless (Topolobampo and more), Charlie Trotter, Ric Tramonto and Gale Gand (Tru), Grant Achatz (Alinea), Paul Kahan (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican), Michael Kornick (MK), Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia and Terzo Piano) … and more, many more! You can’t go wrong in this crowd.

Divine meals, exquisite scenery — I’ll be the first to admit that our very rose-colored Chicago glasses were enhanced by five of the most beautiful days the Windy City is apt to enjoy in any season: crisp blue skies, small white cloud puffs in no way threatening, toasty sunshine with a temperature of 78, and a faint cooling breeze. Such a gift!

Focus Chicago

The James Hotel Chicago, 55 East Ontario, Tel. 312-337-1000, Don’t mistake that huge pile of over-flowing suitcases in the entry hall for the detritus of a large tour group. It’s a permanent installation by Chicago artist Joel Ross, titled Room 28 (1997). This is, after all, the art hotel. The staff is artful, and the environment friendly. Consider a suite, as the rooms are small by big chain standards. Moderate and stylish.

The Peninsula Hotel Chicago, 108 East Superior Street, Tel. 312-337-2888, The Peninsula is the epitome of the five-star hotel class, with luxurious rooms, a fabulous pool and spa, stunning views of Lake Michigan, and the hot new restaurant Avenues, where the chef de cuisine Curtis Duffy shows off skills gained at Alinea — among other top spots. Pricey, but very beautiful!

Hotel Burnham, 1 West Washington Street, Tel. 312-782-1111, Just to stay in Daniel Burnham’s historic Reliance Building (1895) should be enough, but you will be charmed by this boutique hotel within shouting distance of the Art Institute and Millennium Park. Great location; architectural treasure.

W Chicago Lakeshore, 644 North Lakeshore Drive, Tel. 312-943-9200, Although there are two W Hotels in Chicago, who wouldn’t want to be by the lake? Converted from a 1960s Days Inn, the new hotel is now hip, contemporary, and fun. If you prefer your hotel more citified and sophisticated, choose the W Chicago City Center, 172 West Adams Street, Tel. 312-332-1200. This building began as a 1929 Beaux-Arts men’s club and its great, vaulted, marble lobby is a showstopper. The rooms (32) tend to be on the small side, but design-conscious and reasonable!

MK, 868 North Franklin Street, Tel. 312-482-9179, Michael Kornick’s bright, two-level dining room, highlighted by large-scale works of art on paper by Richard Serra is home to inspired cooking. MK must be one of your top choices. The “pan seared Atlantic fluke, [with] laughing bird shrimp, white asparagus, purple cauliflower [and] lemon thyme” alone will convince you.

Tru, 676 North Saint Clair Street, Tel. 312-202-0001, One of Chicago’s premiere restaurants, Tru is also home to a notable art collection with works by Warhol, Yves Klein, Vik Muniz, Hiroshi Sugimonto … and more … Don’t miss their “la ratte potato gnocchi [with] white veal glaze, [and] fragile lace tuile.” It’s indescribably delicious and gorgeous. The braised beef short ribs are scrumptious too, as is the roasted Alaskan halibut. You can’t go wrong here.

The Publican, 837 West Fulton Market, Tel. 312-733-9555, The latest offering of über chef Paul Kahan of Blackbird and Avec, Publican focuses on down-home fare, with beer, oysters and pork, in a spare design featuring one huge square for center seating, plus stalls along the side. It will remind you of a European beer hall, and you’ll be bowled over by the super eats.

Charlie Trotter’s, 816 West Armitage Avenue, Tel. 773-248-6228, Ensconced in Lincoln Park, Trotter is the most celebrated chef in a city of stars—stars that in many cases are Trotter alumni. This is generally regarded as one of the finest restaurants in the world, and the purveyor of the flawless dining experience.

Alinea, 1723 North Halsted Street, Tel. 312-867-0110, Grant Achatz has created an exquisitely beautiful restaurant with cuisine to match. Each presentation will take your breath away, as will each taste. Alinea is the new queen of Chicago cuisine.

]Terzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Modern Wing, Tel. 312-443-8650, Chef/partner Tony Mantuano (of the beloved Spiaggia) and chef di cucina Meg Colleran turned out a dynamite lunch for us: an exquisite prosciutto and arugula salad, an open-faced frittata sandwich that was truly memorable, and a five-star dessert labeled “chocolate semi-freddo with Spanish peanut nougat and salted caramel — yum!

Museums and Galleries
Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Tel. 312-443-3600, Mon.-Fri., 10:30 AM-5 PM (closes at 8 PM on Thursdays), Sat.-Sun., 10 AM-5 PM.

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Tel. 312-243-9088, Tues., 10 AM-8 PM, Wed.-Sun., 10 AM-5 PM.

Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, 600 South Michigan Avenue, Tel. 312-663-5554, Mon.-Sat., 10 AM-5 PM (closes at 8 PM on Thursdays), Sun., 12-5.

Block Museum, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Tel. 847-491-4000, Tues., 10 AM-5 PM, Wed.-Fri., 10 AM-8 PM, Sat.-Sun., 10 AM-5 PM.

The Renaissance Society, 5811 South Ellis Avenue, Tel. 773-702-8670, Tues.-Fri., 10 AM-5 PM, Sat.-Sun., 12-5 PM.

Smart Museum, 5550 South Greenwood Avenue, Tel. 773-702-0200, Tues.-Fri., 10 AM-4 PM (closes at 8 PM on Thursdays), Sat.-Sun., 12-5 PM.

Spertus Museum, 618 South Michigan Avenue, Tel. 312-322-1747, Sun.-Wed., 10 AM-5 PM, Thurs., 10 AM-6 PM (hours should be checked in advance). Architecture tour of Krueck + Sexton folded glass building, August 8, 12 noon.

Chicago has many fine commercial art galleries; among them are Richard Gray Gallery, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Zola/Lieberman Galley…more. See the Art Dealers Association of Chicago at

Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 South Michigan Avenue, Tel. 312-922-TOUR, or 312-948-8939,

Millennium Park, Welcome Center, 201 East Randolph Street, Tel. 312-742-1168.

Robie House, 5757 South Woodlawn Avenue, Tel. 708-848-1976, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1910.

Willis (Sears) Tower, 223 South Wacker Drive. Bruce Graham, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1974.

Lake Shore Drive Apartments, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive and 900-910 Lake Shore Drive. Mies van der Rohe, 1952-1956.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park. Frank O. Gehry, 1999-2004.

McCormick Tribune Student Center, IIT Campus, 3300 South Federal Street. Rem Koolhaas, OMA, 2003.

S. R. Crown Hall, IIT Campus, 3360 South State Street, parking just past State Street on the southeast corner. Mies van der Rohe, 1956. The building is locked on weekends; special arrangements: call 312-0567-3104, or visit with Chicago Architecture Foundation.

John Hancock Center, 875 North Michigan Avenue. Myron Goldsmith, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1970.

Xerox Center, 55 West Monroe Street. Helmut Jahn, 1980.

The Rookery, 209 LaSalle Street. Daniel Burnham, 1888.

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, Tel. 312-744-6630, Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, Boston, 1893-1897. The Cultural Center houses an ornate Tiffany dome — the world’s largest.

Robin Richman, 2108 North Damen, Bucktown, Tel. 773-278-6150, Turn in at the big ball of wire sculpture — there is no sign, but this is a Chicago institution. The store is elegant, minimalist, and full of unique, cutting-edge clothes and accessories.

Post 27, 1819 West Grand Avenue, Tel. 312-829-6122, Angela Finney and Barkley Hoffman’s carefully curated design store mixes vintage and contemporary household treasures.

Ikram, 873 North Rush Street, Tel. 312-587-1000, Who could resist checking out the noted boutique that clothes the First Lady? Designers range from Chanel and Sonia Rykiel to Comme des Garçons. Jewelry by artists and designers is stunning. It’s easy to like the unpretentious but carefully curated personality of Ikram.

Bloomingdale’s Home Store, 600 North Wabash Avenue, Tel. 312-324-7500, Housed in an astonishingly ornate, one-time Shrine temple, it’s worth seeing whether you need linens and crystal or not.

Magnificent Mile ( is the portion of Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side; the design is part of Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago, and was constructed during the 1920s. Today it is home to more than 460 stores. 275 restaurants, 51 hotels… and more. From Zegna, Jil Sander, Harry Winston, Jimmy Choo, Vera Wang and Givenchy to Bulgari, Chanel, Prada, and Pratesi, it’s an embarrassment of riches!


Who would have thought that a blue-collar district called Belleville (in northeastern Paris) would become the next destination for young galleries trying to escape the high rents of the Marais? I visited an artist’s studio in Belleville some twenty years ago, and would certainly not have put it on the list — but then look at East London now! The pioneers in Belleville at the moment are Galerie Jocelyn Wolff and Bugada & Cargnel gallery, plus Beaux-Arts magazine has trumpeted the arrival of five new galleries opening in the last few months. Daria de Beauvais, a curator at the trendy Palais de Tokyo called it a “natural” — it’s a place where artists already live and work, and hip cafes and bars have followed along. So, when you set out for FIAC — a fair to reckon with — this fall, plan to go Belleville hopping.

FIAC is scheduled for October 21-24 at the Grand Palais, the Cour Carrée du Louvre and the Tuileries Garden — plus there will be major exhibitions at the city’s main venues to enhance your visit.[pay] Look for David Hockney: Fleur Fraiches (October 21-January 30) at the Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent; André Kertész at the Jeu de Paume; Takashi Murakami, remaining at Château de Versailles through December 12; Prix Lafayette Laureate Carol Bove at the Palais de Tokyo; the MOMA Gabriel Orozco exhibition at the Centre Pompidou September 15-January 3; and Basquiat at the Musée de art moderne de la Ville de Paris… plus much more! Can you resist October in Paris?

Quick — what’s the oldest capital city in the U.S.? Try Santa Fe, New Mexico, at 400 years old this year. In celebration, “The City Different” is holding various events, ranging from the cultural to the culinary. The official 400th Anniversary site can be accessed here.

At the same time, the recently launched eighth International Biennial of SITE Santa Fe gets underway (through January 2, 2011). We applaud SITE’s choice of new director Irene Hofmann, who replaces the estimable Laura Steward. Ms. Hofmann’s most recent work (at the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore and the OCMA in Newport Beach demonstrates that she’ll uphold passion for the cutting-edge that SSF brings here. SITE’s virtual exhibition space is closed for “installation” at this writing, but there’s already buzz for The Dissolve. Described as “homespun meets high-tech,” this ambitious exhibition consists of artists from emerging, must-watches to the very-established, working in a variety of media that are then translated into video via various moving image technologies. Dissolve’s on-line gallery is up, and you can preview snippets at the website. Organized by co-curators Sarah Lewis and Daniel Belasco, Dissolve’s 15,000-foot-space was imaginatively configured by architect David Adjaye. We also look forward to the commissioned performance by dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones.

High art season here also offers the 2nd Annual Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair — SOFA West Santa Fe, July 8-11, at the Santa Fe Convention Center — a dizzying array of three-dimensional works from around the world. This year’s special events include a preview symposium (July 6-8) tailored to connoisseurs of Southwestern art, led by such noted specialists as Garth Clark.

Note: our go-to sources for Santa Fe tips include arts writer/editor Carolyn G. Anderson and New Mexico resident/artful traveler Michelle Jewett, who share their current faves here.

If a night at the opera is what you crave, you’ll find yourself outdoors — 7 miles north of the city proper with the mountains providing a dramatic backdrop. Santa Fe Opera encourages pre-show picnicking, lending a festive atmosphere, but don’t forget your umbrella! With the arias alfresco, you’re under fickle Santa Fe skies and the umbrella has become the de rigueur accessory of every opera lover here. When taking a dining break, Santacafé offers a great people-watching patio, along with Southwestern-style bistro fare. For a more upscale lunch, head for Geronimo, which consistently lands at the top of critics’ lists. Chef Eric DiStefano has added a global-Asian-fusion flair to the menu, but you may still want to try one of the longtime favorites, such as “Peppery Elk Tenderloin.” If it’s a Saturday, head for the Santa Fe Railyard for the weekly farmer’s market. Both friends also rave about the Museum of International Folk Art on Museum Hill, where the current exhibition, Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda is a collection of nearly 200 stunning pieces by the renowned Taxco School designer. In addition, the UNESCO-sponsored Folk Art Market (also on Museum Hill), features best finds from around the globe (July 9-11). In a land chock-a-block with spas, try Ten Thousand Waves — an authentic Japanese experience that offers massage, skin care, hot baths—with beautiful accommodations also available. In fact, the zen-inspired décor of the lodging rooms is as restful as the spa services.

Touring Austria this summer? Take along Viennese tips from ARTExpress friend and connoisseur Jan Adlmann: Vienna is home to some 100 museums — from heavyweights such as The Museum of Fine Arts to many quirky venues (Museum of Chocolate, anyone?). A favorite is MAK-Austrian Museum for Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, with its stellar Art Nouveau/Wiener Werkstatte collection, a good design shop, and a trendy restaurant popular with the art/design world, Österreicher Im MAK.

Speaking of quirky, the 18th-century medical collection (with its life-sized wax figures!) at The Josephinum is a must for fans of the elegantly macabre. Jan also takes everyone on the Schoenbrunn Palace tour — “don’t miss the ‘Wagenburg’ with zillions of coaches and an incredible imperial hearse and coach,” and the Habsburg Imperial Crypt (Kaisergruft) — the dark heart of all things ‘K and K,’ (i.e. Imperial and Royal).” Other historical architectural wonders include the grand Baroque interiors of the churches: “on the Graben, see the Peterskirche (St. Peter’s); on Karlsplatz, the grand Karlskirche (St. Charles).”

After the theater, concert or opera, repair to the Palmenhaus in the Burggarten — formerly the imperial palace greenhouse. To find the young and trendy, visit Halle, the restaurant in the new Wiener Kunsthalle. But for a different experience, The Salm Bräu is spectacular: “built in the bowels of a great old nunnery AND brewery (go figure!)”. If you’re looking for the best true martinis in Vienna, Jan promises they’re to be had at Bristol Hotel Bar, conveniently opposite the Opera. How about schnitzel? Not so easy … it’s a fight to get one of the little tables at Figlmüeller, but worth the battle.

For the authentic Kaffeehaus experience, try one of the classic ‘Wiener Cafés’: “Café Sperl (it’s near Sezession) with original interior; Café Landtmann, a truly “Nobel” café (editor’s note: it has been argued that, in days past, nearly two Nobel Prize winners were seated at every table in a Viennese coffeehouse); Café Braeuner Hof, in the heart of the old city; Café Hawelka (THE artists’ cafe); Café Central and Café Griensteidel. The last two are total restorations — not replicas of famous houses, and both are splendid. The gourmet food store Julius Meinl am Graben is a good browsing spot, plus it has nice little restaurants within. And finally, Demel on Kohlmarket has great gift items and is definitely a ‘Nobel Café’, though Jan warns “it is hopelessly ‘playing itself’ these days … as, some say, Vienna does!”

Great Addresses

In Paris
Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent, 5 Avenue Marceau, Tel. 33 1 44 31 6400, Although the foundation was established several years ago, the upcoming presentation of David Hockney: Fleur Fraiches signals it intends to become an important exhibition venue.

Les Toiles du Soleil, 101 rue, du Bac, Tel. 33 1 46 33 00 16, The mecca for sun-colored Catalan fabrics — rich, gorgeous stripes (read: awning stripes) in everything from bags and aprons to yardage. Our shopper says “fabulous!” In New York, find them at 261 West 19th Street, Tel. 212-229-4731.

Pretty Ballerinas, 28, rue du Dragon, Tel. 33 1 45 49 4631, Our Paris shopping sleuth found this enchanting store in Paris in April (one has opened at 1034 ½ Lexington Avenue in New York and there are outposts in London, Montreal, Madrid, Cannes and Monaco). She says she would have gladly bought out the store; the styles were amazing! The prices are much higher in New York, so put them on your Paris list (there are three locations there), like Kate Moss![pay]

Un jour un sac, 6, rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, Tel. 33 1 44 61 07 79, unjourunsac (and two other locations in Paris, plus Aix-en-Provence and Tokyo). Our spy also revisited this ingenious enterprise where the lucky shoppers get to choose interchangeable bags and handles — all tres chic and fabulous quality.

In Santa Fe
Santa Fe Opera, Tel. 505-986-5900 or 800-280-4654, Box office email:

SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta, Tel. 505-989-1199, The 8th International Biennale, The Dissolve, runs through January 2, 2011. Thurs.- Sat., 10 AM-5 PM; Fri., 10 AM-7 PM;
Sun., 12 noon-5 PM; Weds. 10 AM-5 PM; closed Mon.-Tues.

The Lensic, 211 West San Francisco Street, Tel. 505-988-1234, Built as a vaudeville venue in the 30s, The Lensic is now home to the Santa Fe Performing Arts Center, hosting everything from modern dance to jazz to live theater.

Kakawa Chocolate House, 1050 E. Paseo de Peralta, Tel. 505-982-0388, Great pick-me-up spot, and the cactus truffles should not be missed. Don’t order more than a small cup of the drinking chocolate, whether Mayan, Mexican or European — it’s beyond rich. For a different refreshment, find The Tea House, 821 Canyon Road, 505-992-0972, Located at the end of “Gallery Row,” their amazing tea selection can be enjoyed inside or out, along with house-made scones. Take home some Gunpowder Green Tea — “costs a small fortune, but worth it.”

Inn of the Five Graces, 150 E. DeVargas Street, Tel. 505-99-0957, Shangri-la in the desert. Close to downtown, while retaining an other-worldly feel, the Inn began as a collection of dilapidated buildings in 1996, and was transformed over the years by architectural antiquities collectors Ira & Sylvia Seret. We’d like to say we stayed in the 2,500-square-foot Luminaria House, with its palatial 2 stories, 5 fireplaces and 2 decks (with mountain views), but the $2,500 nightly rate was a bit dear. All the rooms have their own unique decor, so you’re sure to find one right for you.

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, 113 Washington Ave., Tel. 505-988-3030, One of the most lauded hotels in the Southwest, yet it’s intimate enough to retain boutique status, and boasts one of the best dining experiences to boot—The Anasazi Restaurant.

Garcia Street Books, 376 Garcia Street, Tel. 505-986-0151. This independent bookstore off of Canyon Road (Gallery Row), is a must-browse spot for bibliophiles. Their focus is on art, architecture, lifestyle and design — they even serve as the official booksellers at Lannan Foundation events.

In Vienna
Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts), Maria Theresien-Platz, Tel. 43 1 525 24 4025, Regular hours are Tues.-Sun., 10 AM to 6 PM; Thurs., 10 AM-9 PM; for summer ‘10: open daily through the month of August. Be sure to see the newly re-done Egyptian Halls, and the Treasury.

Belvedere Museum, Prinz Eugen-Str. 27, Tel. 43 01 79 5570, Upper Belvedere open daily, 10 AM-6 PM; Lower Belvedere, daily 10 AM-6 PM and Weds., 10 AM-9 PM; Augarten Contemporary: Thurs.-Sun., 11 AM-7 PM; Palace Stables, daily 10 AM-Noon.

MAK - Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Stubenring 5, Tel. 43 1 712 80 00, Tues., 10 AM-midnight; Wed.–Sun., 10 AM-6 PM; closed Mon.

Gasthaus Ub, Wieden & Margareten, Tel. 43 1 587 64 37. Where the locals go for authentic, classic Viennese cuisine—and the Biedermeier interior is under official state monument protection! Hard to find, but the taxis know it. Note: no credit cards.

Hansen, Wipplingerstraße 34, Tel. T 43 1 532 05 42, For a delicious lunch in a great, opulent setting (namely, the basement of the former stock exchange). VESTIBÜL: Burgtheatre: By the Ringstrasse, across from Town Hall, Tel. 43 1 532 49 99. Glorious interior, right inside the lobby of the world famous Burgtheatre (hence the “vestibule”).

Altstadt Vienna, Kirchengasse 41, Tel. 43 1 522 6666, Boutique hotel in the 7th (arty) district. The Matteo Thun rooms, although designed in 2006, still feel fun.

Travel Bookshelf: Chicago

Fodor’s Chicago
, 2010.
Lonely Planet Chicago City Guide
, 2008.
AIA Guide to Chicago
, 2004.
Top Ten Chicago (Eyewitness), 2010.
Anna H. Blessing. chicago, 2009.
Wallpaper City Guide Chicago, 2007.

History & Literature
Erik Larson. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, 2004.
Dominic A. Pacyga. Chicago: A Biography, 2009.
Carl Smith. The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City, 2007.
The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg, 2003.[pay]
Saul Bellow. The Adventures of Augie March, Penguin Classics 2003 (originally published 1949).
Edna Ferber. So Big (P.S.), Harper Perennial Modern Classics, reissued 2010.

Art & Architecture
Edward Keegan & Chicago Architecture Foundation. Chicago Architecture: 1885 to Today, 2008.
Jay Pridmore, George A. Larson. Chicago Architecture and Design, 2005.
James Cuno, Paul Goldberger, Joseph Rosa, Judith Turner. The Modern Wing: Renzo Piano and The Art Institute of Chicago, 2009.
James N. Wood. The Art Institute of Chicago: The Essential Guide, 2003.
Elizabeth Kennedy. Chicago Modern, 1893-1945: Pursuit of the New, Terra Foundation, 2004.
Thomas J. O’Gorman. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Chicago, 2004.
Werner Blasner. Mies van der Rohe - IIT Campus: Illinois Institute of Technology, 2002.
Aline B. Saarinen. The Proud Possessors, The Lives, Times and Tastes of Some Adventurous American Art Collectors, 1958 (see Mrs. Potter Palmer).
Robert Herbert. Seurat and the Making of La Grande Jatte, 2004.

and, strictly for fun….
Neal Pollack (ed), various authors. Chicago Noir, Akashic Books, 2005.
Robert Campbell. The Jimmy Flannery Mystery Series (The Junkyard Dog, The Cat’s Meow, etc.).
Doug Cummings. Deader by the Lake: A Reno McCarthy Thriller, 2003.
Scott Turow, Presumed Innocent, 2000 and Innocent, 2010.


Through July 19 Centre Pompidou, Paris Lucian Freud
Through July 25 Reina Sofía, Madrid PHotoEspana 10
Through July 25 Nelson-Atkins, Kansas City E. Steichen—The Condé Nast Years 1923-1937
Through Aug. 1 San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas Psychedelic: Optical & Visionary Art
Through Aug. 8 MFA, Houston Light of the Sufis: The Mystical Arts of Islam
Through Aug. 9 Centre Pompidou, Paris Dreamlands
Through Aug. 15 National Museum, Stockholm At Home: Scandinavian Interiors
Through Aug. 29 Shirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt Celluloid
Through Aug. 29 Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Clyfford Still[pay]
Through Aug. 30 MoMA, New York Picasso: Themes and Variations
Through Sept. 1 Musée d’Orsay, Paris “Photography Not Art”: Naturalism according to Emerson
Through Sept. 5 Jeu de Paume, Paris William Kentridge, Five Themes
Through Sept. 5 Beyeler Foundation, Basel Basquiat
Through Sept. 6 LACMA, Los Angeles Cell Phone Stories
Through Sept. 6 Musée de Louvre, Paris Egyptian Antiquities
Through Sept. 12 Kunsthaus, Zürich Thomas Struth: Photographs 1978-2010
Through Sept. 12 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Talking Heads: Portrait(s)
Through Sept. 12 Phillips Collctn., Wash., DC Pousette-Dart: Predominantly White Paintings
Through Sept. 12 Centre Pompidou, Paris Subversion of Images: Surreal Photography, Film
Through Sept. 12 National Gallery, London Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries
Through Sept. 12 Brooklyn Museum, New York Andy Warhol: The Last Decade
Through Sept. 12 Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna Project Vienna: How to React to a City
Through Sept.  6  Guggenheim Bilbao Henri Rousseau
Through Sept. 26 Getty Museum, Los Angeles The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme
Through Sept. 19 Courtauld Gallery, London 20 Years of Acquisitions
Through Sept. 19 Art Institute of Chicago Selections from The Stone Collection
Through Sept. 19 SFMoMA, San Francisco Calder to Warhol: The Fisher Collection
Through Sept. 19 New Museum, NY Rivane Neuenschwander: A Day Like Any Other
Through Sept. 19 MCA, San Diego Here Not There: San Diego Art Now
Through Sept. 20 MOCA, Los Angeles Arshile Gorky
Through Sept. 26 Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Stephen G. Rhodes
Through Oct.  3 Tate Modern, London Exposed Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera
Through Oct.  4 Reina Sofía, Madrid New Realisms: 1957-1962
Through Oct.  6 Guggenheim, NY Julie Mehretu: Grey Area
Through Oct. 10 Kunsthalle, Vienna Street and Studio: From Basquiat to Séripop
Through Oct. 10 Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin Bruce Nauman: Dream Passage
Through Oct. 17 Whitney Museum, NY Heat Waves in a Swamp: Charles Burchfield
Through Oct. 17 Saatchi Gallery, London Newspeak: British Art Now (Part 1)
Through Oct. 17 MCA, Chicago Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy
Through Oct. 17 Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna Collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein
Through Oct. 31 Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú
Through Oct. 31 Museum Ludwig, Cologne Moving Images: Artists & Video/Film
Through Nov. 30 Chicago Architectural Foundation Chicago Model City
Through Dec. 12 AI, Chicago Looking After L. Sullivan: Photographs, Drawings & Fragments
Through Jan.  2 National Gallery, Washington, DC In the Tower: Mark Rothko
Through Jan.  2 Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe Silver Seduction: Pineda
Through Jan. 24 National Portrait Gallery, London Beatles to Bowie: The 60s Exposed
July 2 – Aug. 28 Jeu de Paume, Paris André Kertész: The Double of a Life
July 2 – Sept. 26 MoCP, Chicago Paula McCartney: Birdwatching
July 8 – 11 SOFA West Santa Fe (International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair)
July 8 – Oct. 11 Musée de Louvre, Paris Antoine Watteau and the Art of Engraving
July 8 – Sept. 5 Smart Museum, U. of Chicago “Good Design” in Europe & America
July 9 – 11  International Folk Art Fair (Museum Hill, Santa Fe)
Oct.21– 24 FIAC Paris, Grand Palais & Louvre
Nov. 5 –7   SOFA Chicago (International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair)