Chicago! You've got to see these exhibits!

I spent some time at two fantastic art exhibits in Chicago yesterday.   If you're here in town I recommend checking both of them out.  First, I went to the Golden Book Exhibit at the Harold Washington Library.  I was delighted to learn that adjacent to the lovely winter garden on the top floor of the library is a little exhibition space, and there in the room was a huge collection of original artwork (mostly gouaches) from 70 years of Golden Books.   Including this amazing minty red masterpiece:
This is a reproduction that I pulled off of amazon.com, because I could not take any photos at the exhibit.  It doesn't do the image justice, but to see the painting, with every little hair on that sweet little rabbit hand painted with what must have been the tiniest little brush, well, it made my day.   Thanks to my friends Kate and Pamela who recommended the show to me!
 The second exhibit I saw was the Ray Yoshida retrospective at SAIC's Sullivan Galleries on State street.   In addition to showing a lifetime of Ray's own work the show includes work by some of his students including Roger Brown, one of my favorite painters.   Also included in the show are objects from Ray's extensive collection of folk art paintings, sculptures, and objects as well as images from his home.    It was inspiring to see all of his work together in one sapce  and to see all the jumping off points that Ray's students had from looking at his work.   If you're visiting Chicago, or if you live here and are looking for something great to do, I highly recommend this exhibit, and to make a day of it, plan to also visit the Roger Brown Study Collection up on Halsted.  Brown's home and studio were left to the school when he died to be viewed as an Artist Museum, and his vast collections of folk art (including lots of Joseph Yoakum and Henry Darger's paintings) are incredible.  It is one of my favorite places in the city.  When you're there, make sure to ask to see the Signature Quilt.  It will blow your mind. 

Both exhibits are free.