Friday, July 6, 2012

Wisconsin Trip with my Mom

About a month ago, my mom came out to Chicago for an extended (10 day!) visit.  She's visited me about once a year since I moved here in 2005, but this was the longest time she's stayed with me and also the first time she's visited that I didn't have to work while she was here.  Because of that, we finally got to take a trip outside of Chicago, since mom doesn't have much of any experience with the midwest.
Tara Donovan: untitled.  Photo borrowed from archblog.
Our 3 day trip was pretty packed.  The first leg took us to Milwaukee, where I managed to get us tickets to see the Cubs play (and beat) the Brewers.  But earlier in the day, we made it to the Milwaukee  Art Museum to see the Calatrava wings close and open at noon.  We spent a number of hours in the museum, also enjoying the work of many artists, especially Tara Donovan.  The museum had a special exhibit of her work at the time, all made with everyday objects, like this piece: plastic sheets like you would use to separate papers in file folder, coiled up to catch the light in surprising ways.
There were a few other pieces we really liked, including a full room's worth of furniture and wallpaper, surprisingly from Vienna, from the early 19th century.  Pretty funky if you ask me.
I took a full slide show of the museum's "wings" closing at noon - here are a few . . .

And it was the perfect day to walk around the museum campus and over to the Milwaukee County War Memorial, designed in the 1950's by Eero Saarinen.  I've been seeing a lot of him recently, haven't I.

The following day, we made a stop at Ten Chimneys, the summer home of Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne.  Mom and I had had nothing planned for the day, only a drive from Milwaukee to Madison, but we found the brochure for this spot in the hotel lobby and really enjoyed the visit.  Lunt had grown up in Milwaukee and Finland, and so this compound showed off his Scandinavian heritage, which we liked because it hearkened back to our trip last summer, especially the visit to Carl Larssons's home in Sundborn, Sweden.
The main house at Ten Chimneys
That evening, we wandered around Madison, enjoying the more modern architecture and rather modest looking town surrounding the impressive capitol building.  This picture of the capitol also shows a vegetable/herb garden that's on the capitol property.

Our final stop in Wisconsin, on the third day of our tour, was Taliesin in Spring Green.  This was actually my second visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's home that he built in the early 1900's, but I was happy to go again so my mom could see it.  I didn't take as many pictures as I took 4 years ago, but I still enjoyed the experience and was glad to see a few more rooms than my last visit, which had been under restoration until just recently.

Here are a few views from the "top of the hill" at Taliesin:

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