Andy, Jackie, and Me

It’s a cold blustery day in Chicago but the sun is out and the town is wide awake. We have already decided that shopping will be incorporated into the day but also want to make sure we take in some culture.

Our first stop , after coffee (those that know me, know I NEED my coffee)is the Chicago Institute of Arts, there is an Andy Warhol exhibit that has been getting great reviews so we wanted to check it out for ourselves. Getting there early is the key, museum gets busy, and I am not a fan of crowds.

I am fascinated by art, but have very limited knowledge of it. So instead, I just experience it through how it makes me feel instead of trying to figure out what the artist is trying to say. To me, Andy Warhol was this interesting character that I heard about in the 80’s (mainly thanks to Duran Duran), so his style reminds me of growing up in Milford, Michigan and hanging out with my friends, and all that is 1980 something.

One of the highlights of the exhibit is centered around the Kennedy’s. The Kennedy’s have long captivated my interest, mainly Jackie. I think it stems from my mom playing the soundtrack from Camelot; and my sister and I dancing and singing along to it. It sounded like a fabulous place to live with lots of romance and adventure. When I discovered that JFK’s Presidency was referred to as the time of “ Camelot” it immediately resonated with me. Did I mention we happen to be there on the 56th anniversary of the assassination of JFK? Not planned, just coincidence but noteworthy. Wire reports, news paper headlines, little bits & pieces of information that chronologically tells the story all the way through to the death of Lee Harvey Oswald. Experiencing this part of the Andy Warhol exhibit brought back all those memories as well an emotional response to the assassination of JFK (yes, I was not actually born until 6 years after this all happened so I don’t remember it in real time)

I have always admired Jackie for her commitment to her children , family values along with her elegance and style. Andy is able to capture her love, her grief, and her strength in nine simple photographs. It evokes many emotions but mainly empathy for what it must have been like for her and her children during such a devastating time in their family. She was admired by millions but it came with so many difficulties that it must have been hard to be Jackie Kennedy. If you are also fan of her, I highly recommend the book “Mrs Kennedy and Me” by Clint Hill. Mr. Hill was the lead agent assigned to her Secret Service detail and was there by her side in the car when JFK was shot. And there during the many hours, weeks, and months that this one moment left behind.

There is much more to the exhibit than just Jackie. His most famous pieces are there but also drawings and artwork from all different stages and mediums of his eclectic career. Worth checking out if you find yourself in Chicago from now through January 26th.

For some more insight to Jackie, I thought I would share this site with you.

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