Arts & Culture » Culture Vultures

This week's Culture Vultures recommend:

The Old Town School's Open House Friday, Jackson Park's Osaka Garden, and "Morbid Curiosity" at the Cultural Center



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Kate Keleman, Chicago Architecture Foundation associate curator, is examining:

"Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection" On a recent visit to the Chicago Cultural Center to peruse its latest exhibitions, I particularly enjoyed "Morbid Curiosity," an eclectic assembly of artworks and artifacts that explore the theme of death. The objects, which are drawn from the collection of a Chicago-area antiques dealer, range from gruesome to humorous to awe-inspiring. A glittery rhinestone-encrusted skull perches on a shelf with his cousins. A chandelier made of plaster-cast bones seems to make the ceiling sag. A wretched corpse asks, "Are you still mad at me?" Family portraits of gussied-up skeletons in their wedding gowns and Sunday bests peer from gilded frames. The exhibition design—and the grand room that houses the show—makes you feel as though you've stumbled into an eerie and wonderful Victorian parlor. Chicago Cultural Center exhibitions are usually real gems (and often quirky) and "Morbid Curiosity" is no exception. I love to dash through on my way across the Loop—exhibition express!—or linger during especial visits. (Plus, does the drama of ascending the Cultural Center's grand staircases ever get old? No, it doesn't.)

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