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Midnight in the Garden of Science and Industry

© Copyright Alessandra Kelley

In a colorful night, the neoclassical Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, with ghostly forms and shadows of giant birds, people digging, ladies in Victorian dresses, and historical debris

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago was originally the Palace of Fine Arts in the World Columbian Exposition of 1893. The only surviving structure, it now anchors the enormous and beautiful Jackson park, site of the former fairgrounds.

The side porches echo the carytid porches on the original Erechtheon on the Acropolis of Athens.

The figures were meant to be ghostly and ambiguous. A woman may be working a Kodak brownie camera, or she may be fiddling with her skirt. The diggers may be real and may be not. There is the shadow of an enormous bird.

The wonderful and odd detritus of the past, even in so young a city as Chicago, fascinates me. I also love the moodiness of the museum at night.

This is, like most of my paintings, egg tempera on a gessoed panel.