Monday, December 7, 2009

Have a Mewy Mewy Christmas

Every Christmas season I look forward to receiving in the mail my catalog from The Museum Shop of The Art Institute of Chicago. The Museum is one of my most favorite places in the world because it is home to one of the largest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. I saw my first Lautrec and Degas there and some of the Monet haystacks, I was blown away.

This is also the museum that houses what I consider to be the most striking of Van Gogh's self portraits. I have a print of it framed in my home and I could stare at it for hours, I swear his eyes pierce right through me.
This is the Vincent I choose to remember....strong, determined, devoted to his art. But yet of course the sadness runs as a quiet undercurrent.

But back to the museum store catalog, it always contains the most creative and beautiful art gifts that are based on items from the museums more than 260,000 works of art. The jewelry is to die for. Oh and don't forget the hand painted scarves — simply gorgeous. But I always turn first to the section that holds the christmas cards. The cards are all so beautiful, creative and fun. Each year I look to see what artist and The Art Institute of Chicago School alumna Linnea Riley has designed for her humorous cat-themed christmas cards. (I have 4 cats — so you can see why I love her cards specifically.)

And this year I am not disappointed (as if I ever am by Ms. Riley....) these '09 candidates are fun and great for sending out to my friends. She has to be a cat mom herself because she knows so well the curiosity and ensuing mischief that the little furballs bring to a home. And the holiday season is a special delight for the whisker investigators, like when you are trying to wrap a package or trim a tree or string lights. Those are all really fun cat toys — aren't they?

Yes indeed Linnea gets it and luckily for me and other cat lovers she illustrates it beautifully. And if you aren't a cat person, there are many many other cards. My other favs are the cards that are take-off on some of the world's best known masterpieces with a little touch of christmas added in. There are beautiful cards, stunning cards, fun cards and amazingly creative and unique cards. Everything in the whole catalog is just delightful, go on line and make sure you sign up to get the catalog next year. Its a great place to shop. Enjoy!

Cards of The Art Institute of Chicago
Linnea Riley