A Nap in Lurie Garden
A few years ago while visiting the Art Institute of Chicago (home to Grant Wood’s iconic American Gothic (1930)), I wandered outside the building to an adjacent gallery fronted by the Lurie Garden, a delightful little prairie garden on the Southern End of Chicago’s Millennium Park.
Chicago is a city where community gardens are extremely local– between the Lurie Garden and the Prairie Garden at Montrose Dog Beach (a gorgeous coastal walk along Lake Michigan with stunning views of the Chicago skyline), the city has an emphasis on growing native and wild plants that can only grow on the prairie– a mix of wildflowers and grasses that make the area special.
The Lurie Garden, however, was also designed by Kathryn Gustafson, Robert Israel, and Piet Oudolf (the same Oudolf behind Oudolf Field at Hauser & Wirth Somerset), and with it’s location adjacent to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, it’s constantly being serenaded with gorgeous classical music– a field of wildflowers with a soundtrack and a view.
The Lurie Garden is a great place to picnic while exploring the nearby attractions– from Anish Kapoor’s iconic Bean installation to the AIC, 12th Avenue Beach, Navy Pier, and everything in between. When the sunlight hits the shrubbery and casts a shadow onto the grass, it’s a perfect place to lounge with a book or chat with a friend on a blanket– you might even find yourself compelled to take a nap, like your correspondent once did. And from experience, most Lurie nappers agree: there is nothing better than waking up in a field of wildflowers at sunset. Try it, and I’m sure you’ll agree.