Yinka Shonibare CBE at the Driehaus Museum

23 May 2019

 

Only a short ride from 1000M, a museum disguised as a beautiful mansion sits just off the Magnificent Mile.

 

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum

 

Disguised, perhaps, is not the right word. The Driehaus Museum is a beautiful mansion; The Richard H. Driehaus Museum explores the art, architecture and design of the late 19th century to the present, within the restored Nickerson Mansion. The Nickerson Mansion was built in 1883 and remains one of America’s great Gilded Age mansions. To walk through a home as baroque and intricately detailed as this is a truly breathtaking experience in and of itself. But the experience is only elevated by the Driehaus Museum’s rotating collection of art exhibitions.

 

A Tale of Today: Yinka Shonibare CBE

 

On display from March 2 – September 29, A Tale of Today: Yinka Shonibare CBE works as a powerful juxtaposition to the stately mansion’s interior. Yinka Shonibare CBE is a British-Nigerian contemporary artist whose work draws on history, politics and fashion influences “to explore and critique our understanding of the past with equal doses of humor, irony and theatrics playfully woven in.”

 

Yinka Shonibare CBE says, “History itself is very objective, and it’s always written from the point of view of those in power.” As an artist in the modern era, he’s now able to enter spaces, such as the Nickerson Mansion, when previously in history he could not have. He rejoices, “I can touch any part in art history. I can do anything I like.”

 

This freedom is evident in the exhibition. Party Time features fiberglass mannequins in batik cotton textiles, party guests who have abandoned all proper behavior expected in The Dining Room of the estate. The exhibition also includes other larger-than-life sculptural installations and photography featuring Yinka Shonibare CBE inserted into famous paintings and stills from The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945 film).

 

The Richard M. Driehaus Museum is located at 40 E Erie Street, Chicago, IL. They are open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM. For more information on planning your visit, check out their website.