Private Workshop Recap: Chicago Staircases

mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, josef paul kleihaus
My most recent 1on1 workshop took us to a couple locations I love in Chicago: the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the Art Institute of Chicago (AI). Both have some of the best staircases in the city!
First up, the MCA and its two staircases. The original was designed by Josef Paul Kleihaus, a German architect whose first United States commission was the MCA.  For more information on the design of the whole museum, including the staircase, head over here. As you can imagine, his staircase is the most photographed area of the museum. The first viewpoint is from the top down.
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, josef paul kleihaus
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, josef paul kleihaus
A small detail.
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, josef paul kleihaus
Now, from the bottom up. When shooting staircases, I always like to shoot from both perspectives, they often feel very different.
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, josef paul kleihaus
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, josef paul kleihaus
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, josef paul kleihaus
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, josef paul kleihaus
New to the MCA is the staircase recently designed by Johnston Marklee, which pays tribute to the original Kleihues. It only spans 2 floors, unlike the original, but it’s just as interesting to photograph. This time I started from the bottom up.
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, johnston marklee
Interesting enough, but I prefer the views from the top down. Particularly this corner shot.
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, johnston marklee
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, johnston marklee
Loved how the light created this slinky-like effect on the staircase. Well, that’s what I thought it looked like, or some would say an accordion 🙂
mca, museum of contemporary art chicago, johnston marklee
Our next stop was the Art Institute of Chicago and its many interesting staircases. Here’s a slightly detailed shot of the grand staircase.
art institute of chicago
Now, my favorite staircase in here! I meant to bring my wide lens but packed the wrong one…super prepared. Regardless, there were still interesting shots to be had.
art institute of chicago
art institute of chicago
art institute of chicago
The newest staircase in the AI was designed by Renzo Piano and is in the modern wing of the museum. While I did convert to black and white as well, I really like the tones of the wood against the white metal of this staircase. I find this one very difficult to photograph so I opted for super detailed shots from its underside.
art institute of chicago, renzo piano
art institute of chicago, renzo piano
art institute of chicago, renzo piano
If you’d like to see more shots from the MCA and AI from this and past visits, follow the links 🙂

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