Marc Chagall created America Windows in 1977. Originally conceived as a tribute to the American Bicentennial, it was rededicated to Mayor Richard J. Daley’s after his death in 1976. Designed for the Chicago Art Institute, it was created in collaboration with stained-glass artist Charles Marq. Marq fabricated the 36 colored glass panels and Chagall painted his designs onto the glass using metallic oxide paints. These paints were subsequently annealed to the glass. The windows are eight feet tall and 30 feet wide. The work is composes of three panels, each composed of 12 sections of glass. Chagall’s work is infused with images of familiar American icons, references to Chicago, and symbols of the fine arts. These windows are a rhapsody in blue that suggest the creativity possible under America’s freedom and liberty. In the 1986 movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ferris and Sloane kissed in front of them. They have been a favorite site for lover’s trysts ever since. They were removed for cleaning in 2005, with Q-tips and baby shampoo no less and reopened to the public in 2010.
All day, we’ve been holding vigil for Virgil, the Weather Channel’s latest named storm. Winter has got to be drawing to a close, because the Weather Channel is running out of letters in the alphabet. Virgil is a wet sloppy snowstorm. I don’t know how many inches of snow that we’ve really gotten, because since the temperature hasn’t dropped below freezing all day, a lot of it has already melted away. In a fit of optimism, I put down some grass seed this morning, before the snow really got going. I had heard once that you should re-seed the lawn on the eve of the last snow storm of winter. The new fallen snow prevents the birds from eating up all of your grass seed. I also filled the bird feeders with the last of our bird seed. I can hear them all tweeting to each other, as I write. After a while, Aeneid and I walked up to the grocery store, if only to get out of the house and abate the building cabin fever. The wet snow was perfect for one thing, snowballs. As I was passing beneath a snow draped pine tree branch, Anne launched a missile across my bough.