Art for Your Valentine

Hearth Pendant, Gold, enamel, glass, Spain or Italy, c. 1600, $65,000. Courtesy Les Enluminures


By CGN Staff

The warmest part of February must be Valentine's Day! Inspired by the cheerful holiday coming up next week, we browsed our CGN listings for romantic works of art, artistic expressions of love, and OK, some art that's just red. 

In case you actually need a reason to visit the galleries, we found a few Valentine's Day events, plus very clever and unique gallery and museum-store items you might want to consider for anyone special on your gift list. 

Happy Valentine's Day, and stay warm! 


LH Selman

If glass is your thing, stop into LH Selman in the Fine Arts Building to admire these always-in-bloom floral preservations. They're as giftable as they are collectible. 


Janis Kanter, Don't be sad, WE AREN'T SO GREAT, 2018, pieced, stitched and collaged fabric, 57 x 44"

McCormick Gallery is hosting a very special opening on Valentine's Day, February 14, 5:30–8:30pm. Chicago based artist Janis Kanter hasn't had a show in nearly 20 years. Now, she is back and has completed two bodies of work — Barbie Series: Even the Brunettes Were Offended (already sold out) and MY WORLD – My WALL, a new series of nine works, which will debut at this showing. The exhibition continues for just 10 days until February 23


Sharon Gilmore, Between Pauses, wood, sinew, 48" x 47" x 8" 

Cultivate Urban Rainforest in Evanston is full of surprises. They not only have Valentine-worthy plants, but they feature artwork, even modern terrariums, perfect for the creative one in your life. 

Kusama Love Forever Tea Towel Set, $55.00

The Museum of Contemporary Art has long-boasted an award-winning gift shop, and it's a go-to source for uniquely arty gifts any time of year. For consideration this Valentine's Day: tea towels by Yayoi Kusama, running heart socks by Keith Haring, and of course, a mini Robert Indiana-inspired LOVE sculpture. 


Hot Or Not: 20th-Century Male Artists, Jessica Campbell, $10.00

A rather cheeky read by artists Jessica Campbell is also available at the MCA (Campbell exhibition at the MCA, part of the Chicago Works series, is on view through July 7, 2019). As the MCA website says, "The history of twentieth-century art is filled with men, but one key component has always been missing: which of these men are boneable, and which are not. Jessica Campbell has created the definitive resource on the subject in this hilarious rundown of male artist hotness and notness. 


Driehaus Museum Collection Pinwheel Tie. $48.50

A more conservative gift for the man in your life may be this visually vibrant tie from the Driehaus Museum's gift shop, inspired by the decorative interiors of the Nickerson Mansion. The Pinwheel Tie, one of four contemporary graphic designs  created for the museum's custom tie collection, is patterned with the intricate design found in the center of the parquet flooring of the Drawing Room where the symbol evokes innocence, creativity, and the ability to transform obstacles into opportunities. 



Renaissance Enameled Ring set with emeralds and rubies held by Stags, Gold, Western Europe (France?), c. 1550-1600, $210,000.00 

Les Enluminures is a rare source for unusual historic jewelry, manuscripts and miniatures. If your love is unlike any other, perhaps they are worthy of a truly unique adornment!  This truly remarkable Renaissance ring displays all the characteristics of opulent goldsmith work of the period. As the emblem of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of King Henry II, the stag is in keeping with the spirit of the Fontainebleau court. And if this breaks your budget, at least pop over for a new view of history! 

*Note: image at top of this post is also from Les Enluminures.