What We're Reading: 11/21/23

The Art Institute of Chicago, with Edward Kemeys's iconic Lions sculptures (1893) standing guard at the entrance. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.


The Art Institute of Chicago’s Ex-Payroll Manager Is Sentenced for Embezzling $2 Million

A former payroll manager at the Art Institute of Chicago was sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday after he pleaded guilty in April to misappropriating more than $2 million in museum funds.

Michael Maurello, 56, has been ordered to surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons before 2 p.m. on February 8, 2024, and is expected to be housed in a prison medical facility, according to his sentencing documents obtained by Artnet News. Prison records show he has not yet entered custody.

Via Artnet


Art on THE MART debuts new holiday-themed showcase near Chicago River 

There will be plenty of colorful lights on the Chicago River as Art on THE MART gets into the colorful holiday spirit.

Its new showcase, "Season of Light," debuted Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The visuals were created by students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and SAIC alum, Yorgo Alexopoulos.

More information about the showcase can be found on the Art on THE MART website



“ICONS” features photographs by Steve McCurry. The exhibit is on display at the Loyola University Museum of Art through March 31, 2024.


Icons of Photography: Loyola Art Museum Hosts First Show in Four Years Featuring Famed Works From Steve McCurry

A new exhibition focuses on photographs that remind us of the vastness of human culture. It’s a striking blend of art, journalism and storytelling.

More than 80 large-format prints represent the career of Steve McCurry, a photography Hall of Famer and a controversial figure to some.

McCurry’s images are people-driven. His most famous portrait, “Afghan Girl,” was a memorable cover for National Geographic in 1985. Other pics are recognizable from the Magnum photographer’s many books and globe-trotting assignments.

“ICONS” features photographs by Steve McCurry. The exhibit is on display at the Loyola University Museum of Art through March 31, 2024.

The photographs are featured in “ICONS,” the first art show at the Loyola University Museum of Art since 2019.

However, the show is not curated by the museum and is not part of an official grand reopening, which is planned for later in 2024. It’s a partnership with Fever, the live entertainment company most famous for candlelight concerts. Loyola brought in the ticketed show to raise some revenue before the museum officially reopens.



A Prankster Used A.I. to ‘Improve’ Edward Hopper’s Classic ‘Nighthawks’

The rise of artificial intelligence has created reams of new artworks, many of them generated, controversially, on the backs of artist’s existing pieces. Now, one X (formerly Twitter) user has shown a way that A.I. can offer “improvements” to classic works of art, starting with Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, and even one of the art world’s most beloved critics may have fallen for the gag.

“Using AI, I was able to take some old painting and make it better,” posted X user Sonch (@soncharm) last week, sharing a jpeg of Edward Hopper’s famous scene of urban ennui, Nighthawks from 1942, how housed in the Art Institute of Chicago. “Where even is this? Who are the people? Huh? You’re too far away to really see the setup. Whole left side blank. Nothing here to grab onto,” Sonch complained.

Via Artnet