Saturday, March 18, 2023

A Museum of Art PhotoJournal

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Last weekend we visited the Columbus Museum of Art. It is free on Sundays, so it was fairly busy, and we didn't see everything, but here's a sampling of what we viewed.

I feel like the above is what you're supposed to see first, but we came from the other direction, and noticed this first:

I still haven't looked at a map layout of the whole museum, so I'm not sure what we missed! We didn't see the Maurice Sendak exhibit, because that is an additional admission price. We headed up the stairs and down the first hallway we came to, which has several rooms or galleries leading from it, as well as artwork displayed in the hallway. Obviously I didn't take pictures of nearly everything, or even a representation, although photos are allowed and encouraged in most areas of the museum.

It wasn't long before we spotted something familiar―a Chihuly glass piece:

I think Chihuly's work is amazing and I love it, but I've heard quite a few people talk about it being weird and not liking it. Differences of opinion on art make for interesting discussion, right?

Generally speaking, I guess I prefer more traditional art. The kind where I can appreciate the visual image whether or not I know the specific message being conveyed, and often even if I don't necessarily agree with the message. For instance, this 17th century painting, "A Wooded Landscape with Travelers". It's an interesting and peaceful scene, but according to the placard, it's also an example of a moral or theological message in art, even though the Dutch Calvinism of this artist's time did not allow depictions of Christ or of Bible stories in the churches. This landscape intended to show the small size and limitations of humans in comparison with God's power, and to remind worshipers to remain humble and pious.

Moving towards galleries with more recent art, we found this brightly colored painting and thought it would make a fun background for a family photo. Do you see the woman in the landscape?

Some of the galleries had a hands-on area to interact with art in some way. Our granddaughter made this beautiful still life of fruit!

Cosmos, Marsden Hartley

The Two Graces, Odilon Redon

I found this one thought-provoking as I read the background. There are three graces in Greek and Roman mythology, representing beauty, joy, and abundance. This artist has included only two in his painting. Which two are they? Wonder what he was saying? What do you think?

Weeping Willow, Claude Monet

I loved all the Monet paintings in the collection, but this one was particularly interesting. Monet painted a series of willow trees during the Great War, characterizing his grief and sorrow at the war. Monet refused to leave his home and garden even though artillery fire could be heard nearby.

Crucifixion, Elijah Pierce

Take a look at the characters in this interesting carved piece from the 1930s. 

This huge painting in one of the modern or contemporary galleries made an impression too.

Portrait of Andries Stilte II, Kehinde Wiley

At first, I just liked it because it was eye-catching and witty. And huge! It's eight feet tall! Then I read the placard and was really intrigued by the idea for this. 
For this work, Kehinde Wiley invited a young man he encountered on the streets of Columbus to pose in the matter of the 1639-40 painting . . . With the painting's towering size, extravagant frame, and lush background, Wiley taps into traditional portraiture's display of affluence, power, and esteem. The surrounding pattern also contains the fleur-de-lis . . . associated with French royalty. Substituting the fashions and swagger of a young African American man for Verspronck's well-to-do Dutchman, Wiley engages both historical and contemporary representations of race, class, and masculinity.

That painting and a few other pieces of contemporary art were among those that I thought were actually artistic! Ha! Honestly, at least half of the so-called art pieces in the modern-day collection were weird, disturbing, bizarre, or (in my opinion, anyway) just plain ugly and inappropriate.

This huge sculpture is just fun:

And how about this one? It's butter. A sculpture of butter. A very large sculpture of butter, probably three feet long. Sorry I don't know the artist, and I have no idea if he or she was trying to convey any message or had just taken on the challenge of making a giant reproduction of a stick of butter. If the reminder to not touch hadn't been there, I guarantee we would have touched it just out of curiosity. 

By this time, our granddaughter was losing interest, and it must have been a little frustrating to not be able to touch the 'butter' or so many other things! 

We did take a quick look at some modern art made from glass before heading out. This one is fascinating. It's three and a half feet wide, and is made from optic crystal which is cut, ground, polished, and engraved. And there's oil paint and gold in it. Very impressive.

Sunflower, Christopher Ries

Well, we thought we were finished for the day, but realized that this children's interactive room was on the main floor, so we went in there for a bit to play.

There's more to see, so I'm sure we'll be heading back on another Sunday afternoon in the future to explore some more!

This post will be linked at Pictorial Tuesday, hosted by Peabea Scribbles.

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Joanne said...

So many neat works of art! My favorites tend to be the impressionists but I do love most any sort of art that includes glass too so Chihuly and that sunflower piece just blow me away.

Peabea Scribbles said...

I've never been, and there's one only about 12 miles from me. I need to go. Yours looks so interesting. Yeah, I would want to touch the butter.

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