May 29, 2009

Chihuly Glass at the Desert Botanical Garden

We were able to visit the exhibit twice, once during the day and the next time at dusk. It ends in two days. That it is short-term makes it all the more amazing and compelling. I'd love to know more about the process and installation.

Scott's brother is visiting us, and he spent 4 hours at the DBG this morning -- hummingbirds, herb garden, butterflies, cacti, and glass.

May 24, 2009

an afternoon to myself

So I'm in Seattle with Scott for a conference, and while he's in meetings, I've been wandering through the waterfront, Pike Place Market, and the "retail core." Yesterday was unusually sunny, so everyone was out basking in the warmth. The views were spectacular -- with a clear shot of Mt. Ranier behind a bridge (below), and cruise ships setting off for Alaska out front of our hotel.

I walked from 11 am to 5:30 pm, only sitting twice to try on shoes. So many cool eateries, coffee shops, boutiques! I was even lured into a knitting shop (wondering if Andrea was here earlier in the week.)

The true highlight was the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Ironically, I'm not a big museum goer, but I totally enjoyed this trip. I was lured in by a show from Yale's American art collection. That was great, but the permanent collection display was even better. Small galleries of thoughtfully put together works around a theme. Some aboriginal paintings, lots of contemporary art, some Asian ceramics -- a handful of plum vases but spanning centuries. My favorite was a bead quiz: beads from throughout history, beaded Native American bags, modern necklaces, and found object stuff. A video showed four bead artists working with glass, polymer clay, found objects and filigree. All were so humble and matter-of-fact as they talked about the process, yet they were each making the most unique things.

Couldn't find images of my favorites from that room or the aboriginal stand outs, but did (illegally) download my favorite American works. Things I've studied forever, but rarely seen in the flesh: two Homers and two Eakins.

An Adirondack Lake, Winslow Homer, 1870

Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)
Old Mill (The Morning Bell), 1871
Oil on canvas, 24 x 38 1/8 x 1 in. (61 x 96.8 x 2.5 cm)
Yale University Art Gallery, Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916)
Maud Cook (Mrs. Robert C. Reid), 1895
Oil on canvas, 24 1/2 x 20 1/16 in. (62.2 x 51 cm)
Yale University Art Gallery, Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916)
John Biglin in a Single Scull, 1874
Oil on canvas, 24 3/8 x 16 in. (61.9 x 40.6 cm)
Yale University Art Gallery, Whitney Collections of Sporting Art, given in memory of Harry Payne Whitney, B.A. 1894, and Payne
Whitney, B.A. 1898, by Francis P. Garvan, B.A. 1897, M.A. (Hon.) 1922

I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy art.