Word and Image

Posts tagged “Museum

Chagall Picasso Calder

I have been exposed. I have been there. I have seen them. Cool. Checked off the to do list. Sorry. It’s like smelling bacon. It is not something to be described but to be experienced. Words do not adequately describe a taste or smell. What I see goes through my occipital cortex. Where it goes from there… clueless – me.


Sunday in the Park

… with George. A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884. Pointillism, George Seurat. It was part of the title of a musical by Sondheim. Enough? Look closely and there is no actual detail. It’s “pointillism.” Get the point? Been there more than once. Seen it. I believe I missed the “art gene.”

I had no art work for show and tell – parent visit on conference day in kindergarten. Forced to confront a blank sheet of paper I took a single color and proceeded to paint a twisted path all over the paper in one color with a single brush. Asked what this was, I replied, “A rollercoaster…” I do believe I remember the steam rising as the teacher silently walked away. I was not asked to produce another piece of work the rest of the year. Every kid needs the right button. Points of paint – that would have intrigued me enough to experiment with the science of art. Some people are art and others  – not.


Art

Very bad joke – not PC – sorry to you “trumpers” –

What to you call a boy with no arms and no legs hanging on your wall? – “Art.”

I’ve been to many a museum. You go to appreciate art. But, I ponder the photo op. How? What? You go to the source to see the painting. Brushstroke? Texture? Cracks? Detail? Is there some connection to the original that supplants the image in a book, online, or from my camera? I still don’t know. What? I’ve shot full frame and detail. I’ve seen iconic art in different museums. I saw the Mona Lisa in Paris. Try as I might it’s still a work in progress for me. I go. I look. I photograph. None are keepers for me. I keep going so I guess I haven’t given up.

… a boy with no arms and no legs on your doorstep – “Matt”


Mandala

Monks came and did their magic one day – maybe it was longer. The mandala is ephemeral.

“The Sand Mandala
Mandalas constructed from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are believed to effect purification and healing. Typically, a great teacher chooses the specific mandala to be created. Monks then begin construction of the sand mandala by consecrating the site with sacred chants and music. Next, they make a detailed drawing from memory. Over a number of days, they fill in the design with millions of grains of colored sand. At its completion, the mandala is consecrated. The monks then enact the impermanent nature of existence by sweeping up the colored grains and dispersing them in flowing water.”

https://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/mandala/mandala.htm

Lucky for me they kept this one intact for me to inspect and marvel over. Look at the textures. Elaborate! Oil on canvas is forever. This is like food art. Eat and enjoy. Heal!


DAM

Denver Art Museum. I expected Western art and Remington sculptures. Yup! Saw them. But what’s with the Oriental art? People collected and later donated quite a body of Oriental artwork. Neat!


Blues

We were there in St Louis for the afternoon. Actually, it was a stopover for a lunch break and a quick look at the “Arch.” We ate in a nice pub with soaring ceilings and grand wall of liquor. (I don’t drink.) On our way back to I70 East, we got lost and turned across the National Blues Museum. It was a contretemps to the closed Jazz Museum in Kansas City. Yeah! No pictures allowed… except in designated areas. Yes, this was one. I followed the rules for a change.


Arabia

It’s the name of a steamboat that sank in the Missouri River in the 1856. It held 200 tons of artifacts preserved in the river silt. It’s fascinating. The river channel would flood and then shift as much as a mile at that time. The boat was found in a corn field 40 feet down below the surface of the ground and below the water table. Everything preserved was a muddy mess. But they recovered an amazing trove of artifacts. The goods were destined to fill general stores up river. Multiple redundant products were recovered.

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They found cigars preserved in their boxes. And shoes…and clothes pins. The good news is that everyone on board survived. Only the goods sank and were preserved. Everything was covered in mud. Things cleaned up rather well. And they even tasted the pickles in the jars. They were still edible. I would not have tried one. Impressive…daring.


Coincidence

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It’s odd. I’m in Denver. Don’t ask. I won’t tell you why unless you already know. Dave messaged. He needed advice. He’s in Yosemite. He hiked to the top. El Capitan is in the distance. It’s the back side. My usual picture of the place is from the front. There’s a waterfall – to the right. We ended up in the Denver Art Museum. And wandering through…look! We found the same scene – and it was the reverse side. Neat! I was so struck by the coincidence I told the Chinese tourists passing by me. And they commented they were puzzled because they had visited but not the back side. And I have never visited. I guess I should. It’s on my list. But it probably won’t be too soon.

…yeah, and kids don’t try this at home.


Car Bomb

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It’s art. Brilliant. Back a few decades ago during the break-up of the USSR, I was friends with a Russian physicist. Bombs were going missing. I asked him if he could get me a nuclear warhead. Why? He asked. I wanted to be the first on my block to blow it up… He told me he could get me a space rocket. Great! The catch? You need an orbit (assignment). No orbit, no launch. Another of life’s disappointments. Stick with art.


Terracotta Warriors

Not too often is there something I’d like to see or do. A couple things on my short list would include the exhibition of Chinese human anatomical dissections and another is Cirque du Soleil. SFSG. Riding the bus at the Chicago meeting I noticed signs proudly proclaiming there were terracotta warriors on exhibit at the Field Museum. The entire army is more than 6000. I just finished a novel in which the setting was in China at the site. A chance! Up close! Alas, it wasn’t the 6000 or even close. But there were some. And it was fascinating to read about it. And then I got to see them up close. No I did not get to touch. Many of the warriors were broken into fragments and were painstakingly reassembled and restored. The ultimate puzzle game! And I did not know that they were originally colorful. The dyes had faded with age. Outside the exhibit I got to pose with them. Cute!

I don’t usually go to the museum in a suit. We had rushed over from the meeting witouth time to change. Did I tell you the one where I was at the meeting in Los Angeles? Universal Studios. We had the opening reception there. 2000 or so neurosurgeons showed up for the evening event all dressed in suits. We rode in the trams sitting tall and straight. The bedraggled tourists, kids in tow, leaving at the end of the day, looked upon this rank and file and thought we must have been brought in as extras for Men In Black. Yes. We all wear dark suits. It’s a uniform. No Hawaiian print. Not for this conservative group! Nope. Nada. And the entertainment band was wildly playing out their hearts. Sweat poured in the warm evening. And when the band finished it’s number, the audience stared back at them. No one applauded. Would this be the definition of a stuffed shirt? So I laugh at myself too. And I try not to wear a tie unless I must. But at the national meeting it’s easier to blend in with the boys then to fight city hall. You don’t have to change your suit. No one will notice.