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This post continues recounting of our recent (over the last six months) visits to art museums. This entry is the second about the art museum in St. Louis, which we visited in October 2016. The first describes landscapes; this second post focuses on another personal interest, abstracts. The paintings are ordered the date of their creation, from the 1930s to the 1980s.
I don’t know what the first piece is, but we had fun looking through it and taking pics of each other.
On a warm Saturday last October (2016), Stacey and I had a free morning in St. Louis while daughter Zoe took her college entrance exam at the local community college. Naturally, we visited the Saint Louis Art Museum. The museum was founded in 1879, in the decade when many large cities in the eastern half of the country established art museums. The main building, designed by Cass Gilbert, was built for the 1904 World’s Fair. The addition of 2013 was designed by David Chipperfield, who designed our local art museum, the Figge in Davenport, Iowa.
Two outstanding attributes of the museum are its site in expansive Forest Park, a few mile west of downtown, and its free admission, every day.
This first post focuses on landscape paintings that we viewed, an area of particular interest to me. I’ll have images of other notable art in another post.
On our way back to Illinois from Florida, we visited the lively downtown of Chattanooga on a warmish late-December Day. Owing to our indoor rock-climbing session and the long drive that we had to make later in the day back to Illinois, we didn’t get inside the museum. But we had a fine walk along the Tennessee River, through the museum’s sculpture park, and to the Bluff View Arts District.
According to its web page, “The Hunter Museum focuses on American art from the Colonial period to the present day. The variety of the collection inside is reflected by the architecture of the museum’s exterior. The museum is housed in an early twentieth century mansion, a modern 1970s era building and a sleek, contemporary structure of steel and glass.”
We’ve visited several art museums over the past several months. With this post, I’ll try to catch up on what we’ve seen. In early February we did a college visit to Indiana University in Bloomington. The art collection is housed in a large, architecturally significant building designed by I.M. Pei (1982). The featured exhibit was by Vik Muniz, a Brazilian-American photographer. “Working with a dizzying array of unconventional materials—including sugar, tomato sauce, diamonds, magazine clippings, chocolate syrup, dust, and junk—he painstakingly constructs 3-D pictures before recording them with his camera,” according to the press release. See below the photograph he made of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
The permanent collection includes pieces by several well-known artists, among them Picasso, Monet, Calder, Morris Louis, Rockwell, and Pollock. Here are images of the museum and art that I liked.
Bill Gustafson painted this historically accurate scene of early Moline in 2009. In the scene from 1848, John Deere appears in the red shirt. The mural depicts perhaps the most important event in the early history of the city, as did Gustafson’s similar mural of Rock Island, described in an earlier post: https://replingerarts.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/historical-mural-in-the-quad-cities/.
Moline walking tour leader and geographer Curt Roseman includes this site both as a way to explain the city’s early history and as a relevant current urban space.
For more about Gustafson’s work, see http://www.gustafsonart.com/murals-city.php.
Stacey is participating in the projects that she assigns to her advance placement art students. Her is how her cross-contour drawing evolved last week. The piece is called Cat of Queens, after the sculpture from Egypt that headlines the image. She created the reference material by collecting works of antiquity and arranging them with Photoshop.
Our walking route today to Davenport’s farmers’ market took us through downtown Rock Island and past a large, colorful mural depicting the first rail crossing of the Mississippi in 1856. Bill Gustafson, now a teacher at Rock Island High School (and daughter’s homeroom teacher), painted the mural in 2006 to mark the 150th anniversary of the crossing. The City of Rock Island commissioned the work. The mural measures 55 by 45 feet and required 40 gallons of paint. Because of its dramatic composition, luminous colors, inclusion of transportation devices, and historical significance, the mural is to my eye the best in the Quad Cities.
Gustafson has done several other murals in the Quad cites, notably the City of Mills in the courtyard across from Dead Poets Espresso, a quaint downtown Moline coffeehouse. I’ll post a photo of that soon.
“Dirty” high pressure and afternoon heating over the Midwest provided fantasyland cloud formations several times this summer. Here are some shots from my car on a drive from Michigan across northern Illinois in late July.
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