Photopost: Metropolitan Museum of Art, part 2


Some of my favorite works of art from a Saturday afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, largely in the Asian and American art galleries.

See part 1 from last year for more arty goodness.

 

 

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Photopost: Metropolitan Museum of Art


I’ve posted many photos from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, so for a change of pace here’s a sampling of the art I saw in just a teeny portion of the massive Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photopost: A Visit to the MFA, part nine: Matisse, McCloskey, & Botticelli


On my latest visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, I visited three special exhibitions of art by three very different artists: Henri Matisse, Robert McCloskey, and Sandro Botticelli.

The Matisse exhibit paired many objects from his studio featured in his art with the art that captured the moods, shapes, and colors of those objects.  The McCloskey exhibit is small but features delightful studies and sketched of illustrations for books such as Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, and Burt Dow: Deep Water Man. The Botticelli exhibit brings together many works of art rarely seen outside of Europe while in charming parochial way also celebrating “Boston Botticelli” by bringing in works from the MFA, Gardner Museum, and Harvard Art Museums.  The exhibit also includes works by Filippo Lippi (Botticelli’s teacher) and Filippino Lippi (Filippo’s son and Botticelli’s student).

Here are some of my favorite works.

Previous visits:

Photopost: Old Sturbridge Village


To celebrate the beautiful weather our autumnal holiday, I wanted to get out of the city, get the kids outdoors, and enjoy some foliage. We go to do all three with a visit to Old Sturbridge Village, where we also witnessed an ox plowing competition, rode on a stagecoach, watched a musketry demonstration, and was amazed by a potter at at work at the wheel, among other things.

Here are some highlights of a most photogenic day.

Photopost: Hall of Fame for Great Americans


The Hall of Fame for Great Americans is the nation’s first hall of fame opened in 1900 to honor prominent Americans and located on the campus of the Bronx Community College in New York.  It was originally part of New York University’s Bronx campus (NYU sold the campus to BCC in 1973) and for many years was a major New York City attraction.  Today it is off the beaten path – and there have been no inductions since 1976 – but it is nevertheless a well-maintained outdoor sculpture park in a 630-foot colonnade designed by Stanford White.  I’m aware of it because my mother grew up in the adjacent neighborhood and it was one of her favorite places, partially due to the panoramic views of the Harlem River which are now obstructed by taller trees and new construction.  Yesterday I paid a return visit with my mother and son.

 

 

 

As you might expect from a grouping selected primarily in the first half of the 20th-century, the Americans represented here are almost all white men, broken down into the following groups: Statesmen, Scientists, Jurists, Teachers, Musicians, Artists and Writers (I may have forgotten a category). There are more women than I expected (although still a small number) and only two African-Americans. I think it would be fascinating to see who would be inducted if they continued adding to the current 102 inductees.

Off the top of my head, I put together a list of people I’d consider for induction following the rules that they be United States born or naturalized and deceased for at least 25 years.  A lot of these are no-brainers, some may make you scratch your head, and others may even be controversial.  Let me know what you think, and add your own nominees in the comments.

Pocahontas  1596 1617
Anne Hutchinson 1591 1643
Metacomet  1638 1676

Phillis Wheatley 1753 1784

Merriwether Lewis 1774 1809
Sacagawea  1788 1812
Abigail Adams 1744 1818
Nat Turner 1800 1831
William Clark 1770 1838
Sequoyah 1770 1843
Charles Bulfinch 1763 1844

John Brown 1800 1859
John Roebling 1806 1869
Crazy Horse 1842 1877
William Lloyd Garrison 1805 1879
Sojourner Truth 1797 1883
Dorothea Dix 1802 1887
Sitting Bull 1831 1890
P.T. Barnum 1810 1891
Frederick Douglass 1818 1895

Elizabeth Cady Stanton 1815 1902
Frederick Law Olmsted 1822 1903
Geronimo  1829 1909
Mary Baker Eddy 1821 1910
Harriet Tubman  1822 1913
John Muir 1838 1914

Isabella Stewart Gardner 1840 1924
Samuel Gompers 1850 1924
John Singer Sargent 1856 1925
Eugene Debs 1855 1926
Victoria Woodhull 1838 1927

Stephen Mather 1867 1930
Ida B. Wells 1862 1931
Will Rogers 1879 1935
Huey Long 1893 1935
Bessie Smith 1894 1937
George Gershwin 1898 1937
Amelia Earhart 1897 1937

Nikola Tesla 1856 1943
Ida Tarbell 1857 1944
Fiorello LaGuardia 1882 1947
Babe Ruth 1895 1948

Edwin Hubble 1889 1953
Jim Thorpe 1887 1953
Charlie Parker 1920 1955
Mary McLeod Bethune 1875 1955
Jackson Pollock 1912 1956
Buddy Holly 1936 1959
Frank Lloyd Wright 1867 1959

Ernest Hemingway  1899 1961
William Faulkner 1897 1962
Eleanor Roosevelt  1884 1962
W.E.B. Du Bois 1868 1963
Rachel Carson 1907 1964
Flannery O’Connor 1925 1964
Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) 1925 1965
Edward Murrow 1908 1965
Walt Disney 1901 1966
Margaret Sanger 1879 1966
Gus Grissom 1926 1967
Edward Hopper 1882 1967
Woody Guthrie  1912 1967
Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929 1968
Thomas Merton 1915 1968
John Steinbeck 1902 1968
Helen Keller  1880 1968

Jimi Hendrix 1942 1970
Louis Armstrong  1901 1971
Jackie Robinson  1919 1972
Roberto Clemente  1934 1972
Jeanette Rankin 1880 1973
Duke Ellington  1899 1974
Paul Robeson 1898 1976
Alexander Calder 1898 1976
Groucho Marx 1890 1977
Fannie Lou Hamer  1917 1977
Elvis Presley 1935 1977
Norman Rockwell 1894 1978
Harvey Milk 1930 1978
Arthur Fiedler 1894 1979
Charles Mingus 1922 1979
A. Phillip Randolph 1889 1979

Dorothy Day  1897 1980
Alfred Hitchcock 1899 1980
Jesse Owens 1913 1980
Ella Grasso 1919-1981
Peace Pilgrim (Mildred Lisette Norman) 1908 1981
Muddy Waters 1913 1983
Ansel Adams 1902 1984
E.B. White 1899 1985
Ella Baker 1903 1986
Lucille Ball 1911 1986
Benny Goodman 1909 1986
Christa McAuliffe 1948 1986
Georgia O’Keeffe 1887 1986
Corita Kent 1918 1986
Andy Warhol 1928 1987
James Baldwin 1924 1987
Bayard Rustin 1912 1987
Harold Washington 1922 1987
Richard Feynman 1918 1988

Jim Henson 1936 1990
Martha Graham 1894 1991
Frank Capra 1897 1991
Audre Lorde 1934 1992
Marian Anderson 1897 1993
Arthur Ashe 1943 1993
Cesar Chavez 1927 1993
Thurgood Marshall 1908 1993
Craig Rodwell 1940 1993

Not eligible under the 25-year rule, but definite future inductees in the Hall of Fame of my dreams:

Jonas Salk 1914 1995
Ella Fitzgerald 1917 1996
Carl Sagan 1934 1996
Willem de Kooning 1904 1997
Alan Shepard 1923 1998
Benjamin Spock 1903 1998

Eudora Welty 1909 2001
Johnny Cash 1932 2003
Fred Rogers 1928 2003
Shirley Chisholm 1924 2005
Rosa Parks 1913 2005
Jane Jacobs 1916 2006
Andrew Wyeth 1917 2009

Howard Zinn 1922 2010
Neil Armstrong 1930 2012
Sally Ride 1951 2012
Maya Angelou 1928 2014
Pete Seeger 1919 2014
Julian Bond 1940 2015
Muhammad Ali 1942 2016
Daniel Berrigan 1921 2016
John Glenn 1921 2016
Harper Lee 1926 2016
Prince 1958 2016
Elie Wiesel 1928 2016
Gene Sharp 1928 2018

[Updated May 1, 2018]

Photopost: A Visit to the MFA, part seven


Another visit to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. This time I focused on exploring the galleries of the Art of the Americas wing on Level G and Level 1 (I already saw the 20th century art on Level 3 on my first visit).  These galleries contain largely art of the United States from colonial times to the mid-1800s.  There is also a few good galleries of pre-Columbian art from Mesoamerica and a gallery of North American Native Peoples.  The latter gallery mixes art from centuries ago with 20th and 21st century works by Native American artists which makes for interesting comparison and contrast of art motifs over time, but I also wonder why they don’t display them in the 20th century or contemporary galleries like the European and United States works. The remainder of the galleries included a delightful mix of United States decorative arts, architecture, portraiture, landscapes, sculpture, and ship’s models arranged over time and sometimes thematically.  Then I visited the Japanese Garden outside, a beautiful and peaceful place to finish the day.

 

Previous visits:

Photopost: A Visit to the MFA, part six


I had a surprise afternoon free and so made another visit to one of my favorite places Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Having not visited in 6 months, there were a lot of new exhibitions I hadn’t seen so I focused on those:

  • Megacities Asia – 11 artists from 5 cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Seoul) create massive, provocative, and interactive works of art inspired by urban life.  The works are spread throughout the galleries of the Museum (and outside, and at Fanueil Hall Marketplace) making for interesting contrasts with other art and human experience.
  • #techstyle – fancy and whacky clothing designed with new technology expounds upon the humor and excess of the fashion world.
  • Visiting Masterpieces: Pairing Picasso – a simple gallery pairing Picasso’s works on similar subjects from different periods of his artistic style.
  • Year of the Monkey – the role of the monkey in Japanese culture explored in art from different eras.
  • Ruined: When Cities Fall – cities destroyed by war or abandonment are depicted in haunting images from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
  • The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris – a collection of the Canadian modernist’s paintings of mountains, water, and glaciers in cool colors and streamlined forms.  The exhibition is curated by Steve Martin!
  • Lawren Harris: Modern Connections from the MFA Collection – adjacent to the Harris exhibit is works of art by his modernist contemporaries with similar styles including Georgia O’Keeffe and Charles Sheeler.

It was a great visit and an enjoyable experience bouncing among masterpieces and brand new creations.

Previous visits:

Photopost: Institute of Contemporary Art


Since I always do things in a prompt manner, yesterday I made my first visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art since they moved from the Back Bay to their new building on the waterfront (which just happened in – OHMYGOD – 2006).  Getting there was not easy as the ceaseless construction of new high-rise buildings in the Seaport District put up many barriers.  But at last I arrived at the notably spiffy ICA building, cantilevered to overlook Boston Harbor.

Despite the large building, the galleries are a small portion of the building largely on the fourth floor.  This means that while I saw pretty much every piece of art on display, it’s probably worth returning for events, performances, films, and new exhibitions.

What I saw:

  • Walid Raad – two exhibits.  Walkthrough, I couldn’t really get into but The Atlas Group was a fascinating examination of found images of the Lebanese civil wars presented as a fictional archival collection.
  • Diane Simpson – sculptures based on clothing, reminiscent of Claes Oldenburg’s sculptures of ordinary objects.
  • The Birthday Party – an immersive installation by three Iranian artists.
  • ICA Collection: Transcending Material – my favorite pieces were in the permanent collection, some photos below.

I probably spent the longest amount of time in the Poss Family Mediatheque looking at the harbor and watching the 30-minutes of chain reactions in “The Way Things Go” by  Peter Fischli and David Weiss, a lesson in physics, chemistry, and film-making.

Photopost: A Visit to the MFA, part five


On another solo visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, I completed touring the Art of Europe galleries, traveling through 17th-century Dutch and Flemish, gaudy 18th-century French decorative art, 19th-century art deemed worthy by the Academy, and finally Impressionism and post-Impressionism.

Then I took the guided tour of the Art of the Americas wing, learning more about old favorites and some new surprises. I’ll probably work my way more methodically through those galleries on my next visit. Before departing I stopped in the Made in the Americas exhibition which was mostly decorative arts and textiles and seemed less interesting than similar exhibits at the Peabody Essex Museum. And I finished with the delightful Musical Instruments collection. I wish I could hear a concert on those instruments.

Previous visits:

Photopost: Getting Dizzy With Izzy


I made another first time in a long time visit to a Boston institution with a day out at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  Unlike the Museum of Fine Arts, there is only one work of art at the Gardner Museum, a collaboration of Mrs. Gardner and thousands of painters, sculptors, designers, architects, and gardeners.  This was my first visit since the opening of the new Renzo Piano wing, which is impressive, but seems mostly a utilitarian annex to the historic museum.  It was also the first time I’ve been to the museum since photography is allowed, although only of the courtyard on the main level.  Plenty of scofflaws took photos from the upper levels too, but were only stopped by the guards when using flash.  I followed Mrs. Gardner’s preference of immersing myself in the art and beauty.