Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Some pictures from the Wichita Art Museum

Dale Chihuly, Wichita Art Museum Confetti Chandelier (2003).

We Meridians received a digital camera for Christmas, and so we've had some fun learning how to use it. So, you good people from time to time will be subjected to my learning experiences with said camera. This image here and those below the fold are your first exposures to my first exposures from the local art museum.

Last Saturday was the penultimate day at the Wichita Art Museum for an exhibit called "Tiffany by Design;" I hadn't seen it yet, so I walked over to have a look. Alas, no pictures allowed of items not owned by the museum, so no pics of the Tiffany pieces; but we know what those look like anyway. But the museum has some noteworthy things in its own collection, beginning with the Chihuly chandelier which hangs in the foyer, and so here are some of them--that is, the ones that turned out decently.

I'll just say at the outset that, because I'm still getting used to using the camera, I found it hard to get good pictures. I make no claims as to the quality of these pictures, but at least they don't horribly misrepresent the things themselves.
Tom Otterness, Dreamers Awake (1995). Apologies for the trepanning--but, given the title and the piece's pieces, maybe it's not so inappropriate a Freudian slip after all. This piece stands in front of the museum. The standing figure is about 15' tall; sitting and standing on the pieces of his limbs and, at lower-right, carrying away one extremity, are small humanoid figures.

Winslow Homer, In the Mowing (1874). Nice frame, huh? This is a favorite painting of my students who have gone to the museum and reported back, and I share in their opinion. Its colors are a bit brighter than this pic would indicate. Its light is a golden, early-dusk; it exudes nostalgia for not even childhood but for a way of living in the world.

Edward Hopper, Sunlight on Brownstones (1956). The museum has two very nice Hoppers and a third that doesn't impress me as much; this is one of the nice ones currently on view. Hopper's much-noted air of loneliness is much in evidence here, created by the stark juxtaposition of the (very) urban brownstones with the (very) solid mass of trees dominating the right side of the painting.

Paul R. Meltsner, Martha Graham Dance Class (ca. 1939). This is a favorite of many museum-goers, in large measure because the original is not quite as orange as my picture of it turned out.

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