Thursday, May 1, 2014

Portland Art Museum

I haven't been to the Portland Art Museum in many, many years. I can't even remember the last time I was there. I was either in high school or college. Obviously, it was time to see it again. This time I brought my kids.

Our main purpose in going to the Art Museum was to see their Native American Art. More on that later. As well as seeing the Native American work, we also enjoyed many other works of art by other cultures.

The Art Museum is located in a beautiful part of downtown called the Park Blocks.

It's also in the Cultural District.

There are many beautiful stone churches in this area. This one is the First Congregational Church & was built in the late 1800's.

Inside the Museum:
Greeting you when you first walk in is a lovely, large, nude woman. This wasn't the only nude figure we saw. The kids were a bit confused as to why it was ok to have naked people in the museum. And, to be honest, I had a hard time explaining it.

The rooms closest to the entrance are dedicated to Asian arts.
Horse and Carriage
China. 1st or 2nd Century. Gray Earthenware.

Ritual Orchestra
China. 2nd or 1st Century BC. Earthenware.

Wind & Rain
Gu Wenda from China. 2011. Ink on Paper
This piece is quite large & I loved it.

Hu (wine storage vessel)
China. 13th - 12th Century BC. Cast Bronze.
I loved the detail. I don't recognize all of them, but apparently some of the designs are taotie, dragon & bird.

 American Art
Landscape with Deer, Mt. Hood
Thomas Hill. 1866. Oil on Canvas

Macadam Avenue & Ross Island
Cleveland Rockwell. 1884. Oil on Canvas

Venice: The Golden Age of Art & Music
A special exhibit at the Art Museum running for only 3 months.
Staircase leading to the exhibit.

We couldn't take photos inside the exhibit area, so this is the best I got - the sign at the beginning of the exhibit. I have a dream of taking my kids to Italy for a 3-4 week trip in about 6 years years. I also love the artwork of the Renaissance. So, this special exhibit was something I definitely wanted to see.

We had been at the museum a couple hours by the time we made it to the Venice exhibit & the kids were starting to get antsy. So, we didn't spend as much time admiring the art as I would have liked. There was some fabulous items dating from about 1500-1750. Of course there were paintings. There was also large hand written books & sheet music, which I thought was very cool. On display were a variety of instruments - mostly string instruments, which was of interest to us since Mr. T has been taking violin lessons. We came across a mandolin without strings. The lady standing nearby explained that it does have strings, but they took them off because they feared they were going to break if they tightened them. The strings were made from cat guts. That, of course, was a highlight for my kids.

 Modern, Contemporary & European Art
Black Box
John McCracken. 1965. Polyester resin on fiberglass and plywood.
We are a family who's crafty, but we don't know a lot about what makes a work of an art, a work of art. The kids were baffled as to why this black box was so special.

Untitled (To Donna) II
Dan Flavin. 1971. Fluorescent light.

Joseph Stella. 1929. Oil on Canvas.
It was very difficult getting decent shots of the artwork. This was probably one of my favorite paintings. But, my photograph doesn't make it seem as wowing as it was in person.

Plage à marée basse à Ambleteuse, le soir (Beach At Low Tide, Ambleteuse, Evening)
Théo Van Rysselberghe. 1900. Oil on Canvas.

La tête de saint Jean-Baptiste (The Head of St. John the Baptist)
James Vibert. 1894-1900. Ceramic

Tony Cragg. 2007. Stainless Steel

Memorial Day Wildflower Bouquet in the Cemetery of an Abandoned Western Mining Town
Morris Graves. 1936. Oil on Canvas

Claude Monet. 1914-1915. Oil on Canvas

Charrette de boeuf (The Ox Cart)
Vincent van Gogh. July 1884. Oil on Canvas

Guitare sur un guéridon devant une fenêtre ouverte (Guitar on a Table by Window)
Pablo Picasso. 1919. Tempera on Panel

The Picasso was small and in a free standing frame. One of my kids noticed an etched drawing on the back of frame.

More at the Museum
Lights in Elevator
Although, this may not be a conventional art piece. I loved the way the lights reflected in the elevator.

While we were waiting for the elevator, I noticed the artwork across the room.

The Gift
Richard Notkin. 1999. Earthenware
We came in for a closer look.

And, came in even closer to see the piece of art was created from squares filled with designs themselves. So, so cool!

I'm really glad we went to this museum. We fulfilled our purpose of seeing Native American Art, paid close attention to Japanese Art & enjoyed so much more. The kids did very well. We were there for about 3 hours, which was the perfect amount of time. We could have spent much longer looking at the artwork, but I don't think the kids attitudes would have been pleasant.

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