|Malibu by David Hockney (LACMA)|
Soundcloud: No.6 (The Museum)
I don't know if it was a lull in the crowds, or just a lack of interest that hot, humid afternoon to see this first book to come from Herr Gutenberg's press. Whatever the reason, only two people were there examining the Bible (under thick, sturdy glass) at this particular moment: myself and one striking, olive-skinned young woman dressed in similar prepster garb to yours truly.
|The Annunciation, Cloisters (The Met)|
Matching woven leather belts and tortoise shell Wayfarers tucked into her chambray shirt and riding atop my dome holding bangs in place (the bangs on my former head of hair actually went down past my chin once upon a time). It was almost embarrassing how similar we were dressed ... and our bags -- I had a worn leather backpack that I would use all through college and then give to my nephew; she had a huge (ginormous?) leather bag also, and we both almost started to giggle over the serendipity and convergence and ridiculousness of the moment.
|Yellow Cow by Franz Marc (Guggenheim)|
"No. I don't read Italian. Not yet. I'd like to someday," I thought that'd sound winning, evince a desire to master another romantic language. This was before the ole porkster was Fat or a Scribe of any shape.
"Well, can you read Latin? Because this translation is in Latin." Thud.
|The Wounded Indian, P. Stephenson (Chrysler Museum)|
"I'm not expert, but I'm pretty sure all Bibles of this time would have been printed in Latin since that's what St. Jerome translated the Old and New Testaments into working on the Vulgate," she said.
|The Kiss by Gustav Klimt (Belvedere)|
"No, no. I'm fascinated by vulgarities of all varieties. Even Latin ones," I said. Long pause. "I'm kidding. Yes, I know about the Vulgate." Which I actually did, surprisingly.
|Paris Street; Rainy Day by G. Caillebotte (Art Institute of Chicago)|
"So, what does that say there? It looks like we're in the New Testament. Matthew, right?" I asked. "And, sheesh, I recognize the number 7 here."
|Mulberry Tree by Vincent Van Gogh (Norton Simon)|
"Ah. Yeah, well, I don't read Italian or Latin, but a little 9th grade Spanish goes a long ways for this version."
|Purple White and Red by Mark Rothko (Art Institute of Chicago)|
"Pearls," I offered.
|Lunatic of Etretat, H. Merle (Chrysler Museum)|
"Yeah, of course," she looked around the exhibit to see if there was a translation she had missed.
"Sunday school. Five years," I offered rather puffily.
|Lansdowne Herakles by unknown (Getty Villa)|
Several others were queuing up behind us (to our side actually), so we shuffled off the platform together. When we got to the bottom she made my day. "Want to take a walk around the Library of Congress for a bit?"
|Yama and Yami (LACMA)|
|"The Divine Comedy" by Dante|
Do I collect? Uh, no. (though I did buy my ex-wife a triptych as an anniversary gift during grad school.) Do I paint or draw or sculpt? Uh, again, no. Do I buy art books? Of course. Love them, and I actually read them, the autodidact that I am.
Whenever I travel for business, if I am anywhere (2 hours drive) near a presidential library, I will go pay my respects whether liberal or conservative, impeached or not. And, like you, Dear Reader, if I have any free time when on the road, I will always make time to visit or revisit a local museum or two. That's just the way we're wired, you and I. And, you never know, a friendly, engaging and brilliant adonis or goddess might step off the canvas to spend an afternoon with you.
Some favorite museums for your consideration:
Has over two million (2,000,000) works of art housed in its collection.
Interestingly, the Hermitage Museum in Russia has over 3,000,000. How much of it due to looting and plundering by its brutal forces and corrupt leaders during and immediately after WWII? Much. Let's see ... goes like this: the Germans looted the French and shipped untold priceless works of art back to Berlin from Paris and occupied France (some of it going to the Swiss). Oh, and don't forget what the Nazis took from Italy! The Russians then plundered the Germans and shipped untold priceless works of art back to The Hermitage (some to the Swiss). I'm sure a good bit goes back to Sotheby's or Christies and the UK and the States there somewhere, with some to the Swiss and Japan and now China.
Has over 100,000 works housed in its collection. Great way to spend an afternoon listening to jazz, have a cocktail, and then visit some great art.
Frank Lloyd Wright. Enough said. Oh, and art too. I've linked to a great video on the "great upheaval" in the art world in the early 20th century.
A billion dollar campus that always impresses me each visit. I flew home from grad school on its opening, with something like 30,000 people that day. The stone/marble on this project cost a half-billion alone. Art work is great ... my favorite Cezanne is there. Decent restaurants. Spectacular views, especially on a stormy afternoon.
The Chrysler (Norfolk, VA)
Over 5,000 works housed in its collection. It has a best-in-class Tiffany glass collection that is extraordinary.
A great place to while away the day. About 30 minutes from the Getty Center, it's the original museum, and houses the Greek and Roman collections.
The Norton Simon
Small museum that packs a punch.
Gorgeous museum ... and they have the Klimt (bastards). LACMA had it for a temporary exhibition. Awesomeness.
Downtown L.A. across the street from the Disney Hall and down the street from Our Lady of Angels church. If you're in the area, all three are worth the time.
Art Institute of Chicago
Over 450,000 works of art are housed in its collection. Rothko, Chagall, Caillebotte, Seurat ... cripes this is a great museum.