As I did in my two previous posts on my spring visit to the Saint Louis Art Museum, I want to highlight a few of the artworks that caught my eye in some of the newly redecorated and rehung galleries. I walk through all of the museum’s galleries. A lot of them where still being reworked. And also, I was wearing myself out. So here are some of the things I stopped to see.
As I hinted in yesterday’s teaser, the Alexander Calder mobile has a gallery all to it alone. The overhead lighting is subdued and the kinetic sculpture’s elements are highlights with small spotlights.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of Max Beckmann and the German artists, but they are being shown in one of the larger galleries.
Saint Peter’s in Rome
Then I went up to the third floor galleries where the American art is displayed. I have always been a fan of George Caleb Bingham who was a Missouri artist and politician who captured the life and times of the people who lived in the towns around the Missouri and Mississippi River’s in the mid-19th century. That was when my great-grandparents arrived in Saint Louis from Germany and Poland. My paternal great-grandfather from Germany was a brick-maker and made the red bricks that made Saint Louis the red brick city. My maternal great-grandfather from Poland who could speak Polish, French, German and English work as a government land agent who helped newly arriving immigrants to GO WEST and settle in Oklahoma, Texas and other western territories. Looking at Bingham’s paintings, I can discover what some of the things that they experienced.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculpture
I’ve also always liked the work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, though most people only remember him as the man who designed the US coins in the golden era coinage.
This statue of Queen Zenobia is the work of Harriet Hosmer who was one of the first American sculptress. It was created in 1859. She lived in Saint Louis and the work was displayed in this building in 1904 at the World’s Fair. The museum displays a photo taken at the time showing the work. Then it disappeared … for over a hundred years. Then in 2007, a member of the museum’s board was browsing in an antique shop in South Saint Louis when he rediscovered the lost work. After it was cleaned, it returned to the museum.
After setting a spell on one of the comfortable leather settees the museum provides for viewers to rest while contemplating the artworks, I headed for home to return another day to take all the galleries I missed.
COMING JUNE 29 – THE NEW MUSEUM ADDITION
A sneak peek of the new sandstone sculpture commissioned for the new addition.
Still infected with the infernal Gilbert and Sullivan Mikado earworm, I decided to pick up my art trek in the museum’s Far East galleries with a few items that really caught my eye …
From Japan …
Then I moved on to the new gallery which features the art of Imperial Rome …
Sometimes, it’s nice to just contemplate the work of people responsible for the culture we know today.
TO BE CONTINUED …
Well, after three days of racing against the arrival of yet another week of daily rain I finally wore my self out mowing too tall grass, weed whacking invasive growths and reseeding the bare spots left by last years total drought. I don’t think we’re going to be worrying about that this year. And weather-wise, the weather wizards have removed the snow potential from the local forecasts … just rain from late today to next Wednesday.
The finishing touches are underway in the museum’s new addition scheduled to open at the end of June. In the original Cass Gilbert Palace Of Fine Art (1904) all the galleries have been repainted, spruced up and rehung with a lot of art that has been in storage for years.
The first work on the east end of the building appears to represent historic art and culture. In his right hand he holds a mini-Sphinx and in his left a symbolic tool. Feel free to comment if you can identify it. As you can see, the pigeons have not been kind to the young man. (Did you know that if you click on the photo, you will get an enlarged image? Click in that image and you will get an extreme closeup of the image.)
The first thing you see when you enter the museum is the Sculpture Hall.Gilbert based his design for the museum on the ancient Roman Baths of Caracalla. Or what historians imagine what it looked like.
The center panel of Monet’s Water Lily Triptych
A smaller work by Seurat.
Well, that ends the Art Trekking for today. Hope you enjoyed it!
To be continued …
IMPERIAL ROME COMING UP IN PART TWO
If you’re visiting Saint Louis, be sure to add the Art Museum in Forest Park to your don’t miss list. It’s FREE to all, Tuesday through Sunday. Closed on Monday.
It’s May! It’s May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when ev’ryone goes
It’s here, It’s here!
That shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts
It’s May! It’s May!
That gorgeous holiday
When ev’ry maiden prays that her lad
Will be a cad!
It’s mad! It’s gay!
A libelous display!
Those dreary vows that ev’ryone takes,
Ev’ryone makes divine mistakes
The lusty month of May!
Just thought I should welcome the new month with a little musical interlude. Hope everyone joined in with the singing.
SIMPLE CODE!!! How can anyone expect me to understand the object of the puzzle so early in the morning, much less solve it? I’ll be back later.
And finally, just for elegance!
More from my Art Walk later this afternoon.
It’s been there since 1904 and it was one of the few permanent buildings built for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition also known as the Saint Louis World’s Fair. And it was built to display the art of the world. On my way to the Zoo on Tuesday (which is right down the block) I stopped to check the progress of the expansion program. I’m happy to report that a lot of the construction fencing is down, the new addition building is complete from the outside, the workmen were working on the paving in front of the new building and they grading the area prior to starting the landscaping.
I believe the circular forms are where the three rows of trees in front of the building will be planted. Between now and the opening of the new extension next year they will be testing and air, humidity, heating and lighting in the building. Only when they all check out will they begin moving and installing the art in the new galleries. The new building (gray) will access the 1904 building on the east and south sides as shown in the model.
So this time next year I should be posting about my first visit to the new building.
In case you missed me for the past week, it was my computer vacation. The computer really wasn’t on vacation, and neither was I for that matter. I just had no desire to write … not even checks … which probably would have bounced any way. So I decided to do what congress usually does … which is nothing.
And that’s why I was having difficulty in remembering what I did last week when I started writing this update entry. I finally realized that the only way to remember what I did during the week was to check my ever-ready camera and see what pictures I had taken.
The first pictures were of some bugs I had photographed on the screen of the back window.
It was easy to make … brown a quarter pound ground chuck, add a half can of leftover pork and beans, about a cup of medium heat salsa that was left in the jar, and sprinkle with the remains of a bag of shredded Mexican Cheeses. OK, so I must have cleaned out the fridge that day.
Next up was …
This was the Paula Dean recipe for Oven Baked French Toast with Praline Topping that I made for my niece’s birthday on Saturday. It was a late afternoon brunch. The recipe used a pound of butter, a dozen eggs, three cups of brown sugar and a quart of half and half. Great, but not the sort of thing you would want to eat on a regular basis.
Then one day I went to SLAM to see the restoration of the Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley by James A. Egan. (c. 1850)
This was a 7 1/2-foot by 384-foot painting in distemper on cotton muslin consisting of 24 scenes of the Mississippi Valley and the Mississippian Indians built huge earthen mounds around here. That’s how the Saint Louis got its early name of Mound City. Because the work is being restored I was only able to actually see one of the scenes.
Which was the seventh scene and the one the restorers were working on when I was there. It was upright on the gigantic contraption that could lift and lower the huge spools on which the painting was rolled and unrolled. Then they lowered it and advanced the panorama to the next scene. All this was captured by overhead video cameras and shown on flat screen TVs in the room.
They also had a screen that showed the complete panorama as it unrolled. The exhibit was quite interesting and proved it was a good thing that someone invented the slide projector.
Also the Dreaded Dome of Heat cracked for a day and I was finally able to cut and manicure the front lawn. Then it got HOT again.
Unfortunately, I can’t sell it on E-bay because I dropped it on the floor and Ms. Renee snarfed it down.
And That Was The Week That Was … or wasn’t!