Have you been to your local art museum lately?
I think it’s always worth the trip! (the title picture here I took standing in the Frank Lloyd Wright room of the MIA, looking at the Minneapolis skyline through a gorgeous arts and crafts metal screen)
It had been a few years since I’d been to the art museum that is closest to us, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, in Minneapolis, MN, but, the other day, being close to my birthday, my sweet husband, knowing how much I love to go there offered to spend the afternoon there with me, so off we went!
They are having a special exhibit ‘The Habsburgs’ through May 10, 2015. We did pay the $20 fee to see that, (otherwise to just visit the art institute there is no charge, but they do encourage you to buy a membership or donate a bit, is not required though). We weren’t allowed to photograph in the special ‘Habsburgs’ exhibit, but I can tell you, it was really amazing. This is the first time this famous Austrian collection has ever been to America. There were gorgeous horse drawn chariots and sleighs with the likes that fairy tales are made from. And it was just as interesting to read about the history of the Habsburg family. Some generations of rulers and family members were not so nice, while others were heroes in their bravery to rescue Jews and Christians. Very interesting, I highly recommend it.
But there are other exhibits that are at the Art Institute all the time, and I never tire of seeing them. Here are a few things I saw, that I was allowed to photograph:
My all time favorite style of painting is impressionism, and I’m mesmorized with Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings as well as his life story. To me, unlike some paintings that seem to painted by artists that are trying to please others, Van Gogh’s paintings have a raw emotional expression revealed in them. The thick paint and chosen colors speak volumes to him truly expressing his true self, troubled self at times, and all through the paint, brush and canvas.
This very large Maxfield Parrish painting with it’s beautiful colors always conjures up almost magical dreams.
‘Abundant Fruit’ is a lovely mid 19th Century painting. Doesn’t its lavish display of fruits contrast sharply with the simple lifestyle of ‘Landscape with Cattle and Sheep’ painted in the same year.
And there are of course local artworks…
Such as this beautiful gray toned painting by Robert Koehler depicting a rainy evening in Minneapolis in the early 1900’s.
Or this painting by Grant Wood depicting a small town in Iowa. Grant Wood is the artist that painted the well known 1930’s painting ‘American Gothic’… you know the stoic farmer sporting round glasses with a pitch fork in hand standing next to his aproned wife with a stressed far away look in her bright blue eyes, standing in front of their gothic style farmhouse…
Of course, there are all sorts of artworks you can find exhibited at the Art Institute besides paintings…
This stained glass window from a Jewish synagogue was stunning, and even though this picture doesn’t do it justice, I really wanted to share it with you.
But there are much simpler pieces of art to behold as well…
There is a whole wall full of a great collection of American rooster weathervanes!
Including this single layer copper silhouette rooster.
As well as this golden colored one.
I’ve got to wrap up this post, but I wanted to share one more painting with you…
To me, it’s the ugliest painting of a woman I’ve even seen, and yet somehow every time I go to MIA I’m drawn to stare at it.
Supposedly the artist back in the mid 1700’s was very sought after and well known… I’m not sure I would have been too happy with his work if he would have painted me with this look, but apparently the family that commissioned him was pleased with the outcome!
What do you think?
The description states that the artist purposely painted her with a ‘masculine’ look showing her strength, yet daintily pulling up her gloves.
Can’t see it well enough?
Here’s a close up of her face: (I feel like I need to put quotes around the word ‘her’ 🙂 )
She even has a 5 o’clock shadow! I don’t know… is it just me? or are we maybe missing something here?
Well, now I just can’t leave you with what I describe as a ‘hideous woman painting’, after all the gorgeous things I’ve seen there, so here’s one more:
Here we go, the exact opposite of that painting is this Renoir painting… it embodies the beautiful soft effect he’s so well know for.
Hope you can get to your local art museum and be inspired by great artworks as well! I am working on another post about my visit there, I want you to see the fabulously inspiring Norwegian painted cupboard I saw there.
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If you’re close to Minneapolis, here is the information for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts:
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