Saturday, March 08, 2014

Yes, we DO enjoy a visit to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

On our visit to the art museum over a year ago, we chose to go with a guide.  I'm really glad of that, because we learned a great deal about modern art and became more open-minded about most of it.  
Cliff spent a lot of time dozing on the couch Tuesday and Wednesday.  That isn't typical behavior for him, even in winter, so I asked him if he felt all right.  To which he replied, "Dang it, can't I even take a nap in my own house?"  
Or something to that effect.  I reminded him that he has had a habit in the past of hiding his illnesses until they become so extreme that they become life or death, so I never know how he feels.  He assured me he felt fine.  I informed him that in that case, the next day we were going someplace, anyplace, to get out of the house.  In my own mind, I thought maybe we'd go to the World War I museum again.  
Thursday morning I checked that website and found out admission is $14 apiece every day except Wednesday, when it's $7.  No way am I going to visit on any day but Wednesday!  So I told Cliff we were going to Nelson-Atkins instead, which is free except for the $8 it costs to park.  
After we walked in, a gentleman asked if we needed help finding anything and asked what sort of art we liked, naming off various kinds:  When he said European, I told him that was what we would look at, and he pointed us in the right direction.  
We did our guided tour last year through the modern stuff, but I really enjoy the paintings from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century most.  I like realistic pictures.  While Cliff hadn't been so enthusiastic about looking at art, it didn't take him long to get into the spirit of things.  Keep in mind that he is always curious about how things are made, or how things are done.  So he had plenty to keep his mind busy.  By the way, it didn't even occur to me to take my better-quality camera, so the pictures I took were with the Ipad, and not such good quality.  


    While I have very little interest in any kind of dishes, no matter how old, Cliff spent a lot of time checking that sort of thing out.  


This piece, carved out of one piece of ivory, fascinated both of us, but especially Cliff, who can't imagine how anybody did this delicate kind of work without breaking something.  It's "Fall of the Rebel Angels", done in the early 1700's.  It measures 10 3/4 inches tall by 6 inches.  At the top, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are present, the Holy Ghost represented by a dove atop the cross.  


I sure wish I'd had my good camera!  This was one of my favorite paintings.  If I could have a reproduction of something to hang on my wall, I might choose this one.  We both noticed that if we got too close to the picture, it wasn't as clear as it was from five feet back.  


There was just something about this picture that beckoned to me.  This young thing was the mistress of some rich guy, and he had several portraits done of her by different artists.  Until I read that bit of information, I was thinking she was a ten-year-old girl!  


This was not a huge painting.  I spent a lot of time looking at the various people, seeing what they were doing.  It was sort of like "where's Waldo":  There are kids playing and a lady crying and a guy up on the roof looking down... when you see the real thing, it's amazing what all is going on.  It's from 1730.  


This is one of the most prized works at Nelson-Atkins.  Believe it or not, it's St. John the Baptist in the Wilderness (done in 1604).  This isn't how I picture John.  I would have guessed it to be David.  John wore camel's hair clothes and ate locusts and stuff.  


Look at me, standing next to a painting worth who-knows-how-much!


This is NOT one of my favorites, but since I'm reading "The Monuments Men", it was of interest to me that this is one of their rescues.



We both enjoyed our time (even if Cliff won't admit it).  It amazes me that I can stand and view paintings created so many centuries ago, close enough to touch them.  Not that I would touch them, because the place is heavily patrolled by people whose job it is to safeguard these treasures.  

5 comments:

TARYTERRE said...

Looks like a wonderful way to spend the day. The artwork is lovely. That's what I need to do, is get out of the house.

Margaret said...

That is incredible art!! I love the impressionist style, but you're right--you can't get too close to it. I'm also amazed by the ivory. I am not a fan of modern art, so this is much more my style. I would love to know how many pieces of art I've seen were saved by the Monuments Men! They don't normally list that fact. I've been to the Met, the Getty, the Smithsonian, the Louvre and the impressionist museum in Paris as well as some museums in Italy and Spain. Now I really must look for a list of pieces saved by them and see where they're located. :)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Museums are wonderful places to visit. It is amazing to see all that wonderful and varied art preserved for ages to come. Just like all of us, each artist sees things from a different perspective. Thanks for sharing your trip, I enjoyed seeing it all too.

Ms Martyr said...

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the young girl with the tambourine was she looked just like "Pinky" at the Huntington Library in California. Since you mentioned that there were several paintings of her by different artists I'm going to do some research and find out if I'm right.

Ms Martyr said...

No, Pinkie or Pinkey, was a young girl of approximately 11 years of age. She died about a year later.