Sunday, August 7, 2011

Monet, Monet, Monet

I am not known for my vast knowledge of art.  Surely, you have picked up on the fact that there are a number of things that I am not a connoisseur of.   My inspiration to go to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art today was not so much that I have been waiting my whole life for three panels of Monet's Water Lilies to be displayed together but the fact they are being displayed and I don't like to miss out of anything that is unusual or rare. 

This is the last weekend of the exhibition. 

I will tell you a little bit more about the Water Lilies in a bit.

So off to the museum, we go....

One of my favorite things about the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is the
Shuttlecocks out on the lawn.

There are three of them but it is very difficult to get all 3
in one shot.

Rodin's "The Thinker" sits thinking outside of the main entrance

We, hightail it directly to the Monet exhibit as it is one of the few exhibits that require tickets.

Brought to New York in the 1950's, Claude Monet's Water Lilies triptych of Aga­panthus was separated and the individual panels were sold to the St. Louis Art Museum, the Nelson Atkins Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art.  The last time these panels were shown together was in 1979. 

Each panel measures 6 foot by 14 foot.  It is believed that Monet started working on this these paintings in 1915 and continuously kept reworking on them until his death in 1926.  No one knows for sure if he considered them finished.  Conservators know that he obsessively worked and reworked the painting.  Part of the exhibit details the x-rays that reveal layers of older paint that was painted over.

Monet walking in his garden

No one knows how many paintings Monet actually painted.  There are over 2000 that are known about, although it is suspected there were many others.  He constantly was reworking his art, throwing many away because he wasn't satisfied with them.  There are over 250 different paintings that have water lilies as the theme.

I was surprised to see how different the real paintings look in person than they do in photographs.

After we left the Water Lilies exhibit we walked through some of the other areas of the museum.  There are several other paintings on display of Monet's. One of my favorites that also resides at the Nelson Atkins is Boulevard des Capucines.

Boulevard des Capucines

After we wandered around through the galleries of the European art and the American Art we made our way to the Egyptian Gallery.

Within the Egyptian gallery there is the complete funeral assemblage from the tomb of Meretites. Meretites was a noblewoman from 2300 years ago.  Yeah, 23 HUNDRED.  Around 350 B.C.

Visitors get  to view a spectacular inner coffin and outer coffin from middle Egypt, both decorated with hieroglyphics and images of gods and goddesses. The collection includes a gilded mask and protective body plates, plus intricately carved blue and green figurines called ushabti.  These small figurines were buried with the deceased and supposedly came to life in the afterlife do their bidding.  Little workers for eternity...

These little guys come to life and become workers.
I want to be one of those that GET workers not BE workers.

After looking around for awhile, we decided to rest, read some of the brochures and get some dessert in the Rozelle Court Restaurant.

Before leaving we took a walk around the grounds to look at the sculpture garden. 

One of the newest sculptures is Ferment by Roxy Paine. His sculptures are called dendroids.

That is one big stainless steel tree...oops dendroid

Pretty complex description of a 56 ft. stainless steel tree

The Good for the Day... Seeing the art that people through time have created out of their creative imaginations.  Some of this art dates back to BC.  Isn't that amazing?

The Bad for the day... Some of it I just don't understand.

The Weird for the Day...Robert Arneson is an artist that is known for his more humorous art pieces.  In the sculpture "Pablo Ruiz with an Itch" he is taking Pablo Picasso's self portrait as his inspiration and having some
fun with it.

Picasso's self portrait

Pablo Ruiz with an itch.  You look familiar.


Cheeseboy said...

I am not a big art person, although I like to look at it, I know nothing about it. I got a B- in art history. Although I would love the sculpture garden.

Cheryl P. said...

That is a great description of me, as well. I love to look at it, love roaming around art museums, but what I know about art would fit into a thimble. I think that my occassional afternoon at a museum helps to refresh my very tired brain cells. Just don't ask me to interpret or explain why some artist did this or that. I would be forced to do you bodily harm.
Obviously, you are more knowledgeable that some...hey you got a B. Art history is one of the classes that seemed to be a favorite to take as a pass/fail.

bodaciousboomer said...

Although I made my living for many years as an artist, art history never did it for me. I always fell asleep as soon as they dimmed the lights. Of course that could be because I took it on Monday, back in the days when the weekends were actually fun.

I love the ginormous shuttlecock though. That's my kinda thing for sure.

Cheryl P. said...

Art history as a course is boring. Way to much analyzing...what do I care what the artist was thinking or if he was depressed? I am way more concerned with "would it be pretty hanging on a wall?" (or rest on a lawn or sit on a shelf)

I totally agree about the shuttlecocks. They are awesome.

I think the fact you are an artist gives you an interesting perspective to what you would think is "artistic".

Madge said...

Thank you for bringing me culture!!! My husband would never set foot in a museum unless it was full of old cars or tools or something. What a great day!!
I'm jealous.
you said shuttlecock :)~

Cheryl P. said...

I don't think museums are on a lot of guy's "favorite things to do list". My hubby is pretty open to do anything that deals with history.

Said it again "shuttlecock"..heh heh

meleahrebeccah said...

you sure are having an awesome summer, traveling, visiting Museum and such! I absolutely LOVE the sculpture "Pablo Ruiz with an Itch"! Awesome.

Cheryl P. said...

Again, you and I find humor in the same things. You have to love an artist poking fun at an artist.

meleahrebeccah said...


AletaObrien said...

Shuttlecocks? I'm laughing, can't help it. They look like "birdies" from the bad mitten game, probably not spelling that correctly. LOVED all of those pictures! You made me feel like I was there as I read the post and I wish I was!

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Aleta, You are right...that is what most people call birdies. The real name is shuttlecocks but no one typically uses that word. Probably because it is a stupid sounding word.

oldereyes said...

Oh, I'm glad I looked down from yout TST post. Monet, Monet, Monet indeed. I would love to have seen the three panels together. In spite of the fact that I post about art, I don't feel like I know much about it either and there's certainly a lot I don't get. I don't think we're supposed to get it all. I have an engineer friend who divides it into Art and Not Art, depending on whether he likes it or not. He like realism. I think to really appreciate art, you have to create so that you understand how personal the process is before you say "that's not art."

Roxy Paine's steel tree ... er, dendroid ... is pretty cool as we say in the art world.

Cheryl P. said...

Oh, I think you are far more knowledgable than me. I have read your post dealing with art but didn't feel equipped to weigh in. I am kind of like your friend with the Art or Not Art, Like or Dislike.

I like a lot of kinds of art just like I like a lot of genres of music. I don't necessarily understand a lot of it.

As far as the looks very different in person. Camera's can't capture how the light hits it. Very luminous, very subtle colors.

That tree er dendroid is cool. The stainless steel reflects the sun like a mirror.
And 56 ft. is really tall when you are standing at the bottom of it.