Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Philadelphia Museum of Art

See the folks getting their wedding pictures done?

So, back to Philadelphia and the art museum. Not only does it have cool statues around it, it also has art inside - imagine that!  And even better, they allow photography, as long as you don't use a flash. So what follows are some of my pictures from inside the museum (well, after this one and the next one which are both outside). I had less than an hour and a half to see the museum, and the steep price of admission (which I was happy to pay to support art etc, just not more than once in a week) meant that I couldn't come back later to see what I had missed. And thus began a whirlwind journey through some of the treasures of the world.

OK, so we are still outside for this one. But isn't it cool? They have painted the frieze so that it looks much like architectural historians speculate Greek and Roman temples really would have looked like - not the plain white marble we are used to seeing. (I know, this escapes the column, and as much as I want to give you the best picture possible, I am not good at coloring outside the lines, so this makes me anxious. But art needs to be seen, so I am going to ignore that feeling. I think I need a wider column...)

I honestly have no idea who this is, since I didn't bother to take a picture of the identification. This is Mary Anne Heide Norris by Thomas Scully. I thought she had an interesting expression on her face. Look at the shine of the silk of her dress and the furriness of her stole. I am always blown away by the abilities of painters - there are very good reasons I stick to photography.

[Library-related Diversion for a moment: The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a really good example of a digital library for its art. You can search by artist, classification, origin of art etc. There are no limiters, so I couldn't search for Mary Anne by "painting NOT landscape," but that is sort of a minor quibble that probably doesn't come up for most scholars, since they would probably at least know the painter they are looking for. And they do have a social tagging feature, which allows casual visitors like me to help put more metadata on pictures. For instance, this painting did not come up under the social tag for "portrait," but when I found the painting through a more laborious search, I was then able to add "woman" and "portrait" to its list of social tags. Pretty cool. There are many examples of digital libraries that don't work all that well, so it is nice to find one that works. In all, I have been extremely impressed with the ease of searching for the art in Philadelphia and the information available. Okay, back to the art].

OK, coloring outside the lines for this one too.
This is Thomas Moran's Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. The play of light on the rocks is just right, what you actually do see when you are there. I have seen pictures of this painting in books before, and copies at art galleries in Sedona, so it was a little thrill to see the original in person.

I cannot find this armoire in the collection catalog, but I believe it is Pennsylvania German, since that was the group of furniture it was with. Sorry about the glare on the window in front. Anyway, there was quite a lot of interesting furniture, and apparently there was a lot more in one of the other branches of the museum. 

This jug made me laugh. I did manage to take a picture of the information about it (same as the info at the link), because I knew I would want to share it with you. And I have a friend who is a potter who used to live in Asheville, NC.

Next time - vases and ancient puppies - even 2000 years ago, people loved their puppy pictures!

1 comment:

Candace said...

thank you...had no idea the art museum was so spectular. Deserves a trip by us!