Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Cincinnati Art Museum hosts 
some beautiful work through January

Irving Penn's Woman with Roses, 1950
A Recent Acquisition
     Neil and I thought, what the heck we haven’t been to the Cincinnati Art Museum for a while so why not go?  We suggested it to Paul over lunch and, since he was up for it and we promised we could cover the new exhibits in an hour, we were on our way.   There are three exhibits on display through
the beginning of January; two are lovely as expected, the third is both surprising and spectacular.

Degas Works in Pastel in 19th Century France
     The lovelies are the following: Pastel in 19th Century France including the usual suspects of Impressionists as well as Salon painters – a number of Degas ballet dancers for instance, but the revelation is the monumental exterior Sheep Fold by Moonlight in the Pyrenees (1897) by Rosa Bonheur.  

Sheep Fold by Moonlight in the Pyrenees
by Rosa Bonheur
She was a well-renowned artist in her lifetime, but overshadowed later by art historians in favor of the shockingly new daubers (i.e. the impressionists and post-impressionists).  A nice touch was the plum painted walls in the gallery; 

Recent Contemporary Fashion Acquisitions
Fashion & Contemporary Craft mixes some new acquisitions with some gems from the fashion, furniture, and accessories permanent collections.  Moving across continents and media, what the pieces share are an attitude of eclectic bohemianism, exquisite craftsmanship, and a conception linking the 1960s to the present.

Realm of the Immortals

Entrance to Realm of the Immortals
     Realm of the Immortals on the second floor is a stunner.  I find Asian art difficult at times because the frames of reference – myths, symbols, and styles – are outside my regular point of view.  The complexity of the subject matter has been described clearly and succinctly.  Paul noted the portraiture of the various immortals and, as he said, they look very western.  
Japanese Hand Scroll of the Chinese Eight Immortals
The Immortals
Uh huh, it took the Renaissance for Europe to catch up to Asia.  The curators have made this exhibit as accessible as possible.  Where the Cincinnati Art Museum staff members move things to the level of the Met is through the presentation.  They’ve built a Daoist shrine in part of the gallery, even going so far as to bevel the edges of the timbers.  

     Contemporary Japanese prints and sculptures, placed along the mezzanine outside the Realm exhibit, engender a sense of the progression of art on the eastern part of Asia.  The CAM is well worth a visit right now.  

Could be one of my ancestors.

     Art in Bloom runs November 7 – 10 and will feature more than 60 floral exhibits by amateur and professional designers.  There are a number of different events happening during that time, many of which are free and some of which cost.  Check out the Cincinnati Art Museum website for more details.

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