I knew September 25 was Museum Day, but didn’t realize what that meant until one of my Twitter buddies posted the link. On this day, the Smithsonian partners with museums around the country to offer free admission. Sweet! So I decided to do in real life what I did on my virtual vacation and take myself to a museum for a little culture.
Out of the many options in the Metroplex, I chose the Nasher Sculpture Center. First, because my only previous visit was a quick run-through during the Arts District open house a year or so ago. Second, because sculpture–particularly modern sculpture–isn’t really my thing, so the odds of me paying to go there were kind of slim. And finally, because the Dallas Museum of Art, generally my museum of choice, had far too many family-friendly activities going on for a peace-loving spinster like myself.
The Nasher is a rather glorious building, with stone (from Italy) walls and glass ceilings. It was, as I suspected, blissfully quiet. I tried to go in with an open mind, look slowly, and give the art a chance to speak to me. Some of it was fun, some confusing, some disturbing. I learned a few things. For instance, I never thought I cared much for Picasso, but that was before I saw this:
As the proud caretaker of a thriving sunflower patch, I appreciated his subject matter. Then later I saw this:
And there was just something about it I liked. So maybe I’ve misjudged ol’ Pablo; I’ll give him another chance.
Then there was this thing, that reminded me strongly of a blue megaphone. (It’s by Anish Kapoor and is titled “In search of the Mountain”)
That is, until I walked around the end, then it looked like a dotwhack. A “dotwhack” is what we call those circle/star/callout things on ads that say things like “Buy Today and SAVE” or “FREE DVD Inside” We use then quite a bit in our materials and they often look like this:
I took that last thought to mean I was hungry, so I strolled over to the museum cafe for lunch.
Not only is the view lovely, the food is quite tasty, too. Albeit very, very spicy. I had a blackened chicken sandwich (fabulous!) that came with salt & pepper chips (Whoa! that’s a LOT of pepper); my mouth burned for about an hour afterwards.
Afterwards, mouth on fire, I went back to my perusal of the art. Here are a few of my faves:
Made me smile. I know it’s called “Moonbird” but looks like a little bull to me.
So lifelike Rodin was accused of making a mold straight from the model’s body. He had to pull out photos to prove he sculpted the thing. It is mighty life-like, except for the color, of course.
By then it had stopped raining, so I ventured into the garden. The sculpture garden is one of the best parts of the Nasher. One and a half acres, more than 170 trees, and lots of water. If I worked nearby I’d have to become a museum member just so I could stroll through the trees on my lunch hour. It’s an oasis in the middle of the city, and everywhere you turn there’s something new to see. Like this:
Appropriate setting for Eve, it being a garden and all. I believe it was this sculpture that caused another flap (Rodin was apparently a controversial guy) when he chose to exhibit it ON THE FLOOR and not on a pedestal. Quelle horreur! What was he thinking? The critics were in an uproar! Oh, the drama! Artists. Whaddya do?
This next one may well have been my absolute favorite of the day. The setting helps, but it is designed to be placed outdoors to provide windows to nature. Gorgeous color, too. I don’t know . . . I just really like it, OK?
So, feeling nicely cultured, and deciding against the purchase of the completely adorable statue made of found objects for sale in the gift shop for a mere $350, I headed back to my car. It was parked in the DMA parking garage (the Nasher doesn’t have a garage of its own) which meant I got to visit the Chihuly flowers in the art museum on my way.
Happy Museum Day!