After reviewing the guidelines of the Gallery Review project I knew that just going to any museum or gallery would not get the job done. I understood that I would have to sit down and prepare a plan as to where I would visit. This required me to include many factors, such as where would I feel most comfortable, should I invite someone to come with me, and what type of things I expected to learn. I also understood that it was not going to be easy since I have never had an interest in art. I like art and I have grown to appreciate art because I now know the full meaning behind art. So as you read you will be able to understand and almost feel like you were with me while I visited the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and the Mint Museum located in Charlotte, NC. Some interesting things that I want you to pay close attention to how the mediums influenced the artist and how the museums go about receiving and accepting gifts. Well I am going to get started!
I was able to see different styles of art from all different parts of the world. There were pieces of art that told a story, pieces of art that showed expressions, pieces of art that described a certain place or thing, and there were pieces that did not have any type of direct structure; as to the meaning; but, it had a purpose. Art has a way of never repeating sure there are duplicates of art work but, there is only one original. When I started this journey art meant, boring, pictures of old stuff. I had formulated a stereotype of what art was. Consequently this leads me to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
My first art exhibit was “Young America” on display at the American Art Museum. “Young America” a few words popped into my head when I thought of this topic. “Caucasian people, American flags, war, presidents, etc. But I was wrong; once I began to walk around I saw things that proved my earlier perceptions wrong:
“Boy playing Marbles” (1858 David Gilmour Blythe) The Young America exhibit, displayed art that grabbed my eye. This portrait composed with oil during 1858 illustrates a vagabond the young male has torn ragged clothing which suggests he has little or no parental guidance. I particularly liked this painting because it showed youthfulness and just how easily children are entertained. This is seemingly amusing to young adults and many older adults when you start to think about the fact that we are entertained however not in that way.
As I moved towards the middle of the room I noticed to my right I saw peaceful and scenic sunset painting comprised of clouds and made with oil. This painting was so serene and peaceful once I began to read the caption I realized that I was wrong. The painting named “Aurora Borealis” (1865 Frederic Edwin Church) which was inspired by the last phase of Civil War. Now war is not peaceful and serene it is violent noisy, and bloody. Likewise this painting shows that art can be misleading in many ways. You think you can judge a painting by just looking at it but you may need to read the captions to understand the essence of the painting. My visit at this museum has made me want to view some art in the form of a sculpture or at least something that expressed elements of my culture so I traveled to another museum same location Washington DC’s Smithsonian but just another building.
While on my way to the National Gallery of Art I seen beautiful people and playful children and I thought that is a form of art right there. While walking into the National Gallery of Art there were many different sections and galleries to visit. Out of the many rooms, I chose to visit the room that displayed sculptures. I love sculptures they are life like figures. You can actually visualize them walking beside you in the street or sitting behind you while your in class. There were many sculptures but only two caught my eye. Over in this grim little corner sat a very small sculpture called “Rosita” sculpted by Artistide Mailld (1890/1899 Terracotta).
The “Rosita” sculpture is so petite in size compared to the sculpture that stands directly across the room. The Roman sculpture that I see in my eyes reminds me of something that I have read about in a book. “The Age of Bronze” artist Auguste Rodin (1898 Plaster) with the help of the Director well she maybe wasn’t the director of the building she was still helpful. Ms. Reid explained to me that the artist struggled for a year and a half to finish this sculpture the sculpture is actually him. He wanted to make something people could remember him by. These sculptures help me to digest and distinguish between the many different forms if art. To stay on track I went to one more museum that museum is apart of the Smithsonian Institute but isn’t in the same location as the other museums.
I had to hop on a train and then walk a couple of blocks but I was in good company so I didn’t mind. I ended up in The Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture. By the title alone I was anticipating to see beautiful black paintings, African cloths and so much more. But was I wrong, the museum is more of a culture center more so than a exhibit area. I viewed many things like photos and actual pictures that were made by the community’s children. I asked a worker where the exhibits were and she informed me that, what I was looking at actually was an exhibit. I thought this was the best exhibit simply because it shows that as African American people have such beautiful talents and to display. After such a beautiful visit at the Smithsonian I decided to visit a museum in Charlotte, NC this is where my journey ended at the Mint Museum.
The Mint Museum many displayed things that you can touch and things that you can not touch. My favorite piece of work that is always on exhibit was the “Bamboo Bench” (1999 Judy Kersley Mc Kie cast bronze) I loved that piece because it was something I could sit on. The other piece that I loved was Michael Lucero’s “American Cohasset” (1990 made of white earth ware, glazes and steel gift) this piece caught my attention because it was a city and all the things that made a city. All the museums offered something different and they all showed that ART is in fact everything.
My journey opened my eyes and expanded my vision so much. With the help of the workers I learned that art is what you make it and it is in fact all around us.