Friday Fives – museum edition

What is the best painting you’ve ever seen in a museum or art gallery?

Seeing this painting in person at the Dali museum in Spain.  It is designed to be seen close, and very far.  From far, you will see a perfect Abe Lincoln.  Near.   Far.  If you have glasses, the best way to see the illusion is to take them off… or stand back 20 feet.

What was the most interesting display you’ve seen in a museum setting?

The car sculpture thing that was in the Dali museum’s courtyard.  Too weird to explain.

Have you ever been to a Children’s museum? If so have you been as a child and/or as an adult? If so did you find it more interesting as you were older?

I probably did when I was a kid.  What is cool about kid’s museums is they let you touch stuff.  In fact, they encourage it.  Not so much in the grown up museums.  Yes, I have been yelled at a few times.  One thing I often do is strand really close.  I want to see the actual marks left from the brush strokes. So, to really dig it, you need to be inches away.  Now, I don’t so this if there are a ton of people behind me.  Also, when I do this, I always hold my hands behind my back.  I want it understood I am not going to poke or touch or adjust anything.  I just wanna SEE.  Plus, I have really terrible eyesight.   So getting super duper close might just practical.  I should also note the brush strokes thing only works on oil paintings.  I learned about brush strokes and techniques in art class, and it is fascinating.

That is one of the big way they find forgeries.  An expert might be “yes, it looks exactly like an original in every sense.  However, look super closely and see the brush strokes.  They go side to side.  However, Lono ONLY painted using up and down strokes.  It’s an almost percussive way of painting, to force the oils into the canvas.  This was common practice in the late 1700’s because that Winter was a cold snap.  So, they created a technique to keep the oils from freezing on the canvas.  It is also how we can know this painting was not done in Dec of 1783 as suspected.  That was an unusually humid winter, which created – bla bla bla.   To me, anyway, that stuff is super interesting.  it is a forensic look into technique, which also teaches us about environment, weather, resourcefulness and technique

What is the most important thing you learned in a museum

Sir, please put that down… and put your pants back on.  Actually, that super stringy piece up these explains it pretty well.  I like to learn about the technique used.  To me , it is the humanity of this person and their life experience.  Here is another example, did you know Monet had bad cataracts?  Towards the end of his life, his eyes were shit.  So, when you look at the Giverny stuff, that is likely what he was actually seeing.

AND… the most important thing I learned is that England took everything.  There is a saying that the ‘Sun never sets on the Union Jack’.  That is a one sentence history of manklind.  England used to run so much of the earth that no matter where the sun was shining, somewhere in there was a provice of England.  Anyhow, because of this, England’s museums are AMAZING.  Over time, England gave all the counties back, but they kept their shit.  To go to some of the history museums in London is to travel the world in one afternoon.  Africa, India, North America, Ireland, Australia ALL those countries were owned by England.  Now, in quite a turn of fortune… they have about as much land mass as Rhode Island.

What is your most memorable trip to a museum?

Again, the Dali museum in Spain.  Dali is absolutely my favorite artist.  I believe he is the greatest painter ever.  EVER.  Perhaps I should back up.  If you are not familiar with the name, you likely know the art.  He is most famous for this painting.

I think Dali is better than Monet, Picasso, even Kincaid!  Ok, that last part was a joke.  Am I wrong, probably.  Turn me on to other artists, I would love to learn more.

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