The Realtor booted us out of our home today for the “Open House” — evidently we ourselves give the place bad feng shui — and so we drove the 80 miles that stretch between Elmhurst and Milwaukee to explore one of our favorite places on earth: The Milwaukee Art Museum. Because those 80 miles will soon [quick Google search] stretch to 1,717, making impromptu visits impractical, we made a point to pay our respects to old favorites. Above is one such: a painting by Fragonard, The Shepherdess. Farm gals dressed up a bit back in 1750, I guess. She looks sort of washed out in my photo, so HERE is a link to a more detailed repro.
To the left is a detail of Robert Henri’s The Art Student. It’s a full-length portrait, and a big ‘un: almost six and a half feet. I was standing below and to the right to avoid the glare of gallery lights on the heavily impastoed paint, so there’s a bit of distortion, but I really wanted to capture the expression of the model — an actual art student of Henri’s. Look at those worried brows; the rings under the eyes, the pursed lips. Heh. The picture may be from 1906, but it captures art students from every age. I’ll miss the frazzled kid. Here’s a link to the full painting: CLICK ME! CLICK ME!
To the right we have stacks of “ointment pots” done in his spare time and just for the pleasure of it, by ceramicist J. Palin Thorley. His career, which began in England’s Wedgwood factories at the beginning of the 20th century continued in Colonial Williamsburg right through the ’70s. He worked in every style from Colonial (natch) to Deco but was nowhere more charming than in these little ceramic “sketches” which he knocked off just for the fun of it. I apologize for the imperfect focus of the shot, but MAM policy precludes tripods. Sorry.
And now, to finish in a woo-hoo burst of color, below is a fresh slice of Dale Chihuly’s gigantor glass work, Isola di San Giacomo in Palude Chandelier II. Hard to believe there are two such things, but that’s what the title implies. There’s a short video of it on YouTube (CLICK HERE TO SEE IT) which is kind of wobbly and grainy, but gives some idea of the dimension.