Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Clark, Mass MoCA, and The Norman Rockwell Museum

Last weekend visited the Berkshires in Massachusetts with a group of friends to spend some relaxation time.

On Saturday we trekked to the two major museums in the Williamstown area: the Clark and Mass MoCA.

I've got to say I was really surprised by some of the paintings at the Clark. Not only did it have a great selection of paintings by people I admire, but it held a lot of famous works I'd never seen before in person (some of which I did master copies of a loooong time ago).

Here are the Sargent paintings they had on display that blew my mind:



A whole bunch of Toulous-Latrec lithographs:



Degas sculptures:


and lots more good stuff (including stuff by Sargent's teacher Carlous Duran and a William Chase original). It was a HUGE surprise, and it reminded me how much I know about some of these artists and their back stories.

At Mass MoCA there was a lot of cool fun art to look at as well, but I didn't remember the names of most of the artists. The main exhibit was by Saul LeWitt which was an awesome experience. Several rooms were painted in rainbow stripes in various patterns, perfect for picture posing.


And lastly, on Sunday on the way back we stopped off at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.

Norman Rockwell is one of my favorite picture makers, and a huge influence on me as a storyteller. I've always loved the attention to detail and storytelling that's so pervasive in his work.

The museum itself was surprisingly small though, and I was honestly a little disappointed in the museum considering the last time I saw a bunch of Rockwell paintings together was the traveling retrospective when it came to San Diego back in 2001. (The show in 2001 was life-changing).

Regardless of all that, it's still worth stopping by.

Going to see The Norman Rockwell Museum, though, made me think that it would be great if some of his better paintings were hanging in some major museums like the Met, or in a museum with other great golden age illustrators. Places like the Society of Illustrators have a lot of that great work in their archives, but not nearly enough and they are lacking a good permanent collection space that could showcase more than just a small handful of pieces at a time. Not to be critical. I guess after a weekend of essentially being spoiled by amazing work that the natural inclination would be to ask for more.

Thanks for reading,



frank

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Going to see The Norman Rockwell Museum, though, made me think that it would be great if some of his better paintings were hanging in some major museums like the Met"

Oh, Frank. You make me laugh so.

Maybe in another 40 years.

-JT

Dominic Bugatto said...

Yeah , that Sargent piece is a stunner.

Francis Vallejo said...

Agree man, Norman needs to be in the MET or any major museum for that matter.

I haven't been to his actual museum though, I need to make the trip!

benoƮt guillaume said...

"Toulouse - Lautrec ", Frank.