Monday, February 6, 2012

Hello Monday! Hello Museum!

I took the day off yesterday and went with myself to the Baltimore Museum of Art. Sometimes you have to go alone as to not be influenced by anyone else’s opinion. I went to see the print show which was a fine collection of more than 350 prints ranging from modern day and as far back as the 16th Century. It was impressive. The museum is free and they have an amazing Jazz Brunch on Sundays. I took my time and strolled through the whole museum. It’s certainly smaller than the Louvre or The National Gallery, but just as classy. I wanted to share my thoughts with you about a few of the things I saw along the way (Please excuse the quality of the photos, they were taken with my phone camera):
·         The recent popularity of Fantastical Art is not a new phenomenon. The early Renaissance painter, Albrecht Durer, was making grotesque and unusual scenes since the 1500s in his woodcut series called “The Apocalypse”. It’s amazing that we have been fretting the end of the world for so long. I think these prints were my favorite of the whole museum (yes, over the Impressionists!)

Albrect Durer (detail)
Albrecht Durer (detail)

·         When French Impressionists were at their height, so were the America painters. They are often overlooked for Monet and Renoir, but I do love the works of William Merritt Chase, Willard Metcalf and Childe Hassam. It was nice to see the museum had a modest collection of American artists.

·         As for the famous Impressionists, there were some of those as well. Monet, Renoir and Degas’ Dancer statues. But my favorite painting of that group was one of Cezanne’s paintings of the Sainte-Victoire Mountain near his home in Aix-en-Provence. I’ve been to Aix and I have seen the landscape with my own eyes. The color is not an exaggeration, it is beautiful and that is why so many artists flocked to that area.

Cezanne, Sainte-Victoire Mountain
·         No matter how hard I try, I just don’t care for Matisse. I’ve been to his home in Nice, France and I have seen his art in many galleries but I think his work looks unfinished. It’s sad because he worked tirelessly to achieve that style and well, it’s just meh. I have the urge to take the canvas home and see if I can’t help him get the job done!

Matisse (at least it's colorful!)
·         If you’ve been to a few art museums or studied art books, sooner or later you can start spotting certain artists from afar. Sometimes it can be a fun game I play to challenge myself to spot the artists before I read the plaque. Picasso and Monet are give aways, but I'mm still learning Corot and Courbet. There were so many familiar painters, but all new pieces to me as this was my first time visiting this museum.

·         Finally I must say, the world needs more women artists! The whole impressionist wing was donated from a couple of sisters who had diligently collected everything, including art. Rich, powerful women, The Cone sisters traveled to France and were major patrons to the arts, and yet they hardly noticed any women painters. I fear this habit still hasn’t changed in our modern day, but I have my eye out to discover the great women painters in every museum I go to, even if they are tucked away or wedged between the rest of the art world.
by Rosalie Lorraine Gill
Georgia O'Keefe

  • To finish up the trip I came home and tried my hand at the macabre! I have never done fantasy/fantastic art before, but Durer's wood carving prints inspired me, and I have my Sketch 29 assignment I gave myself, you have my try at sketching it and a close up of the print. This has given me all kinds of wonderful ideas! I hope you have enjoyed the tour and have a Happy Monday!

Death of the Devil after Albrecht Durer, by Kellee Wynne Conrad

Original print by Albrecht Durer (detail)


  1. Great sketch, I love it! I had a professor who was Matisse obsessed- she would literally point out how his work related to each and every assignment. I don't get it either.

  2. Albrecht Durer visions woodcuts are incredible!
    Is nice to hear about this world needing more
    Women artists...
    love this wonderful art tour:)
    I enjoyed stoping by...