R.A.H. (againstathorn) wrote,
R.A.H.
againstathorn

Saturday - The Smart Museum of Art and Great Divide's Grand Cru

Saturday morning we got up bright and early to go up to the grocery store and pick up some necessities for the week. We made out way via public transit. We were anxious about loosing our parking spot on the street, otherwise we would’ve driven. Yes, the streets were clear of snow but people still had dibs out to mark their spots and we feared not being able to find anything open when we got back. Anyway, taking the bus to and from the store worked out really well, granted we had only a small amount of groceries to transport home.

Afterward I decided to venture all the way down to Hyde park to visit the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. Believe it or not I’d never been. Getting there was fairly easy and took only about half the time I’d expected; I took the Redline down to Garfield and then the Garfield bus east through Washington Park and to Ellis Ave. Not a bad trip at all.

The number of works out on display at the Smart is relatively small compared to that of other museums but nonetheless they have a respectable collection of paintings and sculptures. There were galleries showcasing European Art, Contemporary Art, Modern Art and Design, and Asian Art, as well as a main gallery for a special exhibit, The Tragic Muse: Art and Emotion, 1700 – 1900. The Contemporary gallery was of little interest to me. The Asian segment was interesting though moreso from an archeological perspective. The Modern Art and Design gallery was neat, especially these two paintings, Homer by Emile-Rene Menard and Four Arts Ball by Guy Pene Du Bois. There was also an excellent display of still life photographs by Walter Peterhans, whose work I’d never seen before, and some cool furniture by Frank Lloyd Wright, including a very handsome dining table set.

The two galleries of interest were the European and one hosting the Tragic Muse exhibit. In the European I immediately noticed a small painting by Jean Leon Gerome, one of my favorite orientalist painters, of Pygalion and Galatea. Note that the painter made a much larger version of this piece which now resides at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other paintings of interest included Angelica and Ruggiero by Cecco Bravo, Still Life with Flowers by Michel Simons, Skitties Game by Jan Steen, and Graces Unveiling Nature by Benjamin West. There was also a statue titled African Woman by Jean Baptiste Carpenux, which I recognized from my days at Design Toscano. I must’ve sold about four resin reproductions of this piece during my tenure at the shop. I guess I should mention that it was titled Slave Girl. Arg. Also on display was a 16th century Italian reliquary which featured a small plaque of the Virgin and Child that was surrounded by lapis lazuli. Again, I’m a sucker for those rare earthstones.

The Tragic Muse exhibit was very nice as well. The overall concept of the exhibit wasn’t of much interest to me but I can see how each work related to the theme. Paintings that struck my interest included The Hold Up Friedrich Gauermann, Ophelia by Anne Lea Merritt, Child’s Grave by Joshua Hargrave Sams Mann, and Emigrant’s Last Sight of Home by Richard Redgrave.

After the museum I headed back home and relaxed for a bit. That evening Rani and I settled down for drinks, during which I broke open a bottle of Great Divide’s Grand Cru, one of their new Belgian style ales. It had a fruity finish that reminded me of a quadruple. I was quite impressed and very happy with this ale. Great Divide continues to put out some amazing products and is by far one of my favorite domestic breweries.

Anyway, we decided to stay in that night. Some zombie themed event was going on at the club which I can’t say really appealed to us. It was a good night to catch up on some sleep.

Tags: great divide brewery, museums
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