Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Glimpse in the National Gallery of Art

I was on vacation last week in DC and got the opportunity to spend a little time in the National Gallery of Art. Due to time constraints and having only about an hour there, I stayed in the corner of the American Wing mostly. I was on a search to see the Thomas Moran paintings, and unfortunately found out that they were not on exhibit at is time.

I wish I had more time to spend in the museum to linger in front of pieces and see the work of Europeans and others I had to bypass. Still, I was able to see some incredible pieces, including Whistler, Sargent, Homer, Eakins, Turner, Cole, Inness, Gifford, Heade and more. The Whittredge really blew me away. The sense of light in it was gorgeous. A painting that a photo does not do justice. And one of the big things I noticed, too was how they displayed the work. The Whistler is very large and could be seen down the hallway through an arched doorway, which made it a centerpiece worthy of its beauty. The walls in different rooms were different colors and the paintings used in the areas were accented by the color usage on the walls (as a whole). It really got me thinking about how to display work for it's greatest effect.

I wanted to share some of the pieces that really caught my eye. Some you may have seen before and some you may not have. I highly suggest if you are in the DC area to see the art museums. There are several and just seeing one is worth the trip. And make sure to allocate more time than I had, for there is much to see.

1. James McNeil Whistler — The White Girl (Symphony in White, No.1)

2. Alfred Thompson Bircher — A Quiet Day near Manchester

3. John Frederick Kensett — Beach at Beverly

4. Jean HonorĂ© Fragonard — Young Girl Reading

5. John Singer Sargent — Repose

6. Worthington Whittredge — Second Beach, Newport

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Life's Work

To really get to know and understand an artist through his work you should look at his complete inventory and take a look at his life as an artist. Two of my favorite painters, George Inness and Thomas Moran, have websites with a fair amount of their paintings. The Inness site is a collection of his work, with only a brief amount of information on the man himself. While the Moran site is more of an historical perspective of his work and the artist over the years of his life. While the Moran site has several paintings and nearly all of his more famous ones, it in no way is a thorough representation of his oeuvre. Both are excellent sites to visit for differing reasons. I'm just happy we get to share in these artists' work, and wish more sites like these were up and running. Could you imagine a Sargent site or a Corot? Or an N.C. Wyeth one? Or even some lesser known artists like Hugh Bolton Jones or Bruce Crane or George Hitchcock? Not to mention a Monet site with all of his haystacks. How spectacular that would be.