Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 14/60: Columbus Museum of Art

Saturday, 9/22

Columbus Museum of Art
Dan's photo
The first time we visited the Columbus Museum of Art, in 2002, they took themselves seriously as an art museum. They had a lovely, neoclassical building where they displayed their small but tasty collection with dignity. By 2012 they had transformed themselves from an art museum into a general cultural outreach center. They gave three or four galleries to a local black preacher who carved Bible stories into wooden books for Sunday school lessons; large groups from the community were touring them. Two galleries were used to display a Roman mosaic from Israel, admittedly in excellent shape; more tour groups.

Roman mosaic from Lod, Israel
Dan's photo
CMA has quite a nice collection of glass art, but instead of giving each piece its due as a work of art, they have it strung out in a couple of hallways like an antique store. They do get credit for commissioning and giving a gallery to a wonderful work by Lino Tagliapietro consisting of 35 glass boats hanging from the ceiling.

Endeavor, 1998-2003 by
Lino Tagliapietra (Italian, born 1934)
Commissioned by Columbus Museum of Art
Jan's photo

Blue Mobile Arc, 1989 by Harvey Littleton, b. 1922
Jan's photo
Fifties Diner, 2000 by Emily Brock, b. 1945
Jan's photo
Their Old Masters are double stacked on the wall and poorly lighted. They have an important work by Artemesia Gentillechi that is so badly hung that you can hardly interpret it, let alone photograph it. And then they brought in a hoard of pre-schoolers and sat them on the floor to play some game, a very loud sort of game.

Earth: Vertumnus and Pamona, 1749 by
Fran├žois Boucher (French, 1703-70)
Dan's photo
Most of their more modern work is also double-stacked and badly lighted. A woman with a raspy voice was conducting a voluble and self-satisfied tour for a few women.

Modern Conveniences, 1921 by
Charles Demuth (American, 1883-1935)
Dan's photo
Midsummer Caprice, 1945 by
 Charles Burchfield (American, 1893-1967)
Dan's photo
Threshing No. 1, 1935 by
Joe Jones (American, 1909-1963)
Dan's photo
Hudson Bay Fur Company, 1932 by
Reginald Marsh (American, 1898-1954)
Dan's photo
Cosmos, 1908-09 by
Marsden Hartley (American, 1877-1941)
Dan's photo
View of Bennecourt, 1887 by
Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926)
Dan's photo
Yellow Roses with Cage of Parakeets, 1924 by
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954)
Dan's photo
Schokko with Red Hat, 1909 by
Alexej Jawlensky (Russian, worked Germany, 1864-1941)
Dan's photo

Air, Iron and Water, 1936-37 by
Robert Delaunay (French, 1885-1941)
Dan's photo
In the past we discovered new artists at CMA that we then started to follow. This year some of their most important works of art were thrown into a Children's Discovery area with works from every period and place like a huge garage sale. I had to force myself to glean the good stuff; Dan sailed right by it.

Their former sculpture court, a beautiful neoclassical space, was being elaborately decorated with tissue paper flowers for some sort of flower show. And to top it off, their cute little gourmet cafe has been replaced by a perfunctory snack bar. Apparently they are going through some long-term renovation; it won't re-open until 2015.

We got back to the hotel by 3:30, and the day had turned gray and windy, so it seemed like a good time  to use the guest laundry. We did two loads, working together, and everything went fine.

Our itinerary called for us to eat at Schmidt's Sausage Haus and Restaurant in the German Village district, a charming neighborhood dating from the 1890s, with both homes and streets made of red brick. We arrived about 6 p.m., after the Ohio State University football game. In front of Schmidt's a dense crowd was shivering on the sidewalk, and the crowd in the foyer was impenetrable. Therefore, we ate at the original Max and Erma's; Dan had a wonderful sirloin steak, and I had excellent salmon, which counter-acted the terrible stuff I had the night before at the hotel restaurant. The service was cheerful and quick, and the atmosphere was calm and easy.

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