When the temperature starts hitting 104*F (40*C) regularly here in Virginia- with a heat index of 108*F (42.4*C) -110*F (43.3*C), it is NOT the time to be going out and about. So we stayed in town, and ran errands.
However, today, being the day we normally like to do a little gardening, we instead went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). The museum had recently undergone a year long renovation, and had a brand new (and huge) wing added to it. Not all of the new exhibition space is open, there are two opening later in the year, but there was more than enough time to spend a few hours in there, with children in tow, admiring the exhibits.
As an amateur artist, I of course have my favourites.
For instance, there was the painting by Artemisia Gentileschi- "Venus and Cupid".
You should click on the link for a better view...
The vividness of the blue- the beauty of her technique and the fact that Artemisia was the very first woman admitted to the "Accademia di Arte del Disegno" in Florence, Italy. Wow!
Then there was the impressionist exhibit- with my favourite painters- Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh- although they had only a few pieces by these great names!
Or the modern exhibits with works by Picasso, Matisse and Warhol... I admit, I was a little star struck :)
But the thing that blew my mind, was the sculptures by DEGAS. I was surprised, to say the least. I have been familiar with the paintings by Degas, of his dancers- but had no idea he was a sculptor as well. The museum said that people had claimed his sculpture of La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans (The Little Dancer, Age Fourteen), was UGLY. Well I didn't think so...
There are several castings of this sculpture- in museums all over the world!
There are several of his horses there too, and apparently some of the original artist's carvings (I was rushed through the exhibit before I got a chance to really see it all!!)
It was a delightful trip though, nice air conditioning, relaxing art works- what more could you ask for? :)
Well... I did wish there was a little more in the way of mediaeval stuff. And I really wished they had a textiles exhibit- they were missing out on lace in particular- there is a lot of art involved in lace design, and it was very much part of the commercial aspects of life for centuries!
In the meantime, if you are in Richmond, VA, take a look at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts- it really does have a great collection :)