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The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

After having breakfast at The Bad Waitress restaurant, my husband and I headed over to The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. We had no idea if any special exhibits would be on display but weren’t really worried — we simply wanted to see art (and get out of the rain).

We arrived just as the Institute was opening — 10 a.m. — as did several school buses filled with children. It was Thursday and many schools had field trips. Most of the children’s groups were going to the children’s part of the museum so it wasn’t overly crowded.

Although it’s free to visit the Institute, we paid to see the special Matisse art exhibit.

To start, we headed into an India art exhibit. The first one we saw was the Krishna Fluting.

Krishna Fluting, 1775

Krishna Fluting, 1775

The next few images were painted for Lady Mary Impey (1732-1809), an Englishwoman who lived in Calcutta. They are known to be among the world’s finest natural history paintings and have helped ornithologists in identifying the local Indian birds and habitats.

Lady Impey's Menagerie

Lady Impey’s Menagerie

Lady Impey's Menagerie

Lady Impey’s Menagerie

Lady Impey's Menagerie

Lady Impey’s Menagerie

Pretty, no?  I especially like the detail in these pictures. Now, onward to the Matisse exhibit.

Henri Matisse was a French painter who lived from 1869-1954. He was not only a painter though but a sculptor. Around 1906, Matisse met Pablo Picasso and they became lifelong friends.  Some of his paintings are quite beautiful in how he uses color “themes.”

The Pierced Rock, Matisse, 1920

The Pierced Rock, Matisse, 1920

Henri Matisse, Self Portrait

Henri Matisse, Self Portrait, 1923

I loved, loved, loved the colors in this next painting and it’s giving me inspiration on what to use for a quilt I’d like to make.

Interior, Flowers and Parakeets, Matisse, 1924

Interior, Flowers and Parakeets, Matisse, 1924

The Yellow Dress, Matisse, 1929-1931

The Yellow Dress, Matisse, 1929-1931

Two Girls, Red and Green Background, Matisse, 1947

Two Girls, Red and Green Background, Matisse, 1947

Around 1941, Matisse had a colostomy and afterwards started using a wheelchair. It was shortly after that that he (with the aid of assistants) set about creating cut paper collages, often on a large scale, called gouaches découpés.

Destiny, Matisse

Destiny, Matisse

The Knife Thrower, Matisse

The Knife Thrower, Matisse

To see additional Matisse artwork, visit the site Artsy.net.

Moving along from the Matisse exhibit, I came across a Native American Indian shirt from The Gros Ventre who were also known as A’aninin, an Algonquian speaking peopleThe sign below the shirt stated that “decorated shirts were worn on the Plains by men who were highly regarded in their community. Created by women, this honor garment was a prestige item that represented the accomplishments of the owner.”

Shirt, Circa 1890, A'aninin

Shirt, Circa 1890, A’aninin

Next, we walked into an exhibit that housed Jewish items. The instrument shown below is a Yad (Torah pointer) and was used to keep track of where you stopped reading as touching the parchment with fingers is considered disrespectful and causes the ink to deteriorate. I thought it quite funny that the end of this pointer looks like a finger.

Yad (Torah pointer)

Yad (Torah pointer)

Here are pictures of a stained glass window in the same exhibit. I also took some close-ups so you can see more of the details. Very pretty!

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

We then walked through the Contemporary Art exhibit which had a few quirky and very interesting items. I like the colors in the painting below but I’m not sure how I feel about the abstractness of it.

Urban Couch by Savannah

Urban Couch by Savannah

Continuing on in the Contemporary Art exhibit, we saw this “suit.” Do you remember playing with these Whirly Tin toys as a child? I believe they are from the 1950’s. I would never have thought to make “art” from the Whirly Toys.

Soundsuit by Nick Cave, 2010

Soundsuit by Nick Cave, 2010

See the detail of the Soundsuit?

Soundsuit by Nick Cave

Soundsuit by Nick Cave

The painting below called “Frank” was probably the most interesting to me as it looks like a photograph but is actually a painting. The details are exquisite and you really need to stand close to it to realize it’s a painting. I wonder how long it took Chuck Close (the artist) to make this.

Chuck Close was born in Monroe, Washington in 1940. He had a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 that left him severely paralyzed but he still continued to paint. Now, that’s determination!

Frank by Chuck Close, 1940

Frank by Chuck Close, 1940

Frank by Chuck Close, 1940 (close up)

Frank by Chuck Close, 1940 (close up)

Frank by Chuck Close, 1940, close up

Frank by Chuck Close, 1940, close up

This next painting took me by surprise because, quite frankly, I wouldn’t consider it “art.” But then again — what’s art to one person is junk to another. (I’m not saying it’s junk as I find it quite whimsical — just not the kind of art I like.)

P1080725

Heading into another exhibit room, I didn’t expect to see a Hans Ledwinka Tetra T87 sedan on display, but, well, there it was. It’s a beautiful car with beautiful curves and it looks like it has great functionality, i.e. a large back seating area and no blind spots. It was designed in 1936 and manufactured in 1948. I wonder if there are any still on the road?

Tatra T87 sedan, Hans Ledwinka

Tatra T87 sedan, Hans Ledwinka

Tatra T87 sedan, Hans Ledwinka

Tatra T87 sedan, Hans Ledwinka

Tatra T87 sedan, Hans Ledwinka

Tatra T87 sedan, Hans Ledwinka

Tatra T87 sedan, Hans Ledwinka

Tatra T87 sedan, Hans Ledwinka

Well, there are many more pictures I took but this post is getting quite long.

Later in the day we went to the Minnehaha Falls — I’ll post pictures of that soon.

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  1. Pingback: The National Eagle Center | Simply Norma

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