Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Vacation: Wichita Art Museum

I live about 5 minutes from the Wichita Art Museum.  It actually sits in an area that includes Old Cowtown Museum (an old west living museum) and the Wichita Bontanica Gardens, though I never visit them in the summer.  It's too hot, so I'll take the air conditioning of the art museum.  It's a gorgeous area of city that sits right by the river.  Having all this so close to me is one of the reasons I enjoy living where I do.  But back to the museum, they have free admission on Saturdays, so if I have it off, I'm there.  So during my staycation, when Saturday rolled around, I went to go visit some of my favorite paintings.

Now for some reason I didn't think to take pictures of the outside.  Probably because is was so damn hot, so for that, I apologize.  It's a shame actually because the building itself is pretty cool, especially from certain angles.  They also have some wonderful sculpture outside the museum, some of it is pretty amazing.  What's really bad is I didn't even take pictures of the lobby, which includes a ceiling of Dale Chihuly art glass.  It's a wonderful exhibit that looks like a underwater coral reef, in all it's splendid beauty.  Once upstairs you can actually walk on it, without shoes of course.  And no, I didn't take a picture of that either.  I did take a picture of his Confetti Chandelier that hangs in the upstairs main lobby.

For those of you not familiar with our art museum, it actually holds one of  the largest collections of American art.  The most famous of which is a Mary Cassat, not one I've ever been in love with, but I know a lot of people who love her.  Sorry, I didn't even think of taking a picture of it, since it's not something I really like all that much.  I did manage to take a few pictures of some of my favorite paintings that were out on display.  The museum has a large collection, most of which I have never seen out.  It's one of the saddest aspects of any museum though, all that art which the public never or rarely sees.  

Now these pictures won't be the best, for some reason, I'm not great at taking level pictures of paintings hanging on a wall.

The Cardinal by Duilio Barnabe  (Unknown)

The Window Washers by Jon Koch (1975)

Industrial Structures by James Penney (1955)
Harbor by Moonlight  by John Noble (1911-1913)
Revelation by Yasuo Kuniyoshi (1949)
Landscape by Allan D'Arcangelo (1965)

Harlequin by Charles Sebree (1954) 

As much as I enjoy all the above work, my favorite painting is one that no matter how many times I see it, it moves me in a way I can never fully describe.  The pain and human suffering hurts me every time I see it, but I can never not visit it when I'm at the museum.  There is something so enthralling about it.  I don't have the vocabulary nor the knowledge to fully explain it, so I'm not even going to try.  I wish this was a better picture so you guys could see what I see.  Every time I look at it, I notice something I don't remember seeing the time before.

The Pit by George Grosz (1946)
There was a wonderful exhibit of Mexican art, but since it did not belong to the museum, I wasn't allowed to take pictures.  Now I'm not saying I wasn't tempted, but I refrained myself.  I'm not sure when I have another Saturday off, but when I do, I'm sure I'll go back to enjoy the museum once again.


Simcha said...

Unfortunately I'm not much of an art connoisseur. The only artist I have a real appreciation for is Norman Rockwell. Though the Dale Chihuly glass you mention sounds like something I would like to see.

bermudaonion said...

That looks like a fabulous museum. The museum in Auburn had a Dale Chihuly sculpture and I never tired of looking at it!

Stephanie said...

I love art museums -- thanks for sharing these pictures. :-)

Heidenkind said...

That is a pretty nice art museum. I don't remember seeing any of the pieces you mentioned, but I do remember the Cassatt. :)

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

That looks like an awesome museum. We have a good one here in Nashville, but I can never afford to go unless it's when they offer a free day or something. And I do love looking at art. The Tennessee State Museum is free all the time so I am going to take the boys there before they go back to school. Sometimes they have some good art exhibits going on.

Zia said...

That last painting looks like it is screaming. What a strong painting. I really like the Window Washers too.

Lauren Hairston said...

I need to make a trip over there sometime soon--I'd like to see the Mexican art exhibit.

Don't feel bad--I have a really hard time taking a straight photo of paintings, as well. If you stand next to them and ask someone else to take the photo, that will distract from the frame not lining up in the shot! :-) Totally worked with me and Charles I at the Louvre.

Staci said...

Your museum is outstanding and I would love to visit!