This week my wife and I drove to Cincinnati to visit with family. We usually take two days to go up, since it’s a 15 hr drive. Since it is a long trip we normally play some books on tape along the way. This time we listened to Christopher Moore’s Sacre Bleu. We really enjoy the humor of his books and it makes for an entertaining drive. I had gotten Sacre Bleu without paying too much attention to what it was about and was thrilled to find out it was about the Impressionists in Paris in the late 1880’s.
I have been watching some biographies on Vincent Van Gogh lately and had gained some familiarity with the Impressionists,. Even though this book was fiction, it gave quite a bit of accurate information about them, ie. Who were the main artists involved, their different styles and many of the key events in their lives. This did even more to prompt me to want to learn more about the Impressionists and their styles.
After visiting with family for several days, my wife went out with her sister and left me on my own. I decided to go to the Cincinnati Art Museum since they had a special exhibit entitled Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth. I thought this was going to help me expand my knowledge about Van Gogh, but when I entered the exhibit, I realized that Sous-Bois (undergrowth) was a whole movement of the Barbizon School where many of the Impressionists started. As I walked through the exhibit I saw one painting after the other from artists discussed in the book. It was great to see close up the and really begin to understand the details of their work.
Van Gogh “Two Figures”
The book also helped me realize how all these artists were friends and built off each other. Paris from 1850 to 1895 must have been an amazing place for art.
After the exhibit I wanted to check out some of the other works in the museum and as I walked onto a second floor balcony, I saw a display of containers. It turns out it was another exhibit entitled “Contemporary Art in Glass, Ceramics, Wood and Other Media”. This was work from the collection of Nancy and David Wolf. The first piece I saw was Cindy Drozda’s “Green Oyster”. I was happy to see that woodturning was represented and then saw a number of pieces from woodturners that could be considered foundation pieces for new directions in woodturning. Rude Osolnik, David Ellsworth, Christian Burchard, Todd Hoyer, Phillip Moulthrop and others were represented.
Cindy Droza “Green Oyster”
David Ellsworth “Pot”
Rude Osolnik “Pot” and Grant Vaughn “Enfolded Form” in the back
Phillip Moulthrop, Robert Howard and Thomas Nicosia pieces
Todd Hoyer and Christian Burchard pieces
It was nice to be so immersed in art for a couple of hours.