Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday at the Chrysler Museum

My last four days have centered around the Chrysler Museum. On Wednesday, when we arrived -- that's one of the first places we explored -- pretty much running through this massive, beautiful collection. I picked out favorites and amazing surprises early ... and those stuck in my head while I painted. There's a special exhibit going on now, "Our Community Collects" -- with  pieces on loan from private collections throughout the Hampton Road area. What treasures! Since you can't take photos in the temporary exhibits, I can't show you ... but in there is a John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925) watercolor, "Biblioteca Marciana, Venice" that I wish were hanging in my house.
"At the Florist" 1889, Frederick Childe Hassam (American, 1859-1935), Chrysler Collection

The Chrysler Museum holds a collection of 30,000 works of art. I spent a good bit of Saturday between handing in my paintings and the reception looking back through the museum. This piece of Frederick Childe Hassam is stunning. I love how the woman's apron ties in with the wraps around the flowers and the wall of flowers mimics the headpieces of the women in the background.
"MacPherson and MacDonald" 1918,  Gari Melchers (American, 1860-1932)

I got a kick out this painting of two Scotsmen by Gari Melchers. They'd come from the battleground to participate in a parade in New York. Melchers wrote to his wife about meeting these two men who couldn't be more paintable. I can relate. There's a sense of humor at play here, too. Both painter and collector obviously appreciated it.

On the Chrysler Museum's home page, they offer a warm welcome to all. That's just how the place feels. There's someone to open the front door for you, who immediately greets you with a "Welcome to the Chrysler" --like they mean it. Entrance is free. All the museum employees are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, friendly. This is exactly as it should be. On Saturday, I entered a gallery of white marble sculptures for the first time. There was a table with black papers and white pastel pencils for visitors to try their hand at drawing from those "models." I would have done so if Randy hadn't done enough waiting around for me -- for days. Pretty cool, though.

Favorite piece: "Returning from Mass" c. 1920, Francisco Gras
As tough as it is to choose, my favorite painting there is "Returning from Mass" (c. 1920) by Spanish painter Francisco Gras (1897-1941). Gras studied with Joaquin Sorolla in 1915 (lucky him!) and Gras must have been listening. This painting shares the quality of light and color for which Sorolla is the master.

Read more about the Chrysler Museum and collector Walter P. Chrysler, Jr on the Museum's web site:

National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, NYC, Awards Reception, Friday, October 28

National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, NYC, October 4-28

The Art League's October All-Media Membership Exhibit,  105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA. My charcoal drawing of "Oscar" was juried in and will be on view through November 7. "Cubanelle and Roses" is in the Bin Gallery.

American Artists Professional League 83rd Grand National,Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue, NYC, Nov. 1-11

To read more about the 100 Faces in 100 Days project on my web site (, go to the 100 Faces Project Pages 1 and 2 where you can see all 100 of my volunteers. Click on the paintings, and go to my blog post for that person's sitting.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page 1 (faces 1-54):
100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page 2 (faces 55-100):

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