NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The High Museum of Art - Murderous Medea to Playhouse Windows

In addition to stopping at the Capitol in Georgia I took a look at the High Museum of Art thanks to that radio program about the MLK photography exhibit on my drive down.

Atlanta's modern buildings behind the High Museum of Art

Richard Meier was the architect, the design open and full of natural light.

The collection was great, though the museum is spread between two buildings and at first I had a hard time figuring out where to go. I'm usually good with maps but I had to ask for assistance from staff.

The marble sculpture collection was nice, I was especially drawn to the sculpture of the brooding Medea.  Not a nice story, the mythological lady has a mean streak.  She not only killed her children after her husband left her for another woman, but his new wife and father-in-law as well.  He should have known better than to leave her when she killed her own brother by dismemberment when her father chased them when they left town.

Medea Contemplating the Death of her Children

From ancient mythology to the futuristic present - gone are the good old days of carving chairs out of wood?  Who knows, it seems that 3D printing can tackle anything these days including furniture making.  The artist whose many chairs were on display combined computer techniques with craftmanship to assemble chair designs that were whimsical and interesting but I don't know how long I'd want to sit in one!

There was an exhibit featuring the work of Reverend Howard Finster.  An evangelical Baptist preacher most of his life in 1975 he heard a voice telling him to paint sacred art and he is now one of the most well known self-taught artisits.  The piece pictured below was the only one I found tolerable, I found most of the subjects on display to be emphasizing the darker side of religion and humanity and some even had what looked like dripping blood. It's always alarming to me what people will find inspiring who "hear the voice of God".  Especially with the recent 25th anniversary of the destruction of the Waco compound. Though at least one of the survivors still believes David Koresh heard the voice of God.

And let's not forget that until the September 11th attacks, the tragedy in Jonestown on November 18th, 1978 represented the largest number of American civilian casualties in a single non-natural event. More than 900 American members of a San Francisco-based religious group called the Peoples Temple died after drinking poison at the urging of  Reverend Jim Jones in a secluded South American jungle settlement. Some of the group no doubt were forced to do so, especially the children.

Let's move on from that disturbing image and on to the pleasing image of Portrait of Mrs. Morse and Two Children. Painted in 1824 by Samuel Morse who began as a portrait painter and then in his middle age contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.  Who says you can't be creative and excel in the sciences! The painting glowed and I could pratically hear the children giggling, such a delightful portrait from a man who also painted two U.S. Presidents.

window from the Avery Coonley Playhouse in Riverside, Illinois

I recognized the work of Frank Lloyd Wright immediately in the stained glass window that was one of over 30 in an independent kindergarten's clerestory.  Did you catch that word when I used it in my post about the Capitol of Georgia?  That's the line of high windows designed specifically to let in light.  Here's a link about those windows.

Nocturne Radio 1934, Walter Dorwin Teague
Walter Dorwin Teague sought to create heirlooms out of mass-produced manufactured objects lke the Nocturne Radio above which stands 4 feet tall and whose cobalt blue mirror you can see my reflection in. His first big client as an industrial designer was Eastman Kodak. How about this lovely Gift Kodak camera  designed by him from 1930? You can get one of your own on Ebay right now ranging from $200-500.  If I were a collector vintage cameras might be something I would be interested in, but I just collect photographs, not cameras.

As an architect he was involved in exhibition design on the Ford Building at Chicago's The Century of Progress 1933-34 fair, the Texaco exhibition hall at the 1935 Texas Centennial Exposition and the Ford pavilion for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park in San Diego. He also made a substantial impact on the 1939-40 New York World's Fair as one of seven members of the Fair's design board, and introduced the new National Cash Register 100 Model with a seven-story high cash register placed atop the NCR exhibition shown at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exhibition in San Francisco.  To see an image of that you can click this link to postcards from the exhibition.

Of course the museum holds many different collections, these are just a few of the things I was most interested in.  I wonder what the children below who were visiting during spring break found to like?

Bad hair day selfie

Coming this summer to the High is an exhibit about Winnie the Pooh, which not only the kids would enjoy but  I'm sure Sherry and David would like that one if they are passing through.  Sadly, I will have to miss it because my summer plans include a trip home to Newfoundland in July!