Friday, May 5, 2023

Carnegie Museum of Art on Off the Wall Friday

Monday, May 1st was my 30th wedding anniversary.  It seems like a big milestone, right?  Really, though I don't think of it that way.  Every day with my husband has been a blessing and I'm just glad it all turned out the way I thought it was going to back in 1993.  

Every year we try to do something together that is a little different.  This year we made a day trip to go down to Pittsburgh to revisit the Carnegie Museum of Art.  The last time we were there was 2006ish and so much has changed.  The museum is one of four Carnegie museums in the city and is attached to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  The museum has four sections, fine arts, architecture, decorative arts, and photography.  Sadly, on the day we visited the architecture and photography sections were closed for exhibit changes.  This was especially disappointing since the museum has the archives of African American photographer, Teenie Harris and his look at America from the 1930's-1970s is fascinating!

Still, there was a lot to explore in the fine arts section.  Here are some highlights...

Hay Maker, Adolphe-William Bouguereau,1869

Paul and I both loved this painting.  Seeing it in person, the woman is so striking.  I was especially struck by her hands.  When you walk through an art museum, notice the weird hands.  Hands must be hard because lots of times they end up so funky.

Harbor Mole, Lyonel Feininger, 1913

Cubism is fascinating.  When I saw this painting, it just reminded me that doing a quilt in that style was still on my bucket list.  I especially like how the artist use red to create a focal point

The Bath, Edgar Degas, 1895

I loved the composition of this painting.  The focal point is obviously the nude lady but I love how Degas put a big messed up bed flowing off the foreground of the painting.  Also the mixture of the background colors of blue and oranges is super interesting.  

The Swimmers, Carlo Carra, 1910-1913

This one is all about movement, movement, movement.  The painting is huge - 41" by 61" and when you see it all you notice is the movement of the swimmers.  It took me a moment to notice how odd the faces were on them.  It was like the faces were an afterthought.  Also, notice how the movement is achieved.,..different values of the main palette in long strokes. (note to self..file that fact away for later use)

The fine arts section of the museum isn't terribly large with its 12 galleries.  They are organized by time but it seemed like there was a lot of art there from the 19th century to the early 20th century.  Still, they definitely had a good representation of the Who's Who of the art world.  Included are Monet, Van Gogh, Hopper, Cezanne, Renoir, and John Sloan (who is one of my favorites - don't ask me why but I love his work!)  Anyways, if not the largest art museum but it is worth the visit.  

I do want to mention that your admission fee of $25 also includes the Natural History side which has a respectful collection of dinosaur fossils if you are into that kind of thing.  Although I am not, I still learned a TON from their staff.  I had no idea Carnegie was so instrumental in the collection of dinosaur bones!  Visiting both sides did take the full day and wore us both out.  I think if the other two sections of the art museum were open you would be hard press to see the whole thing in a day.  Paul wants me to mention that the museum has a respectful collection of furniture and he found it fascinating.  (of course he did...grin)

So if you're in Pittsburgh, make sure you put it on your "To-Do" List!

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