Filtering by Tag: museums

the comfort of old friends

moss covered walls of Central Park near The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

moss covered walls of Central Park near The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

exterior of The Metropolitan Museum of Art on a gray day.

exterior of The Metropolitan Museum of Art on a gray day.

The Little Fourteen-Year Old Dancer  with  The Dance Class  and  Dancers Practicing at the Barre , all by Edgar Degas.

The Little Fourteen-Year Old Dancer with The Dance Class and Dancers Practicing at the Barre, all by Edgar Degas.

detail of  Mada Primavesi  by Gustav Klimt.

detail of Mada Primavesi by Gustav Klimt.

High C (Forte Chanteuse)  by Georges Seurat

High C (Forte Chanteuse) by Georges Seurat

The Album  by Edouard Vuillard

The Album by Edouard Vuillard

Saint Mary Magdalene  or  Holy Woman  | French 1500-1525

Saint Mary Magdalene or Holy Woman | French 1500-1525

detail of  Nasturtiums with the Painting "Dance"  by Henri Matisse.

detail of Nasturtiums with the Painting "Dance" by Henri Matisse.

The Tomb of the Horatii and Curiatii  by Hercules Segers

The Tomb of the Horatii and Curiatii by Hercules Segers

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On a recent trip into New York to visit my niece, sister, and my dear friend from college, I took a few hours and spent them wandering around The Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a textile design student in NYC in the 1990s, I would go to the Met on a semi-regular basis with the help of student passes and their amazing 'pay what you wish' entrance fee. Some days I went just to see my favorite painting, which was The Album by Edouard Vuillard. I would sit in front of it for a while and then head home. What a luxury – to be able to have the time and easy distance, to visit this museum whenever my heart desired. Memories of those pre-internet days, when a glimpse of a favorite painting were not a keystroke away, are so dear to me. I loved that in order to research a textile or sculpture, I had to go in person to see it, and then spend hours in the library hand writing notes, which I would type into a finished paper on my little portable word processor. There was a great sense of adventure and satisfaction in the long process. I noticed on this recent visit, that while I still love The Album by Vuillard, it's not so much the painting that I love now, but the vivid memories of how it made me feel on my frequent visits. It's comforting seeing it and being in a place where I spent so much un-rushed time. It's like sitting with an old friend or visiting the home of a beloved relative where you spent content days as a child. Each time I visit The Met as an adult, I find new favorites and am struck by the peacefulness of a place that is always so crowded with people. If you're lucky enough to enter an empty gallery, as I did when I happened upon The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, the stillness and wonderment of being alone in the company of such awe-inspiring art, is a gift that feels bestowed directly from the artists themselves. 

recharging in new york

shopping the garment district

shopping the garment district

Kustaa Saksi - Nightless Night

Kustaa Saksi - Nightless Night

museum mile, NYC

museum mile, NYC

Jenny E. Sabin - knitted textile pavilion 

Jenny E. Sabin - knitted textile pavilion 

first time skiing

first time skiing

I spent a few days in my home away from home, New York City, last week – visiting my family and recharging my creative cells. An afternoon in the garment district with Peanut was the absolute perfect start. I introduced her to my favorite fabric store, NY Elegant Fabrics on 40th Street, where she bought organza for a dress she's making. Seeing the fabric stores with her was like seeing them for the first time again. Her wonder and appreciation for the patterns, colors, and textures that line the walls from floor to ceiling boosted my excitement about all the possibilities of a maker's life. 

I was fortunate enough to see Beauty — Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. I love visiting the Cooper Hewitt. Not only is it an amazing space but I appreciate the intimate size. I always leave feeling as though I had time to really see and enjoy each piece on display. My favorites this time included the Kustaa Saksi jacquard-woven tapestry, titled 'Nightless Night' and Jenny Sabin's knitted textile pavilion housed on the top floor. The colors are what initially drew me to Nightless Night but seeing images of nature hidden within the weave are what made me feel a true connection. Can you see the moths & bats? The incredible Jenny Sabin installation is like a other-worldly glowing igloo made from photoluminescent and solar active yarns that "absorb, collect, and deliver light." You can walk right into the pavillion, and if you're lucky enough to be there on a quiet day, as I was, the feeling is quite serene. 

All of this was made even more exciting by the pen (or wand) that you are handed when checking into the museum. It's my first time at a Smithsonian Museum since this new technology was introduced and I must say, it's absolutely fantastic. The pen can be used to explore the Smithsonian archives on interactive tables and it also allows you to tag items throughout the museum, which will be stored to an individualized account for you to access once you leave. I was able to come home and see detailed photos of my favorite pieces and read more about each one. Pretty wonderful.

My inspiration vacation was capped off with skiing in Patterson, NY. At 41 years of age, I had never been in a pair of skis prior to last weekend. I hadn't even had an interest in trying until Peanut started skiing and made it look so effortless and easy. Now that I've done it, I can honestly say that it's not all that easy but I learned french fries, mastered pizza, and I even had fun too. Super sore calves and shins for a few days afterward but it was well worth it for the liberating feeling that comes with breaking out of your comfort zone. Something I need to do a lot more often.

new things

floor shot.jpg

I was beating myself up for missing the self-imposed deadline of Feb 1st for the launch of my new website and online shop, but then I decided to cut me some slack and go with the flow. I've also learned that domain mapping is not my strong suit. So, I'm a few days late and that's ok. I'm here now, and it feels really great to have a new space. 

A few other new things ...

This is my first winter with a dog, which means lots of walks in the very deep snow with Alice. She and I have explored areas of the lake that I'd never been to before. 

I was in New York this past weekend to visit my sister and niece, and to see Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibit at MOMA. No photos allowed! But I did snap a photo of this new acquisition that I fell in love with. It's a draped canvas by Sam Gilliam. Would love to see more of his work in person.

A new shop means some new prints and products. I'm very excited about the Organic Cotton and Hemp bath towels that are in my shop. I'm not a fan of terry towels and have used linen towels for the past several years until I recently found this pique woven fabric that I think is wonderful. 

All the while, working (and playing) away these long winter days, I've been wearing my new Marsh Shawl from Alma Boheme. It was a Christmas gift from my mom and I wear it all the time. It's so beautiful, so soft, incredibly warm and comforting and it makes me feel wonderful – my cloak of calm.

life, real and imagined

Figures and Construction with Blue Border c. 1941 : Bill Traylor

Man with a Plow c.1939-42: Bill Traylor

I visited the American Folk Art Museum today for the first time. They’re celebrating their 50th year and a new location. It’s a beautiful little museum, only three galleries, on Columbus Ave & 66th St in Manhattan. Seems a fitting size to intimately view the deeply personal art displayed. The museum honors artists who were and are creating outside of the traditional art school or accepted mainstream art world. The current exhibit is Jubilation|Rumination: Life, Real and Imagined. 

My favorite works were by Bill Traylor. He was born into slavery in 1852 and spent most of his life on a plantation in Benton, Alabama, where he remained even after emancipation. At the age of eighty-four he moved to Montgomery and started creating drawings with found materials. In the course of three years he produced almost 1,500 works reflecting his life experiences. 


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