Museum Day 2017

Museum Day 2017
Tomorrow, Saturday, September 23, 2017 is “Museum Day” here in the U.S.

Organized by Smithsonian magazine, participating “Museum Day Live” institutions offer a free pair of admission tickets for the day.

You just need to order your tickets in advance (today), print them out and take them with you. Hundreds of museums are participating, but you must choose just one, and you are limited to one pair of tickets.

Search for a museum on this page.

You can search by name or by location. I found the Zip code search less than useful, because it doesn’t search a radius. The state lookup is more helpful (though it doesn’t cross state lines). Drill down by location on the map.

Once on your chosen museum page, click “Get Tickets” and enter your name and email to receive tickets by email.

This is all kinds of museums, art and others, and the event should not be confused with “Art Museum Day”, which takes place in the spring.


Danielle Richard

Danielle Richard, figuresatve paintings in oil, acrylic and pastel
Danielle Richard is an artist from Quebec, Canada who works in oil, acrylic and pastel.

Her subjects are primarily young women in pastoral scenes, along shorelines or in idyllic views of small boats or canoes on lakes.

Though there isn’t an overt similarity, her work reminds me of the sensibilities of some of the Pre-Raphaelite painters in the attention to nature, fascination with value relationships and the presentation of beauty.

Her website is available both in English and French, and her blog, though in French, is easy enough for non-French speakers to browse. There is a short interview with Richard on The Art Edge (part 2 here).

There is something gently dreamlike about Richard’s paintings, as though evoking those special little moments in time when it dawns on you — somewhat to your surprise — that everything at that moment is perfect.


Luigi (Gigi) Cavenago

Luigi (Gigi) Cavenago, Italian comics artist, Dylan Dog
Luigi Cavenago (also Gigi Cavenago or GigiCave) is an italian comics artist based in Milan.

He is best known for his work on the supernatural detective series Dylan Dog, for which he did cover illustrations as well as interior art.

Cavenago has a forceful, graphic style, contrasting blocks of color with areas of detail and texture. Often he does complex compositions with multiple figures and lots of implied movement.

The only web presence I can find for him is his deviantART gallery and a blog that hasn’t been updated since 2014.

The blog is still worth exploring, though it’s one of those annoying Blogger arrangements with no “Previous Posts” links. You have to use the dated links in the right column to access previous years.


Eye Candy for Today: Frederic Edwin Church oil sketch

Drawing, in the New England woods, 1855-65; Frederic Edwin Church, oil on paper
Drawing, in the New England woods, 1855-65; Frederic Edwin Church

Oil on paperboard, roughly 13 x 9 inches ( 33 x 23 cm); in the Cooper Hewitt Collection of the Smithsonian Design Museum.

Interestingly, the museum has posted two images of this work, the one above, top, which I’ll call the “cool” version, and the one above, bottom, which I’ll call the “warm” version.

The museum mentions that there are two versions of the image, and provides an essentially identical collection description page for each. Both are also nicely provided with a high-res version of the image.

Here is the cool version (also linked above), with a link to the high-res image for that version.

Here is the warm version, with its corresponding high-res image (actually higher in resolution than the large version of the cool image).

Neither gives an indication of which image is more true to the original painting. The museum used the cooler version in their online listing for a show from 2006 that included the painting.

Though the difference seems striking, this is an example of how easily images of an artwork — even those posted by museums of work in their own collections — can vary from the original. I was able to take each version of the image into Photoshop and quickly reproduce the appearance of the other image with some adjustments to hue and lightness.

It’s interesting to see the details brought out by the color adjustments, the oranges and reds that you see in the “warm” version are actually there in the cooler image, just not as noticeable; I suspect they are partly from an underpainting.


Georges de Feure

Georges de Feure, Art Nouveau
Born Georges Joseph van Sluÿters, to a Dutch father and a Belgian mother, Georges de Feure was a French painter, graphic artist and designer who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Though originally aligned with the Symbolist movement, much of his work was in the style of Art Nouveau — prints, posters, graphics and eventually decorative arts. He also did interior design and theatrical set design, as well as designing costumes, furniture and metalwork.


Eye Candy for Today: Rembrandt portrait etching

Portrait of Abraham Francen, Apothecary, Rembrandt Harmenz. van Rijn, etching and drypoint
Portrait of Abraham Francen, Apothecary; Rembrandt Harmenz. van Rijn

Etching and drypoint; roughly 6 x 8 inches (15 x 20 cm); In the collection of the Rijksmuseum.

Rembrandt was an absolute master of the medium of etching and drypoint — in my opinion, the greatest in the history of art. He is most noted for his etchings of religious scenes and landscapes, but he also did a number of elaborate portraits of patrons and other figures.

Though small, this is a formal portrait etching into which Rembrandt seems to have devoted a good deal of effort, almost as if it were a monochromatic painting.

The subject is described as an apothecary in most versions of the print, but is also is described in at least one as an art dealer. It’s evident that he was at any rate an art collector, as Rembrandt has certainly represented him that way. We see him casting a discerning eye on what appears to be a Chinese ink painting, while surrounded by other paintings and art objects.

The skull may be a memento mori, but the transparency of the small statuette is a bit puzzling to me, given the finished state of the remainder of the etching.

Etchings often exist as prints in several different states, printed at various points in their development.

It’s interesting to compare some of the versions of this portrait. The Rijksmusum itself has at least 12 different versions of the print (note the differences in this one), and you can find others in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Harvard Art Museum, the Morgan Library, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and likely a number of other institutions if you care to keep searching.

I like this particular version of the print, both for it’s clarity and feeling of light, and for the simple but beautiful rendering of the window frame and the landscape beyond.