Category Archives: Museums

David Hockney at the Met

Hockney has been pretty much my favorite painter for a long time. Awesome to see this exhibit at the Met. I’ve got books with the paintings in them, so I didn’t need to take photos of the paintings by themselves, but it was crowded enough that people were conveniently in front of the photos.

Vermeer

Got to go see a preview of the new Vermeer and contemporaries exhibit at the National Gallery, getting as much time as I wanted without the crowds, so I walked through the exhibit rooms four times, absorbing new details each time. I ended up being most fascinated by three sets of details: the women’s faces, generally facing in the same direction, the hands that were beautifully rendered and often in use, and the dogs – there was a hound in one picture, but all the other dogs were brown and white spaniels.

The Updated Freer

Yesterday I was lucky to get to go to a social media preview of the updated Freer space. The 18-month renovation concentrated on updating the infrastructure, but there were also many visible improvements, including a new color palette that ties each collection together. While I’ve been in the museum many times and read about Freer, one thing I found out yesterday was that Freer specified that the American collection be frozen in time, with no new acquisitions. So the Asian collection has grown greatly with purchases by the Freer, and the American collection remains a perfect time capsule. And even more than the paintings, I’ve always loved the many elaborate Stanford White frames.

Detail from John Singer Sargent “Breakfast in the Loggia”
Albert Pinkham Ryder’s “The Red Cow.” Freer purchased this work in 1908, but this will be the first time it is displayed at the Freer.

New vitrines have been created for the works. These new ones are taller than the old ones, intended to give a more open feel to the work.
Lights waiting to be installed.

For comparison, here are photos I took on the last weekend the Freer was open before it closed for the 18-month renovation:

At the time, I’d made sure to take a photo of the brass telephone booth in the basement, because I thought it would be eliminated in the renovation. I asked yesterday about it, and the answer is that the space is going to be turned into a recharging station.