Thursday, November 7, 2013

Finding Inspiration at the Museum of FIne Arts, Boston...

Instructions for visiting a museum...
  I visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston recently and I always find it an inspiring place to be.  This is a neon art piece (tough to photograph, especially if all you have is a cell phone!) I saw there.  A very innovative way to greet visitors.

   I use to bring my Grade 8 students to the MFA every year.  Now I just get to experience the place on my own.  Although the vast majority of the museum is about everything other than photography, it is still an amazing experience to just be in the presence of such beauty and creativity.

   I've mentioned before that visiting museums to see art, not just photography, is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.  Here are a few things I saw on my "field trip" to the MFA.

The photograph on the left is of the lobby in the new wing of the museum and the sculpture on the right is in the "old" section of the museum.  

  ( Read my post, Revealing and Concealing here.)
     I'll say one thing, I was having fun photographing with my cell phone camera! 
   A hundred years ago (well, it seems like 100 years ago...) I worked at the MFA during my graduate work at Harvard.  It was a very different museum then.  No contemporary art at all and the stuffy old galleries seemed to scream 19th century.  Now it is a world class museum.
     Some things never change this breathtaking view of the rotunda in the main museum.  They now have mirrors (which is how I made this photograph) to look at it with so you don't get a stiff neck .

   I saw an stunning show of watercolors by Boston native, John Singer Sargent.  His very impressionistic studies were marvelous, light infused masterpieces .  I particularly loved this study of a clothes line but this quotation of his landscape paintings resonated with my contemplative soul.

Sargent ignored grand, expansive vistas in favor of
 the scene immediately before him. 

   In a photography exhibit, An Enduring Vision which represents part of the extensive Lane collection of photography, I saw a work by a former professor of mine, Gyorgy Kepes.  Professor Kepes was teaching at MIT but came to Harvard where I was studying to teach a class in visual design.
Untitled - Chicago, 1939

   Kepes was a pioneer in the post war movement towards modernism and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to study with him.  So many of my ideas on structure and composition were formed during his class.  I will end this rather lengthy, for me anyway, post with a quotation from Professor Kepes...


The most convincing artistic forms of our time are inner models of structural vitality and social relevance. They give us confidence that in spite of everything there is still quality to life.


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