Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Manservant, Bring Me My Wine. Is the Dog's Suitcase Packed and at the Ready?

In the spirit of scientific studies that conclude, yes, bullies select unpopular kids as targets and no, meth is still not good for unborn babies, I'd like to begin by saying that why yes, bra shopping is still atrocious and NO I won't be detailing that. Trying on new fuzzy pajamas helped me get past it. They may or may not have little white dogs sitting expectantly on suitcases. But you're probably already aware of my gear -- tonight's writing feels cozier, doesn't it?  Alas, I don't have too much time to write as I need to be getting to bed.

In any case, thought I'd revisit the last outing to the DIA. I *do* wonder if you're like For heaven's sake, how many times is she going to write about that museum?? But there's always something new that catches my eye. And it's usually part of a larger, wonderful day. To wit: this time around, Compatriot and I met for Indian buffet to start. We should have found hammocks afterward, but blithely thought the chai would kick in. Silly us, it was clearly immediately absorbed by all the rice, naan and curried awesome.

So we arrived drowsy and in need of tea. But what a scene we encountered! We knew it would be busy, being one of the last days of the year, but figured the Rembrandt's envisioning of Jesus would take in most of the crowd. We-heelll, no such luck. Called that one wrong. People: everywhere. Children: everywhere. Sweet little separate expedited members line: mysteriously absent.

We looked around in a confused fashion as we were funneled into the slowly shuffling rope maze. But that's the only time I ever get to go in a separate line! One or both of us said to the other. Airport comparisons murmured their way along the line. I thought of the irritating, officious men who are still, after years, affronted at having to take their shoes off; naturally they are wearing nicely buffed shoes with tightly tied laces. Luckily, no one suspected we would be knifing the art; and we eventually made our way. The crowds really didn't thin out in most galleries, but at least this was more of a niffing-around visit than a visit with intent, so we bopped around until we grew weary from visual stimulation and marble floors.

In between, some discoveries...

Moods of Time: Evening, by Paul Manship
This was my absolute favorite piece this time around. We trudged up one set of stairs and boom! There it was! I can't ever remember seeing it before, but how could this be? I must have exclaimed, because a man walking past with a little folding artist's stool said, looking back over his shoulder, "It's one of my favorites!"

I love the composition with its satisfying arc of movement, the rewarding roundness of the cloud bed, the stylized owls. I had never even heard of Paul Manship.

But apparently my ignorance didn't prevent him from having quite a fine, illustrious life before all of us were born. Imagine that! Born in 1885 in St. Paul Minnesota, his artistic schooling included the Institute of Art there and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (my Mom went there! I think. Am pretty sure.)
At 23, he became the youngest sculptor to be awarded the American Prix de Rome, which translated into further study at the American Academy in Rome (1909-1912 ). Even though John Singer Sargent was some 30 years older, they eventually became great friends -- he named his only son after the painter (plus his father). Manship was initially a painter, but decided to explore sculpting, due to color blindness. More artist history here.

This sculpture was one of four Manship created for the 1939 World's Fair, all depicting times of day and erected within a reflecting pool in New York City. According to text on The Pygmalian Syndrome Art Gallery's site,

"Time and the Fates Sundial and the four Moods of Time were in many ways Manship’s favorite works. They summed up his obsession with time. He believed that a major purpose of art, especially of art in the classical tradition, was to reconcile the passage of time with permanence. The monumental groups, which were executed in staff (a plaster of Paris compound) for the world’s fair, have been lost; but the working models of various sizes were done in bronze after the war, and they are among Manship’s most ingenious, complex, and inventive works." [Also at above link].

 You can see black and white photos of the sculptures together in the reflecting pool here.

Wikipediasts tell us that Manship created over 700 works during his lifetime, including busts of Teddy Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller and Robert Frost; a site for the restoration of a Manship work at the United Nations informs readers that at his very first exhibition, he sold all 96 bronze statues shown.

It would be lovely to view outside, wouldn't it?

Bonus Manships
Group of Bears: Patt Hoffman Friedman Memorial Playground

Dancer and Gazelles, 1917 (not at DIA)

Portrait of a Lady, Nicolaes Pickenoy 1630

And then there was "Portrait of a Lady," just inside the entrance to the Dutch paintings. I don't have much to say about it, because what's left to say about a masterpiece? I always like taking a moment there. It's kind of wrong to even have photos of it, because your camera/photoshop/everyone's monitor can do nothing but mess up the exquisite coloring. Whether it's your thing or not, standing before her, you can almost feel the pulse in the veins of her hands, the chill weight of the jewelry, the restraint and comfort of the opulent stomacher. 


...And then there was THIS bastard!
Seriously. All he does is sit on his little day bed, eating grapes.

His man servant comes and goes, pouring libations. Very nice posture.

 No acknowledgment. Not that he expects any.
 Amassing all manner of vessels and then tidying up and putting them away.
Whew, I love this feature. One of the great interactive spots that the museum rolled out, in line with its huge overhaul a few years back.
A few more assorted museum snaps here.

Otherwise, I'll end with two other things:

Geishas in the Gift Shop
Remember how the Threeorfour and Five got *really* excited about ice bat and I conveyed through K that he had moved into the gingerbread house? Well, I took it one step further and sent them a postcard, ostensibly from ice bat, about eating candy in the house and watching me draw. Would they believe it? Would they suddenly become sensible and pooh-pooh it? Last night I found out that not only were they totally amazed -- but based on the postcard's front, of a Chihuly sculpture in Japan, they have concluded he has TRAVELED TO JAPAN. I had NO IDEA! Perhaps I'll go back to the gift shop. 
The night ended back at Zola's.

La Coloniale was quite nice.


  1. Is Paul Manship a distant relation of Dorothy Mantooth?

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