Frank Denton - The Rogue Raven

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Visit to Vancouver Art Museum

Early September: Recently we traveled north to Vancouver, B.C. to catch an art exhibit at the Vancouver Art Museum. We had not been to British Columbia for a couple of years and were surprised at how much the traffic had increased. I think Vancouver’s geography is even worse than Seattle’s. The city is very much hemmed in my mountains and water. High rise apartments and condominiums are dense in the city. Much growth has occurred across the Lion’s Gate Bridge over Georgia Straits in West Vancouver and North Vancouver. Houses have been built up the mountains as far as they can go, I suspect. The other way for growth is out the Frazer River valley to the east. Thus the heavy traffic out that way. And that highway is having a lot of construction along it. It looked like light rail perhaps.

The exhibit we saw was one of sketches, studies and drawings by the Impressionists. There were ninety-seven pieces in the show. Most were in charcoal, red chalk or pastels, although a few were in watercolor. All of the important Impressionist artists were there plus many minor artists, or should I say, artists with whom I was not familiar. Renoir, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gaugin, Manet, Seurat, Pizzaro plus many more.

These drawings were from the collection of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Oddly enough, they have never been exhibited there. Apparently the museum does not have the space to exhibit drawings, although such a space is being planned for the future. These drawings were only going to be shown in Vancouver and then were to go directly back to Paris and into storage. So if a French person wanted to view these drawings he or she would have to come to Vancouver.

We spent nearly three hours in the exhibit and had no time for any of the other exhibits on display. Anybody who loves art and has taken their time with an exhibit knows how tiring it can be. Although we missed the other floors of the museum I was more than pleased with just the Impressionist drawings. The exhibit was called “The Modern Woman.” It was divided into The Portrait, the Nude, The Space of Intimacy, the Private Realm, the Public Realm and Beyond the City. I have never before purchased the catalog of an exhibit which contained reproductions of all of the pieces in the show. As far as I can tell, this catalog did. It is exceptional. I am so glad I roused myself to travel north to view this exhibit.