February 23, 2011

My Experience at the Museum: Part 1

First of all, can I just say "WOW!"  Seeing the Impressionist and Post Impressionist Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston was AMAZING!!!  I also have no excuse not to check out the permanent collection because I am now a member.  Houston has an amazing museum district and I highly recommend checking it out.  I have been to several museums in this area, just not the Fine Arts Museum...until yesterday.

I experienced such a range of emotions during the exhibit, it is so hard to describe, but I am going to try.  When I first walked in, I was surrounded by Cezanne, Bazille, Monet, Manet.  It gave me chills!  I literally had goosebumps.  It's been a long time since I have been surrounded by this many masterpieces.  In the first room was one of my all time favorite paintins and it did NOT disappoint.  It gave me a new appreciation for it's beauty.

Woman with Parasol, Monet

The subjects in this painting are Monet's wife and son.  The woman has such an ethereal feeling about her because of the way the light radiates from behind her.  I thought that seeing one of my favorites right away would put a shadow over the rest of the collection, but I was wrong! 

Madame Henriot, Renoir

This was the next painting that had me awestruck.  Such a beautiful portrait and reminded me of Anne Hathaway.  Such timeless beauty.  So feminine, so delicate and just so beautiful.
The first disappointment of the exhibit for me was this painting below.
Japanese Footbridge, Monet

How could such a classic that everyone knows fall so flat for me?  I don't know, but it wasn't as great as I had imagined it to be.  I imagined the colors to be a little more vivid (because lets face it, most of these paintings were more vibrant and intense in person), I imagined that I would have more of an emotional response.  It was honestly, just a nice painting.  Never could I have imagined saying that about such an iconic Monet.

Mary Cassatt is one of my favorite painters.  I love the way she paints, I love that she paints a lot of women and children with such beauty.  She truly has the ability to capture the emotion and liveliness of a child.  She is able to capture the beauty and femininity of a woman.  I was so happy to be able to see this painting.

Child in a Straw Hat, Cassatt

When I saw this painting, I wanted that child to jump out of the painting just so I could give her a hug.  This little girl, you can tell is sad, her cheeks so rosy and her lips pouted.  My heart just poured out in a way that it has not done before when viewing a painting.  It was unbelievable.  It reminded me I was a mother and I love my children.

I was introduced to an artist that I don't recall learning about in Art School.  In all honesty, I probably did, but had forgotten about.  My art history classes crammed so much information is such a short period of time that they are honestly a blur.  

The Harbor at Lorient, Berthe Morisot

This artist creates such beautiful paintings, that I was sad to learn that she stopped painting after she got married.  Unfortunately, that was very common back then.  I would have loved to see more, so much more.  I left Morisot's paintings just wanting more.

Do you want more?  Please stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2.

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