Chip Away

YA was seriously into the art scene over her birthday weekend.  She actually requested that I take either Friday or Monday off to go to the Minneapolis Art Institute with her.  I have a friend who works at MIA and she said it’s pretty deserted on week days, so I took Friday off and we headed to see art.

Since it was YA’s day, I let her  lead; she didn’t have anything in particular that she wanted to see so we pretty much just wandered around.  She isn’t a big reader so we saw far more than I would have seen on my own; I love to know what the artist has titled their work and any background/history on either the piece or the artist is always interesting to me.  Normally because I am slow, I don’t always see my favorite works but this isn’t a big deal as I know they will be there the next time.

So the first of my favorites we happened upon was the Yoruba shrine head.  It is exquisitely carved and I always have to be reminded that it’s centuries old as it seems very contemporary to me.

Then we walked through a gallery where the second of my favorites resides.  Les Trois Graces is a smaller version of a statue that was initially installed outside the Paris Opera House.  The artist, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, went on to do various versions of this work in a lot of different mediums (media?).  I love the delicacy of the hands and the gracefulness of the feet and toes as they dance.

I felt like good fortune had befallen me and then we climbed up to the third level and came across my very favorite, living in a different gallery than the last time I saw her.  The Veiled Lady by Monti.  I know that there is a technique to making marble seem transparent – something to do with the smoothness versus the roughness of the carved marble – but it still seems like magic to me.

And as if this weren’t enough, to see all three of my favorite pieces on the same day, we came across a little bronze piece, only about 10 inches high (see the header photo).  This is a sculpture of Loie Fuller, who was a well-known dancer in the late 1800s.  A quick search uncovers quite a bit of artwork based on Fuller, much of it can only be described as “ecstatic”, like this one. Of course, now I have a book of her life on hold at the library and I have a fourth favorite at MIA.

As we were departing the museum it occurred to me that all four of my favorites are sculptures.  Maybe because I have never seen all of them on the same day, I just never connected the dots.  If you had asked me last week, I could not have told you that my favorite artworks are sculptures (and not just at MIA).  I have always marveled at the artist’s ability to not only envision the sculpture but to chisel down to it.  Sculpture seems all the more magical to me because it must be so unforgiving.  One wrong hit of the hammer and you have to start over!

If these sculptures came to life, what would you serve them for lunch?

82 thoughts on “Chip Away”

  1. We have not been to the MIA for years now for various and unrelated reasons, but we used to go regularly.

    We quickly learned that we are the sort of people who will enjoy our visit more if we start by choosing one floor (with the provision that we can visit a favorite piece on the other floor before we go).

    We usually had pastry and beverages in the coffee shop on the ground floor and did a bit of reading as a break, so that is where I would take your sculpture friends. They would need to bring their own books.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Side note #1 – it took me to the 4th row to get the Wordle today. Needless to say I am devastated.

    I response to allegations of “luck”, I contend that the luck invoved has a lot to do with the space the chosen word occupies in your mind, which will obviously vary from person to person.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Side note #2 – the resident delinquents are beginning to think the tin-opener (aka your correspondent) can be relied on to respond with providing nourishment when the little plastic slab starts to sing and may soon no longer require reminding.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I think your first guess is where luck is involved. After that it’s pretty much a process of paying attention and a process of elimination. Still some luck involved, but luck combined with certain knowledge. Good job, mig, today’s puzzle was difficult (at least for some people).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. For me, yesterday’s word was readily accessible “on the counter” as it were. Today’s involved going through a few drawers to come up with.

        The s&h and I have had discussions about how as a very small family with quirky interests, we often have ready access to odd bits of info most people just don’t (Baboons excepted and included as part of the race that knows Joseph).

        He is currently making a project of catching up on all sorts of books and movies that are commonly referenced by most people that we just didn’t have time for. Currently working his way through the horror movies from the 70s onward.

        Better him than me, I guess.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I tried to expose our son to a lot of things that I said were just ‘Cultural References’. He liked some better than others. Right off the top of my head, things like Alice’s Restaurant, or The Big Lebowski.

          Liked by 3 people

    3. I have drawn my version of a Wordle grid on graph paper (two to a page), and will make copies so that Husband and I can play more than one a day – we’ll each be in charge of thinking up a five-letter word. Sort of like playing Mastermind.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. When I was in the hospital at age 10 having had my appendix out, my father and I played such a game on plain paper. The game was called Jotto (a friend had to remind me of the name). Side note: I didn’t have appendicitis, as it turned out. I don’t know what it was but my 10-year-old’s memory has it recorded as “swollen glands of the stomach”.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. During my single days between marriages, I was a member of both the Walker and the MIA. I took full advantage of both memberships and attended all kinds of member functions and events. This was back in the mid-seventies when both museums had wonderful restaurants.

    We’re so fortunate to have such incredible cultural resources in the Twin Cities.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Thanks for all the welcomes! This is a great forum full of great people.

    The MIA is my favorite museum; I haven’t been there for a couple of years and I miss it. I love so many pieces there, but my favorite is the Greek lion (we nicknamed him George and visit him every time we go). Obviously if I was feeding him it’d be several pounds of raw meat and some kitty treats for seasoning. If I was feeding the human sculptures, I’d serve things their artists would not have known about or had easy access too, like Mexican food with avocadoes and chocolate mole, or Southeast Asian food (Thai or Vietnamese) with papayas and mangoes. I wouldn’t be cooking it myself, because I’m a pretty blah cook, but I’d take them to restaurants or order delivery.

    I have not tried Wordle, but saw a news segment about it on some show, CBS Sunday Morning maybe? It looks dangerously addictive!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. This morning it took me almost 20 minutes and two attempts. I did not get the answer until the 5th try. I cannot believe how fun and satisfying this game is—and then I hit the Trail and discuss it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. If beaming can be part of the picture (and why not?), I’d bring them down here to WInona to the Blue Heron Cafe, which has marvelous homemade soups and sandwiches, quiches, etc. While they’re here, they would probably want to check out the Minn. Marine Art Museum on the River…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    In this one scenario, I just do not care about food. I have questions!

    1. Were you in there all along waiting to come out?
    2. What did it feel like to have the sculptor find you?
    3. Do you have a favorite sculptor? How do feel about Rodan? Michaelangelo? Picasso?
    4. Do you eat at all? If so, what would you like for lunch?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Asking them if the eat and what they’d like for lunch is the polite way to go about it! The first two questions are the setup for an interesting Magical Realist novel!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There are better, more representative images of her role in the play, with her face and arms powdered white and she stands on a pedestal, but this is the only image of her as Galatea I have.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh that’s good. By the way I got a copy of the instant pot cooking for one from the library, interlibrary loan. The recipes look pretty good but since I haven’t actually tried one I’m not gonna wholeheartedly recommend it yet.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Staying to a few simple meals for sake of sanity. My son passed his 14 month check on kidneys. Remember he had a kidney with cancer removed. One kidney is working almost like two as does my daughter’s. Sandy’s almost constant colitis they are getting under control. I have the check on my pancreas on 28th. They put a tube down my esophagus to put an ultrasound device right next to cyst to get a good look. They can and will probably take a biopsy of cyst. Yesterday had pre-op with PA who was only one available. Three people in room with me and got the old people we treat as if absent treatment except to lecture me as if I were a child. Have vivid test next Tuesday then have to quarantine which means no visit to sandy. I will obey for sake of health of medical staff.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Late comment, but best of luck, Clyde! Sounds like your family has had way too much to deal with recently.


        2. i’d give them grilled chees and tomato soup
          with chips

          all lunches should be grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
          variations in cheese, bread , spices for soup and additions like tomato and onion for the sandwich should provide enough possibilities that it could never exhaust all the possibilities

          Liked by 3 people

        1. Written with a kind of gritty humor by Harry McClintock, whose hobo name was Haywire Mac, Big Rock Candy Mountain was written as a hobo’s fantasy. McClintock also wrote “Hallelujah I’m a Bum” and other songs referring to his experiences hoboing.
          I’ve always disdained as bloodless those bowdlerized and sanitized versions reinterpreted as a children’s song simply because it mentions candy.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. When the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” came out, I had the soundtrack and Dad told me ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’ was a song he knew as a kid and hadn’t heard it in 50 years. So that song always makes me think of dad.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I started to watch the old Civilizations series from the BBC. The expert (What was his name?) kept referring to primitive cultures and people. The ancient African carving above reminded me of that.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We have a dinosaur museum here, and if those figures came to life I would feed some of them hay, and the others I would direct to the stockyards near my work for a tasty steer or two.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’m wondering if I’m the only one that associates the header photo with a ginkgo leaf? It struck immediately when I first saw it, and every time since.

    Liked by 5 people

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