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Archive for the ‘Little Known Facts’ Category

20170606_074521I made a day trip to Boston yesterday (yes, it’s a long way for a day trip) to see the Matisse exhibit.  What an amazing display!!!  I admit that I am a BIG fan of Matisse.   But anyone who appreciates art and creating it would love this exhibit.

The premise of the exhibit is to feature the many objects, fabrics, furniture and more that Matisse collected over the years and how he used them in many of his paintings.

Over the next few days I will attempt to share with you some of the wonderful things I saw.

20170606_080522Enjoy!

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Twenty-three Years

Mama 2Twenty-three years seems like forever.  That’s how long it’s been since we lost my mom, Barbara Ann Chancey Walker.  She was a wonderfully beautiful soul and I miss her every day.

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It seems that the only thing we saw on or visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art was Monet but that’s now true.  We saw many other wonderful painters work including Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  Here are a couple of them.

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While at the Philadelphia  Museum of Art we got to see some beautiful impressionism.  Of course, Monet, one of our all time favorites and one of the founders of the impressionist movement was on prominent display.  Everyone recognizes the Japanese Footbridge.  He painted it many times.  PMA has two interesting ones.  The first he painted in 1899…he painted it 12 times that year.   Some twenty years later he had begun to have trouble with his eyesight and complained of not seeing colors well.  You see the difference by comparing these two versions of his Japanese Footbridge.  It was very telling to see them in the same museum.

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Often called the last of the old Masters painters and the first of the modern painters, Francisco de Goya was born on March 30, 1746 in Spain.  In 1789 he was appointed court painter to Charles IV and created many portraits.  His work took a dark but interesting turn over the years as he became very ill and lost his hearing….some say because of lead poisoning from the paints he used.  His work became dark and strange.  Take a look here to learn more about Goya and his works.

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Eighty years ago today Congress passed an act to accept a gift of an art collection and building funds to create  a National Art Museum on the National Mall.  Andrew Mellon, a Pittsburgh banker and Secretary of the Treasury (from 1921-32) had the idea and worked on a plan to create the new gallery and it was his donation in 1937 of his substantial art collection valued at $40 million plus an additional $10 million ($10 million in 1937 equals $172 million in 2017) for construction that was used to establish the National Gallery of Art.  Congress accepted his offer and passed the act to establish the museum on March 24, 1937, Mellon’s birthday.

The_Concert_A22894The National Gallery of Art brings wonderful works of art to the public (for free admission) that would not ordinarily be on view.  An example is the recent purchase of Gerard van Honthorst’s monumental masterwork, The Concert, that was acquired by the National Gallery in 2013 and went on display for the first time in 218 years.

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I visited Montpelier yesterday.  It was a terrific day trip to learn more about how James and Dolley Madison lived.  It was really interesting and very well done.  While they didn’t allow photography inside the mansion there was plenty of wonderful things to take pictures of outside.

And of course, while there I had to pay my respects to the author of our Constitution at the family cemetery.   Montpelier is near Orange, Virginia and if you are ever in the area it is worth the time.  Click here for more info.

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