Tuesday, February 06, 2007

de Young

On my final full day in Cali, my parents and I went to the de Young museum. It's in a new building, built specifically for the the museum. The building is really interesting and it's sheathed in copper and brass. It's also in the Golden Gate Park, which is always nice to visit - down the street from the bison! The de Young has a fabulous collection of art and artifacts from the Americas. It was really a nice museum. It had a very shi-shi cafe that overlooks the sculpture garden and park with really good (although expensive) egg salad and portabello mushroom sandwiches, and the museum is deceptively big. Once again I'm impressed by how nicely American museums are laid out. With the possible exception of a Picasso museum in Paris and the Munch museum in Oslo, I'm not impressed with the lay-out of European art museums. Their technique seems to be to just put as much up on the walls as possible. I like when museums have interesting placement of furniture and paintings. For example, at the de Young, we were looking at the paintings from American artists and in several places they had placed two paintings depicting the same type of subject matter, that looked like they were painted with similar color palettes and techniques, but they were from different artists. It was interesting to compare the similarities and differences close up.

The funny thing is that my dad didn't really want to go at first. Good thing he did, he helped solve a couple of mysteries for the tour guide who was leading the decorative arts tour.

The museum now know why the tops of the chair looks like it does, and how long it took to bend the rosewood table.


Fun facts: the sideboard has a place for liquor, silverware, and a chamber pot! The guy in the far right of the painting looks exactly like our tour guide at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville.

Tell me the first one doesn't look like a Klingon betleH. The next is a spirit suit, and the final is a form that the spirit of your evil ancestor can be tricked into inhabiting instead of haunting you.

1 comment:

ipgirl said...

wow, it does look like a cool museum! It's so funny your Dad got to enlighten the staff about their own collection!
I'll have to go check out the Picasso museum in Paris after I get settled in the Netherlands. Have you ever been to the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam? It's a pretty cool place too!