Thursday, January 17, 2008

In Monet's Garden, Columbus Museum, Ohio

Let me begin by saying how sorry I am for going this long without journaling. I have no real excuses so I will not offer any. I do apologize to Ms. Leland, who so graciously left me a comment on my last posting, that I have not followed up in a timely manor for this project. I have done the first exercise on color in her book and I am in the middle of another. I will try to get a picture and post on that later. Today, I want to talk about the exhibit at the Columbus Museum called In Monet's Garden: The Lure of Giverny. When I looked the exhibit up on-line I was excited to see that the works were from Musee Marmottan in Paris. I had been to the museum in 2005 and absolutely fell in love with the many Monet's in this home turned museum. They display his painting that the Impressionist movement was named for, as well as, paintings that he painted until his death. This museum, the Musee Orangerie (where his largest paintings of water lillies called Les Nympheas) and the Musee de Orsay is where all of Monet's paintings are displayed in Paris. So my friends and I headed for Columbus filled with anticipation of seeing some of these paintings again. Columbus Museum does a wonderful job in their presentations. They sometimes find a connection between the artist and the museum and/or the city of Columbus and put that connection into the exhibit. The connection for this exhibit was Theodore Butler. Butler was an American artist who traveled from Columbus to Giverny and painted on the fringes of Monet's home and his garden. Giverny became an unofficial artist colony in homage to Monet. Monet let a few into his inner circle, but did not officially mentor/teach any of the artist. Monet had a step daughter that took a liking to Butler. Monet usually sent the artist packing if they got too close to his daughters, but he let Butler in and allowed them to wed because he came from money. So the show is sprinkled with Butler and others from the unofficial artist colony. The exhibit also had some modern artist , such as Yeardly Leonard, showing the influence of Monet in their modern paintings. Which I have to say, and I do not want to offend anyone, this is not my preference of style. I did not see any connection of their work to Monet. Not even in Monet's pallette. So it is up for debate as most modern works are. The Monet's that were sent were mostly from his last years of life. As special as these works were, it was hard to view them in the show space that the Museum had. Monet's (especially his later pieces) are meant to be seen from 10 or more feet and unobstructed views to be able to see the shapes and forms that Monet was trying to capture. Of course, the obstructions were mostly the many people also there to see the exhibit. However, it was also the small space in which the paintings were placed that made it hard to back up and see them properly. I have to say that as disappointing as this was I am lucky to have seen them in there proper home the way they were meant to be viewed. The show ends this Sunday and I am not sure that it travels to another sight. However, I am glad, as always, to have seen this exhibit. I always enjoy Monet's work. Gaylynn

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