Thursday, May 16, 2013

Honolulu Museum of Art

Honolulu Museum of Art photo IMG_20130515_114131_zpsc0ac5c4a.jpgThough my trip to Hawaii has nothing to do with art appreciation, I visited the Honolulu Museum of Art on Wednesday morning with a Honolulu resident who had never been there herself. The museum was founded in 1927 & grew out of the private art collection of a missionary family. The museum is larger than it appears from the outside. There are over 20 galleries, grouped around several outdoor courtyards.

The collection is broad & indiscriminate. The eastern galleries contain European art, organized by theme or by period. I enjoyed a 5th century Roman mosaic floor of an animal hunt & was impressed by the insistent lushness of Courbet's Stream in the Jura Mountains, which is next to a late Van Gogh painting of a Wheat Field. Couches are conveniently positioned for relaxed viewing of large canvases by Monet & Morris Louis. I liked the portraiture gallery containing Sargent's glamorous Mrs. Thomas Lincoln Manson, Jr. & John Copley's warts-and-all Nathaniel Allen. The friendly docents are clearly proud of the permanent collection.

Robert Arneson
"A Hollow Gesture"
1980
The western galleries contain an extensive collection of Asian & Southeast Asian art, in good condition & often ornate. A theatrically staged sculpture of Guanyin from 11th century China still shows traces of its original colors. There were several special exhibits, including textiles from Central Africa & video sculptures by Tony Oursler that look like rejects from the Haunted Mansion. Selections from the collection of Thurston Twigg-Smith include 3 wonderful works by Robert Arneson & a collage by Jess. A room of recent acquisitions had pieces by Grandma Moses, Wayne Thiebaud, & Yue Minjun.

§ Honolulu Museum of Art

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

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