Edgar Degas | The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer |Â Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
A few years ago, I was fortunate to work with the North Carolina Museum of Art to produce a television commercial promoting an exhibition of impressionist paintings and sculptures which included this iconic dancer. The art was mostly installed, with the only work left to be completed was adding the information signs for each piece.
I had seen photos of the Dancer many times, but was still surprised to see the delicate cotton skirt in person. It never occurred to me how fragile a bronze statue could be. Thatâs when I noticed our light stand which suddenly seemed very close to the skirt. I spent the rest of the shoot holding onto the light stands, paranoid that one would topple and send the skirt up in flames. Luckily there were no mishaps and the exhibition was an enormous success.
Claude MonetÂ | Femme Ã l’ombrelleÂ tournÃ©e vers la gaucheÂ | Musee dâOrsay, Paris
In the late 90âs I spent a few days in Paris with my sister. After seeing the long lines in front of the Louvre, we decided to spend our day at the Musee dâOrsay. While I wish Iâd visited the Louvre, it does give me a good reason to go back to Paris;)
I wasnât sure what to expect as we began wandering around. This was before there were virtual tours on the internet with detailed descriptions of every museum piece. All IÂ had were my Paris Rough Guide and the high school French to helpÂ indicate what treasures were inside.
Easily, the biggest impression was made by the Impressionists. Art work which I had seen in text books and on television were everywhere. Monetâs Woman with an Umbrella Turning Left seemed to shimmer with life and light. Thereâs no way a photo can capture how beautiful this painting is in person.
Andrew WyethÂ | Winter 1946Â |Â North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh
The detailed brush strokes of Andrew Wyethâs work give the impression that each blade of grass, wisp of hair or twitch of muscle is in motion. Iâve read the painting, Winter 1946,Â is actually a self-portrait expressing Wyethâs loss and grief after his fatherâs death.
Image via Wikipedia
Vincent van GoghÂ | The Red VineyardÂ | Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow
It is widely touted that van Gogh cut off his ear over the love of a woman. Ingo F. Waltherâs âVincent van Gogh, 1853-1890: Vision and RealityâÂ accounts he cut it off after an upsetting argument with his friend Paul Gauguin. The Red VineyardÂ shows the fields near the house they shared. After walking past it near sunset, van Gogh painted the scene from memory. Wine historians believe it may suggest a virus which infected French vineyards about the same time, devastating French wine production.
M.C. EscherÂ | Escher In Het Paleis, The Hague, Netherlands
Anything by Escher is iconic and has been copied by other artists, movie producers and graphic designers. His work is a labyrinth that lets your eyes and mind travel within his imagination.
This week, give yourself a treat andÂ visit a gallery or museum.Â Learn the story behindÂ a singleÂ art workÂ or theÂ artist.Â I didn’t loveÂ hockey until I discovered how interesting the players were and learned to appreciate their mastery, talent and determination… traits that genuinely leave a big impression. Yes, I did just equate great art with hockey. Hockey fans will understand.