Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dale Chihuly At The New York Botanical Garden

Hi All.  I have a lot to catch up on here.  Lets start with some pics of the Dale Chihuly exhibit at The New York Botanical Garden.  The New York Botanical Garden is located in the Bronx and is the largest botanical garden in the United States.  The Garden was created in 1891 and is now a National Historic Landmark.

I do not remember visiting the garden in the past, but I had a few deja vu moments while walking in from the street and again upon seeing the conservatory.  I think I must have gone there as a child.  In any case, I was glad to be visiting again.  This is Dale Chihuly's first major garden exhibition in New York in ten years, so I was happy to be able to see it.

The Chihuly glass sculptures are located throughout the grounds, which is a really fun way to see the exhibition.  While you are walking through the conservatory or the gardens, the glass sculptures pop up and look as if they are meant to be part of the plant life.

This enormous glass sculpture is just outside the conservatory.  It is hard to show in the photos just how big it is.  After walking past this we made our way into the conservatory.

Persian Pond and Fiori, Dale Chihuly, 2017

I know almost nothing about gardening, but inside the conservatory felt like being in a rain forest (or what I imagine a rain forest would feel like).  In the middle of the pond were more glass sculptures.  I loved how they are situated in order to be part of the natural setting.

White Belugas, Dale Chihuly, 2017

Outside of the conservatory was a large water garden, one of my favorite things ever.  I fell in love with nympheas after visiting Claude Monet's gardens in Giverny, so it was a nice surprise to see them here.

And check this out:  the gardeners go in the water in chest high rubber suits and and boots!  I never knew that water lilies had to be tended to, but I guess water gardens have to be taken care of like every other garden.

Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower, Dale Chihuly, 2013

At this point the rain clouds rolled in, but you can still see this amazing glass sculpture.  This one is enormous.  I cannot imagine how they moved it and set it up, but they did and it was fun to just come upon it while walking around the water garden.

Back inside, there were more Chihuly sculptures.

Sapphire Star, Dale Chihuly, 2010

The gardens and exhibit are beautiful, quiet and peaceful.  You would never know you are in the middle of New York City.  The Garden is easily reached by car, bus, subway and Metro-North.  If you are local or visiting New York, go check out this exhibition.  I think you will love it as much as I did!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Visit To The NC Wyeth Home and Studio

I recently went on a fun road trip to NC Wyeth's home and studio in lovely Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

The house and studio are part of the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum.  Upon arrival at the museum, you can purchase a ticket for the tour and then ride over on the shuttle bus.  Our guide (a retired art teacher) was at the house to greet us.

The grounds are absolutely beautiful.  In 1911, with the proceeds from his illustrations of Treasure Island, Wyeth purchased the land and built the house and studio.  The tour started with a walk through the house.

The photo above is NC with his wife Carolyn (known as Carol) and their five children.  None of the family is alive today.  The home and studio were passed to the Conservancy upon the death of daughter Carolyn, an artist who lived at the home her entire life and worked and taught classes in the studio.

Even after the home got electricity, NC insisted the family continue to dine by candlelight.

Carol had quite the dish collection and was clearly a blue and white lover like myself.

Upstairs are NC and Carol's bedrooms as well as the kids rooms.  Some of the rooms were built on as the family expanded.

Next we moved on to the studio.  I have to tell you, this building is enormous.  At least three times the size of my apartment!  We started in an entryway that contained books and props.

Portrait of Andrew Wyeth ( Andrew is currently having a centennial year exhibition in the museum).

We then walked into the actual studio.  It is amazing.  All the books, props and supplies look like someone just finished painting.  The museum is doing a great job of preserving the space.

It was impossible to get a good shot, but in the corner hangs NC's paint covered smock.  I wonder if anyone will want a picture of mine someday!?

Portrait of Carolyn Wyeth.

Can you believe these frames?  They are beautiful.  There were a bunch of them just hanging around.

This is the most amazing contraption.  It is so large that I could not get a photo of the whole thing.  It is a staircase on wheels.  NC used it to work on very large paintings.  He could just walk up and down and move the whole thing to wherever he needed.  Considering I'm suffering through an 18x24 right now, this is pretty impressive!

Our last stop was the prop room, which was more like the prop apartment.  The room is enormous and filled with all of the props needed for paintings and illustrations.

After the tour we went back to the museum to see the Andrew Wyeth show.  I hope you enjoyed this look into the Wyeth home and studio.  It makes me very happy to see art studios being preserved for generations of artists and art lovers to visit.   I will have a separate post up soon to show you some of the work from Andrew's exhibition.