Tuesday, November 3, 2015
National Museum of Women in the Arts
I found a folder full of photos I'd taken at the National Museum of Women in the Arts from last summer that I never posted. I'm actually not sure if I've ever posted about NMWA on this blog, which is just nuts. This museum is the only one of it's kind in the world, and it really is a special place to me.
Did I mention that the building is beautiful? I'm a bit obsessed with the gorgeous chandeliers, the intricate trimwork and moldings, and those dreamy arched windows.
The late-afternoon light in the great hall and mezzanine is heavenly.
But the art is really what matters here, and the truth is I would visit this collection if it were housed in a garage. There's a good mix of historical and contemporary artworks from women all over the world, and I'm always discovering new work I've never seen before. I particularly like to see portraits of women by women, and self-portraits of women artists in this collection. I did a huge research project almost 20 years ago (yikes!) on women as subjects of art versus women as objects of art in paintings in particular throughout history, and that project was heavy on my mind during this most recent visit.
I sometimes wonder if I should use this space to write more intellectually about art and design rather than "ooh pretty picture!" But then I think that anyone reading this right now who is interested in the cultural significance of how we depict ourselves and how others depict us has probably already studied and researched and discussed such topics at length, as I have. And maybe that's not why people read blogs anyway? I know I often turn to blogs for entertainment or escapism or inspiration or even just pretty pictures, and there's nothing wrong with that.
I guess I've been feeling a bit torn in general with what to post in this space lately, but that's a topic for another day. (I definitely mean to start showing my own work more regularly though, not just photography.)
**The paintings (top to bottom): Lady Reading by Lamplight by Minerva J. Chapman, 1898; Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky by Frida Kahlo, 1937; and Self-Portrait When Seventeen by Jane Fortescue Seymour Coleridge, 1842.