A Grand Collection

My family was fortunate to have another trip to Michigan's Mackinac Island again this year. We stayed at the Grand Hotel, whose legendary front porch and beautiful surroundings are a treat unto themselves. I wandered into the gallery area in the main Parlor which exhibits paintings from the world renowned Manoogian Collection. The Manoogians have exhibited over 400 paintings from their collection at the hotel for the past 25 years. Here is a sample of some of the pieces on display this summer.

Fairy Hordes Attacking a Bat , John Fitzgerald, British, 1832-1906

Fairy Hordes Attacking a Bat, John Fitzgerald, British, 1832-1906

The works on display include 19th and 20th century examples of many different types of painting genres and by a large collection of artists.

Rabbits , 1878 by Charlotte Mount Brock Schreiber, Canadian, 1834-1922

Rabbits, 1878 by Charlotte Mount Brock Schreiber, Canadian, 1834-1922

The George R. Rich Family Having Afternoon Coffee at the Villa Quisisana Overlooking Oresund, Skodsborg, Strandvej  (Denmark), 1885 by Wenzel Ulrik Tornoe, Danish, 1844-1907

The George R. Rich Family Having Afternoon Coffee at the Villa Quisisana Overlooking Oresund, Skodsborg, Strandvej (Denmark), 1885 by Wenzel Ulrik Tornoe, Danish, 1844-1907

A Liberated Woman  by John G. Brown, American, 1831-1913.

A Liberated Woman by John G. Brown, American, 1831-1913.

My assumption is that the cigarette and the way she looks down at the viewer indicate her liberated status.

Statue of Liberty Celebration  by Frederick Rondel, American, 1826-1892.

Statue of Liberty Celebration by Frederick Rondel, American, 1826-1892.

This is just a small sample of the artwork on display, there are many fine examples of portraiture, tromp l'oeil, landscapes, still lifes, etc.  The art on display makes an already worthwhile trip all the more special.

Interactive Art


 These photos are from the Nick Cave exhibition HereHear at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI. The exhibition is up until October 15, 2015. The show has featured interactive happenings throughout the metro Detroit area and there are still a couple of events coming up. You can check the Cranbrook museum website for more information.










Kehinde Wiley in Cleveland

  Kehinde Wiley, Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps (Self-Portrait),Oil on canvas, 2005

 Artist Kehinde Wiley will speak at Cleveland Museum of Art's Gartner Auditorium, Saturday August 29th at 2:00. His beautiful work harks back to an earlier style while creating very modern portraits. Wiley's recent one man exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum was very well received by the art world and the public, alike. The Cleveland lecture is part of the Cleveland Public Library's The Lockwood Thompson Dialogues.



Kehinde Wiley Triple Portrait of Charles I, oil and enamel on canvas. Triptych, 2007, 

A Phoenix in Saginaw


The Saginaw Art Museum in Saginaw, Michigan is a perfect example of a group of people who came together because they did not want to see another loss in a city and state that has already lost so much. I grew-up in a suburb of Flint, Michigan so I understand how hard it has been for these places to hold on in the wake of the loss of jobs, people, tax support, state support, etc. However, a group of Saginaw citizens led by a strong and generous board and a savvy leader, not only saved this museum, but brought it back promising to be much more than it was ever before. You can read about the renaissance here and if you find yourself in the Mid-Michigan area, you will definitely want to drop in. I am currently working with the museum  as a consultant to re-establish and re-open their gift shop. Our plan is to have the shop fully stocked with unique products in September.

The Last Hurrah

Rooms to Let in Slavic Village in Cleveland

There was a uplifting art happening in Cleveland last weekend called "Rooms to Let."  It was the second such event where foreclosed and abandoned houses in a hard hit area of Cleveland (houses that are scheduled to be demolished) are turned over to artists, who give them one last celebratory and dignified, send-off.

 Artist: Dana Depew
 Artist: Dana Depew
The houses are all roughly a hundred years old and the last few years have been less then their best years. They are filled with character, beautiful wood, built-in china cabinets, window seats, etc., but what the artists focus on, for the most part, are that the houses are also filled with the lives of their former occupants. The houses sheltered people whose lives cry out to be celebrated before the tangible evidence of their exsistence is gone forever. We as a society, especially one hard hit by its changes like Cleveland's Slavic Village, are too quick to erase the past as we rush toward the future and we often don't realize what has been lost until it is no longer there. "Rooms to Let" stops us in our tracks and makes us look at these places, see the beauty, enjoy some music, laugh and talk with people, honor these structures and the families who lived and loved in them.

 Artist: Christine Mauersberger
 Artist: Christine Mauersberger
 Artist: Christine Mauersberger
Having become blighted and a burden on the neighborhood, the city has no choice but to tear them down. This has been the story for many rust belt cities who deal with a loss of population and aging housing stock. For one more weekend though, people filled rooms, created music, gathered around them and enjoyed life. It was a celebration of the service of the houses as dwellings and the lives of the people who lived in them.

 Artist: Jeff Chiplis
 Artist: Paul Sydorenko


Traveling to Paradise



Angel Fish, menu cover, 1939 by Frank Macintosh for the S.S. Lurline, Matson Line.

Before the advent of jet engine travel tourists made the trip to Hawaii by cruise liner. The S.S. Lurline owned by the Matson line was the flagship of the line. Frank Macintosh created lovely idealized scenes of Hawaiian life in the art deco style.

Side by Side

The West Wind by Tom Thomson, 1916-17, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario is hosting a study of two iconic Canadian artworks  by artist Tom Thomson through January 4, 2015. Tom Thomson's The Jack Pine and his The West Wind are examined side-by-side. I first came to know of Thomson after marrying my Canadian husband and visiting his relatives in Toronto when we went to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) and I was introduced to the Group of Seven. They were a loosely tied group of landscape artists all choosing to focus on their surroundings as subject matter and thereby created the first major Canadian art movement.

The Jack Pine by Tom Thomson, 1916-17, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

Nympheas

Water Lily by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1921, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

I saw this lovely pastel drawing by Georgia O'Keeffe today and had to feature it. It is different from her larger, closer, interpretations of flowers, but no less striking. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico and features not only her work, but that of many of her contemporaries.

Happy Father's Day

Portrait if Alexander J. Cassatt and his son, Robert Kelso Cassatt 

Mary Cassatt, the Impressionist artist, is well known for using her family as models in her artwork (men and boys are seen less often) as she spent a lot of her time around the women of the family. In this portrait we see Cassatt's father and her brother sharing an intimate moment. Her father was a railroad man and probably not around the house as often, or willing to sit still for very long (pure conjecture on my part). Happy Father's Day - perhaps you can capture an image of your father today?

Thanks to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service


Sadly, The Glasgow School of Art suffered a fire yesterday. It is an iconic work by the famous Scottish architect/artist/designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a personal favorite of mine. The most recent updates say that the firefighters were able to save much of the building and its contents which is very good news. Mackintosh is best known for his unique take on the Art Nouveau tradition which was reflected in all of his work and gave it a very beautiful, flowing style. The Glasgow School of Art is often cited as one of the most important buildings in modern architecture.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Breaking Ground by Making Art

Gateway, Tangier by Henry Ossawa Tanner, c. 1912, The St. Louis Art Museum.

Tanner studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, which was highly unusual for an African American at this time. He was also lucky enough to study under Thomas Eakins, who revolutionized the way that art was taught and influenced many. Robert Henri, founder of the Ashcan School, was also a student at the same time. Tanner felt the burden of post-slavery racism (his mother was a slave who had escaped through the Underground Railroad), even in the north, and decided to strike-out for France, where he spent most of his life. He continued his studies at The Louvre where the great French masters, such as Gustave Courbet, influenced his work further.



Follow the Seal


Two angels transporting the Saint Bride to Bethlehem to witness the Nativity. Scenes of the life of Christ are sewn into the garments of the angels. John Duncan is often characterized as a Symbolist artist because of his style, but also because he had a strong desire to understand the mysteries of nature as they relate to the divine.