Current Exhibition @ Fresh Thymes

I am so happy and honored to have my art up at the delicious Fresh Thymes Eatery.

My Celestial Beings Series is up through the end of July at Fresh Thymes and I love how it looks on their rustic wooden wall. They are also available for sale. There are only 9 of these beauties so go check them out today. They all need loving homes and I think they radiate with goodness. The “Celestial Beings” series was inspired by a collaboration with Turning the Wheel to create “The Good Box” 

The project was focused on reclaiming the word good as a positive meditation word and resulted in the creation of 30 affirmation cards all with a phrase about the innate goodness in all of us. My art is featured on the cards, and I played an important hand in the final design. After the completion of the deck of cards I felt activated to create more paintings inspired by the goodness all around us. The “Celestial Beings” Series grew organically from this starting point.

I hope you enjoy them!

Fresh Thymes Eatery 

Address: 2500 30th St #101, Boulder, CO 80301
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An Appetite for Something More at the Chicago Art Institute

Last week I finally made my way over to the Chicago Art Institute, which felt like the largest art museum I have been to in the States. It had long, daunting hallways filled with strange dead ends and tons of works of art that could be easily overlooked. Feeling slightly overwhelmed by the scale of the place I decided to focus my visit on the current temporary exhibit; Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine.

The exhibit is only at the museum for a few more days (until January 27th, 2014), so in that sense I’m glad I made the effort to see it, but art of food isn’t generally something that piques my interest much. After trying to interpret the map and making a few wrong turns I found the special exhibit hall near the back of the Museum. Like many special exhibits I’ve visited the first room explained the purpose of the exhibition with two paragraphs printed on a huge scale onto the wall. Two reproductions of works within the exhibit flanked the text on either side, and gave a promising taste of the art to come.

American artists have used food to both celebrate and critique their developing society; express ideas relating to politics, race, class, gender, and commerce; and investigate American identity. This exhibition brings together over 100 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the 18th through the 20th century, along with a selection of period cookbooks, menus, trade cards, and posters, to explore the art and culture of food and examine the many meanings and interpretations of eating in America. (artic.edu)

Norman Rockwell. Freedom from Want, 1942. Lent by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust.

Norman Rockwell. Freedom from Want, 1942. Lent by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust.

My favorite room in the gallery was next. It was my favorite for a number of reasons. It had works from various periods of time, and instead of focusing on one style of art, focused on a theme everyone could relate to- Thanksgiving. It encouraged me to make my own connections about the pieces, instead of simply providing historical information, which I appreciated. The four works allowed viewers to experience the scope of food art, including a still life, pop art print, portrait, and comic scene of a Thanksgiving dinner being prepared. The remainder of the exhibition was a chronological history of food and art in America through the 1960’s. And the majority of the works were still life’s.

Although artistic leaders ranked still life beneath supposedly superior genres of history painting, portraiture, and landscapes Raphaelle spent the majority of his career producing delicate compositions of fruit, veggies, nuts, and the like. (Quote from the exhibition, Curated by Judith Barter)

Apart from a very interesting teapot molded to look like a cauliflower, the following room was filled with still life’s by Raphaelle Peele, mentioned above. Descriptions next to the images pointed out the political significances of the various compositions of fruits and vegetables, and they were exquisitely crafted with rich colors. In the end I still agreed with the supposed “artistic leaders” who felt still life’s are lesser than other art forms. By the fourth room of still life’s I was pretty bored. Maybe I’m simply not cultured enough, but I have never been drawn to realistic representations of things I would rather be eating.

748px-Raphaelle_Peale_-_Melons_and_Morning_Glories_-_Smithsonian

Raphaelle Peale (1774-1825). Melons and Morning Glories, 1813. Current Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum

Despite the overwhelming number of still life paintings, there were still some works that captured my attention. The first were the series of vintage menus, cookbooks, and recipe cards scattered throughout the exhibition. Unlike other works that I have seen in art history books or recreated as posters, I had never seen old menus or cookbooks. To me they captured the change of Americans regard towards food better than anything else. They were also exceptionally beautiful, many of them hand crafted with colorful inks and gold filigree.

Trophy of the Hunt, oil on canvas by William Harnett, 1885; in the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pa. 108 × 55 cm. Credit: Photograph by Moira Burke. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Penn., purchase, 41.5

Trophy of the Hunt, oil on canvas by William Harnett, 1885; in the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pa. 108 × 55 cm.
Credit: Photograph by Moira Burke. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Penn., purchase, 41.5

Another interesting room was filled with Trompe L’oeil Paintings. This style of painting was around as early as the Baroque period and uses forced perspective to trick the viewer into seeing a three dimensional image. Trompe L’oeil also means “Trick of the Eye.” These works were so intriguing because rather than portraying outdated politics they touched on an issue in the art world that is still hot today. What is good art? Works like Trophy of the Hunt by William Michael Harnett and Free Sample Take One by De Scott Evans at the time they were made tended to be enjoyed by the lower classes, and because of their visual illusion were considered lesser by critics. But what is the point of art if no one is looking at it? Not only were these works meticulously crafted but they were entertaining. It really made me think about the value of art. Should it entertain? Should it create discussion? Should is be beautiful or not? Should it capture a moment in History. All of these questions were brought up by the Trompe L’oeil room.

the final rooms of the exhibition touched on modern and pop art. Even though the works moved away from classical painting they were still mostly still life’s.

Although Modernism rejected traditional modes of painting the still life was central to avante garde exploration. The very features that caused it to be considered lesser in earlier decades- lack of overt narrative and focus on mundane objects- made it an ideal vehicle for radicalism and aggressive deconstruction of space, form, and surface. (Quote from the exhibition, Curated by Judith Barter)

Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s soup made an appearance and the final piece I saw as I wandered into the gift shop was a giant fabric egg by Claes Oldenburg. I was disappointed that there was nothing to propel the viewer into a discussion of contemporary interactions between food and artists, but as one individual pointed out to me, the Art Institute doesn’t maintain collections beyond the modern period.

  Claes Oldenburg: Sculpture in the Form of a Fried Egg. 1966. Canvas, dyed cotton, and expanded polystyrene. Diameter: 122 in. (309.9 cm)

Claes Oldenburg: Sculpture in the Form of a Fried Egg
1966
Canvas, dyed cotton, and expanded polystyrene
Diameter: 122 in. (309.9 cm)

It took me the whole exhibition to realize this but I’m simply frustrated with the institution of the museum as a whole. Educating about Art History is all good and well but without making a connection with contemporary issues it fall’s short. The Art Institute’s mission states that “The Art Institute of Chicago collects, preserves, and interprets works of art of the highest quality, representing the world’s diverse artistic traditions, for the inspiration and education of the public and in accordance with our profession’s highest ethical standards and practices.” And I suppose Art and Appetite did a good job of representing the institutes mission. I simply wanted more out of the experience. Despite my frustrations I plan to visit the Art Institute again and take advantage of their expansive galleries from around the world. Even if their passions for art don’t line up with my own I’m sure I can find inspiration around the corner.

MCA Chicago: field notes

Yesterday on my first foray into the city of Chicago I found myself at the doorstep of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Like most contemporary art museums I’ve visited it isn’t very large. It had a few focused exhibits on individual artists, such as Andy Warhol, as well as a collection of works focused on the city of Chicago. The most interesting exhibition, however, was the exhibition on the top floor The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archeology. 

Field Guide Cover

Cover for “The Way of the Shovel” by Mark Dion

A recent trend in contemporary art has been to examine the intersection of art, history, archeology, and just about everything else that could brush against those themes. The curator, Dieter Roelstraete, did an admirable job selecting works that flowed through different themes. Some of the most striking subjects were Sigmund Freud, Colonialism, and Archives. More on these subjects in a later post.

Summary from the Curator.

Summary from the Curator.

Despite all of the actual art in the exhibition the object that pulled at my attention over and over was the Field Guide. It was not well marked as an item one could take at the beginning of the exhibit but I noticed it and took one. It was craftily constructed with perforated pages that revealed deeper messages and detailed graphs for greater understanding of the exhibit. It included quotes that leant meaning to various ideas woven throughout the works of art. And it had a place for me to keep notes and questions as I myself wandered through.

Map from within perforated pages.

Map from within perforated pages.

In some ways it captured my favorite theme of contemporary art that none of the curated works had- audience interaction. I was encouraged to rip the perforated edges of the pages which shattered the expected silence of the gallery. I was lead to make my own connections beyond the ones printed on the walls next to the art. I was given a map and charts and a book that I could flip through to enhance my experience overall. And it did! My only complaint was that I didn’t see more people exploring The Way of the Shovel with a field guide in hand. I am excited to be able to revisit my thoughts the next time I want to reflect on a piece of art from the collection, as well as have other source material from the curator and artists alike.

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My notes and questions from the exhibition.

I intend to revisit The Way of the Shovel before it leaves the MCA: Chicago in March.

A Week in Review: California Sun (Part 2)

Last time I blogged about anything was a while ago, and back in November I only talked about half of my trip to California. Since then I have made a lot more art, and been to a couple more places around the country. However, before I talk about all that I felt I should finish discussing my adventure in LA.

ORIGAMI! If you have never played with folding some paper into fun shapes I recommend you give it a try. I love folding origami, and although I only know three shapes to any level of proficiency I want to learn more. Our art project with the High School student’s in LA was origami, and we used the numerous pieces to create a wonderful set for their final performance. The elementary students also made origami, but the majority of their set was also made by the high schoolers. In about 1 hour 45 minutes the 60 students we worked with cranked out over 600 pieces of origami. It was awesome!

We made three shapes: The Cootie Catcher/Fortune Teller, the Pinwheel, and the Lotus. The 3 shapes are relatively easy to learn and sort of build on each other. I taught everyone how to fold from the front of the class. I think I could fold the three shapes in my sleep. After all the shapes were made we took them home and strung them on strings. Some the shapes were stacked into lanterns- pinwheels on the bottom, fortune teller in the middle, and the lotus on top. I think it looks like a whole flower and they spin in the wind which is a great effect. The students each took a lantern home with them after the performance.

On our final day of the trip we had some free time. During my free time I visited the Getty Museum. The Getty is perched at the top of one of the hills surrounding Los Angeles. You have to take a tram up the side of the hill, winding through greenery and gardens to get to the actual museum. And once you step off the train you have to ascend a grand white marble staircase. The Getty has no qualms about putting art of a pedestal and I was pretty impressed by the grandeur of the entrance.

Image: Canterbury and St. Albans exhibition at the Getty Center. Foreground: St. Albans Psalter, about 1130, Alexis Master. Tempera and gold on parchment. Dombibliothek Hildesheim. Background: Panels from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Canterbury Cathedral, England, 117880. Colored glass and vitreous paint; lead came. Courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

Image: Canterbury and St. Albans exhibition at the Getty Center. Foreground: St. Albans Psalter, about 1130, Alexis Master. Tempera and gold on parchment. Dombibliothek Hildesheim. Background: Panels from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Canterbury Cathedral, England, 117880. Colored glass and vitreous paint; lead came. Courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

I only had a short amount of time to visit and I really wanted to see their illuminated manuscripts and stained glass. As it so happened the day I visited they had a temporary exhibit up on the Cantebury Tales, filled with rare and exciting manuscripts and windows. Illuminated Manuscripts are hand made documents intricately painted with beautiful inks, and are often focused on religious themes. They began appearing as early the 6th century and were still being made as late as the 16th century. To learn more about illuminated manuscripts you can go here.

I enjoyed sketching the strange images found on many of the pages. Cameras were not allowed in the exhibit so I had to capture inspiring images on paper in ink. This sketch was done in about 5 minutes and I loved the deer eating the octopus. It was such a bizarre picture that I couldn’t pass it by.

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The day I visited also happened to be part of the Getty’s children’s weekend. As part of the festivities they had a live medieval band playing and an art station for children. The project was to make an illuminated manuscript of your own to take home. I was allowed to make one even though I’m not a child anymore. It is pictured above next to my sketches from the exhibit. We were given a pile of papers of various colors and textures and then had access to numerous stamps and inks. Again, pressed for time, I quickly through something together as a momento of my time at the museum. I just let myself be drawn to colors and images and words that I liked.

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That was the final artistic endeavor of my trip to Los Angeles. I will be back in LA in March to be a part of a major theater production, “I Knew That Once”!

Pushing the (h)Edge

Gallery Review from Topics in Installation Art, 2011

Some artists discover their medium over a lifetime of work, others stumble into it unknowingly, and few fall in love at first sight. Kim Dickey knew she wanted to work with ceramics after finding it in sixth grade.

As small but astonishingly skilled hands turned the lump of clay into a two-handled vase, something remarkable happened. “It was like I fell in love,” she says two decades later. Even strangers saw it. “People actually remarked that I looked different. I had a glow about me. They asked if I had been in Florida.” (Dickey)

Dickey had a quick rise into the ceramics world, being represented by the Garth Clark Gallery in New York when she was still in school. Her works sold quickly, and she was in high demand without access to the materials she needed, like a kiln. Although extremely young the pressure pushed her to succeed. Dickey had just been hired by the University of Colorado when the Rule Gallery found her exciting and innovative sculptures. They have represented her ever since.

Dickey’s work walks the fine line between nostalgic narrative and modernism. The magic is in the simplicity of her work. Although highly detailed, each sculpture always contains thousands of little parts; the overall feeling is always calm and undemanding. Her work is so subtle in some cases that it can almost be overlooked. Gardens are often the subject of her sculptures placing childhood memories of hedge gardens side by side with minimalist forms.

She likes to work with the familiar, but insists her concepts are too layered in meaning to be described as merely representational. While Dickey shies from the label of whimsical, there is clearly a sense of humor present. She likes to poke fun at what she calls the self-seriousness of minimalism. (Deam)

Dickey’s installation at the Rule Gallery in March, “All is Leaf,” embodies the hallmarks of her work.

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“All is Leaf’ was designed specifically for the long, thin space of the Rule Gallery. Eleven unique sculptures are placed throughout the space, guiding the viewer through the fantasy garden Dickey has created. Eight large green sculptures pay homage to minimalist forms, including long rectangles along the floor, a large half arch, and L- shaped beams. While clearly drawing their shapes from minimalism they also mimic the architectural construction of a hedge maze. The other four sculptures are small and white, taking the shape of familiar garden characters; a lion, a running rabbit, a hawk, and a small round bush. Every sculpture is covered in thousands of identical leaves, glazed green and white respectively.

Like many of Dickey’s previous pieces, the two types of leaves used here are not meant to be botanically correct. Instead, they are take-offs on the stylized leaves, such as the quatrefoil, found throughout decorative-arts history. (MacMillan)

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Dickey is frequently exploring themes of nature and culture, her medium of clay being the ultimate bridge between the two opposing ideas. Clay being made of the earth means it inherently references earth, and Dickey likes to play off this association in her own art. “It thus straddles the seeming opposition between nature and culture, analogous to the logic of the garden, (Rule).” Clay is also the cornerstone of culture, ceramics often being the first indicator of an advancing civilization. Dickey explains the importance of clay extensively to her students, stressing its place in culture and art;

[Clay] is the stuff of the earth. Once it is fired, it becomes a cultural object. We interpret cultures through their ceramic objects. It’s permanent and impermanent, and that also could be the garden we’re talking about. (from “The Rocky Mountain News” June 14 2007)

Gardens embody the realm between nature and man as well, by taking nature into the constructed confines of the man made. In some ways there is nothing natural about a garden at all with the strict organization of hedges and flower beds. Dickey takes this a step further by removing nature all together making the mimicry complete. However, because she uses clay instead of paint or other materials, some acknowledgment of nature is still present.Gardens are often a starting point for people to interpret their own personal history. For Dickey they played an important role in own her childhood. “Her earliest memories are of scooting along the ground as her mother worked her magic on lavish backyard gardens, (Deam).” The playfulness inherent in the garden imagery immediately pulls up stories from everyone’s youth:

Formal gardens exist as much in our imaginations as they do in reality. With their secret nooks, fantastical naturalism and unexpected vistas, these impeccable oases have long sparked mystery, romance and flights of fancy. They have played key roles in everything from “Alice in Wonderland” to Jane Austen novels. (Macmillan)

 
KimD Lion

The white rabbit sculpture is especially evocative of Wonderland, and the lion conjures up imagery from “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.” Even the size of the sculptures enforces an idea of childhood. The Arch in the first sculpture you see as you enter and it is clearly too small for a full sized adult to pass through. One would have to crouch to go through it. The sculpture cuts the gallery in half, obscuring the back half. This gives the installation feeling of adventure, mystery, and secrecy; its almost as if some secret from the past could reveal itself amongst the sculptures.

The childish nostalgic feeling of the installation is kept from being overwhelming by the strict geometric forms. Clearly drawing from minimalism, anyone with a knowledge of art history can’t help but think of Robert Morris’s 1964 exhibition. “He displayed then-radical works derived from basic construction components, such as an L beam or plank, (Macmillan).” Dickey uses some of the exact same shapes from Morris’s installation in her own work. Unlike traditional minimalist sculpture, Dickey’s installation flaunts its adornment. Traditional minimalism revels in the simplicity of a cube or rectangle. This aesthetic is completely ignored in “All is Leaf” with every sculpture being completely covered in ceramic leaves. Without the detail of the leaves much of the charm would be lost.

This installation was a definite must see, and although simple at first glance it is layered with meaning.

Dickey’s work evokes a sense of wonder and playfulness seen in the best of post-modernism. Her sculptural gardens engage the viewer on many levels from pure, aesthetic pleasure through to the metaphysical, religious and social semiotics of gardens and food. (Garson)

Every detail of the installation is highly considered. No leaf is left unturned, reaffirming Dickey’s place in the ceramic world. Her quick rise to fame alongside this remarkable set of sculptures makes it clear the Kim Dickey deserves to be as highly regarded as she is.

 

Bibliography:

  1. Campbell, Michele. “Kim Dickey.” RULE Gallery. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http:// http://www.rulegallery.com/>.
  2. Deam, Jenny. “MORE THAN A PRETTY POT – Ceramic Artist Kim Dickey a Study in Contrasts.” Welcome to Denver Woman Magazine Online! Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http://www.denverwoman.com/1008/arts1.html&gt;.
  3. MacMillan, Kyle. “Art Review: Kim Dickey’s Gardens of the Mind at Rule Gallery.” Colorado Breaking News, Sports, Weather, Traffic – The Denver Post. 11 Feb. 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http://www.denverpost.com/art/ci_17343412&gt;.
  4. “Meet the Speakers- Kim Dickey.” Australian Ceramics Triennale. Ed. Shannon Garson. 26 May 2009. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http:// australianceramicstriennale.blogspot.com/2009/05/meet-speakers-kim-dickey.html>.

 

Image Credits:

  1. http://denverarts.org/local_exhibits/rule_kim_dickey_all_is_leaf
  2. http://www.denverpost.com/ci_17343412
  3. http://www.westword.com/2011-02-24/culture/kim-dickey-all-leaf-rule-gallery-review/2/

Framing Devices Used in the CU and Denver Art Museums

It is nearly impossible to see a piece of art without it being framed in a certain context. Even when viewed outside of a museum or gallery an art object is framed by the culture, history, and personal motives of the artist. In a museum, however, even more frames are placed around objects. There is the set up of the gallery, the choice of lighting or use of sound, and there is the choice of what text accompanies the objects. Contemplating frames such as these I chose to compare the Denver Art Museums Asian collection, specifically the arts of China, to CU’s collection of Greek ceramics. I chose to compare these two collections because the art objects were somewhat similar, both being composed of many small vessels used both as art objects and in every day life.

The Denver Art Museums Asian collection covers a whole floor of the museum. It covers art from many geographic areas of Asia, from China and Japan to Southwest Asia, Tibet and Nepal. It also has a few rooms dedicated to specific themes such as Bamboo and Buddhist art. As well as having art from many backgrounds, the gallery covered a vast timeline with art in the Chinese collection ranging from as early as 700’s to more contemporary work as late as the 1960’s.

collections_asian_JapanGallery

The Chinese gallery was a long room. Around the edges furniture and clothing were displayed on raised platforms and smaller objects were in glass cases around the room. The lighting was the same as most of the rest of the museum, basic spotlights over cases and display areas, but evenly lit overall. The decor of the gallery was rather plain, with neutral colored walls, floor, and pedestals, which drew attention away from the space to the art objects. Most pieces had a small placard with their name, date, and place of origin with a small description of the scene or figure depicted. Some pieces of art had pull out scrolls which included extra cultural or historical context for the object. There was also a game of eye-spy in the gallery that allowed children to take a closer look at the art.

The descriptions of specific pieces often included many extravagant adjectives. I felt that descriptions often framed pieces to be grander then they may have been. One example was for a small circular box from the Ming Dynasty.

This small box shows the painstaking skill required of a master lacquer craftsman. Over a paper-thin wood core, more than a hundred layers of red, black, green, and brownish-yellow lacquer have been applied and then carefully carved to produce a striking sculptural effect. (DAM)
 
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 Brush Holder with Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove China, Qing dynasty, 1700s bamboo, 5½ inches (14 cm) high, 6 inches (15.2 cm) diameter Lutz Bamboo Collection, gift of Adelle Lutz and David Byrne 2004.829

 

The use of painstaking, careful, and striking in the description accent the piece but there is very little historical evidence given to defend the claims. This may be due to lack of time a museum has to capture its audience when describing a piece.

Most of the pieces in the Denver Art Museum’s Asian collection where contextualized as art rather than artifact. This was especially apparent in the descriptions of the furniture pieces. The focus on the descriptions was about composition and choice of material, as well as how the pieces would be viewed as art by the people who owned and used them. One such table, from Ming dynasty, 1500s-1600s described that it “suited the taste of Chinese scholars, who surrounded themselves with objects made of fine natural materials (DAM).”

The CU Art Museum had a much smaller collection on the whole, and the Greek ceramics collection only took up space in one-third of a case. It covered three shelves and was presented alongside the Roman coins and glass collections. The pieces were well lit in the gallery which was darker than the Denver Art Museum, but still brighter than many galleries and museums I’ve visited in the past. The pieces were only displayed with a one page description of the Greek Ceramics as a whole. For individual informati

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on a packet was below the case, but a viewer would have to notice it and have the patience to read through it to learn about the individual pieces. The page along side the ceramics discussed the role of Greek Ceramics as a tool for learning about early Greek Culture. The collection consisted of pieces from the bronze age to the hellenistic age of Greek history.

In contrast to the Denver Art Museum the CU Art Museum displayed their pieces in a context of artifact rather than art. They specifically discussed the practical application of the objects in activities such as eating and drinking, and religious ceremonies. They did not discuss the processes used to create the pieces or the use of the pieces as an art object. For example, the collection consisted of red-figure and black-figure ceramics, and I did not find any mention of the techniques used to distinguish these two styles. However, I did not read through the whole packet provided below the case. On the other hand, the use of different styles of ceramics was discussed, as well as the role of the certain votive figures in rituals and ceremonies. This choice in presenting the object definitely guides the viewer understanding of the pieces as artifact rather than art objects.

I felt that the Denver Art Museum had a more successful exhibit of their collection than the CU Art Museum. I believe that the goal of a Museum is to get the viewer excited about art, and the Denver Art Museum framed their art in a way that made it very accessible and interesting to guests. First, every art object had a quick description of the piece that covered the basics. It had brief cultural context and described the pieces artistic composition. Including both of these pieces of information brought the objects to life, giving viewers a deeper understanding of how the piece was created, but also the context of how the piece would have been viewed and used at the time of its creation. For example, the description of a ceramic camel was as follows, “Symbolic of the great desert caravans along the Silk Road, glazed earthenware camels were often placed in the tombs of wealthy Chinese merchants. (DAM)” Although its extremely concise it talks about the art process used and the cultural symbolism. This piece was also included in the children’s eye-spy game which I thought was an extremely intelligent touch for including children in the excitement of art. It forced children to take time to really examine all of the art objects in the gallery.

200615t copy

2006.15.T, Apulian-Style Pelike
Date: ca. 350-320 BCE
Height:18.1 cm
Width:11.6 cm 
Transferred from the University of Colorado Musuem of Natural History to the CU Art Museum, University of Colorado (2006).
 

In contrast to the Denver Art Museum the Greek ceramics collection was rather dry. Considering the context of the pieces being part of a university, I suppose the more academic approach was appropriate to the pieces. Many of the pieces have probably been the topic of papers in the classics, archeology, anthropology, and many other departments that have agendas outside of art history. In the context of the university, as objects of research, the display was more successful. If the museum did want to portray the objects in a way that showcased the culture and artistic composition in a way that made the viewer excited to learn more, then I would say they were not successful. I felt this was especially apparent in the way the objects were described for the viewer, with a brief one-page overview, and a half-hidden packet under the case.

All in all both museums used very specific framing devices to guide the viewers understanding of their pieces. The Denver Art Museum used engaging descriptions and plain decor to showcase the pieces as art objects. The CU art museum used a small case with lack of description to frame the pieces as artifacts. Depending on the different goals the museums had for the pieces both of these techniques could be successful, but for my own personal beliefs of the goal of a museum, the Denver Art Museum was more successful.

Bibliography
1. Ancient & Classical.” CU Art Museum. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. <http://cuartmuseum.colorado.edu/collection/ancient-classical/>.
 2. Whitten, Tom. “Asian Art Department | Denver Art Museum.” Denver Art Museum. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. <http://exhibits.denverartmuseum.org/asianart/index.html>.
 
Photo Credits
Image 1: http://www.denverartmuseum.org/collections/asian-art
Image 2: http://www.denverartmuseum.org/collections/asian-art (from slideshow)
Image 3: http://cuartmuseum.colorado.edu/collection/collection-study-center/
 Image 4: http://www.colorado.edu/classics/exhibits/GreekVases/pots/slides.htm