Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What an inspiring day!

Today, Hubby and I took a little trip to Salem, Oregon the Capital of Oregon and home of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.  The museum is located on the campus of Willamette University the oldest, and first, university in Oregon.

We are so fortunate to live close to the Hallie Ford because for a "smallish" town, like Salem, this is a first class art museum.

Our mission was to see the current show "Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections".  This show contains 64 object on loan from some of the most distinguished public and private collections throughout the United States.  Most of these items were unearth in the area between the Tigras and Euphrates Rivers by archeologist in the late 18th Century.

Photos were not allowed....but I did take one photo before I saw the sign, ooops!

The little fellow below is referred to as a "Foundation figure", he is a God and holds a peg that would be placed, like a cornerstone, in the corner of the building.  Found in what is now Iraq around 2090 BCE,  yes, two thousand years "Before Christ" or "Before Common Era".

This little Foundation Peg was only about 6" high with amazing detail.  This pieces was made with the "lost wax" technique and cast in bronze, I would guess.  He looks pretty good for being 4000 years old, doesn't he.

Since I couldn't take photos, I tried my hand a quick sketches....not great, but fun attempts.

This horse is a Relief Fragment from 668-627 BCE, the detail on this carving is amazing, but then, so is the harness with a bell on it and, what to me looked like, a tassel hanging from the reins. 

A Mastiff like statue from the Old Babylonian Period, 19 Century BCE.  This little guy was about 6 to 8 inches tall carved stone. 

Some of the pieces in this show are up to 8,000 years old!  Difficult to wrap my brain around since the amount of sophistication represented in each piece is so much more than I could have ever imagined.

As if this were not enough, in the museums upstairs gallery we discovered mono prints made on the Umatilla Reservation by Native artisans at The Crow's Shadow Institute.

The exhibition highlights 27 contemporary prints, created by 14 Native American artists including work by Rick Bartow and James Lavadour.  I love printmaking and these were so exciting and inspiring to see!

Wait!  There's more......another museum room features more Native American art including these paintings, quilts and baskets.

What a delicious day!  So much pure inspiration in one delightful place.


Halle said...

Glad you had such an inspiring day!

Karen said...

Love your drawings of the displays...I would never have thought of that, but then I'm not artistic, either. I do dislike the fact we cannot take pictures of artwork, it's so frustrating. We went to a display of original Tiffany lamps a few years ago and of course, no photography was allowed, but I sure wish they would have had a flyer of the collection we could purchase instead. I do realize that many artists and collection owners do not want to be copied and that flash photography may ruin paintings....so your idea (and talent!) at reproducing the artwork is the perfect answer.

Loved the tour.

Dianne said...

oh, what gorgeous art work in the museum...and loved that you did some sketching! thanks for taking us along...

elle said...

I need to take the time to do more of this as I agree about the inspiration.

Julie said...

Looked like a wonderful place, Jan! Neat stuff, for sure!!!