Up at 5:15am this morning and off to Hartford, where I took a bus downtown and stopped at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford's main art museum. I saw an article in the NY Times on a special exhibit they're having called Impressionists by the Sea, so I decided it was worth a look before I hopped yet another bus to Middletown.
A very well-chosen exhibit, quite large for such a small museum. I particularly enjoyed a pair of early Monets of the Trouville beach, showing couples strolling at high tide and then again (typical) at low tide, when the boardwalk had been laid out and the light was a little hazier and more golden. That and another one of fishing boats at the water's edge show the Monet I like the best, with vivid colors and some outlines still left before his hazy pastel days take over completely.
I also loved a large Gustave Courbet painting, just rocks at the seashore, but such unbelievably shiny, wet-looking rocks put on with a palette knife. Lots of fun.
The rest of the museum is especially strong in Americana, with a huge furniture collection that I just can't appreciate (one Chippendale looks much like another to me). They also have a huge quantity of porcelain figurines donated by Morgan. What a collector that guy was. Enough to donate to tons of museums and start his own. They also have a few nice Impressionist paintings in the main collection, including a little Van Gogh self-portrait and a Renoir painting of Monet painting in his garden at Argenteuil. Impressionists hanging out together, gotta love it.
Early to bed tonight. Will be blogging on the ground from Middletown for the rest of the week.