Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Impressionists in CT

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.

6 comments:

1009 said...

& you didn't stop at Wallace Stevens' house???

Heidi said...

Nor Mark Twain's, nor yet Harriet Beecher Stowe's. Do you know how hard it is to backpack your way around? I'd forgotten. 5:15am, Mix.

냉소자 said...

Ah, I miss CT! don't forget to try Franklin Grinder (200 Franklin St) before you leaver Hartford. I haven't been back to CT in ages...

1009 said...

yeah, but the sweet thing about s's house is that it's not a museum or anything. it's just a regular house. i believe a pastor or something lives there now. so you just go & loiter around outside. at least that's what i did.

Heidi said...

Tully! You're alive!

I'm not in Hartford, but might get a meal there on Friday. Dunno about trying to find yet another place... I'm mapped out. Going to try to hit the Twain house and some of the Stevens walking tour.

1009 said...

there's a walking tour?