My youngest son is doing distance learning from home along with every other college student. It is truly great having him home but I still lament the loss of what we’d have been doing in Ithaca this past weekend, as we were scheduled to be visiting him for his first big rowing event of the season.
When visiting Cornell University, I always go to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, which is right in the heart of the campus. Magnificent 360 degree views of Ithaca, Lake Cayuga and the Cornell campus can be seen from the top of the museum. Opened in 1973, the museum was designed by I.M. Pei & Partners.
The permanent collection houses more than 25,000 works including Asian art from the 15th century to present, African sculpture and textiles, European art from ancient times to the present, pre-Columbian sculpture and ceramics, and modern and contemporary painting and sculpture.
“Albers’ famous series Homage to the Square – eventually comprising more than a thousand works in various media – is based on a mathematical format of color squares set against one another. His intention was to systematically explore spatial and color relationships within the limitations of the square format. For Bright Hour, Albers made a careful record of the painting’s formal experiment, writing on back of the board: “Paints read from center/ Cadmium yellow light/ Naples yellow/ Yellow ochre / Cadmium orange / primary from tube with addition of thinner / 6 coats of casein with addition of lines oil and varnish.” (Johnson Museum of Art) I always stop and look at Albers’ square paintings as his sense of color is incredible. I never knew he wrote down the colors on the backs of his paintings. I wonder if he always did this? His book Interaction of Color, originally published in 1963 as a handbook for teaching, is one of my personal favorites.
If you want to see more funerary vessels, read one of my past blog posts here.
If you want to see another example from the Jomon period, see here.
All good things come to those that don’t give up. I had been to the museum several times, and each time had looked in the visible storage area, as on line there was a Betty Woodman piece listed as being in visible storage. I’m a big Betty Woodman fan and I adore her pillow pitchers. I contacted the museum several times to see if they could take it out of regular storage (since it was never in visible storage) so I could see the piece, and finally got a nice person to do so! It was awaiting my arrival in a conference room on my last visit. I begged them to put the piece out on display and was hoping to check to see if it was this past weekend. Next time I’ll let you know.