Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

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.

Cornell Art Museum

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.

Partial view from the top floor – Ithaca is gorgeous

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.

Left: Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke Still Life with Lamp, 1997
Screen print with hand-painted Magna on honeycomb-core aluminum panel in artist’s frame

Center: Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke Still Life with Coffee Pot, 1997
Screenprint, enamel and Magna on stainless steel

Right: Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke Still Life with Box, 1997
Screenprint, enamel and Magna on stainless steel

These pieces were unfinished at the time of the artist’s death on September 29, 1997
Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1959
Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1959
Welded iron, canvas, wire, and velvet
Jennifer Bartlett, Color Index 1
Jennifer Bartlett, Color Index 1, 1974
Tester’s enamel and silkscreen on twenty-five plates
detail
Andy Warhol, Vote McGovern, 1972
Andy Warhol, Vote McGovern, 1972
Screenprint
Edition 133/250
John Chamberlain, De la Nuit
John Chamberlain, De la Nuit, 1963
Welded automobile steel, painted
Josef Albers, Homage to the Square: Bright Hour
Josef Albers, Homage to the Square: Bright Hour, 1955
Casein on hardboard

“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.

Richard Lindner, Banner #4
Richard Lindner, Banner #4, 1971
Mixed-media textile collage
Fernando Botero, Little Girl Smoking
Fernando Botero, Little Girl Smoking, 1968
Oil on canvas
Forrest Clemenger Bess, Star of David
Forrest Clemenger Bess, Star of David, 1959
Oil on canvas
Roberto Matta, Oeufficiency
Roberto Matta, Oeufficiency, ca. 1954
Oil on canvas
Jean Dubuffet, La Bouche en Croissant
Jean Dubuffet, La Bouche en Croissant (Smiling Face), 1948
Oil and sand on canvass
William Merritt Chase, Portrait of My Sister Hattie
William Merritt Chase, Portrait of My Sister Hattie, 1886
Oil on canvas
Ibra Lassaw, Node
Ibra Lassaw, Node, 1965
Bronze, copper sheet, steel, and paint
Hashino Satoru, Beginning Form – Met Spiral 06 L-1, 2006
Carbon impregnated stoneware
Hunping Funerary jar
China, Zhejiang province, Hunping Funerary jar, Western Jin period (265-316 AD)
Glazed stoneware, Yue ware

If you want to see more funerary vessels, read one of my past blog posts here.

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NIshapur ware bowl, 9th-10th century
Iran, NIshapur ware bowl, 9th-10th century
Earthenware with green, amber and aubergine glazes
China, Gansu province, Majiayao culture, Jar with painted zigzag designs, Neolithic period, Machang phase, ca. 2200-2000 BC
Earthenware
Japanese, Middle Jomon period, Storage vessel, ca. 3000-2000 BC
Coiled and cord-impressed earthenware

If you want to see another example from the Jomon period, see here.

Betty Woodman, Pillow Pitcher
Betty Woodman, Pillow Pitcher, 1981
Ceramic

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.

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