Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beauty and the Bones

Scrimshaw of a Whaling Scene (detail) by J. Cocke

I recently visited the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. The art venues deep into Orange County are not in my normal orbit of activity, but I will make the occasional art foray into the South. I wanted to check out their scrimshaw exhibit. That's not something that gets put on display very frequently. It was a nice modest collection.

Then I checked out the "Spirits and Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands" show. Obviously, any show that covers such a wildly diverse area is going to be broad and thin in overall presentation, but this show packed in the quality. It succeeded both in giving an overarching survey and in displaying objects of notable cultural potency.

Spirit Mask, Papua New Guinea

Likewise the "Ancient Arts of China: A 5000 Year Legacy" was broad and thin. It had some gorgeous works, but, given the topic, I'd have like to see more. Of course, while my aesthetic desires are limited only by my imagination, the Bowers has expense and display space to consider. Given those limitations, it's a good collection. ;-)

Here are a couple of photos:

Ivory Carved Lady, Qing Dynasty

Guanyin and Qing Vases

But my favorite exhibit is the Californian art from the permanent collection. It's a wonderful exhibit of old California artistry and aesthetic trends.

Nude Figure by Firelight (1910) by Guy Rose

Good stuff!!!

Here's a fun vid promoting the Scrimshaw exhibit:

Visiting the Bowers Museum was well worth my time.


No comments:

Post a Comment