Monday, November 9, 2015

A Visit To the Flint Institute of Arts

My friend suggested we take a trip to the Flint Institute of Arts to see an exhibit of French photography. I had not been to the museum in over ten years, and it has been through a major remodeling since then.
Guernica by Sophie Matisse (granddaughter of Henri Matisse) was her response to witnessing the events of 9-11. She painted Picasso's Guernica, his response to the bombing of a village during the Spanish Civil War, using her grandfather's color pallet.

We arrived too early! But the Director of Development, Kathryn Sharbaugh, came out and took us on a personal tour of several galleries, educating us on specific pieces along the way.

  Dale Chihuly work was commissioned for the new lobby 
My husband's father grew up in Flint, MI. This Edmund Lewandowski mural was inspired by a map of Flint. We spent a long time looking at it. Read about how it was covered up and later restored here.

Horror Vacui by Judy Pfaff
Sculpture in the courtyard
African Mask
18th c Chinese celadon porcelain
19th c painting of the 1,000 Islands
Sleepy Hollow Church by Thomas Chambers, 1850
Birds attributed to Thomas Coke Ruckle
Ms. Sharbaugh spent a long time with the painting below, explaining the Victorian symbolism. It was painted by an itinerant Philadelphia artist for The Fowler family who had lost a child.
The Fowler children, 1854
My husband noted right off that the two children on the left were in mourning clothes while the girl on the right is in white, and surrounded by flowers. He deducted the girl in white was the deceased. Our guide explained another hint was her coral necklace; coral is the remains of a creature that was once alive. Also the painting is divided in it's background; the living children have ivy behind them, a symbol of growth, while the deceased girl has an idealized landscape behind her.
1840s portrait of a woman
I hope we return soon to see the galleries that were being dismantled for the annual craft fair. I picked up their book of American Art at the gift shop. Some of my favorite artists are represented!

Flint Institute of Arts
1120 East Kearsley St
Flint MI
Open 12-5 M-F, 10-5 Sat, 1-5 Sun

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