Out Looking at Art

I dragged my husband to two art events this weekend. Last night we went to the opening of Colorado Clay at the Foothills Art Center here in Golden. It is always a fantastic exhibition and this year’s selections were no different. There was a wide variety of ceramics: thrown, slab relief, sculpture. Lots of sculpture. Less functional work. I can’t wait to go back when there aren’t so many people around.

Today, we made a long overdue visit to the Vance Kirkland Museum. According to our docent, Kirkland was named the head of the art school at the University of Denver in 1929. It is obvious (just from being here for five years) that Kirkland is one of the jewels of Colorado art. A beloved artist and teacher. Magrittaz

You won’t get this from the Web site (it stinks), but this museum is AMAZING. It is truly an homage to 20th-century design. Plenty of paintings by Kirkland, as well as many works by other Colorado artists–including contemporary ones. (Being a huge supporter of local artists wherever I am, I truly appreciated this.) Honestly, I have never seen so much decorative art and design on display in one place at one time. It was like a storage vault! Chairs, chairs, chairs! (The one above is the MAgriTTA Chair by Matta, a "tip of the hat" to Magritte’s bowler hats and apples. I wish I could figure out HOW you sit in it!)

I used to train docents and have every sympathy for them in their volunteer roles. Our docent (I don’t know her name because she took off her name badge and didn’t introduce herself!) was perfectly lovely, but she had an impossible job ahead of her: How to interpret an entire century and 3,000 objects! We left thinking that they really needed theme tours so we could digest a little at a time.

I also couldn’t help taking pride that I have been right: Language skills ARE invaluable when trying to connect to art. She didn’t do much to inspire us. I wanted her to make me a passionate devotee of Kirkland and 20th-century design. Fortunately, I was already the latter. 

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