Today I visited the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum and the Blanton Museum of Art. I was a party of one this time because none of my Galivantin’ Gals friends could go. I missed them but enjoyed my visits anyway.
At the Bullock Museum I checked on the progress of the restoration work on the ship La Belle. It is now in its permanent location where it will be the centerpiece of the museum’s first-floor exhibition space. It will be at least a year before the restoration is completed.
I also enjoyed viewing the special exhibition of reproduction prints of murals painted by Tom Lea. Between 1934 and 1942, he worked on a series of murals commissioned for newly built federal buildings through the U. S. Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts. The art placed in federal buildings was intended to boost the morale of people suffering the effects of the Great Depression. The artists were not restricted to a particular artistic style but the art needed to be, in the words of President Roosevelt, “native, human, eager and alive – all of it painted by their own kind in their own country, and painted about things thy know and look at often and have touched and loved.”
After lunch in the Story of Texas Café, I went across the street to the Blanton Museum of Art to hear the first program of this academic year in the Midday Music Series. The QuinTexas ensemble (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn) interwove a fairy tale about "Allerleirauh" (All-Kinds-of-Fur) with four musical works: Serenade in C Minor, K. 388 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Quintet, Op. 41 by Carl Nielsen; Quintet No. 1 by Jean Françaix; and Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24 No. 2 by Paul Hindemith. It was an interesting alternative to their usual guided docent tour of the related art work.
The art featured today was “Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm” which is an exhibition of 36 gouache and pastel drawings by Frank, an Austin native now based in New York. Using early versions of the Grimms’ fairy tales, she renders key scenes from the stories. She explores the parallel poles of “longing and desire but also disgust and fascination” that constitute humanity. Since the drawings are based on the unedited early versions of the tales, which were quite risqué, most of them are not suitable for children.
I hope my pals will be able to join me for the next outing.