Sunday, November 20, 2016
World Class Art Museum
Last Sunday I posted about a piece of performance art that I saw at the Tate Britain Museum so this week I thought I'd post a little more about the museum itself. From 1897 to 1932, this museum was known as the National Gallery of British Art and from 1932 to 2000 it was called the Tate Gallery after it's founder Sir Henry Tate. In May of 2000, the now famous Tate Modern was opened in a huge building that formerly housed a power generation facility. With it's prominent location directly across the river from St. Paul's Cathedral, it seemed to quickly overshadow it's older sister.
In my opinion, this is a museum that should not be missed on any visit to London. So, if the Tate Modern is on your list, try to squeeze in a visit to this outstanding museum too. I'm pretty sure you'll thank me.
The art inside the museum is inspiring, provocative, imaginative and beautiful as it should be in any grand museum of art. Here are two that particularly drew my attention.
This one is called "Crowd, Earls Court" by Edward Middleditch. It was painted in 1954. Middleditch was one of a group of artists called the "kitchen sink" artists who were at the forefront of realist art in the 1950's.
I wondered if he was related to Michael Middleditch, the creator of the London, New York and Paris MapGuides that I have used for many, many years.
This is a 17th century painting, artist unknown but and inscription reads that it is of two sisters of the Cholmondeley family who were born on the same day, married on the same day and gave birth on the same day. The true identities of course are unknown but, it is thought that the painter may have been from Chester, near the Cholmondeley Estate. I love a good mystery so this one appealed to my sense of intrigue.
Of course, when I'm in a grand museum of this scale, I always see ways to create my own artistic take on my surroundings. That's why a photo of the grand dome over the center of the museum was a must.
And, a photo of the gorgeous spiral stair case under the dome was also appealing to my artistic side.
I am sad to say that I hadn't been to this museum since 1999. I won't let that much time go by again. On that earlier visit, I saw a contemporary work that affected me in so many ways. It made a powerful statement on society and morals and I can still picture it to this day. It was called "Scrapheap Services" by Michael Landy. The Tate still owns that piece and I gather it has been on display again at the Tate Modern. (If you are curious, click the link)
On my next trip to London, this museum will be prominent on list of places to return to.