Sunday, August 26, 2018

So Many Museums....

...So Little Time!
There are so many amazing museums around this world of ours and I try to visit as many as I can when I travel.  On my most recent trip to Los Angeles, I planned to spend two nights in L.A.  specifically to visit the Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  When mapping out my hotel in proximity to those two museums, I discovered a museum I had never heard of before, The Hammer Museum.  It was founded by Dr. Armand Hammer and designed to not only showcase Dr. Hammer's extensive art collection but to also introduce new audiences to emerging artists.  The museum is now under the management of the University of California.  

My plan was to squeeze in a visit to this museum sometime within those two days in L.A.  

That first evening in the area, my friend and I walked from our hotel into the Westwood district for dinner at a recommended restaurant.  On our walk back to the hotel, we came upon a large group of people waiting outside a building as though waiting to get in.  I found myself right in front of The Hammer Museum and obviously an event was going on.

A very nice security man standing guard spotted us gazing up at the museum and he asked if we would like to go in.  I said yes, and he opened the door and held it for us.  How lucky for us!  

There was indeed a big event going on inside the museum.  The building surrounds an outdoor courtyard that was packed with party-goers filled with music playing.  However, that left the galleries relatively quiet so we took the opportunity to examine the art.

The museum was featuring a new exhibit called "Made in L.A." representing 32 artists aged 29 to 97.  Their work exemplifies the diversity and creativity of today's Los Angeles.  

The top two photos above are works by Jade Gordon and Megan Whitmarsh.  I like the way they were able to represent both emotion and diversity with just basic facial features.

This hand woven art was created by Diedrich Bracken whose work is influenced by the complexities of African-American identity.  

One of my favorite artists in this show was Celeste Dupuy-Spencer.  Her paintings focus on people.  The painting to the left is of her friend and fellow artist Eve Fowler.  Here you see her taking a break from her work to give her dogs some welcome attention.  I love it.  It's such a normal, every-day scene.

These large pieces are by Naotaka Hiro whose work is touched by the artist himself.  He tends to use parts of his own body to create expressions and patterns in is work.

This last piece was huge and extended to the wall to the left.  It was situated around the stairs from the street level to the second floor.  This abstract piece is by Eamon Ore-Giron and it's called "Angelitas Negros".  I love the geometric shapes.

I was lucky to not only get to see this museum and this interesting show but, I got to see it in the evening in a party atmosphere.  On the way out, I thanked that guard at the door for expediting our visit to another great museum.  The timing was perfect.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Farmer's Market in Paris

Last week I posted about a famous farmer's market in the United States, this week I'm visiting one of many wonderful markets that can be found all over Europe.  This one is in Paris.

A little over 10 years ago, I spent 10 wonderful days in Paris with a group of friends.  While we were there, a few of us decided to spend one whole day at the most famous cooking school in the world, the Le Cordon Bleu.  We met at the school where we were introduced to our instructor/chef and his translator.  After a brief set of introductions, our chef took us out to a wonderful Farmer's Market to pick out items that would make up is class demonstrations.  That's our chef above in the top photo examining the gorgeous vegetables on display.

As you might imagine, the assortment of cheeses was very impressive.

And, the variety of fresh fish and seafood was something I'll never see at the Phoenix Farmer's Market.  

Fresh eggs!  Souffle' anyone?

The butcher was happy to cut up some meat for the chef to take back with him.

After visiting the the market, the chef made his way back to the school while the translator and another instructor took us on a tour of a famous bakery.  (I'll post about that at another time.)

When we returned to the school, we found that the chef had whipped up a wonderful lunch for us using the things he purchased at the Farmer's Market.  With a little glass of French rose', it was a perfect lunch before we entered to classroom to learn some new cooking tricks.

I'll post more about my Le Cordon Bleu adventures in the future.  

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Famous Farmer's Market

There is one Farmer's Market that has a reputation all over the world and that is Pike Place Market in Seattle.  I hadn't been here in over 30 years and yet I found it exactly the same as I remembered it if not a little busier.  The market opened for business on August 17, 1907 so it will be 111 years old this coming Friday!

You can find everything at this market from fresh-off-of-the-boat fish to fresh-off-the-farm vegetables.

And, fresh-off-the-tree fruits!

There are also several places to eat within the market but, on the very busy Sunday that I was there, the wait for a table would have been over an hour.

It happened to be Mother's Day on the day I was there so the flower vendor's stalls were overflowing with flowers and even after leaving the market, it seemed like everyone I passed on the street was carrying a bouquet.

Pike Place Market is one of those places you will never forget.  It's busy and colorful and strolling it's stalls will surely whet your appetite!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Relaxing Place at the Art Museum

When I visited Santa Fe last June, I couldn't believe that I had never visited the New Mexico Museum of Art before.  Even though it is situated right in the heart of Santa Fe, I had somehow missed the gem in this past.

The museum is in a beautifully designed, southwestern style building that encircles one of the prettiest courtyards I'd ever seen.

In fact, I spent quite a bit of time sitting in the courtyard enjoying the gurgling of the water feature in the center and admiring the beautifully landscaped garden.

I listened to the birds singing and I finally spotted this little fellow who had an exceptionally strong voice for such a small creature.  I felt like he was singing just for me.

The museum opened it's doors on November 24th, 1917 which makes it one hundred years old.

This display case full of marionettes intrigued me.  I learned that these hand carved puppets were given to the museum in 1978 by the widow of Gustave Baurmann.  He made each of them and used them to entertain his daughter and her friends in Santa Fe.  

Walking into another room, I saw this beautifully displayed set of paintings and more hand-carved figures that were parading around a town square.

The sculpture garden was another peaceful and quiet place to enjoy the craftsmanship of the variety of sculptors.

I think the R. C. Gorman sculpture called Seated Navajo Woman was my favorite.  It has such a life-like appeal.

But before I left the museum, I took one more look at the beautiful courtyard.  

I'll make sure I don't miss this place on any future trips to beautiful Santa Fe.