Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Muskegon Museum of Art

On Saturday, I had the chance to visit the Muskegon Museum of Art for the first time. I came because I heard about their fiber art exhibit - I was very interested in fiber art at one point in time, and I thought it would be worth a visit. The museum is small and has a very humble feeling about it, but their collection has some pretty great pieces.  From what I understand, the main exhibit from the permanent collection is rotating in and out of display. The information given about each piece included when it was obtained, who the director of the museum was when it was obtained, and a little bit about that director's vision for the museum.  This was interesting, but it seemed like the curators used the exact same piece of information about each director for every piece acquired while the director was there.  It felt a little redundant, and that could have been managed better.

Here are a few pieces that I liked.  I found the above interesting because it was one of the few pieces that wasn't a painting - the collection was dominated by paintings, with a few photographs and sculptures mixed in.  The one below reminded me of the Diego Rivera fresco that's at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The museum's permanent collection wasn't actually what I came here to see.  They have an exhibit of art called "Innovators and Legends: Generations in Textiles and Fiber" here right now.  I used to be fairly into knitting and spinning, so it's sort of carrying on from that.  Since many of the pieces in the exhibit were not owned by the museum, photographs weren't allowed inside of it.  The exhibit made me think about the ways that work is displayed.  One of the pieces in the show was a film - of a performance/installation piece.  I appreciate that they documented the work, but it seems like the film isn't the project here.  The film gave the viewer an idea of what was happening with the work, but that's not the same.  So, the question remains - is there any way to include a performance/installation piece in an exhibit like this?

Since I couldn't take pictures of the fiber art, here's a picture of their Chihuly piece.

 In the department of "Things that I noticed and thought were curious" we have this, above.  You've probably seen these in art galleries before, they measure temperature and humidity to help keep the art in good shape, but have you ever seen one with a little tag, explaining what it was?  Me neither. Did people ask a lot of questions about it?  Did someone try to steal one? Did someone who worked at the museum feel that it was important for people to know?  Now I need to know the origin of this.
Also, I spotted the situation below in one of the galleries.  You've heard of the Nelson bench, right?  Black legs, wood top with slats?  They work well in art galleries because they're not a piece of furniture that's in your face, it's much more of a foundation piece.  Anyway, have you ever seen them with cushions before?  I haven't.  The cushions, in case you can't tell from the photo, have the Eames dot pattern on them.  It's this weird collision of designers, and I don't know what's happening.  It was confusing.

 I'm glad that I took the time to visit the Muskegon Museum of Art - it was a bit outside what I'm accustomed to, but that's good.  I'll keep them on my radar and look out for new exhibits!

1 comment:

  1. that thing that measures temp and humidity is a hydrothermograph