Museum Highlight: Allen Museum at Oberlin

Recently I've been working on a list of family programs at art museums throughout the country (which will be out next month!). During my search, I came across the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio. I loved their family program so much, I had to share it with you...

Thought for the day...

Русский: Фестиваль Yota Space 2010 - MSA Visuals

“The old rules of not touching a work of art or of reverentially paying homage to each picture in a state of quiet awe are now gone….” 
 Ossian Ward in his latest book Ways of Looking: How to experience Contemporary Art. 

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Do you think the experience of visiting a museum will be different for your children as it was for you as a kid?

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about what art museums are going to look like in the future. Will you be able to put on a VR headset and virtually step in to the painting? Could haptic gloves allow us to feel the art? All of these thoughts continually go back to technology's influence on the future of how we experience art. But before we get there with technology, contemporary artists are encouraging us to move beyond the standard "stand and stare" that we so often do when visiting a museum, and to get involved with the piece itself.

Check out these hands on exhibits and tell me what you think, is this just a trend or the wave of the future?

What Artists Inspire You: Early American Artists

American Progress John Gast 1872

Today, I'm teaming up with Patience Brewster in celebration of August's Artist Appreciation Month. After much consideration, I realized I cannot write one, short post on this topic because there have been so many artists that have inspired me throughout my life, whether personal or professional. And so, if you can bear with me, I've decided to break it up into segments. Starting with 19th century early American art.  (Don't worry, I promise it will be interesting!)
When I was in graduate school I had a long commute from Berkeley to Sacramento twice a week for classes. I'd get up very early, pour a large cup of coffee, and hit the road. As I drove the sun would be rising over the hills and the tips of the tall grasses that lined the highway would start to glow. This strip of highway runs through a few towns, but mostly you're driving through hills with cattle grazing and seemingly endless farmland.

I remember thinking one day as I drove, "this is manifest destiny*." The same idea that drove so many people westward, inspired by art like John Gast's American Progress. There was something so serene, so inspiring about the landscape that I felt like I was driving into a painting. Since then whenever I drive that strip of highway, I feel inspired, perhaps the same way these early American artists were, at the prospect of something new and exciting.

Now I want you to think, have you ever driven/walked/biked through a painting? Have you ever stood in one point and looked out at nature thinking, maybe, just maybe, a hundred to two hundred years prior an artist sat there with his easel and paints, just as inspired by the landscape as you, and created a masterpiece? 

Here are a few pieces that always make me ask that last question...

Yosemite Valley Albert Bierstadt c.1868

Niagra Falls Frederic Edwin Church 1857

Sierra Nevada Albert Bierstadt c.1871

*Please note that I do not support the actual concept of "manifest destiny." Nor do I support the removal of native peoples from their land that resulted from this movement. 

This is not a sponsored piece. However if you'd like to learn more about Patience, check her delightful Christmas ornaments

What's In A Frame?

Have you ever wondered how an artists chooses the frame for the piece? Imagine, for a second, what the Mona Lisa might look like in a different frame...

Born on this day in 1928

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol! 

Let's celebrate this Pop Art pioneer's life with some coloring pages!

More about Andy Warhol here!