- From a perusal of the website, Scrimshaw: The Art and Craft of the American Whaler immediately caught my eye, a beer of the same name being one of my favorites not the least of reasons why. It also inspired me to return to American literature by undertaking Moby-Dick--which I'm enjoying so far.
- Quilts: Two Centuries of American Tradition and Techinique -- ain't even a question. There are quilts from 1776 on display! Saved it for last and found myself stomping my feet as I entered, which is just what The Goo does when he's excited.
- I'd seen many of the Masterpieces from the Price Collection when they were at LACMA a few years ago in the huge Age of Imagination exhibition. They are always a treat. I liked the display of calligraphy brushes in different sizes and made of different hairs (including rat!), along with the case of natural pigments used to achieve the prism of colors for scroll paintings:
- Ancient Arts of China was sort of an unusual exhibition, but covered a lot of periods of Chinese history. I particularly appreciated the explanation of the qualities of the scholar-gentleman:
- A docent took us through Spirits and Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands. I kinda felt bad for the guy when he offered to lead the tour, so indulged him. He seemed well versed if not necessarily well practiced, his segues from one topic to the next feeling rather scripted. Can't get better without practice, though, and I was happy to have afforded him an opportunity at it.
- California history and art took me back to sixth grade, with profiles of our first statesmen and ties to Mexican culture. I liked some of the California impressionist paintings and some of the very intricate examples of basketry, which makes me sound more folksy than I'd like, but I'm not one to deny a nod to good craftsmanship.
The Bowers building itself is a grand hacienda that would be a great venue for an al fresco party. There's a more modern annex that opens to a garden housing sculptures in Carrara marble and a row of metal (copper?) water fountains. I tried to capture the intersection of the two, which is really a rather nice transition, but, sadly, my photography skills are a bit lacking:
Finished off with lunch at Memphis Cafe. My Southern Eggs Benedict was tasty, with a bit of a kick delivered by the Chipotle hollandaise, but I was disappointed that their weekend brunch offerings didn't include the fried chicken or other more typical Southern fare I had at the Costa Mesa location.
As I reflect on the visit I am recommitted to finishing my quilt quickly but with care, to keep on with Moby-Dick, and to throw that California-themed party sooner rather than later. As for natural dyeing and brush calligraphy -- though I promised myself I'd undertake the latter if I ever live in Japan again -- I'll have to leave those in the realm of distant dreams, or other people's blogs. *sigh*