Last weekend (I know this post is a bit late), Ben's mom headed up to Portland to: a) return our cat that she'd been sitting when we went to Denver, b) help me with some wedding planning, and c) enjoy a summery weekend wandering about the city with me. I think we achieved all objectives perfectly and punctuated each with some chilled wine and delicious food. On Saturday, we decided it was about time we hit the Portland Art Museum. I had never been (hard to drag a medical student to an art museum it seems) and she hadn't been in many years. When we read that they had some impressionist works on display at their The Art of the Tuileries exhibit, we knew it was a go! Impressionist art ranks as my favorite period and style. I shed actual tears when I saw the great pieces by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, Cezanne (to name a few) at the Met in New York. I lurked about my favorite painting, Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the island of La Grande-Jatte just crying. What a weirdo.
With the promise of gorgeous sculptures, French culture, and a Manet on display, we slipped on some museum-strolling shoes and walked up to the art museum.
One of PAM's special exhibits and a giant installation in the lobby, my nifty fifty was unable to capture the magnitude of this piece by Joel Shapiro.
The photo below is an amazing ceramic piece that blew my mind. The flow and the seeming fabric-like movement of the piece left me lingering about it for ages. It was in the Asian art wing of the museum along with some gorgeous scrolls, screens, pieces of Turkish clothing, and many blue and white ceramics from various periods in history.
I seriously can't say enough about the wall colors throughout these wings of the museum. They were so vibrant and rich that they stood out as much as the pieces of art. We took a peek at some very old glass works (from 0-50 C.E.), beautiful religious paintings, awesome sculptures, and crazy portraiture from the 18th century. I swear, I can spend hours getting up close and personal with pieces of art. The vibrancy of paint on canvas after hundreds of years always leaves me in awe.
We spent a good deal of time in the Garden of the Tuileries exhibit, admiring statues from the garden of Athena and her suitor, casts of some gorgeous more modern sculptures, watching a video of the garden, studying old photographs of it during uprisings and war-time in France, and then we lovingly examined some gorgeous Pissarro and Manet pieces. I don't have any photos of them because I was absolutely immersed in enjoying them. I think one of my favorite things about Impressionism is that the paintings are so different from different angles and distances away. I sat down on a bench at one point and just absorbed the magic.
We finished the day off by sitting in the sunshine in the outdoor sculpture garden at the museum drinking iced black tea (with a pump of sugar) and chatting about all-things-wedding. I got a good sunburn on one arm and did some quality people watching before we got thirsty for some wine. Overall a totally lovely day.
If you're headed to PDX and need something to do, I highly recommend hitting up the art museum (give yourself 2-3 hours to explore the museum and another to sit put in the sun).