This past weekend was the last family Christmas get together of 2014 (there is still a friends party to go). This year the my wife's family chose to gather in Indianapolis. I'm not good at sitting still and doing nothing constructive, so I took the chance yesterday and took off with my 15 year old daughter to explore the city.
We went first to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Of course I was most interested in the furniture.
It was fun to see a cabinet like this after the drawer front veneering I've played with lately. I have definitely gained a new appreciation and respect for this work.
On top of that are some closeups of the boulework on a stand up clock. This work is beginning to intrigue me more and more.
The inlay and detail is amazing.
I have looked at lots and lots of photos and measured drawings of Greene and Greene furniture over the years. Of all the Arts and Crafts movement they are one of my two favorites (Charles Rohlfs is an easy favorite too) but I have never seen any of the pieces in person. I guess I can't say that any longer.
There was a dining set from the Charles Millard Pratt House.
The details on paper and in books are one thing. To see them in person is another thing completely. If you ever can, go see real pieces of inspirational furniture in person. It will fire those synapses in your mind like nothing in a book ever will. That's saying a lot considering how much I love books.
I was truly taken with these brass pin details against the ebony. These are the types of detail I strive for in my work. I often fall short of this, but it reminds me to do better.
There was a gallery of classic American furniture, I found a great example of a corner chair. I'm quite taken by this form.
But this small tiger maple mixing table, was really something special.
It had a slate top, wooden knobs, some subtle grain painting, three drawers, brass wheeled hardware on the legs. Great joinery, proportions and subtle elegance that made it stand out in a room of much more grandiose furniture. Given the high boy in the corner versus this table, for me the table wins hands down.
I'm considering building this one. Maybe even trying to write an article about it. I just have to get my hands on some tiger maple and get someone to fabricate the brass wheels.
There was a large galley of modern design as well. I am not a real fan of these styles or sensibilities. There is something to be said for the timeless fashion of good proportion and construction. I especially have trouble with the postmodernist stuff.
I understand exploring this territory from an artistic point of view, but that's about where my understanding stops. Just looking at it offends my sensibilities a bit.
The only thing in the modern design galleries I found that I liked was a modern dutch chair designed by Hans Wegner and made by Johannes Hansen.
On top of this there are great works by great masters of the Arts. The Van Gogh they have on the walls is one of my favorites (by one of my favorite artists) Several Gauguins and Cezannes. There is nothing quite like visiting a museum in person to add some fuel to your own creative endeavors.
Ratione et Passionis