Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sunday in Tucson - The Museum of Art

Scarlett and I took advantage of Second SundAZe @ TMA's free admission last weekend. I'm embarrassed to admit that it was my first time inside the museum's galleries.  I've been to the Art Fair on the grounds, but I'd never ventured inside.  Free of charge, I was willing to take the chance.

OK, I'm a snob. I grew up with MOMA and The Met and grew to adulthood with The Art Institute of Chicago.  I admit it.  I'm a snob.

But the Oriental rugs on special exhibit held my interest, and the folk art was as irreverent as folk art usually is, and the permanent collection had a few gems, too.  There was weirdness and there were pieces that made us uncomfortable, and isn't that what a good museum ought to provide?  

It was, in the end, a lovely afternoon.  

We started with the rugs, not only because they were at the top of the Guggenheim-like ramping of the museum.  They were hung with protective metal clasps, and were left loose against the wall so that inquiring patrons could examine the warp and the weft without touching the merchandise.
The warp and the weft?  Those are the crosspieces which make up the foundation of the rug.  The warp runs horizontally; the weft is the transverse strand.  The rugs consist of hundreds of thousands of tiny knots, latch-hooked onto the foundation.

I learned all that on Sunday. 
There were big rugs and tiny rugs 
rugs of silk and wool.
One was more marvelous than the next.

The children's program's docent was leading a discussion in front of this wall filled with portraits.
We couldn't get close enough to see more of the Native peoples' portraits,
but I took comfort in the fact that I could get up close and personal to Red Grooms' picture of Gertrude Stein
Isn't that exactly how you imagine her? 
While this slightly creepily cross-eyed beauty watched us, 
we admired this polished sculpture.
The next series is where it got strange.
Jason Young's Silver Tap looked like bullet holes to me.
I thought I was being a bit melodramatic, but then I saw this one in the same gallery: 
One in a series of Margaret Evangeline's Los Lunas pieces, this one consists of stainless steel and gunshot.  Yes, gunshot.  Not exactly what I'd hoped to see memorialized on September 11th, but obviously the perfect medium in which to punch holes in stainless steel.

And it just kept getting weirder, denizens.  

I'm not sure who needs to do a gunshot series.
I know I do not.

It was time for some fun, so off to the exhibit of Latin Americana collected by a member of the US Foreign Service over the course of a long career.  
These guys cheered me up immediately.
This little horse reminded me of a piece of McKenzie Childs ceramics;
I do not know.

With smiles on our faces, we headed for the gift shop where we were able to resist purchasing anything 
except a postcard for Brother.

Sadly, there were none of naked ladies, a standard in our family's pantheon of strange traditions.
Happily, that was the only thing lacking on an otherwise wonderful afternoon.
I can't believe I waited this long to visit. 


  1. I love going to museums in different cities. We have the Smithsonian and I absolutely love it, but when we were in San Diego, we went to the museums there and it was awesome. While there, there was a woman with a Moms Demand Action shirt on. I even stopped her and chatted with her for a few minutes.

    The science museum was amazing and I had wished my younger daughter had been with us 'cause she would have really appreciated it.

    I'll be back in San Diego at the beginning of November, so I'm going to make it a point to visit the museums again.

    Thanks for sharing with us too what Tucson has to offer. :)

    Megan xxx

    1. I'm your point stop shop for what's fun to do in The Old Pueblo. I'd you ever come to town, The Burrow will be your guide!


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