Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 45/60: Buffalo museums

Rainy day, all day, on and off. Dan dropped off a load of clothes at a nearby laundry.

The Albright Knox Art Gallery is a noisy, frustrating, disorganized place with some great art. The older stuff is hung unceremoniously in a long hallway around a courtyard. People circulate past it to get to basic services. Low ceilings make the hall echo. There must have been 10,000 school children of various ages milling about noisily, being told not to touch. I finally bolted. It was a relief to stand outside in the rain.

I walked across the street to the Burchfield Penney Art Center, which has a handsome new building designed by Gwathmey just before his death. Just inside the building is a snack bar; no caffeine available at the other museum. I had a latte and a fabulous home-made muffin.

Burchfield was a very interesting painter, mostly water colors, mostly light effects and wind effects in imaginary gardens. There has long been a gallery on campus at Buffalo State College for his work. Then an art collector named Penney donated his Burchfields and his other art, and apparently a bunch of money, to the Burchfield Art Center, so they expanded and added his name. Only a small amount of Burchfield's work is shown, but, later, when Dan joined me, he persuaded a curator to give us a tour of the storage space where they keep the others; that was a special treat.

The rest of the stuff at Burchfield Penney was unmemorable. A bunch of stuff about the Black freedom movement. Some comic book art by Spain Rodriguez. I enjoyed some American crafts and furnishings from the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The school tours all leave the Albright Knox at noon, so the sound level was tolerable when I returned. Dan was most pleased to be able to shoot Gauguin's "Yellow Christ." I was most happy to discover fine paintings by Gerhard Richter and Anuszkiewicz. Plus a stunning wall design by Sol Lewitt. They have one of the better works by Pollock and some excellent Clyfford Still.

We picked up the laundry on the way back to the motel.

For dinner Dan had wanted to try a fancy place called Mother's, a block's walk from the motel, but it is an in-spot. The bar was roaring. The music, nice enough, was deafening. We finally gave up. Drove a few blocks to Towne restaurant, a Greek place where Dan ate last night. No music at all. Lots of room. Pleasant warm light. Enthusiasic, if somewhat scatter-brained service. I had the broiled grouper with rice mixed with spinach, plus fresh zucchini. All excellent. Dan loved his lamb kabob. We shared a piece of pumpkin pie. We were very happy about our choice.

Dan said, "I could do this forever. Just traveling around looking at art and eating in new restaurants." So there you have it.

We for pretty sick of our room at the Gest Western on the Avenue. No wifi kept us from uploading photos to blog. Room small and badly arranged; desk chair always in the way. On the other hand, one of our two nights wasfree based on BW's point system.

1 comment:

  1. "I saw this picture in the school library where someone's face was all made up of fruits and vegetables," my son said. "Would be cool to have one of those in my room."
    He and I searched for art about "vegetables" in wahooart.com and immediately found this one, http://en.wahooart.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8BWLKG, by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, which fits the bill to the nearest pear.

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