Sunday, July 26, 2015
Phoenix Art Museum

It took me awhile this year to come up with vacation plans. We needed something easy on the budget, as new tires and exquisite statue had cost a bit. And I suspect I might need new glasses and...

...I was at work and heard an ad from NAM, National Association for Music, that spoke of the rewards of music. "Just play", it ended. I was reminded of one of the segments on a Phoenix KAET PBS show about the Musical Instrument Musema and knew that this was something Julia and I would have great fun experiencing. So the planning was on!

The Phoenix Art Museum is closed Monday and Tuesday. Sunday they open as late as noon, while MIM opens at 9:30am Sunday. So that sorted easily. Phoenix Art Museum Saturday, MIM Sunday and Heard Museum on Monday. We might stay another night on Monday so we can leave early in the morning?

It had been a few years since we'd visited PAM. A couple of exhibits sounded intriguing: " American and European Art from the 1920s and 1930s" and "From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection". To our joy, photos were allowed everywhere, except for certain pieces, those by Stuart Davis, which I wouldn't have cared to photograph anyway.

I hadn't realized with a nice little museum this is. I saw things I hadn't seen on earlier visits. Their Asian selections are lovely.

There's a porcelain seated maiden in a lovely flowered dress, Japanese I think. No, Chinese:

Three-color glazed seated court lady
Chinese, 8th - 9th century
Glazed ceramic
Gift of Dr. Victoria Chan-Palay, New York, Phoenix Art Museum

Accession number uncertain #2005.35??? #2006.36???, photo too fuzzy :(

A beautiful celadon green carved jade vase called for the camera:

Celadon jade magnolia vase
Chinese, Qing Dynasty, 1644-1911
Nephrite jade
Museum purchase with funds provided by Asian Arts Council,
Phoenix Art Museum #2009.49
Julia's dress provides a nice background!

Some funerary statues impressed us with their facial expressions:

Ensemble of six tomb figures
Chinese, 7th century
Painted earthenware
Museum purchase with funds provided by Asian Arts Council and many others,
Phoenix Art Museum #2005.37 1-6??

Quite stern!

Another imposing figure...

Two plump Chinese figures with blushing faces were modeled after an important official's (memory less distinct, important as in the KING'S) favorite courtesan:

One of a Pair of Painted Terracotta "fat ladies"
Chinese, Tang Dynasty, 8th century
Painted clay
Gift of Drs. Thomas and Martha Carter,
Phoenix Art Museum #2013.507.1-2

"The term 'fat lady' is used in both Chinese and English to identify this kind of sculpture. In the imperial Chinese capital of the Tang dynasty, the standard of feminine beauty changed between the seventh century and the eighth century. Emperor Tang Xuanzhong (r. 712-755) became extraordinarily infatuated with one of his concubines, Yang Guifei. She was reknown for her voluptious beauty. His subsequent neglect of political affairs led to the An Lushan revolt and his forced suicide, for which she was partially blamed." (From info card). But until that debacle, "Yang Guifei set the style for feminine beauty of her time."

Gaston Lachaise's sculpture of his favorite plump model had Julia and I each aping her pose (I really should have taken photos of that).

Standing Woman with Arms behind her Back, 1918
Gaston Lachaise, American, born France, 1882-1935
Gift of Mr. and Mrs Orme Lewis,
Phoenix Art Museum #1974.76??

While I wish I had snapped Julia with this statue, I did capture her with a huge cloissonné vase:

Chinese Cloissonné Enamel Jardinière (Flower Vase) on French Bronze Tripod Stand
Flower Vase: Chinese, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), probably 19th century
Tripod Stand: French, signed by Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892), probably 1860-70 Vase: cloissonné enamel; stand: bronze
Museum purchase and gift of Robert H. Clague,
Phoenix Art Museum #1982.214

"This rare example of the European fascination wit and embellishment of Chinese enamel wares is a testament to the high regard for the Chinese pieces that was prevalent during the nineteenth century. It also reflects the revival of cloissonné during the late nineteenth century in China. These circumstances were due to the fact that Franco-British expeditionary forces that plundered the Summer Palace at Yuanmingyuan (outside of Beijing) in 1860 ceded much of their hoard to their respective sovereigns. In February 1861, the French portion was placed on public view in the Louvre, Paris. Together with artifacts presented by Siamese ambassadors at Fontainebleau, these constitued the collection of the Museé Chinois, created at Fontainebleau under Empress Eugénie's supervision and opened in 1863. The fascination with these Chinese objects on the part of French artists led to the undertaking of the exquisite mount for this Chinese piece created by the renowned bronze foundry of Ferdinard Barbedienne. The mounting features a pair of Chinese-style dragons, thus completing a circle of cross-cultural influences that was unprecedented." (From the info card)

Not only the French, the Dutch also had a frenzy for Oriental things:

Delft blue and white vase with cover, c. 1660
Dutch, faience
Museum purchase with funds provided by Collector's Study Club and Friends of European Art,
Phoenix Art Museum #2014.37.A-B

(From the info card)
Necessity and Invention
Delft Ware

"A change of dynasty and turmoil in China between 1644 and 1656 disrupted Dutch trade routes. Consumers lost access to blue-and-white porcelain from China in 1657, but the desire for it didn't wane. To fill the void, Dutch potters developed their own high-quality version, now known as Delft ware, named after the city in which it originated. This large covered jar is an outstanding example of this production.

"Delft is not porcelain; it is faience, or earthenware. Delft potters did not have access to the kaolin clay that produces porcelain, and so their objects have a different chemical make-up and different properties. The clay object is coated in a tin oxide glaze to make it white; cobalt is painted on top, and then a transparent glaze is applied to make the object shiny. The decoration on this large covered jar includes disparate scenes that read as 'exotic' and 'Chinese', including palm trees, an elephant, and patterns that suggest mountains or floral elements. Other Delft pieces from this time show almost identical scenes - the elephant in particular - suggesting the potters shared pattern sources."

So far, all of these pieces I remember are from the museum's own holdings. The Vilcek collection has an interesting sculpture by Alexander Archipenko:

Woman with a Fan, c. 1958 (modeled in 1914)
Alexander Archipenko, American, b. Ukraine, (1887-1964)
Polychromed bronze, H- 35 1/2 in. (90.2 cm)
Collection of Jan T and Marica Vilcek,
Promised gift to The Vilcek Foundation

"Woman with a Fan was cast by the artist during the 1950s from a reworked plaster of a 1914 original constructed out of wood, canvas, metal, and glass." - from the info card

Archipenko's signature, "ARCHIPENKO 1914 VARIANT D"

"Lady with a Fan", of course it only suggests the lady and the fan, but it's quite visually pleasing! (The Kasser collection has a Archipenko, which we saw last February.)

(Note of July 29, 2015)
I did a little digging and learned, "The Vilcek Foundation aims to raise public awareness of the contributions of immigrants to the sciences, arts, and culture in the United States. The Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia."

I wondered if they were Czech, I could be related to them! :)

Returning back to the museum's own holdings, I found a Matisse lithograph to add to my photo gallery of Matisse, "Matisse's Pieces" :)

Head, 1938
© 2015 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS)
Gift of Mr and Mrs Jack E. Brown, Phoenix Art Museum

Accession number uncertain #1978.119???, photo too fuzzy :(

And here's a Monet for "Mon Monets":

Flowering Arches, 1913
Claude Monet, French, 1840 - 1926
Oil on canvas,
Inscription: lower left: Claude Monet
Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Donald D. Harrington, Phoenix Art Museum #1964.231

Monet's signature

And I got a new view of that dear little Calder piece:

The Cock, not dated
Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976)
Red and black painted sheet metal,
Gift of Mrs. Henry Luce
Phoenix Art Museum, #1961.76

Another Calder was beside it, one I hadn't seen before:

Moon and the Oar, 1974
Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976)
Painted steel and wire,
Bequest of the Estate of Orme Lewis
Phoenix Art Museum, #1991.141

I found a lady with a hat, slightly reminiscent of a Matisse:

Lady with Beads, 1923
Kees van Dongen, Dutch (1877 - 1968)
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr and Mrs Mr. & Mrs. Donald D. Harrington,
Phoenix Art Museum, #1964.228


I'll have fun going through my photos for many days afterwards!

And today there will will be more happy snaps, too. Perhaps I'll go back to bed for some more shut eye? I do want to be well-rested for today.

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