Wednesday, June 29, 2016
More Captivating Beauties

Quote posted on the wall at Mingei Museum, from _The Unknown Craftsman_

Loud sprinklers woke me up early. But I understand the sprinklers are necessary. All the beautiful rose bushes on the grounds here need watering. It is beautiful, and Julia and I are lucky to have a room in the garden area, rather than in the towers.

Julia in the gazebo that is near our room...

It's a charming room, the only flaw is that it has only one chair. It has two beds, however, and I usually sprawl on one of them to allow Julia to put her feet up.

Oh! We have been doing the walking. After Sunday's thrifty attempts with the buses, Julia and I have done cabs since. Balboa Park is a BIG place, we don't need any additional walking. My calves will have a chance to recover today, as we will focus on Mensan events.

I hardly know where to begin on describing the sights we've seen. After enjoying the Japanese gardens, we returned to the Museum of Art to catch what we missed on Sunday.

There was a travelling exhibit from Boston's MFA featuring quilts dating from 1860s to 1920s. There's an amazing modernity to them. An amusing note: this exhibit was showing at the MFA when Julia and I were there in 2014, but we didn't have time to see it them.

That's not the first time an exhibit has followed my travels! "European Bronzes" was at the Met in 2009 and later in 2009, Julia and I saw it at Getty Villa.

The San Diego museum featured some bronzes by Arthur Putnam, "Ferocious Bronzes". I rather like a lion he did:

Lion on Cliff, 1900
Arthur Putnam, United States (18731930)
Bronze, 13 3/4 in. x 5 1/2 in. x 13 1/4 in. (34.93 cm x 13.97 cm x 33.66 cm)
Accession Number: SDMA #1925.8
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. A. B. Spreckels, Alma Emma Spreckels, Adolph B. Spreckels and Dorothy Spreckels

The Timken museum has a bronze 'flying' Mercury, possibly from the same mold as the one at the National Gallery of Art:

Nineteenth Century cast from the original model by Giambologna (born Jean Boulogne, Flemish), (1529-1608), now at Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.
If this is from the same mold as the NGA statue:
Bronze, 69 11/16 x 19 1/8 x 37 3/8 in. (177 x 48.5 x 94.9 cm)

But I'm getting ahead of myself. We saw what we could of the Timken on Tuesday. (The "Collections in Context: American Art from a Pacific Northwest Collection, 1860-1950" exhibit doesn't open until Friday.)

It's all running together in my mind, Oriental art at S.D. Museum of Art, with that at the Mingei, for instance.

Of course the Buddhist statuary was impressive.

Buddha Shakyamuni in the earth-touching gesture
Nepal, ca. 13th century
Bronze, 8 in. x 6 1/8 in. x 4 1/2 in. (20.32 cm x 15.56 cm x 11.43 cm)
Accession Number: SDMA #1964.225.a-b
Credit Line: Bequest of Pliny F. Munger

"Portraying the same moment of enlightenment as the stone Buddha nearby, this bronze image would have been used in personal devotion and meditation. It exemplies the fine metalworking technique for which Nepali craftsmen were famous. While retaining the same meditative posture, gesture, and mood of quiet introspection as the Indian prototypes, the bronze sculpture from Nepal is infused with a distinct grace, elegance of proportions, and sweetness of expression into their works." (From the info card)

Amida Buddha
Japan, ca. 17th century
Wood with gilding, 45 in. x 21 1/4 in. x 21 1/4 in. (114.3 cm x 53.98 cm x 53.98 cm)
Accession Number: SDMA #1957.446
Credit Line: Bequest of Mrs. Cora Timken Burnett

I enjoyed the "travel shrines". Some had tiny versions of the large statues within a protective house, and some are simpler shrine houses, without the icons:

Amida and Attendants with Lotus paintings, portable Buddhist shrine
Japan, ca. 1573-1868
Carved wood with gilding, lacquer, and paint, 6 1/8 in. x 5 1/2 in. x 5 1/2 in. (15.56 cm x 13.97 cm x 13.97 cm)
Accession Number: SDMA #1938.210.b
Credit Line: Bequest of Harriet Sefton Campbell

Miniature Shrine
Japan, ca. 20th century
Carved wood,
Accession Number: Timkin #1980-03-048
Credit Line: Gift of Keisuke Serizawa
"Part of the inscription on this shrine is illegible. What can be read says: "Kaei 7th year, March. Respectfully offered with prayer."

I was impressed with the Japanese crafts, how they made the humblest of items beautiful as well as useful. I wish I had photographed a small broom, but I did photograph some teapots:

Ceramic Teapots (Tetsubin)
From left to right:
Unknown maker, Japan, 20th century
Glazed earthenware, bamboo handle
Gift of Lily and Ana-tole Minc
Mingei #199-41-002a-b
Masu Minagawa (1872-1953), Mashiko, Japan, first half of 20th century
Glazed stoneware, bamboo handle
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert O. Kinsey
Mingei #1983-26-010

Unknown maker, possibly Okinawa, Japan, 20th century
Glazed stoneware, bamboo handle
Gift of Marie Pearce
Mingei #1993-32-001A-B

I saw many beautiful kimonos. The Mingei featured "bedding" kimonos for warmth and lightweight summer kiminos:

I fouled the info card:

I understand the fabric in the "Wedding" kimonos seen in a small house in the Japanese garden after watching a movie on the textile arts at the Mingei. The weaving machines have undergone some evolutions through out the ages. Before the 'jacquard' looms, which were controlled by a series of cards with holes punched, one person couldn't run a loom by themselves. Now, the looms are computer-programmed and the weavers have a different routine to controlling them.

Uchikake Wedding Kimono, (69" x 30")
Donated by Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Whitaker
Japanese Friendship Garden Permanent Collection #2001.14.10

Uchikake Wedding Kimono, (69" x 30")
Donated by Soshin Saito (Urasenke San Diego Association)
Japanese Friendship Garden Permanent Collection #2011.107.01


I was impressed with the painter Copley's capture of the weaving detail of a sash on a lady's garment, seen at the Timken. Her pinkish red dress contrasted with the navy lounge chair she reclined on. That navy sash unites her visually with the lounge chair. The details! Amazing capture! Julia and I sat a long time in front of her, just drinking the sight in (while resting our feet).

Mrs. Thomas Gage, (1771)
John Singleton Copley, American (1738-1815)
By descent in the Gage family, Firle Place, Sussex, until 1984
Consigned to Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, sale February 24, 1984
Acquired by the Putnam Foundation, 1984


Yesterday, I'd hoped for some feet-resting entertainment in the afternoon, and hoped for an I-MAX movie at the Science museum, First disappointment: the "National Parks" movie advertised by a huge banner wasn't showing. So we opted for "Cosmic Collisions". We waited an hideous amount of time in line, feet screaming, to at last be told there was something wrong with the film projector. I didn't want to next wait in a long line for the money refund, so the Science museum got our nineteen bucks for nothing.

We exited to find a bench facing the Natural History museum. Its stairs looked daunted. Finally, we got up the gumption to enter. No big banners had announced it, but we learned they have I-MAX theater, too. Whales of the Deep was an awesome experience. I felt with the 3-D glasses, like I could touch them.

We soon headed home to hotel, feeling well satisfied.

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