Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Day at LACMA
Early ??? (Hotel Room Lacks a Clock!)

I can't see a clock in this hotel room. But I know it is still dark.

Yesterday was such a full day. Julia and I arrived at our hotel around noon. A room wasn't available yet, but they let us stow our suitcase in a locked chamber.

We headed off to LACMA. I'd studied the map and learned a bus at Fairfax and Beverly would take us very near LACMA. There's huge construction going on at LACMA, because they are building a new building to house their permanent collection. We could have entered in at Sixth St., where we exited the bus. But not knowing any better, we walked all the way around the construction. Later from the distance, I can see it is going to be a round building.

Julia and I arrived very thirsty, so we stopped at the open air café. Comfy padded low chairs welcomed our weary bones. It's hard to imagine that nine years ago, we walked all the way to LACMA from the hotel!

A tasty beet salad filled with all sorts of colorful fresh beets (I didn't know beets came in orange and pinkish lilac colors) and some fries revived us. That, and oceans of the tastiest iced tea restored us, while I studies the maps of what was available to see.

I wanted not to miss the Matisses on display. European art is still in the Ahmanson building, so we headed there first. I saw all sorts of art I'd never seen on our two earlier visits!

There was only one piece I remembered from before, an "old friend", the lion shaped aquamanile from the 12th Century.

Aquamanile (Ewer) Northern Germany, Lower Saxony, Hildeshiem (?), circa 1250
Brass (copper alloy), 10 1/2 × 12 × 3 7/8 in. (26.67 × 30.48 × 9.84 cm) Gift of Varya and Hans Cohn (LACMA, #AC1992.152.100)

LACMA's European art collection is vast! There are so many pieces that come to my mind's eye in remembrance. A Hals portrait of a smiling man I'd failed to photograph still lingers in my mind. (Note of June 9, 2018: I can't find what I remember at the museum's website. Perhaps it was done by a different artist?)

I did photograph the very intricate glass pitcher of amazing complexity.

Vetro a Fili' Ewer
Italy, Venice, late 17th century
Glass, Height: 6 11/16 in. (16.9863 cm) Gift of Mr. Hans Cohn (M.82.45.7)

And a table amazingly illustrated with all sorts of angelic figures did not escape the camera lens:

Table with Apollo
probably Italy, Rome, circa 1861-1890
Glass micromosaic and gilt bronze, Overall: 34 × 37 1/2 × 37 1/2 in. (86.36 × 95.25 × 95.25 cm)
Long-term loan from The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (L.2010.9.6a-b)

The whole octagonal table rested on turtles!

Fat baby angels and four serene older angels surround a central figure. The older angels fascinated me the most, as each is different than the other, but all are so pretty.

"A mythological and allegorical tour de force, this rare table is the only known example to be covered entirely with micromosaic, a type of mosaic composed of thousands of tiny pieces of colored glass. Charging forth from the center medallion of the tabletop, Apollo, god of the sun, is pulled in his chariot by four rearing white steeds. Putti bearing the attributes of the four seasons alternate with winged busts representing the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire." (From the info card)





I found a few pieces by Degas in a room with statues by Rodin.

Horse with Jockey
Edgar Degas (France, Paris, 1834-1917)
France, Paris, first modelled circa 1885-1890, this example cast posthumously (Hébrard cast 25/E)
Bronze, 10 × 13 × 7 in. (25.4 × 33.02 × 17.78 cm)
The Phil Berg Collection (LACMA, #M.71.73.381a-b)

I can't forget Rodin's sculpture of the fat, imposing Balzac. What a temper he must have had!

Nude Study of Balzac
Auguste Rodin (France, 1840-1917)
France, Paris, first modelled circa 1892, cast 1967 (Musée Rodin cast 4/12)
Bronze, 50 1/4 × 22 × 24 3/4 in. (127.64 × 55.88 × 62.87 cm)
Gift of B. Gerald Cantor Art Foundation (LACMA, #M.67.59)

We can tell Balzac was not a man to suffer fools lightly....

Matisse's sculptures varied greatly. I liked some of his very patient model Jeannette, but some were too abstract for my taste. Picasso was a bad influence!

His first version of poor Jeannette pleased me, though:

Jeannette I
Henri Matisse (France, 1869-1954)
France, 1910-1913
Bronze, Base (with base): 19 7/8 in. (50.48 cm) 12 7/8 × 11 × 11 in. (32.7 × 27.94 × 27.94 cm)
Gift of the Art Museum Council in memory of Penelope Rigby (LACMA #68.3.1)

I'd read about LACMA's relatively recent acquisition, the La Gerbe wall piece. It is assembled of several different pieces. The colorful leaves are distinct and whole, set into a white background formed of pieces. It is a very pleasing thing, and I imagine its previous owners loved waking up to it each day.

La Gerbe
Henri Matisse (France, 1869-1954)
France, 1953
Ceramic tile embedded in plaster, 108 x 156 in. (274.32 x 396.24 cm); Weight: 2000 lbs.
Gift of Frances L. Brody, in honor of the museum's twenty-fifth anniversary (LACMA, #M.2010.1)


I loved an outdoor garden scence featuring two ladies (and a dog) sitting outdoors at a round table. I could feel the warmth of their environment. The air must have been as fresh as that which we experienced yesterday in the roofed outdoor café. Yes, the weather is perfect. So cool and breezy!

Henri Matisse (France, 1869-1954)
France, 1919
Oil on canvas, Overall: 55 1/4 x 83 3/16 in. (140.335 x 211.3 cm) Frame: 65 × 93 × 4 in. (165.1 × 236.22 × 10.16 cm)
Bequest of David L. Loew in memory of his father, Marcus Loew (LACMA, #M.74.52.2)

After we'd walked through every gallery open in the Ahmanson building, I was very weary. Julia and I opted again to recoup in the breezy café with the comfy chairs. Pear cider was so tasty. We followed the cider with more iced tea.

As I sat there, nearly dozing off, I tried to gather strength to see the Hockney exhibit. But the more I sat there, the more it became apparent that I only had enough pep to make it back to the bus stop.

I was so relieved Julia wasn't upset to hear my lament. She, too, had seen all she could have possibly absorbed. So hotel ward we went!

Going out earlier, we passed a Thai restaurant near the hotel that intrigued Julia. After we secured our room, we went back to Chao Krung, which is across from the CBS building. Our table had a good view through the window, where we saw many people lined up, waiting for a long time. I asked the waiter what was so worth the wait, and he explained they were waiting to be part of the live audience for a James Cordin show. They waited so long, all those thin young people! Most of the ladies had short dresses and miserable looking high heels. At last, they entered the building behind them, before our meal was done!

We each had the Red Panang curry. Julia's was more spicy and with shrimp. while mine was "medium" spicy, with chicken. I couldn't finish mine. Julia volunteered to finish mine, too! She was curious about the coconut ice cream, but I cautioned her against it! We might return again soon!

Today, we have scheduled to see LACMA's Egyptian art, selected pieces of which are at the Vincent Price museum.

(For now, I return to the comfy bed. We can sleep in today!)

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