Monday, December 27, 2010

300 years of chairs and more

We have officially broken the record for December snowfall surpassing the old record from 1969- a little over 33 inches and the possibility of more this week. Everyone everywhere seems to be having extreme weather this year. On one particularly snowy day we spent time at the Art Institute in Minneapolis to view two visiting exhibits. The first one was 300 years of chairs- this one is an 19th century leather upholstered example. Both the seat and the back are the warmest caramel color and look so soft ( of course I couldn't touch it!)
This 20th century one is made from one piece of laminated birch plywood- a couple of simple cuts, steamed and molded to shape.
It was made in 1934 (seems more contemporary!) and because it has no joins it was touted as being perfect for tropical regions - no joints popping.
This woven plywood chair is a Frank Gehry piece made in 1992.
This one is so delicate looking and had very pretty inlaid designs. I think this one was a late 18th century piece.
The one below is, of course, from Texas. Interesting but not very comfortable looking.
This one is an early English made chair made entirely for metal. Intricate designs and even the tufted upholstery look seat is metal.
And this last chair is made from an array of stuffed toys. Imagine how much fun kids would have with this one!
The other 'on loan' exhibit was a Native American collection. It was beautiful! Unfortunately, I couldn't take photos in this show ( I took one before I was asked to put the camera away), but I could take photos of the permanent collection.
There were lots of these intricate woven baskets- it is amazing the materials they used. Everything from pine needles and grasses to moose hairs and split plant roots and stems.
The flowers on these mocassins are made from dyed moose hair.
The bead work is incredible! You may not be able to tell from the photos but the entire surface is covered in beads- not just the flowers.
Aren't they beautiful! And so inspiring!
Lots of examples of silver and turquoise jewelry:
The Institute is a fantastic place to spend the afternoon, but definitely too large to see everything in one day; In fact, I usually get lost in the maze of galleries. There are some things I have to try and see each time we go and one of these is the Veiled Lady.
When we would come here as kids my aunt and mom would always search this one out- the delicacy and transparency of the veil worked in marble always leaves me intrigued. It is an Italian piece made in 1860.
A carved trunk that I couldn't resist.
And finally the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture hanging in the entrance. Every piece is hand blown and then was assembled and suspended on site. This piece is huge! So there is my day at the Institute.
I picked up a map this time and plan on plotting out future visits so I can explore some of the areas I tend to miss. I completely missed the textile exhibits! That's top on the list for next time. Hope you enjoyed the tour!


fabriquefantastique said...

what a fascinating post! Seasons Greetings

Allabitrandom said...

Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures. I managed the same trick in the V&A in London - spent the whole afternoon browsing and only saw a tiny section of the textiles! Good luck in the snow, we are having a brief respite here in Bristol (UK) and the temperature is forecast to be a heady 8 degrees ( Celsius 49F I think)