Saturday, April 16, 2016

March 16


On the 16th my friend and I decided to stroll south, across the river, to the art museum.  The 16th was a lovely day.  We had a pleasant walk.

This is in front of the very nice little art museum.

Closer look, including Reno's ever-present mountains.

Inside the museum.  One wall in the entrance area is covered by a repeated/reflected image from aerial photography.  At first it looks abstract, but when you look more closely, you realize it is a photograph.........

When I saw the tracks, I wondered if this was a horse farm.  (Probably had horses on the brain -- I knew the museum's current special exhibit was about horses....)  then I saw the baseball diamond, and decided this must be some sort of ... campus?  In the link above, it says it is military.

The person who sold us our museum-entry tickets suggested that we begin on the fourth floor, and work our way down.  The fourth floor has meeting spaces.  One of them is decently large, and has a very big lovely patio area outside.  We decided it would be a fine place for a wedding............

This little video showcases the view from that patio, from east to west.

One still pic of the view, on a perfect day.

Got to love chartreuse in the landscape, especially in spring.

The horse exhibit is on the third floor.  A lot of the exhibit was about horses and their interactions with people.  Why they chose to lead out with skeletons, I'm not sure.......

I think it is interesting to see skeletons in active positions. 

I'd never thought about it, but it seems that most skeletons are arranged in very static positions.  This is more interesting.  I don't know what it *means*, but I thought it was interesting.

I'm quite taken by this little embellished pot.  Which has horse feet.  I've seen a lot of pots with feet (mostly circular feet continuing the line of the pot), but I'd never seen one with horse feet.  This was about 12" tall, including the feet.

For all of you who devoured horse books when you were kids -- here are the Godolphin Barb, the Darley Arabian, and the Byerley Turk.  (What romantic names.  It made me shivery to think about them, as a girl, and it still does, a little.)

(For those of you who didn't read horse books, these three stallions from the beginning of the 18th century, are behind most of the thoroughbreds on racetracks, even today.)

I believe there was info about the critical importance of horses to the Mongol empire.  (I am less interested in the horrid things we've made horses do, over time, than I am in art about their excellent native characteristics....)

I thought this was interesting.  I like the look of the object, all by itself, and with the info......

"Key to the Kingdom

"Using a Mongol pass that looked much like this modern recreation, a visitor could travel all over the empire of Kublai Khan, Ghengis Khan's grandson.  His immense transportation network included thousands of luxurious way-stations offering fresh horses for travelers along the Silk Road and other trade routes.  Like a combination passport nd credit card, the pass told everyone that the wearer was to be treated as a guest of the great Khan.  The Italian explorer Marco Polo wrote, 'The whole organisation is so stupendous and so costly that it baffles speech and writing.' "

This was not small, for something one would wear.  I believe it was bigger than it appears on my screen, and must have been heavy.

I might have given serious consideration to purchase of a (smaller) reproduction of this reproduction, had they been for sale in the gift shop........... 

Horse, (I think) made of driftwood.

After the horse exhibit, we enjoyed lunch in the museum's very nice cafe.  We sat in the sunshine, which was lovely.

After lunch we went back to the third floor, where we saw a natural-history exhibit about the evolution of horses, from little to big, and from walking on many-toes to walking on one toe.

We also checked out the other exhibits.

There was one that was things meant to look like other things.  Something that was apparently a computer box.  Something looking like one of those big concrete things used to separate lanes on the highway, when they are diverting traffic to work on the road -- complete with tire marks.

The pieces in the museum were made of wood frames and painted canvas, with the backs left open so you could see they were not real computer boxes or hunks of concrete.  The illusions of otherness were very strong.  I believe anyone would have taken them as real boxes, or concrete, without a very close examination.

Technical tour de force for sure, but is it Art?  I don't know.  I've never been convinced that what appears to be a leather backpack, actually made of ceramics (seen in some other museum) is Art because of the excellence of the artifice with which it was made..............

There were several pieces showcasing the end grain of wood.  I can't remember if they were actually wood.  Or not.  But let's say they were, and enjoy the grain...............

Looking down from a balcony at the cafe, liking the colors, shapes, and shiny stuff.

The museum has a very nice gift store, with a lot of interesting things to look at.

Love these twisted-newspaper dogs!  So clever to let the colors show, and to use the same material for very smooth, and very shaggy effects!



Clayton Neff said...

The was a Mongol reign here a few years ago (D was involved in it), and they used reproductions of the pass you mentioned as tokens of fealty.

I need orange said...

Cool! So does she have something like this?

Clayton Neff said...

Kind of, but probably not as big. I'll check around and see if I can find one (I got one too).

I need orange said...

The one I saw was really too big to wear comfortably, given it was thick metal and all. I suppose one could have asked one's horse to carry it, but still.