In our efforts to do a better job of saving [for adult things aka house/dog/child/etc] the husband and I have gotten rather serious about free things once again. Last week’s culture and entertainment: fourth Friday night at the Portland Art Museum. I was desperate to see the Titian - what a huge relief it was when I realized it was coming down two days after free night! Having spent two and a half years in the Art History program at PSU, the museum is like an old friend. I have missed my cheap student pass greatly these last three years but still make a point of visiting as many of the gorgeous exhibitions they host - thank goodness for free night.
As luck would have it, we arrived just as a tour was starting! A unique tour, given by the head security guard: he showed us his favorite (and least favorite) pieces, as well as some of the cool places visitors normally don’t go (because they’re not allowed, and, in some cases, because they just don’t know they can). It was awesome. I hope you can have a similar tour someday when you visit!
On to our Titian. She was exhibited under a warm light in a small, dark enclave - hopefully keeping her cozy and feeling at home, having recently left Florence. I hadn’t expected the crowd and small line to get a closer look. Or the awkwardness of being in a small, dark space with 20 strangers, bumping your arms and blocking your vision. But the overall atmosphere did function to highlight how special this piece is, and how exciting it was to see it in person. The jpeg below is sort of tragic - I thought of leaving it out, but figured most of you wouldn’t bother clicking the link. I wish I could describe the exquisite details and the deep, rich colors - it gives me shivers to remember it. Were I still a student (or bought a pass this year) I would have gone in an off time and sat on that bench for long enough to really savor it. But I went free night on her final weekend, so I sacrificed prolonged viewing for a relived memory of Europe and moments in front of other popular (possibly overly so) works (aka trying to snatch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre).
It was a lovely experience.
[La Bella (Woman in a Blue Dress)]
Now for the rest of the museum:
[the hallway is art: architectural + lighting = sculpture]
[a lucky focusing problem in the museum public library - this place is freak-out cool]
[the elevator is art! light and kid’s fingerprints]
[the green room and green room wall covering]
[the trustee’s boardroom is art: windows, lighting, view]
[the museum-goers are art - or at least they don’t see a problem becoming part of the art by LEANING ON IT. whew. I was a bit aghast, if you can’t tell.]
[myself and my dear Anna, trying to look seriously important, standing in the boardroom]