TRAVEL HERE: SCOTLAND NATIONAL GALLERIES VISIT THE KIMBALL ART MUSEUM IN FORT WORTH TX
It’s been very nose-to-the-grindstone around here lately, so when Bill said, “Let’s do something different this Sunday,” he didn’t get any argument from me. In fact, I’d already been formulating a play date in my head.
Day Tripping to the Kimball
On Sundays, the Kimball doesn’t open until noon, so we took a leisurely attitude about our drive. It’s been a good six months since our last visit and probably longer since we were on I-30 west of Dallas. We were amazed by the construction.
A companion for our beautiful Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is being built to replace the old I-30 bridge. I’m looking forward to that. The current bridge has been in bad shape and sadly insufficient for a long time. I’m sure the daily commuters who are dealing with the construction issues are even more eager than I am for the new bridge.
In fact, much of I-30 is being renovated. I remember when the thoroughfare was a toll road, but that was a long time ago. As a child, I was fascinated by the punch card the toll equipment spat out. It indicated the entrance you had used and being a child, I wondered how it knew.
Somewhere along the way, they made the road free and named it to honor a beloved coach of our Dallas Cowboys, Tom Landry. A few years ago, they started using his trademark fedora as an icon for that stretch of highway. As a long time Dallasite and a big fan of Landry, I was glad to notice they are incorporating an image of the fedora in the overpasses.
We scored curbside parking under a tree and entered the museum. To get to the Piano Pavilion, where they house the special exhibitions, you have to go back outside and walk across the museum’s campus. Usually this is a pleasant prospect, but in the melting heat we did not linger.
The masterworks of Botticelli to Braque, Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland were drawn from three different museums in Scotland: the Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. I’d been to the Scottish National Gallery a long time ago and had been amazed by their collection, so I was thankful for the opportunity to revisit a few of them. All fifty-five of the paintings are gorgeous. You need to see this exhibition.
The first thing you will notice when you enter are the bright red walls of central section of the exhibition. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve started to pay attention to the color of walls in a museum. Usually they are some shade of white, but somewhere along the way they started using color on the walls of exhibitions and I like it. It helps set the mood for the show. These red walls mimic the red walls of the National Gallery of Scotland, as illustrated in a lovely photo near the entrance. I don’t remember if the walls were red when I was there or not.
Mr. Bill immediately walked into the glowing center section, but like a good museum girl, I read all the information posted on the entry walls and then headed to the left, just like I was supposed to. That placed me right in front of the Botticelli – The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child, which immediately became one of my favorites of the exhibit. I love that the Kimbell includes an audio tour in the price of admission. From it I learned the lovely pink roses of the painting had no thorns, which symbolized the virgin birth and that the sleeping Christ child sleeps to remind us of the three days of His death before His Resurrection. I was also reminded to look in the lower corner of the painting to see the symbolic strawberries, but I had to turn to wiki to discover what they were symbolic of, but the list was too long to include here.
Another favorite of mine was a small portrait of a young girl mourning the death of a bird, painted in lovely pastels. The complexion of the girl is absolutely radiant and the whole painting seems to bloom with warmth I’d love to show it to you, but couldn’t find it online. I found the title and the artist, but they have it attached to a different picture on several sites and the Scottish National Gallery site says there are copyright restrictions. So, here’s another reason to go to the show.
A John Singer Sargent portrait of Lady Agnes of Lochnaw stares steadily from one of the exhibition’s walls. According to the audio tour, her calm confidence is deceiving, because while she appears stoic in the painting, she famously suffered a nervous breakdown while enjoying the fame the painting brought. Nearby is the familiar Three Tahitians from Gaugin. I also enjoyed Matisse’s charming little painting that comments on imagery. I couldn’t find it online either, but for a final taste of the show I offer Watteau.
The Second Look
One of the benefits of twenty-one years of marriage is that you finally figure out how to do things. We do exhibitions differently. He rarely starts at the beginning, doesn’t like audio tours, infrequently reads exhibition labels and hence is usually through long before I am. At the Kimball, he found a comfy, out-of-the-way chair and cat-napped while I lingered lovingly over each and every item.
When we were first married, we tried visiting museums in lockstep, but that only resulted in frustration for both of us. Enjoying the art and exhibits separately, lowered the frustration, but I missed sharing part. Our compromise is to look at exhibits separately, then go back through for an overview, showing each other our favorites and comparing our opinions.
The painting of the skater on the brochure above was one of Bill’s choices. He hadn’t been as fond of the Botticelli and had missed the strawberries completely. Most the other items on his list were very different from mine. This is the Carot he wanted to take home.
Do make time in your schedule to see this exhibition. It will only be in Fort Worth until September 20th, so make it soon! And come back next week, because I’ll tell you where we had a marvelous brunch before we headed over to the Kimbell.