The Real Deal
August 16, 2012
As a young art student, I became familiar with paintings, prints, sculpture, and architecture through books and slides. (Guess how old I am?) I was fortunate to see many of those pieces at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and Truman Library.
But it wasn’t until I visited the Art Institute of Chicago that I realized the importance of seeing the real thing up close. "O, the brilliant colors and textures of Van Gogh! Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon… painting is that big? I can see raw canvas in that Mary Cassatt portrait! Now I understand the dimensions of Joseph Cornell’s boxes!"
This summer, many years after my first visit to Chicago Art Institute, I was able to visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR, which is ranked as one of the top 6 American art museums. And it happened all over again. I was overwhelmed by the impact of the original piece, up close. From Gilbert Stuart’s Portrait of George Washington, to pieces by Norman Rockwell, Jackson Pollock, and Wayne Thiebaud, I was thrilled and inspired and learned new things just by seeing the original.
Let MCPL’s large collection of art resources get you started, and then take advantage of all the original work available. There really is no substitute for the real deal.