Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Visit to the Clark Museum

When I found out over a year ago that John Singer Sargent's 

"Fumée D'Ambre Gris

was in Massachusetts and so is my family, I knew I would get there one day.

A three hour drive for someone who lives in Alaska is nothing and thankfully I have a cousin who also loves a good road trip and museum!

This blog will be mostly visual and I have to leave out so much but here is just a taste of the incredible artwork tucked away in the little Berkshire town of Williamstown, MA.
There is so much culture and arts in this community, it would be worth a longer stay someday.
The enormous rock and steepled buildings fill the center of town with history and grandeur.  There doesn't seem to be a moment there where the world of Walmart and Home Depot have filtered in.
Totally refreshing.

Then there is the approach to the Clark Museum.  Nestled in landscape of rural homes and trails, the deer grazed the land and the reflecting ponds brought peace.  The museum itself however looks like it was before it's time being architecturally modern on the outside but carried the allure of age and wisdom inside the permanent collection walls.  
A must see.

Where to begin....
When you first enter you are surrounded by at least 7 of Winslow Homer's works.  
A favorite for me and a little different from his typical work was the Sleigh Ride piece.

Skipping some and following through I was enamored by the work of George Inness...again.  
His landscapes bring such peace.

With a well laid plan and map to understand I knew what was around the corner and couldn't wait to see!  Thank you Degas and thank you Clark Museum for this wonderful collection.

With any great collection, Monet was not to be missed.  
One very usual piece and another that surprised me! 
An earlier seascape that spoke directly to my heart.

Jules Breton...  
The light, the strength and the sliver of ocean and a glimpse of a ship 
telling the story of where this lovely girl spent her days.

Surprise!  For me anyway... Another absolute favorite painter.
William Adolphe Bouguereau

After seeing his work in person in San Fransisco years ago I have been studying his book and falling deeper in love with his work regularly.  Thankfully my cousin poses so you can see just how enormous and powerful this piece is.

Another corner, another surprise!
Tucked away off one of the main galleries owning it's own room...
Turner, Rockets and Blue Lights.

Now this one was a new one for me but WOW!  
I could stare at this for hours.


And then at exactly 11:11, I turned around from this magnificent piece and my eyes fell on her.

Fumée D'Ambre Gris
(Smoke of the Ambergris)

She stood there enveloping her senses from the very expensive substance extracted from whales. 
There are stories of religious rituals and was also said to have some aphrodisiac qualities.  
This being known stirred up talk for such a magnificent but sensual pleasure.

More from Sargent
Neapolitan Children Bathing
A Street in Venice
As for me, my trip to the Clark is done, for this trip anyway.
I hope you get a chance to visit or download the app to hear narratives for most of their collection.

I hope you enjoyed my blog and memories of a wonderful museum visit  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for the comment. It's always encouraging to hear your thoughts!