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Monday, March 03, 2008

Freer Gallery

Yesterday at the Freer Gallery, which has an excellent collection of ancient Asian art, I particularly enjoyed looking at the Chinese ceramics. Sometimes when looking at ancient art, the interest is more academic, based on what it shows about human (and art) history. But here, these were just really cool ceramic pieces, period, and many of them could pass as modern if taken out of their museum context. For instance, I wouldn't give it a second thought if I saw this piece, with its splashes of glaze, in a contemporary gallery:

Elsewhere, I also noticed this odd caption on a bronze piece:

This somehow seems to lack the formality usually present in these blurbs. For the record, it does look like a tapir to me. Which are cool, but not nearly as cool as lemurs.


lj said...

I've thought that about ancient ceramics, too, especially in museums where there's also some modern ones. I once went to the Weisman with Alex when the exhibit on display wasn't organized around a particular artist, country, or era, but was instead a bunch of random stuff from their collection grouped by subject matter. I thought it was really neat: you'd have a couple of landscape paintings of mountains next to each other, from completely different periods in different styles. They had a few vases, ancient and new, which seemed to have been picked out because they were so similar.

s said...

You would like tapirs, Teague! Notice anything interesting about this tapir photo I took?


teague said...

Uh, thanks, Seb...on behalf of all who read these comments.

(Before I looked, I was pretty sure that it was going to be a tapir with my head photoshopped on.)