Cincinnati, Ohio is only about a 2 hour drive from where I live. I tend to make a trip to this river city four or five times a year for various reasons.
This weekend I traveled to Cincinnati to shop at the Ikea store, and to visit one of my favorite places in the area, The Cincinnati Art Museum.
What I love about Cincinnati is that it's a very modern, rockin' sort of place....
...but it's juxtaposed with Victorian homes...
Our first stop was Ikea. Who doesn't love, stylish, inexpensive, Swedish style furniture and home goods? I know I do.
Moment of confession...I've never owned a "real" teapot! Shocker! I know! So, today, at Ikea, I finally bought one....
....and, a matching cream pitcher and sugar bowl. All for under $15. That was all I bought for myself, but I did manage to get a little bit of early Christmas shopping done as well. However, I can't post pictures of those items, because it would spoil the surprise for some people.
When we were finished shopping, we drove over to The Cincinnati Art Museum. I always get giddy going to this place. It's free, for one...but more importantly, I get to see some quality art.
The architecture of the museum is a work of art in and of itself. Check out the grand staircase at the center of the museum, The museum was opened in 1886, and wings were added on over the next 100 years, creating sort of a time capsule of architecture. There is a great deal of Art Deco and Arts and Crafts influence in the place....which satisfies me immensely. Let me give you a brief tour of a few of my favorite places in the museum and favorite works of art.
This is the inner courtyard at the Museum, where my friend and I ate lunch.
Here's my traveling companion, and friend, Laura, getting ready to enjoy lunch at the museum's Terrace Cafe.
My delicious salad, made with summer berries, grilled chicken, feta cheese and a poppy seed dressing. Oh, and check out the hummus and Bree cheese appetiser in the background...yummm.
There are many interesting rooms placed throughout the museum. It's always fun to get lost in the maze of galleries. This is the Dutch Renaissance Room.
Here's an early 19th century, American Interior Design.
A meditative sort of room featuring icons and a large medieval triptych.
A medieval room...I mean tomb.
Since I'm such a fan of Art Nouveau, I'm always drawn toward this piece called Fountain of the Water Nymph, 1913, by Clement J. Barnhorn.
I would love to have this Arts and Crafts style desk in my home.
And who wouldn't want a Corner Cupboard, 1871, by Henri L. Fry, in their dining room.
I'm always fascinated by the antiquity present in each room, like this fearsome, Roman lion sculpture.
I love the sinuous design of this medieval, Celtic influenced, fresco.
This portrait reminds me of the many iconic representations I saw when I was in Assisi, Italy several years ago. It's a portrait of Saint Lucy, c.1449.
And this Italian Renaissance portrait, c.1549, reminds me of when I was in Venice. (The son is of the Medici Family.)
I'm not typically a fan of Still Life paintings, but the Dutch have the art mastered. I admire them for not tidying up their still life's....it's almost as if they ate their lunch, and decided to paint was was left over. This one's c. 1641.
A late 18th century, jovial young lady, sporting the same hair style that my and my friends have been trying to emulate.
A handsome, early 19th century, young man painted in miniature. I would like to make my husband a frock coat like his.
A late 19th century painting, influenced at the time by the orient.
Two portraits of young ladies by Frank Duveneck, c. 1880. I really like the large brush strokes and intense shadows present.
I'm not really a fan of the Impressionists, mostly, I think it's because EVERYONE seems to like the Impressionists. But, I feel obliged to always give this Claude Monet landscape a nod.
This is probably my favorite painting in the entire museum. It's a John Singer Sargent portrait. I've seen several of his portraits in museums in Boston and other places, and I literally could stand in front of one, staring at it for hours. There's just something about the sheer size of most of his portraits (most of them life size) and the lighting, and the loose brushstrokes that makes the characters in his paintings dance and move with life. I feel as if his models might walk right off of the canvas.
If I could, I would fill my house with Rookwood Pottery.
Another favorite artist of mine is Georges Rouault. He is about as modern as it gets for me when it comes to art I like. He was at his height of creativity in the 1930's. This painting is called Christ in Profile, c. 1930. His paintings have almost a childish feel to them at times, but there's also something reverent, and iconic about them too.
Here's another of his, Carmencita, c. 1937.
And now for the REAL reason why we went to the Art Museum.
Beginning today, through January 2nd, the museum is hosting an exhibit entitled Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman. It's an exhibition focused on the idea of the modern woman in Georgian England. Gainsborough painted some of the most fashionable, and sometimes scandalous women of his time.
We were not allowed to take photographs of his paintings, so I'm sorry that these images found on the Internet will have to do. The ones that you see here are some of the ones featured in this exhibit. If you are fortunate enough to be in the Cincinnati area any time within the the next 4 month, you absolutely MUST stop in to see this show.
Dress and Petticoat, 1775-1785.