Norfolk Museum of Art: A stroll through the galleries

“Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.”
Edward Hopper

During the holiday break we made it down to Norfolk, Virginia and stopped in to see the Chrysler Museum. I had heard there were special O’Keefe paintings up and was eager to see what the rest of the collection entailed. To my surprise it was an absolutely brilliant curation of artwork through the ages. I enjoyed my time there immensely and took some photographs to share. Does anything stand out to you or speak to you? I absolutely LOVE the Rousseau painting, but that is most likely because I am in the midst of studying the Romantic period! The photo of O’Keefe peering through a piece of Swiss cheese is another one of my favorites. What do you like?

“It is surprising to me to see how many people separate the objective from the abstract.
Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or a tree.
It is lines and colors put together so that they say something. For me that is the very basis of painting.
The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint.”
— Georgia O’Keefe

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“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.

And even this heart of mine has something artificial. The dancers have sewn it into a bag of pink satin, pink satin slightly faded, like their dancing shoes.”
Edgar Degas

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“The Sun will not rise or set without my notice and thanks.”
Winslow Homer

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“Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.”
Edward Hopper

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Swoon, born Caledonia Dance Curry, (American, b. 1978) is a contemporary street artist and activist. In both her art and life, she focuses on humanitarian efforts. In 2009 at the Venice Biennial, Swoon and a crew of thirty of her artist friends sailed boats made of reclaimed materials through the canals to show how the biennial detritus could be recycled and used for both artistic and functional purposes. (Quoted from Paddle8)

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“The final test of painting, theirs, mine, any other, is: does the painters emotions come across?”
-Franz Kline

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“I am not an abstractionist. … I am not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. … I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions -tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on… and the fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures show that I communicate those basic human emotions. … The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”
– Mark Rothko

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Works of art in order of appearance:

  1. Tony Vaccaro, Georgia O’Keefe, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, gelatin silver print, 1960.
  2. Georgia O’Keefe, Jack in the Pulpit IV, oil on canvas, 1930
  3. Edgar Degas, Dancer with Bouquets, oil on canvas, 1895
  4. Winslow Homer, Song of the Lark, oil on canvas, 1876
  5. Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, The Crest of the Wave, bronze cast circa 1926-68
  6. Susan Watkins Serpell, American, Lady in Yellow (Eleanor Reeves), ca 1906
  7. Edward Hopper, New York Pavements, oil on canvas, 1924
  8. Rene Dijkstra, Nida, Lithuania (Brigita), chromogenic print, 2000.
  9. Nancy Witt, Sarai and Hagar, oil on canvas, 1981
  10. Swoon, Thalassa, screen print, paint and coffee on paper, 2012
  11. Robert Motherwell, The Golden Fleece, oil on canvas, 1961-1974
  12. Franz Kline, Zinc Yellow, oil on canvas, 1959
  13. Mark Rothko, No. 5 (Untitled), oil on unprimed canvas, 1949
  14. Mark Rothko Photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  15. Briton, War Time, oil on canvas, 1874
  16. Shepherd and his flock, oil on canvas, 1880
  17. Theodore Rousseau, A Clearing in the Forest of Fountainebleau, oil on canvas, 1860-6

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