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Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Oceanside Museum of Art

In California on January 26, 2009 at 12:39 pm

The Oceanside Museum of Art is a small regional museum in Oceanside, California about 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego. It has just been entirely refurbished with a giant addition to the original Irving Gill building. I think they are still in the middle of a massive capital campaign. The museum generally shows regional exhibits of regional artists with several juried exhibitions every year. I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with their newly hired curator while I was in Oceanside and she has very forward views about making the museum more than just a regional California museum but really making it a destination in a part of the world where you can’t hardly go two feet without stumbling upon another museum. She seemed very clever and certainly seemed to know her stuff, so I would watch out for the upcoming OMA! While I was there, there was a show called Quilt Visions. Quilt Visions is a juried exhibition of the best fabric and textile arts in Southern California. There is quite a bit of innovation going on in the fabric arts (or, if nothing else, I’d not paid much attention to what was going on and so what surprised by how interested I was by it all. It is certainly not limited to Amish-style quilts). I believe that the museum aims to put on four to five shows per year. This is quite the feat considering that the museum staff is limited to five paid employees. I have ABSOLUTELY no idea how a museum (and a pretty decent one at that) can run with only five employees. Think of it: the Met has over 130 curators alone, not to mention the development, education, and administrative staff, assistants, building and grounds crew, etc. There must be around 1,000 individuals working to make the Met the great museum that it is. It’s not wonder that it moves so smoothly. I am excited for what the future has in store for this museum. And if nothing else it is worth a visit merely for the fact that it is about two blocks from one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to!

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De Young Museum

In California on January 23, 2009 at 11:12 am

Being the world traveler that I am, I thought I’d mention the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California. I’ve only ever been to San Fran a few times, but this last time I was in the area we made a point of spending a solid afternoon in the De Young. And let me say, I was very impressed with both the content of the museum and the overall flow of the building. It is a highly recognizable Herzog and De Meuron building in the middle of a really lovely park. The California Academy of Science is across the way (there was a great article in the NY Times about this museum the other day)

We has just missed a giant Chihuly exhibit (if you’re like me, you’ve seen Chihuly EVERYWHERE but still enjoy him. I am absolutely fascinated by his character and work structure) which I would have enjoyed and mostly stuck to their permanent collection. On the whole, I had a really excellent time. It was just so nice to get outside in the sunshine in such a wonderful park as Golden Gate Park that by the time we got to the museum I was in such a good mood it was hard not to enjoy it tremendously. And I found that the art was really only half the fun – the building is ridiculously beautiful and unusual and interesting, there is a nice courtyard right around the restaurant (where you can get overpriced nibbles), and the sculpture garden was splendid. I am always a bit of a sucker for a nice sculpture garden though.

 

If you are in the bay area this museum (and the whole Golden Gate complex) is not to be missed.