Find the Blipper!
There is nothing more delightful than spending time at the outstanding Seattle Art Museum with a longtime friend who is, herself, an artist! Blipper Endless Weekend and I have been friends for nearly forty years, and are now relishing the joys of retirement, such as our day together on Thursday.
EW hadn't seen the Jacob Lawrence exhibit yet, so that was our first stop, followed by time in the newest exhibit, Seeing Nature, a stunning collection of European and American landscape paintings from the past 400 years (do look at that link!). We loved being able to get right up next to each painting and closely examine the details. I took a photo of EW by one of her favorite paintings there, which included sheep, her favorite animal -- check out the extra photos below. (You can see her photo of me by my favorite painting in the first paragraph link.)
We then spent some time in other areas of the museum, including the fascinating display of Okumkpo Masquerade Players, which come from Nigeria, featured in my blip today. These evocative masks were carved by Chukwu Okoro (1910-1987) in the 1950s. During a full Okumpko play, over 100 masked spirits (costumed young men) invade towns and create both serious and playful chaos. As noted in the link, this includes "re-enactments of past misdeeds that townspeople deemed to have violated community norms."
I had some time on my own after EW headed home, so I visited the small but delightful exhibit of Egyptian and Roman art at the museum. I'm always drawn to the portrait you can see in the extra photos below -- it's described as a "funerary portrait, 1st-2nd century, tempera on wood, Egyptian." I wish we could know who this man was, as I find his gaze compelling, as if he wishes to speak across the many centuries to kindred spirits here now.
Trusty Wikipedia offers more insights, including the information that "The portraits covered the faces of bodies that were mummified for burial... In terms of artistic tradition, the images clearly derive more from Graeco-Roman traditions than Egyptian ones."
I rounded out my art-rich day by listening (via earbuds) to the Brahms Requiem on my phone (I'm still amazed by that) and following along in my score on the BoltBus journey (1.75 hours) back to Bellingham.