Thursday, December 3, 2009
Philadelphia - Day 3
- Quote of the day
- City Tour
- Reading Terminal for early lunch
- Peter and Mari: minimalists, ich Berliners
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
- Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show
Donald Judd: I didn't want to get into something which is played out and narrow. I want to do as I like, invent my own interests.
Breakfast in the hotel restaurant and then out to the bus. Our guide’s first announcement of the day: her daughter is on front page of the NYT, she was one of the attorney’s that helped acquit one of the Lehman Bros employees on an insider trading case.
Off we go in the bus on a city tour, not very effective as the streets are very narrow and the bus is high enough up that we can’t see a whole lot. This city is definitely made for a walking tour, we (collectively) are too old and slow and the weather in November is also a factor.
Then to Reading Terminal, a giant food mall full of restaurants and food stalls. We settle on another cheesesteak for DB (better than first one) and a pulled pork sandwich with cooked spinach and roasted spicy bell peppers for me: excellent! Less than $20 for the two with drinks. (Yes, I know, some of you are desperately missing the amount we paid for each meal, there are only a few that are not included with the trip.)
Next up: a tour of a private collection of minimalist art in a 4 story townhouse near downtown. The building was a warren of doctors offices now converted to a family residence. Perfect set-up for large pieces, windows on the front and back of the house, and large wall spaces on the few large rooms on each floor. The couple split up and each takes half the tour, and DB and I also split up to compare notes later; I go with Peter, DB with Mari. Collection includes: large black on white Serra’s, a Judd box set, and many other pieces. We get great explanations of the pieces; Peter (my guide) covers a few more pieces than Mari (DB’s guide). The conceptual understanding helps make the work come alive, and the collection overall makes a lot of sense. And, basically, Peter and Mari live on the first two floors (with much art) and the top two floors are given over almost entirely to art. They also sponsor an “artist in residence” who lives with them for a period of time, and have quite a few pieces by Brazilian artists. This is a great example of how coming with a group gets you into places you can’t get access to on your own!
Peter and Mari spend the summer months in Berlin, so Peter and I spend a few minutes of animated conversation (hey, he’s a minimalist in personality too) on how much we love Berlin.
Then on to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and a brief tour of the building an highlights of the collection, basically of a historical nature (and thus not too interesting for me).
After a brief rest at the hotel (and, for some, a change of attire), we head off to the gala preview party of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. The good news for us: the gala is sparsely attended; bad news is that it is a fundraiser. Very low butt brush factor! The food is quite good (uh oh, he’s talking about the food first), the drinks are free, and we roam around the show, which is halfway between SOFA and the ACC shows. No galleries, just individual artists, no big, expensive pieces, lots of affordable work. DB buys a set of flat, freshwater pearl earrings, subtle enough to not conflict with her more flamboyant necklaces. We also buy a set of 100 handmade business cards, now to figure out how to print our information on them! The cards are from Korea, the show is featuring Korean artists this year. While the work is interesting, the attire of the women from Korea is even more interesting and unusual.
- Claes Oldenburg Clothes Pin, which we see at least 3 times a day as we loop the area near the Union League
- The scene from Rocky (I, II, III, IV, V, VI and...) where Stallone climbs the steps. Our bus stops so we can climb the steps, get it out of the way early in the trip
- Reading Terminal Market, pic does not capture how big this is, full of food
- Jug Head again
- Isaiah Zagar did huge murals/walls/assemblages, made of anything he could capture, and become famous in Philly. A precursor to the murals all over town
And, the big news of the day: Hank Adams has sent prices on some of his older work that we were able to see during our visit to the Wheaton Art Center, and we decide to buy Jug Head. Now, we are buying one of the ones that he had stored in a bathroom at the school, a large glass head with a large squished jug on top. Yep, fits right in with our head collection! We haven’t decided if it will come out of the bathroom at the loft, it might fit right on top of the tool box we use as a cabinet.
After staying almost three hours at the show, we walk back to the hotel, it's only a few blocks even though it took the bus 20 minutes to get here!