Tag Archives: Art

Where in the Museum is Roy?

The Museum Guard "Roy,' a Duane Hanson sculpture, looks wistfully out a fake window in an 18th century re-created English room in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Roy has been on duty at the museum since 2007.

My daughter and I visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on a mission to find “The Museum Guard” sculpture in his current assignment. My daughter thought “Roy” might be in the English rooms on the first floor, but we decided to visit every room of the museum on our hunt before making the English rooms our last stop. Of course, to see the exhibits and art properly you’d be there for days…

My daughter’s instincts were right. Roy was in one of the last rooms on our speed-viewing list, “The King’s Lynn Room,” an 18th century Georgian drawing room, originally from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England. “Roy” is the nickname the Museum staff have named this old friend.

Roy has spent most of his time in the Museum’s Bloch Building, which opened in 2007, but recently has been assigned to different galleries. Click here to read my post about one of Roy's recent assignments and about Duane Hanson, his creator.

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Pardon Me, Ma’am, But Don’t Touch Me, I’m The Art

Duane Hanson's sculpture "The Museum Guard" has been temporarily reassigned to a new post in "The Hooper Room" in the Early American Art Galleries of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

I was disappointed today when I thought that one of my favorite art pieces was apparently “on vacation.”  Duane Hanson’s “Museum Guard” at the Nelson-Atkins Museum is like an old friend, and I wanted to say hello, but he’d been turned out of his old gallery to make room for a temporary exhibition.   I laughed when I discovered him in a new location in an Early American room. Good for him! We all need a little shake-up in our routines and locales.

A sign in his new, temporary location says:
Why is that museum guard standing in The Hooper Room?
Duane Hanson’s realist sculpture, Museum Guard, has stood faithfully at his post in Gallery L3 since the Bloch Building opened in 2007. Now that two of the contemporary galleries have been emptied to make room for the exhibition “To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America,” he requested assignment elsewhere in the museum.
“Since my arrival at the Nelson-Atkins on November 18, 1976, I’ve heard only praise for the museum. Now, I have the good fortune to see what everyone has been talking about. For the next two months, I will be in this beautiful historic American home!” he said. “Then, I will be reassigned to Gallery P24, where I will experience the elegance of 18th-century English life in the King’s Lynn Room.”

Before moving to the new Bloch building, “Museum Guard” was stationed very near to his current temporary location in the main building, which was once home to the museum’s contemporary collection before undergoing remodeling to become the Early American Art gallery.  Duane Hanson, an American artist, was born in 1925 and died in 1996. He created “Museum Guard” in 1975 out of polyester, fiberglass, oil and vinyl. To read more about Hanson click on Duane Hanson.  Some of Hanson’s realist sculptures can be seen at The Saatchi Gallery.

Duane Hanson's "Museum Guard" in his usual spot in the Bloch Building of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Life imitates art as a real museum guard stands to the right. People can't resist getting their photos taken next to the vinyl Museum Guard. I hope Museum Guard will eventually return here, but now that he's had a taste of freedom, he may be hard to track down.

Duane Hanson's "Museum Guard" is one of the most popular art pieces in the museum. He always draws a crowd.

Sign explaining Duane Hanson's "Museum Guard's" new assignment.

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Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa

Artist assistants stand next to 3,604 cups of coffee which have been made into a giant Mona Lisa in Sydney, Australia . The 3,604 cups of coffee were each filled with different amounts of milk to create the different shades! Those Aussies sure do know how to have fun (as I know from personal experience.) 

Another fun-loving, art-loving, puzzle-loving person is Shouts from the Abyss (despite his grim name), who posts some of his pixel puzzles.  To find them, click on pixels in his tags on his blog (on my blogroll).  Here’s one of his puzzles. They get harder, but I thought I’d start you out easy.

 

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Dancing Words

Sandy and her daughter Hannah are both artists.  Here they are at the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City, Missouri, in September 2009. In the background, you can see a painting of a bird's nest. Coincidentally, Sandy's workshop is called "The Feathered Nest".

Sandy and her daughter Hannah are both artists. Here they are at the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City, Missouri, in September 2009. In the background, you can see a painting of a bird's nest. Coincidentally, Sandy's workshop is called "The Feathered Nest".

My friend Sandy is an artist. I always enjoy her take on her experiences at the art shows and fairs she visits in Kansas City.  Click here to read her post “Fall Back” on her blog “Dancing Words”. Be sure to check out the video of one of Sandy’s art classes from ART-felt Learning at the bottom of this post.

Plaza Art Fair 2009.

Plaza Art Fair 2009.

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Happy Anniversary, Shuttlecocks!

Wedding parties often arrive on the front lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of art to be photographed in front of the shuttlecocks.  In fact, I don't think you're officially married in Kansas CIty until you make this ritual visit with your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Wedding parties often arrive on the south lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to be photographed in front of the shuttlecocks. In fact, I don’t think you’re officially married in Kansas City until you make this ritual visit with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. If you elope, better show up here, too.

Fifteen years ago, four giant shuttlecocks landed on the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.   Designed by sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, the shuttlecocks received a mixed reception when they were first installed, but now they’ve become Kansas City icons.  They add a whimsical touch to the classical exterior of the Nelson-Atkins.  The contemporary glass Bloch Building (and it does look like glass blocks) addition to the east further lightens the mood.   The Bloch contains the museum’s contemporary and African collections nad provide access to the outdoor sculpture garden, which features the works of many artists, including Henry Moore.

The shuttlecocks make a lot of friends.

The shuttlecocks are always ready to pose. Here’s my friend Jan from California in her first visit to the Nelson-Atkins. Check out her blog by left clicking on this photo. (But only after you’ve checked out all of my photos!)

Bridal parties swarm around the shuttlecocks for wedding photos, impromptu soccer games arise among the sculptures, picnickers settle near them.   In the beginning, many people thought (and wished) the shuttlecocks were a temporary exhibition, but Kansas Citians aren’t letting go now.

Inside the Bloch are smaller Claes Oldenburg sculptures, (small is a relative term) including a large orange vinyl light switch that slumps from the wall.  A docent told me that Oldenburg’s first wife did the actual construction.  I need to find out more about her!

A Kansas City Star photographer was shooting this bride and groom for a feature on the shuttlecocks when I took this photograph.

Another wedding! Maybe you didn’t believe me when I said you weren’t married unless you stood in front of a shuttlecock…..A Kansas City Star photographer was shooting this bride and groom for a feature on the shuttlecocks when I took this photograph. They weren’t the only wedding party there that day.

You can see the back of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which from this perspective looks small compared with the giant shuttlecock.

Here’s the south side of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which from this perspective looks small compared with the giant shuttlecock.

Everyone enjoys the shuttlecocks.

Everyone enjoys the shuttlecocks.

Climbing on the shuttlecocks isn't allowed, but some people can't resist. It's better than the monkey bars! I've read that a motion detector is tripped when people climb on, and a voice on a PA system will warn art lovers to stand clear. I've never heard this warning, though.

A shuttlecock adorns the front of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in this dramatic night view.

A shuttlecock adorns the front of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in this dramatic night view.

Shuttlecock in winter.

This shuttlecock looks lonely in winter.

Shuttlecock winter scene.

A young visitor surveys the south lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum with one of Rodin’s The Thinker and two shuttlecocks in the view.

ABOUT CLAES OLDENBURG AND COOSJE VAN BRUGGEN

(From http://nelson-atkins.org) Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen are artists/collaborators and husband and wife. In the 1960s, Oldenburg became one of America’s famous Pop artists. He is also known for creating the first soft sculptures made of fabric, many of which were foodstuffs—slices of cake, ice cream cones and hamburgers that are staples of daily life in America. As his repertoire grew, Oldenburg created typewriters, electric fans and toilets. The Museum’s Switches Sketch (1964) and Soft Saxophone, Scale B (1992) are classic examples of Oldenburg’s soft sculptures of familiar objects.

Oldenburg and van Bruggen’s first collaboration was in 1976, when the sculptures Trowel I (1971–1976) in Otterlo, The Netherlands, and Trowel II (1976) in Purchase, New York, were commissioned. The artists married in 1977 and have since executed more than 40 large-scale sculptures worldwide. Whimsical works like the soft sculptures are based on everyday objects from popular culture. By making ordinary objects the focus of their art rather than depicting more traditional, heroic and commemorative subjects, they challenged conventions and reinvigorated the history of sculpture.

Created on a monumental scale, works such as Clothespin (1976) in Philadelphia; Spoonbridge and Cherry (1988) at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; Typewriter Eraser, Scale X (1999) at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. and Shuttlecocks (1994) at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art continue to delight and surprise visitors.

Oldenburg was born in 1929 in Stockholm, Sweden. Van Bruggen was born in 1942 in Groningen, The Netherlands. She died in 2009.

To see larger versions of these photos, click on the thumbnails.

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