Mid-West, Mixed-Art

Kosha Appreciating Anything by Roxanne Wentzell, 1997

One of the first rules of Xtreme Art Tourism is to expect the unexpected. Both good and bad. So as hard as it was to get started early in the morning after Marie’s Retirement Party, and even though we got to Nashville shortly after six, it didn’t take long to discover that the Art Crawl would be taking place the following night. It appears the articles I saw about moving to Friday pertained to last year. We had a little look around before heading out of town, however.

We found Art,

And fine dining,

(Did not, I repeat: Did not eat one.)

But the real attractions were the signs and the boots:

We arrived in St. Louis on Saturday morning just in time to see the beginning of the VP Parade reach the endpoint.

The excitement of seeing the 134th annual Parade of the Veiled Prophet quickly wore off as it became evident that while the girls were cute, the floats were old and worn; the units were few (even the Shriner's sent just a couple of mini-cars), and yes the sky threatened and eventually it began to rain lightly, but the crowd was awfully thin for most of the route, which we saw as we walked toward the beginning.  I mean they didn't even have the Budweiser Clydesdales so I cannot imagine how they can call this "America's Biggest Birthday Parade."

It worked out fine for us because we found ourselves at the far end of CityGarden - two blocks of park from 6th to 8th Streets with two dozen works of Art by well-known artists.

                      untitled (Rubged Figure)                                     Four Rectangles Oblique IV
                               by Keith Haring, 1987                                         by George Rickey, 1979

We began the next day at the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum on the campus of Washington University.  In what I think is an unusual timeline, the museum was founded in 1831 as the University Art Museum, and later became the City Museum.  It grew and moved to Forest Park in 1914 as the new St. Louis Art Museum, borrowing art from University's museum, which then reestablished itself on campus and evolved to the present day facility.

The collections feature some of everything.  Here are two of interest:

Sleeping Effort by Jackson Pollock, 1953
Daphne by Harriet Hosmer, 1854

Jackson Pollock without drips and squiggles, and Harriet Hosmer who was a sculptress in 1854.  In America!  I would also like to take the opportunity to recognize another painter we found there.

Bridge I by Lyonel Feininger, 1913

When visiting the National Museum of Modern Art at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, many years ago, we found that American painters were represented by a couple of mediocre Georgia O'Keeffes and a few pieces by Lyonel Feininger.  "Who's Lyonel Feininger?" we asked, while seeing a variation in style from child-like to sophisticated.  Seemingly unknown in the US, Feininger, though born and died in NYC, lived most of his life in Europe.  Berlin specifically, working as an illustrator for both German and American publications.  He showed at the Berlin Secession as well as with Der Blaue Reiter, not leaving until Hitler declared his art Degenerate.  Fittingly, since there is a strong German heritage in the region, Feininger's Art will be seen in other museums on this trip.

Due to the invasion of the VP Fair (featuring several stages of entertainment headlined by Eddie Money), access to the St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park was cut off. But after parking outside of the park (scene of the famous 1904 Fair) and hiking in through the vendors' parking lot, we found our way.

I have already given the history of this museum, and the collections are extensive.  There are a few wonderful Van Goghs and work by other well-known European and American artists, but I would like to highlight their work by Max Beckmann.  SLAM, after all, has the largest collection of Beckmann in the world.  Perhaps this is due to him teaching at Washington U. after the war.

Self-portrait by Max Beckmann, 1936

The Sinking of the Titanic by Max Beckmann, 1912-13
Found this pic of Max and p online.
 The Dream by Max Beckmann, 1921    Young Men by the Sea by Max Beckmann, 1943

Acrobats by Max Beckmann, 1939
Fisherwomen by Max Beckmann, 1948

Our pleasant visit was soon terminated when guards proclaimed that the museum was closing and harshly herded the angry patrons out the doors.  There was nothing posted nor previously announced about this early closing.  Our guess is that they didn't want the drunk concert-goers to use their bathrooms.
 (CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICS that we did get to see.)

Sculpture outside included this neat Andy Goldsworthy:

Stone Sea by Andy Goldsworthy, 2012

There was still time for us to hit the Saint Louis University Museum of Art.  Though only established in 2002, SLUMA presents very well with, appropriately, contemporary art.

Fiodorovitch Mitchel III, The First Zsar of Romanov Family
                            by Enrico Baj, 1965
  Figure with Red Hat, No. 7
                  by Horst Antes, 1962

On Monday we visited the Missouri Botanical Garden (founded in 1859) and found some Art amongst the blooms:

Walla Walla Onions by Dale Chihuly and Two Girls Dancing by Carl Milles, 1917
Grande Baigneuse, No. 4 by Emilio Greco, 1959

We cruised, with friend Joan, through neighboring Clayton in search of more Art:

Shoe of Shoes by Victoria Fuller, 1999, in front of Brown Shoe Co.

By the time we got to the Laumeier Sculpture Park it was full on pouring rain.  But that didn't stop us.  Look who we found!

Ricardo Cat by Niki de Saint Phalle, 1999,

Among the Caro, di Suvero, and Borofsky, there were a few pieces by Ernest Trova, a self-taught sculptor who worked as a window-dresser in a local department store.  Born in Clayton, he never left the St. Louis area.  Here are a couple of his pieces:

Falling Man-Study (Wrapped Manscape Figure) by Ernest Trova, 1984
Falling Man by Ernest Trova, 1969
               Abstract Variations No. 5 by Ernest Trova, 1976               Gox #8 by Ernest Trova, 1974

We wound up our St. Louis visit with frozen custard at Ted Drewes (founded 1930).  The "concrete" wasn't exactly set on that hot, humid evening, but it was delicious nonetheless.

Though we did not go, I want to mention that the Pulitzer Foundation has contemporary art, the Museum of Russian Art features religious icons, and the Museum of the Dog is just dogs.

Tuesday morning and we were off for Kansas City (four hours west) and we went straight to the world-famous Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  Problem was, they're not open on Monday or Tuesday.  We shot some sculpture on the grounds:



Yes, Claes and Coosje struck again by transforming the entire museum grounds into a giant badminton court.  And a whole lot of Henry Moore as well.

Then we headed over to see another Kemper Museum.  This time it was R. Crosby Kemper Jr. and his wife, Mary who provided the collection that became the core of the museum.  The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1994. 

Wild Orchids by Charles Demuth, ca 1920
Circles and Diamonds by David Smith, 1951
Immovable Iconography by Nancy Graves, 1990
untitled by Louise Nevelson, 1966

We had lunch at the museums cafe where we were surrounded by a project by Frederick James Brown entitled The History of Art.  And indeed, it looks like he's got it covered with 110 canvases, personally commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Kemper, interpreting some of Art's greatest works.

The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art on the Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas is the largest in the four-state region.  It is also in the top ten nationally for public art on campus.

Woman with Packages by Louise Bourgeios, 1949
Interieur No. 362 by Anton Henning, 2006

The museum opened in 2007. There was an interesting show called Super Indian: Fritz Schoulder 1967-1980 which focused on Schoulder's paintings of that time.

Indian with Blue Aura by Fritz Scholder, 1967
  Indian with Dog by Fritz Scholder, 1972

Art was everywhere, throughout the campus.

Hare and Bell by Barry Flanagan, 1988
Still Standing by Anthony Gormley, 2000

JCCC is also dedicated to exhibiting the work of contemporary Native Americans, and we were able to view several displays thanks to a heads-up from Doreen, a volunteer.

Raven Steals the Moon by Preston Singletary, 2003

The next day we tried the Nelson-Atkins again. Another institution with an interesting history, a series of bequests at the beginning of the last century led to its opening in 1933.  One of the main reasons the NAMA has such outstanding collections is because Nelson's legacy came in land for the museum and cash.  There is something by everyone is the best way I can describe what we saw.  So many wonderful examples of famous and obscure artists.  I chose just a few:

Winged Genie Fertilizing a Date Tree, Nimrud, 884-860 bce
Pavonia-Jersey City by Reginald Marsh, 1928
               The Green Domino by Albert Bloch, 1913    Portrait of the Artist's Sister by Thomas Hart Benton, 1913

I included this last painting by THB because he did it when he was 24 and learning to paint in NYC.  His sister, Mildred, was studying at Barnard.  Albert Bloch exhibited with Der Blaue Reiter.

After exploring all the galleries of  the original beaux-arts/neoclassical building, we entered the concrete world of the Bloch Building (2007).  Gallery after gallery of Modern, Classic Contemporary and Neo-Contemporary Art.

  Woman IV by Willem de Kooning, 1952-53  
  Turin by Franz Kline, 1960
If you look at the other pictures I took, you will see what I mean about something by everyone.

We checked out the Crossroads Art District, which is about twenty blocks south of downtown.  And while I'm sure things are hopping on their First Friday openings, it's pretty much a wasteland during the day.

Had lunch at Grinders, founded by an artist named Stretch (MFA at VCU in 1990) whose work is pretty nice and around the country.  Pizza was thin, but unexciting.  And Satchel has nothing to worry about when it comes to wild artistic ambiance, for sure.

Thursday morning and we were on the road to Des Moines, Iowa (three hours). We visited the Des Moines Art Center.  Established in 1948, the original architect was Eliel Saarinen (father of Eero, designer of the St. Louis Arch).  Additions were designed by I.M. Pei (1968) and Richard Meier (1986) who is famous for the Getty Center.  The collections are focused on Contemporary:

Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds) by Ai Weiwei, 2009

And Modern:

Green Bananas by Walt Kuhn, 1946
         Abstract Head-Inner Vision -Gray-Blue-Pink
                   by Alexei von Jawlensky, 1927

Walt Kuhn you may recognize as one of the organizers of the Armory Show.  Jawlensky was a member of Der Blaue Reiter.

There are also a few pieces on the grounds, including work by Henry Moore, Richard Serra, and at least the third copy we've seen of Carl Milles' Man and Pegasus.

Animal Pyramid by Bruce Nauman, 1990

In addition, however, DMAC also runs the John and Mary Pappajohn (no relation to the pizza) Sculpture Park, closer to downtown.  There are twenty-eight sculptures over two blocks (much like St. Louis) including Butterworth, Bourgeois, Flanagan, and on and on (CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE).  Here's another by Haring:

untitled (Three Dancing Figures, version C) by Keith Haring, 1989

But I really wondered about this guy.

2 security blankets?

We enjoyed a King Pork Tenderloin sandwich at Smitty's (1952):

Almost as big as a Frisbee.

and a Peppermint Stick Bar at Bauder's Pharmacy (1916).

Made only for the Iowa State Fair, they said I got the last one.

before heading to the track at Prairie Meadows.

Mary Kay VIPs smiling on.

The Anderson Gallery at Drake University was closed for the summer.  So we were off in search. The city has online maps of their public art, but we couldn't find much of what was promised.  But we did find a few.

Crusoe Umbrella by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, 1979
untitled by James Rosati, 1972,
A World of Possibilities by Viola Frey, inside 801 Grand Ave

The Principal Riverwalk:

Five Dangos by Jun Kaneko, 2012

And American Enterprise Art Park.

Sphere Within a Sphere by Arnoldo Pomodoro, 1999

Then it was time to make tracks for Minneapolis (3.5 hours NE) where we began with the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  This Beaux-Arts edifice was designed by the famous architects McKim, Mead and White in 1915.  With around 80,000 items, it is one of the largest in the country.  Even more than Nelson-Atkins, there are too many wonderful examples of every kind of Art.  I cannot even list them all, however, I have chosen a few of the less well-known artists for inclusion here.

Billboard by Grace Hartigan, 1957
Evening Glow by Emil Nolde, 1915
Married Life by Roger de la Fresnaye, 1912
Tempest in Yellow by Dorothea Tanning, 1956
Differential by Manierre Dawson, 1910
Window Shopping, 14th Street by Reginald Marsh, 1932 
Star Burlesque by Reginald Marsh, 1933

Often referred to as the First American Abstractionist, Maniere Dawson was working for a Chicago architectural firm when he took his only trip to Europe in 1910.  As you can see from the above picture, that while he may have been influenced by all he saw (including a soiree at the Steins) he had an original vision.  Upon return to the US, he met Arthur B. Davies and was invited to hang a painting in the Armory Show.  Dawson, however, thought he had nothing worthy and declined.  This began his most productive period which ended with him becoming an apple farmer in Michigan.  Here are two more I shot later at the Milwaukee Art Museum:

Attack by Manierre Dawson, 1912
Prognostic by Manierre Dawson, 1910

Spent the rest of the day taking pics around town:

Ole Bull at Loring Park

The next day was Saturday, so after hitting a couple of Yard Sales, we found our way into the Walker Art Center.  (They were laying down a temporary asphalt sidewalk for us to use.)

In 1879 Thomas Barlow Walker began showing his art collection to the public at his home which led to him building the Walker Art Gallery in 1927.  The now Walker Art Center opened in 1940 with the latest building dedicated in 1971.  Also on the grounds is the Minnesota Sculpture Garden.  This part, unfortunately, was closed due to complete renovation.  The Center is renown as a Contemporary Art center, but they have many wonderful galleries of Modern Art, as well.

The Large Blue Horses by Franz Marc, 1911
Le Grand Cheval by Raymond  Duchamp-Villlon, 1914

Two of the first pieces we saw hold special significance to us because both Franz Marc and Raymond Duchamp-Villon lost their lives - for opposing sides - in World War I.

Barfusserkirche II by Lyonel Feininger, 1926
Still Life with Flowers by Florine Stettheimer, 1921
Synchromy in Green and Orange by Stanton Macdonald-Wright, 1916

Stanton Macdonald-Wright is given credit as the co-founder of Synchronism which he, along with fellow student, Morgan Russell, developed from their teacher, Canadian painter Percyval Tudor-Hart, while in Paris (1911-1913).  Though others say they merely borrowed from Sonia and Robert Delaunay's SimultaneityCLICK HERE FOR A FEW MORE.

Up on the roof there was Mini-Golf.

We visited Anoka for a craft fair, which was fairly crafty but not very interesting.  Even these locals look bored:

Then to Robbinsdale for Whiz Bang Days.  There was back-alley bocce:


 And some back-alley dancing:

"I think he's too short for her."

In the evening, there was a performance by the Robbinsdale City Band at Hollingsworth Park.  Accompanied by the Rotary Club Ambassadors.


A teaching museum since 1937, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum opened its new Frank Gehry-designed building on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus in 1993.  Among the more than 20,000 items are lots that caught my eye.

Dawn by Niki de Saint Phalle, 1997
Standing Glass Fish by Frank Gehry, 1986
The Fruit Tree by Paul H. Winchell, c 1930
Dancing Doll by Jacob Lawrence, 1947

 They have lots of Marsden Hartleys and more Alfred Maurers than I have seen before.

Two Heads with Yellow Background by Alfred Maurer, 1928-29
Still Life with Cup by Alfred Maurer, c 1929

 More Art on the East Minneapolis campus:

Although consistently referred to as Disappearing Statues, the title of the work is Spannungsfeld or Area of Conflict by Julian Voss-Andreae, 2014.

Then on to St. Paul:

Protagoras by Charles Ginnerver, 1976

Just over forty years ago, the Hmong people began arriving in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region.  They are now more than 66,000 making them a major ethnic group.  The Hmong lived in southwestern China for thousands of years until the mid-1600s when China began limiting their freedom.  They migrated south to Laos, Thailand, and other countries.  During the Vietnam War, the Hmong agreed to aid the United States in fighting the Communists in the "Secret War," but when the war was over, the Communists took revenge.  Thousands died and thousands more fled.  They are farmers and Mike Hazard shot some wonderful pictures for his show at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, Seeds of Change.

 Marie contributed some seed art.

Although I can't tell from their website, the MMAA is apparently closed, so what we saw was a "project space."  The receptionist insisted that it was the whole museum.  Nonetheless, it was interesting to learn about the Hmong,

Elsewhere in St. Paul they were celebrating Bastille Day a bit early.

 It was a busy day in Rice Park.

This is Herb Brooks, coach of the U.S.A.'s Miracle on Ice hockey team that beat the U.S.S.R. Born in St. Paul.

by John Brodin and Doug Scheidel

And this is F. Scott Fitzgerald, born in St. Paul.

by Michael B. Price

Charles Schultz was also born in St. Paul.

Peppermint Patty by Tivoli Too
Marcie and Marie

Before we leave downtown St. Paul, take a look at this classic:

24/365 since 1939

Our next stop in St. Paul was Como Lake Park, home of the the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (1913).

And the Cafesjian's Carousel (1914)


The Minnesota State Fair won't start until next month, but the gate was open...

The next day we dropped into the Mall of America - the largest in the US.  Other than the amusement parks, it was much like any other mall.  Only a little uglier.

"What seems to be the problem, Officer?

We drove northeast to Stillwater, on the St. Croix River.

Combustion by Greg Johnson (River City Sculpture Tour)
Thatsalottabull by John Hughes
Klompenboot by Kyle Fokken
Walk the Dog by Judy Sell

On our way to Taylors Falls, we came upon a welcome surprise:

I got the pics down to these few:

Skallagrim by Peter Lundberg, 2015
Predator-Prey Constellation by Wendy Klemperer, 2015
Fibonacci Wannabe III by Nam Trong Le, 2011
Parade by Mike Rathburn, 2013

Franconia Sculpture Park, on the St. Croix Trail at Franconia, was founded as a non-profit in 1996 by a small group of artists.  They offer up to forty artist residencies annually, as well as a host of activities including a yearly exhibition and a gallery for 2D in NE Minneapolis.

Taylors Falls is the site of Interstate Park.  We stayed on the Minnesota side of the river:

Besides the beauty, geologists from around the world come here to see the ten layers of lava flow that are exposed, two distinct glacial deposits, various fault lines, and glacial pools.  And cute frogs.

The next day we made our pilgrimage to historic Minnehaha Falls.  Named for Longfellow's poem, the Falls have long been a major tourist attraction.

On the campaign trail in 1964, LBJ visited the falls along with HHH.

And now Marie.

Further south we found Hastings on the Mississippi and Le Croix Rivers.

The confluence of the Le Croix and Mississippi Rivers.

These are cut-stone murals under the overpass in Hastings.  Done by Craig David in 2013, they're entitled Highway 61 - Spanning the Times.

Just enough time for some closing shots.

To Each His Art.

Time to leave for Madison, Wisconsin ( hours) and the Chazen Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Wisconsin.  For a relatively young museum, they have many very nice paintings,  including these from CoBrA artists (see previous posts for more on CoBrA.)

It's Not Possible by Pierre Alechinsky, 1965
Personage by Asger Jorn, 1958
Clown by Karel Appel, 1954
Flights of Birds in a Landscape by Corneille, 1960

And I must show you these:

The Fools' Congress, Part 2 by Arnold Zimmerman, 1998-1999
Twenty-four Feet by Elise Siegel, 2004
Sligo Quay by Jack Butler Yeats, 1913
Happy as Larry by Alexander Caldwell, 1949

 There was lots of Nevelson and Nadelman and Calder.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

The UW campus is along the southern shore of Lake Mendota.  On the other side of the Capitol, the Monona Terrace faces Lake Monona.  Originally proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939, this project was not built until 1997.  So while being advertised as a FLW design, it was actually done by a former apprentice.

Monona Terrace

They also have some Art.

Cluster by John Ready, 2016
Star Viewing Ring with Orion & Taurus by Martha Glowacki, 2012
Florette by Sam Spiczka, 2015
Three Red Houses by Andrew Arvanetes, 2016
Play Things by Jacob McGinn, 2016

And that's about all for Madison, so our next stop was the Haggerty Museum of Art on the Marquette University campus in Milwaukee.

Originally opened in 1948, Keith Haring was commissioned to paint on the construction fence that enclosed the museum in 1983.

Construction Fence by Keith Haring, 1983

 And this Dali:

Madonna of Port Lligat by Salvador Dali, 1949

Next stop, Milwaukee Art Museum, on the shores of Lake Michigan.


 There was a hand-weaving display at the entrance:

Tapestry Relief by Rebecca Smith
Seafoam by Joh Ricci

This Calder hung at General Mitchell Field since 1986 is now on loan to the museum.

Red, Black, Blue by Alexander Calder, 1968

There are so many examples by members of Der Blaue Reiter, beginning with Gabrielle Münter.

              Boating by Gabriele Münter, 1910                          In Schwabing by Gabriele Münter, 1912

The Green House by Gabriele Münter, 1911
       Portrait of a Young Woman by Gabriele Münter, 1909       Girl with Doll by Gabriele Münter, 1908-09

The Village Church by Gabriele Münter, 1908
     Yellow Still Life by Gabriele Münter, 1909
Road in Multicolored October by Gabriele Münter, 1959
Usually thought of as a sidekick for Kandinsky, Münter could hold her own.  Other original members of DBR:

Geraniums Before Blue Mountains by Auguste Macke, 1911
The Gardener by Alexei Jawlensky, 1912
Windblown by Marianne von Werefkin, 1910

Jawlensky and von Werefkin were a couple (though not married) and spent the summer in a house with Munter and Kandinsky in Murnau (south of Munich).  It was Munter's house, but still they called it the "Russian's House."  And, of course, Kandinsky.  Alas, no Franz Marc.

Fragment I for Composition VII etc by Vassily Kandinsky, 1913

And others:

Nightclub Scene by Everett Shinn, 1934 (member of The Eight)
Prognostic by Manierre Dawson, 1910
The Quai, Venice by Kees von Dongen, ca 1921

We walked across the bridge:

The Calling by Mark di Suvero, 1981-82

A few final shots:

 And then to home.

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