Sunday was a big day, for the first time ever I was going to see 20th century artwork. The Haggin Museum located in Stockton California was on the way back home so it was a great stop. Amidst all of these great paintings my boy Bouguereau has a painting there! I’ve always loved his stuff and this would be a great opportunity to take it in…Or so I thought.
I arrived at the Haggin via the back entrance, and was promptly greeted by a security guard after pressing the buzzer. Tall and sure of his position he lead me to the elevator. “Someone will take you to the front desk.” He said with a smile. I wanted to give him dap, but a simple head nod would suffice. After all, we are in a museum.
When I got upstairs another guard lead me to the front desk. I have never seen a brotha so happy. This dude was more excited then me. He hooked up a map, took my payment and let me loose.
The first room I entered was the Haggin, the painting above is Tomas Moran “a woodland temple” its from 1867 and its sick, but I came to see Bouguereau. However, one painter that stood out to me was Albert Bierstat. I’m standing there looking at his moose painting, amazed by his placement of the light source.
At the time of this writing the Haggin is under renovations. Yeah, no Bouguereau for me. Honestly, I was already down in the dumps and this took me back a notch. The kind lady that worked at the museum told me the Bouguereau would be soon. “We have a bunch of other paintings, as well in storage. They will all be back after renovation” She spoke in a pleasantly soft tone. “Hey this red painting… Are you guys gonna have that?” I inquired. “That’s called the Red Portfolio, its by Vibert” she replied but I thought she said “You don’t fuck with Vibert?”
Still shaken from a lack of Bouguereau, I entered a room full of J.C. Leyendecker. The life suddenly came back into me. I have always been a Rockwell fan, Leyendecker flew under my radar up until now. Here are a few of my favorite paintings. Note: the photos dont do them justice.
This is by far my favorite. I was really inspired by Leyendeckers approach to painting and his compositions. Before leaving I gave the lady a high five and told her “Leyendecker saved the day.” She laughed and gave me 2 origami cranes.
This was a really powerful weekend, and I got back to work preparing for May’s Arthop. I’ll have a post in a few days with more news on that, until then…