March 8, 2009

Taking You Along: Balboa Park 1

The San Diego Museum of Art, façade 2009. Begun in 1926, the building was designed by architects William Templeton Johnson and architect Robert W. Snyder. It’s façade is recently renovated.

Himself: He was very surprised to find he was the only person working. He was also surprised to find he enjoyed being a docent and talking to people.

Herself: Felt vastly out of shape, vastly creaky, when I should have been bouncing along. SDFA, Photograph Museum, House of Hospitality, through the Houses of Pacific Relations, through the inside of the Balboa Park Club, around the outside of the Recital Hall, and a little of Palm Canyon.

Also: Hit Amvets and Ross in the morning in search for a replacement, unspotted, unwornout, white T-shirt for me. I found three. Oh, I was such a wild spender this day.

Balance: The beauty of the park.

Idyllic. Blue skies, ornate buildings, happy crowds. And there I was right in the middle of it all.

G kindly dropped me off right in the middle of the park. I turned on my cell phone and headed straight to the Museum of Art as if pulled by a magnet. I stepped into the atrium and joined. I did it even though they only gave me ten percent off for my age and art. Yes, I could take pictures but not of the highlight exhibits. Yes, the art remains mediocre.

Women artists on paper: It could have been a more exciting show. I delighted by the redness of a row of pears by Martha Alf. Electric. Two by prints by Kathe Kollwitz and one quick watercolor sketch by Cassatt left me mesmerized, deeply moved to see them. Remembering in delight. Wanting to draw again. Thinking of pencil.

After wandering through the Black Women’s Bodies show. Sometimes I caught my breath in horror at the prejudice and sometimes with just bare delight at the drama, innovativeness of the artists, and power of the colors, I wandered through all but the Asian art. There were one or two very good bits in the middle of some heavy sections on the classics. An analysis of restoration by a very young, tender curator left me hoping he wasn’t one of the 20 employees who were just laid off. Yes, I actually sat down and enjoyed the whole film of how they x-rayed, analyzed, dissected, and examined the painting he was talking about.

Out into the very fresh air, I took as many photographs as possible as I headed eastward through the museums. At the Museum of Photographic Arts, I picked up a form to join while discovering they have a special membership going for only $25 dollars. Gee, they are hurting so very badly. Just off the entrance, there were crowds of kids, boisterous kids, jammed into a small room working on Saturday’s projects. I brought the form home.

I delighted in the architecture here, the flowers there, but after three hours walking, I was tired. I found the car tucked far behind the museums in what must have been originally a play area for kids, and curled up with a cold Diet Coke brought from home and a good book.

Dinner out. I ate half and felt more than full. G did too, and we came home feeling heroic indeed with our leftovers planned for Monday’s dinner.

Balboa Park Links:

Balboa Park History

Exposition and building History

The Richard Amero Collection: Newspaper and magazine articles about Balboa Park.

The City of San Diego Park and Rec: A History of Balboa Park.

1 comment:

  1. Having fun following you around on your trip. Could almost feel the cool breeze in the shaded corridors of the museum. Was that a sleeping teenager or one of the modern art pieces lying on the bench?


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...