Mingei….folk craft or folk art; the Folk Craft Movement (Mingei undô) was started by Yanagi Sôetsu (1889-1961; also Yanagi Muneyoshi). Art of the People.
Often during the last few years, I would go with the Geezer to Balboa Park while he worked as a volunteer in the automotive museum. I discovered there was a free tram almost in front of the museum, and this tram would take me into the heart of the park.
The first year I joined The San Diego Museum of Art. Soon after that I also joined the Museum of Photographic Arts. I loved the both these museums, but I wasn’t passionately attracted to the works they offered. I, who cut metal roughly, who was best at slab built pots, and threw paint energetically on canvas and paper, felt left out by the sterility of the works. Slowly I stopped going.
Last year, I stopped in a few times at the Mingei museum. No senior admission here, but I complained. The works I saw there immediately engaged me. I felt at home. No paintings here, but everything else I was interested in was here and accessible.
Tentatively I asked, “Do you mind if join the Mingei Museum?”
“Only if you go more than once,” he said.
I found that now there is a senior admission. I immediately stuck my brand new members badge on, and fell into an oasis comfort zone. Although I was drawn to many of the small pots, like the sake vessel and its cups, in the Contemporary ceramics show, I tried to take pictures of most of the shows. I found quilts, weavings, and upstairs the blue things in the True Blue exhibition. I even sat for a time and watched a film on how to make Indigo…
…..all the while feeling right at home.