Art Should Be, Not Mean


Three babes at Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha--but the naked one definitely lacked in personality. Audrey and Nina walking thorugh museum grounds, with sculpture.

Or something like that. Maybe artists take that poetic advice a bit too seriously.

We are in Omaha visiting Nina this weekend, and Paula and Dave have kindly allowed us to stay at their house. The Joslyn Art Museum is free on Saturday mornings, so we went there.

Image of Van Gogh painting form Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, web site.

They are showing a “beyond impressionism” exhibit, that includes a lot of impressionistic art works from the turn of the 19th to 20th century.

Somehow, I enjoyed that art more than the modern art exhibits. It’s not that all modern art is useless, but some of it is so abstract that it fails to communicate.

I suppose self expression is more the point of some art than communication, but you could say that about writing, too.

As a writer, while I don’t mind writing for therapeutic or self-discovery purposes, I do want my reader to understand or feel some empathy with my point.

I can’t claim to completely understand a Monet or Van Gogh—but at least they are accessible to me. I can stand back from a painting and get an impression of a time or place or a quality of light or a mood.

In contrast, abstract stripes on a wall or geometric patterns don’t say as much to me.

When we get back to CR, I’ll post some images of museum—exterior or lobby shots, naturally I could not photograph the artwork. I recommend the museum, not just for this travelling impressionist exhibition—if you can catch it, go for it—but it’s got an interesting permanent collection and fun outdoor exhibits, too.

What can I say? When I’m in the mood for art, show me the Monet.

Statue near museum entrance.

Same statue, walkers resting near it.

Upper lobby inside museum, sculpture. Audrey said similar sculpture in a hospital she used to work at was informally known as the "sperm sculpture."

The sculpture that most amused Audrey-cartoon kids spilling out rear of settlers' wagon.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Art Should Be, Not Mean

  1. Cate

    My first impression, just reading the headline was, “yeah – art should not be mean!” And I still think so.

  2. crgardenjoe

    Art should sing harmony. In impossibly high tones. To lyrics written by Paul.

  3. Anne

    The big glass piece looks like a Chihuly. Pat and I went to see a big site-specific exhibit of his at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus several years ago.

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