Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Our last excursion before leaving Chattanooga was to visit the Hunter Museum of American art. It is dedicated to American Artists from the early 1700’s until the present. The museum takes its name from the gentleman who donated his riverfront mansion to create the museum. Since those beginnings, it has grown to include a modernistic building surrounding the mansion. When you tour the museum you will find yourself seamlessly entering the mansion on the second floor.
We enjoy all types of art exhibits, wherever we find them. I have to admit that modern abstract art is not among my favorites. This museum has a number of pieces that fall into this category. My personal problem is that I find it hard to think of some of this stuff as art. In this museum there is a classic example of my problem. It is a painting of painted stripes of canvas. Even I could do this. To add insult to injury, the plaque notes that this particular piece was purchased with federal funding. Why does that not surprise me!
The vast majority of the pieces depict life in the USA during various periods of our history. This includes Native American life, immigrants and the simple life of most Americans along with some of the more noteworthy in our history.
One painting from the late 1800’s I found particularly interesting. It depicts horse shoe falls at Niagara Falls. It has a structure in the river above the falls that looks a little like a lighthouse base and a plank walkway from the shore to the edge of the falls. How would you like to walk that plank?
It is well worth a visit.