One last post from the exhibit at the Speed Museum.
Whenever my friend Marti and I go to a museum we play a game at the end: which piece do you want to take home with you? It requires us to take one last walkabout, reminding ourselves of everything we've seen, and to discuss why this one is our favorite. (It's an exercise that I recommend to any serious art viewer, making sure that you haven't just looked without seeing and thinking.)
Here's Marti's favorite, which we both thought screamed "Vermeer" for its gorgeous light coming in from the side window.
Anna Ancher, Young Woman Arranging Flowers, ~1885
It struck me that hardly any of the paintings showed those classic Impressionist subjects of landscape or still life. Those have always been my favorite Inpressionist genres, and I had a hard time choosing my favorite from the few possibilities.
This artist got no respect from the Finnish art world: they called her paintings "strange" and "abnormalities." Unsurprisingly, she gave up painting.
The dramatic smoke plume made me think of all those paintings of trains, especially inside the huge open-air railroad stations.
Helene Schjerfbeck, The Door, 1884
Anna Bilinska-Bohdanowicz, Unter den Linden in Berlin, 1890
This was my favorite, reminiscent of all the Childe Hassam paintings of New York street scenes with flags flying. I loved the way the precise detail of the architecture dissolved into hazy radiance.
Well, maybe not my absolute favorite -- how about a tie between that one and this beautiful still life of pink satin shoes. Not only do I love the painting, I sure wish I had a pair of shoes just like it.
And that's all, folks! You still have a couple of weeks to see the exhibit, "Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism," which closes May 13. As the Michelin Guide says, it's worth a detour. Maybe even worth a trip.