Friday, September 28, 2007

Random Thoughts on Renoir

A few quick thoughts on the Renoir Landscapes 1865-1883 press preview (see above):

(1) I’ll be writing up a review of the catalogue to the exhibit soon. Hearing John Zarobell speak, I realized that he’s even more erudite and charismatic in person than he is in print. It was truly a pleasure to hear him hold forth on Renoir for over an hour, which seemed like 15 minutes.

(2) The free booklet available at the exhibit has many of the great paintings reproduced, but the colors in the printing are really off. Many seem to be shifted too red, especially Renoir’s The Wave from 1882. Standing in front of the painting itself and looking at the booklet, it was tragic how far off the colors were.

(3) The exhibit gift shop carries the normal array of prints and kitsch, but I was especially impressed by the number of Renoir-related books for kids. Renoir’s sensual, deeply felt art translates very well to children, which makes this exhibit and these books a great opportunity to expose children to art.

(4) The PMA may have the nicest guard staff in the museum world. One guard stopped me and asked me my age. When I told her 40, she said that I looked 16. Some of my more seasoned and illustrious colleagues in the press may have made me look younger by comparison, but 16’s definitely a stretch. It was nice to hear, though. If the PMA is listening, please give her a raise.

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