Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Last Picture Show

Grant Wood...

Overall I would say I was underwhelmed by our trip to the Figge. There are some good pieces there but the museum as a whole seems to suffer from an identity crisis. A very modern building with an eclectic but not very modern collection. It all depends on what the visiting or rotating exhibit is. We saw a bunch of quilts. Definitely check it out before going. We did luck out as the day we went there was no admission fee.

They did have some cool things for kids. They had easels and paper set up in the Winter Garden overlooking the river for sketching. And there was an interactive room with fancy architecture blocks.

...and Grant Wood's chair and table.

I took a few more pictures before security informed me that photos were not allowed. There are some good things in the permanent collection such as a Durer engraving and a Bierstadt painting of waterfalls but it is mostly a muddled hodge-podge of styles. I think we expected more modern art to go with the modern building and some photography, design etc. The chair above is in the collection but the design/museum store in the lobby is selling the Eames Lounge Chair. (My birthday is coming up so if anyone has six grand for a chair it's on the wish list.) Anyway I would definitely go back (in warmer weather) if there was a decent exhibition offered.

The Iris Dement/Pieta Brown show was very good although a little steep at 30 bucks a pop. Pieta sounded better than I remember and she of course was paired with Bo Ramsey who is always sublime backing her up. I can't recall the last time I saw Bo do a solo show although he did have a new album of blues covers out. Apparently Greg Brown was in the audience but alas my hoped for duet did not occur. Iris' set was almost identical to her Englert performance but still worth hearing again. She is comically neurotic and her stage banter plays off of that. Iris also has some great new songs about her mother, her marriage, and her husband etc... so I wish she would just record them and release an album. She sang a couple of amazing covers, Johnny Cash's I Still Miss Someone and Greg's The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home.

I liked the cabaret seating of the River Music Experience even if the energy seemed a little better at Englert and if the weather was better I would be inclined to return this weekend to catch Alejandro Escovedo. We managed to avoid the river boats and gambling completely. Not sure how that happened.

1 comment:

Churlita said...

Good to know about the museum. I was getting kind of excited that we would be able to drive an hour to see some interesting art. Looks like it's back to 3 1/2 hour drives to Chicago again.