For those of you who may wonder why some posts have “The Feeder Feed” in the title, this idiosyncratic practice stems from the time when I had lots of bird feeders across from the windows of my office. I miss them, and so when I visit museums, I continue the practice of posting bird photos.
I am in Indianapolis. And because I am in Indianapolis (to talk to a Legatus chapter), I had the chance to visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art. My host knows one of the conservators (a devout Catholic) of the institute, and so we had a bit of a tour, which was a real treat.
Alas, I can’t show you the things they were working. However, among them….wayyyy in the back, are two polychrome wood and plaster (I think) angels in need of cleaning and restoration. The robes of the angels still show traces of the gilded patter applied when it was made: glue in a patter and then gold leaf stuck to it. What was interesting that next to the statues was a copy of our guides Magnificat magazine that had on the cover a painting with similarly applied tracery/embroidery. I’d show you the photo of her holding the Magnificat next to the statues, but then I would have to hunt you all down and make you sign forms or something.
In lieu of that, however, I can show you this shot of a large cart upon which they haul around big canvasses.
The conservation section is very interesting, since they “do it all” there. They can work on painting, sculptures, paper and fabrics. It was a truly fascinating visit and I am grateful for the opportunity.
In the gallery, however, I noticed this right away. Here is an allegory, a Still Life with the Four Elements by Jacques Linard (+c. 1645)
Guess who gets to embody Air.
I can’t help but think that there is some holdover of the Christian in this choice for Earth.
And here is a depiction of The Sense of Taste, from the workshop of Jan Brueghel the younger. It is a riot, a nice variation of one of those packed salon paintings, a painting of paintings. Hard to see in this, but there is a lot going on. At the top and center is a painting of Adam and Eve and the fatal apple, so this painting has a moral quality.
The monkey with the martini glass was my favorite bit.
It was a short visit and there was more to see, but after the monkey and the martini, and an allegory of taste, we figured it was time for lunch.