Monday, June 9, 2008

British Museum

This morning we went to the British Museum. Amazingly, I saw the Rosetta Stone for the first time on this trip (it used to have a "cover charge" and a rather lengthy queue -- like the entrance to some sort of swank ancient nightclub). The other highlight was a rather comprehensive survey of American printmaking called "The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock." Although this largely pre-dates the period of printmaking I most closely follow, I enjoyed the show and learned at least one new fact: Jackson Pollock started out as a Regionalist painter (think Grant Wood's American Gothic). Seeing his early work in print form, I can attest to the fact that it's good he moved on to Abstract Expressionism. Although, I must confess that I don't think it (Abstract Expressionism) translated well to printmaking either. The Bellows, Hopper, Benton (a teacher of Pollock), Wood, and Albers (always a favorite of mine) prints were superb, as were many lesser known artists. All in all, the show contained many fine examples from about a dozen different schools and was worth the visit.

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