Nov 20, 2011

The Everson Museum

The world famous architect I M. Pei is often called a master of modern architecture. He designed The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Pyramide de Louve in Paris, and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston to name just a few of his creations. His work can be seen in nearly every major city of the world. Locally he worked on the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University, and designed the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca and the Everson Museum of Art.

It had been several years since I had been to the Everson so I made a special point on a visit to Syracuse to schedule one hour to visit the museum. Actually, the building is an art object the houses art object. It opened in 1968 and was the first museum designed by I. M. Pei, which led to other commissions to design museums in a variety of locations worldwide. Traditionally museums were houses of the wealthy that held their collections of magnificent objects. The Everson helped to change that concept making the building and area around it all part of the art experience. Perhaps to avoid having people charge through the front door of the museum without pausing the front entrance to the museum is not obvious making people pause and look around before locating the front door.

I am not an art aficionado but each time I visit the museum I learn more about art and the artists: and, it is a relaxing place to spend an hour or two. The Everson's permanent collection encompasses approximately 11,000 objects, including paintings, ceramics, sculpture and videos. With all there is to see the museum I will try to visit more often. They ask for a $5 donation but there are no tickets per se.

The ceramics collection of the Everson is widely recognized for its magnitude and magnificence. It is one of the largest holdings of American ceramics in the nation.
Today, the collection of American ceramics numbers over 4,000 pieces that date from 1000 AD to the present, from works by ancient Americans of the Southwest to examples by contemporary artists.

Two of my favorite paintings are part of the Everson Collection. The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks shows the people and animals living harmoniously but in the background the Europeans have arrived and are trading with the Native Americans. I like to look at Gilbert’s portrait of George Washington and wonder what he would think of the country he helped to forge. Both are very thought provoking.

This time I was much taken by the Unique art display by Arise. The works - poems, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, computer-based art, and mixed-media - are created by individuals living in Central New York with disabilities. “Tea with Me,” a clay teapot by Jacqueline Colone, a 15-year-old with Down syndrome made me feel good and I marveled at the delicate torchon bobbin lace work by Pamela Corcoran who has Multiple Sclerosis. There were many beautiful image of nature. “But Still I Rise – In Spite of the Voices” by Casey A. O’Connor is a thought provoking poem that starts with “The voices are cruel, And try to be my demise, They drag me down, But still, I rise.” I was glad I made time in my day to see this truly inspirational exhibit.