Ft. Worth Foray

As a working stiff, I don’t get no Spring Break, but I took a short one nonetheless. I didn’t take any furloughs during the busy seasons of last spring and fall wound up feeling ruined and depressed by Memorial Day/Christmas. A couple injections of sxsw chaos and a jaunt up to visit family in Cowtown were just what was needed.

Of course, I didn’t miss an opportunity to visit Ft. Worth’s museum district on a bright, cool spring afternoon. I always visit the Kimball, even if I don’t know what the exhibition is, it’s just a wonderful space. The current exhibit, Picturing the Bible: The Earliest Christian Art was extremely crowded (perhaps because DFW is the buckle of the Bible Belt) and mostly consisted of small objects like rings, glass and metal works, so it was difficult to get a close look at many pieces, and thus contemplate on them. The most interesting items to me were the carved stone sarcophagi and painted tombs with the names and exact ages of the deceased and touching, personal epitaphs written by husbands, wives, parents and friends.

Also intimate was the excellent The Art of the American Snapshot, 1888–1979 down the sidewalk at the Amon Carter Museum. Some of the earliest images were people photographing themselves myspace style, which shows this narcissism of the Millenials is nothing new. My favorite part of this exhibit were the autochrome photographs from the very early 20th century, a process which allowed the actual color of the object to be recorded onto the plate, rather than by post-process coloration. Hairstyles and outfits we associate completely in black-and-white sprung to life: what would’ve been a rather unremarkable picture of a young man sitting in a chair soared to fashion-plate level when the color version revealed him to be dandily dressed in a lime green shirt, lavender tie, green pants, green socks and white leather shoes.

Unfortunately, because it was late in the day, I missed Intimate Modernism: Fort Worth Circle Artists in the 1940s and Martin Puryear the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

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