Here’s some great news for those of you who are art lovers, and live in Oregon – because of a wonderful tax loop-hole, we get to experience amazing masterpieces. As a New York Times article from a few weeks ago explains, when art buyers at the big auction houses in New York buy a new work of art there are huge taxes included; but if these buyers agree to loan their new purchases to museums in tax-friendly states, the buyers can avoid the taxes.
I see this as a win-win, at least for those of us who are able to enjoy these purchases. Another great thing is that these are pieces that are usually in private collections, so they are rarely seen in public. Pretty cool.
My dad told me about this, and about how the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art has both a Van Gogh and a Chagall right now. These are two of my favorite artists. I usually have to travel quite a distance to see their art in person.
My mom also told me about an exhibit that she really loved. So we decided to head down after naps.
I have lots of memories of the U of O Art Museum (as it used to be more simply known) from when I was a kid. I loved the courtyard, with its pool, arches, brick. Back when I was a girl there was a statue in the water, and koi swam around in the pool. My dad says that when he was a student, he would read in the courtyard – and when I took some summer classes, I kept up that tradition. A couple years ago some of our best friends were married in the courtyard.
So, we always start in the courtyard.
After the courtyard, we went upstairs to see the exhibit my mom wanted to show us. It was very impressive. Then we went to look for the Van Gogh. On the way, Alma was intrigued by an installation mixed media piece called “Medusa Smack” by Vanessa Renwick. I wasn’t sure how Alma would feel about it – it is in a dark room, under a huge umbrella, with strange music playing.
Alma was amazed. My mom and I spent most of the time watching Alma’s expression change as the images projected onto the umbrella changed. It was one of those moments when I am so incredibly grateful to get to be her mom. I can’t really explain it. It was art, watching my daughter interact with a piece of art.
We decided that we needed to go back a couple days later, with Jesse and my step-dad.
Another amazing program that the JSMA has right now is a children’s program. They have some backpacks full of exploratory art activities. Alma didn’t really care about what was in the backpack, but she absolutely loved carrying the backpack around the museum.
And one more stop in the courtyard.