Living the artful life...........

Honey and I enjoy going to art shows, flea markets, street events and antique shows. But we are kind of lax when it comes to museums and concerts. Its not that we don't enjoy them .... we just have the tendency to keep on working. (yea .... if you are into sustainability, you understand!)

So Honey and I are trying to take advantage of inexpensive, enjoyable, educational opportunities around our community. Yesterday, we had an art-filled lunch date.

First of all, Mojo's cafe at the River Music Experience has a daily concert during the lunch hour.....FREE! Yesterday, Tennessee played blues and rock and country and bluegrass. We ate great pannini sandwiches and drank wonderful coffee. Lots of John Prine, John Fogerty and a little Guy Mitchell................. yea, I know you have never heard of him. Unfortunately for our friends, I have and can sing along with all of his songs. I am truly that old!

Then down the street to the art museum. At this moment, there is a show of the Decoys of the Illinois River Valley. Ok, history buffs........ here comes your lesson.

Duck migration to the Illinois Valley was huge during the later part of the 19th century and the early 20th century. A large carving industry was developed along the river, its heyday being from about 1880-1940. These carvers lived in Princeton, Henry, Peoria and Bureau. Names like Ellison and my personal favorite, Charles Perdew.

And if you don't know this about me -- I am a huge fan of folk art. And decoys are some of the best. So I was drooling. And breaking the rules............. not once, but twice.

They don't want you to take pictures in a museum. Go figure!!! So enjoy these pics before they find me online and haul me off!!! Hey ......... more people should go see this show! Consider my blog my gift-in-kind to the museum. (Do you think they will buy that?????)

The next two are fascinating. Robert Ellison carved these two pintail ducks twenty years apart. The back one was carved around 1900. He would have been around 25. But the one in the front of the picture was carved around 1920. Notice the change of the carving style around the bill and head. The older decoy to the back has a cartoon-like round head. Not the smooth elegant shape of the later and more realisitic duck.

Honey was surprised at the pure simplicity of form ........ both in carving and painting. A lot of the detail of the paint was done with a grain painting comb. Beautiful!

And finally........ one of my favorites. A Canadian goose. Just screams "American Folk Art". Great paint, form and detail.The thrill of being able to look at these few pictures ........ and to know I was really able to see them.............. was worth the scolding. Thank God, they didn't find my water bottle in my bag!!! You see ........... that's a no-no, too!


Deborah said…
Shameful! and lucky! I tried taking a picture in a museum once and was quickly scolded!

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