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Traveling Around - Springfield, Missouri - Springfield Art Museum

Updated on April 6, 2017
Springfield Art Museum - Spingfield, MO
Springfield Art Museum - Spingfield, MO | Source

This museum has all the appearances of being fairly new. It began life in 1928 and in 1946 it was deeded to the city. It was built in 1958 and has gone through several extensive remodelings, the latest being in 1994 and has since developed a Strategic Plan to carry it into the future.

Directly inside in front of the main entrance is a visitors' reception area where pleasant personnel greeted us and explained the layout of the museum. We were welcome to take pictures without a flash and were reminded not to touch.

When you turn away from the visitors' counter, you are faced with a series of gigantic doors that have been finished in an ornate fashion. They are mounted in a tryptich type of arrangement and make a beautiful entry into the museum. They are definitely works of art but are refinished doors from the early days of the museum that were saved during demolition and construction of the current building.

There are 11 galleries that are arranged behind the visitors' counter and spread out down a long hallway. The hallway is home to Anne Lindberg's Tilted Sky. It is a a multi-dimensional project constructed as the ceiling in the hallway. It measures 12 feet across by 77 feet in length. From one side of the hall to the other, there is a 5 foot rise in the structure. A tall person would have difficulties with the left side of the hallway.

Part of the galleries were closed for remodeling during our visit as the museum prepared for its next traveling exhibit. The exhibit being arranged (and open through the spring of 2017) is "American Impressionism: The Lure of The Artists' Colony". It includes works by Mary Butler, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt and many others. There are approximately 100 works in the exhibit.

Tang Dynasty funerary sculpture - Springfield Art Museum - Springfield, MO
Tang Dynasty funerary sculpture - Springfield Art Museum - Springfield, MO | Source
Chinese Buddhist sculpture - Springfield Art Museum - Springfield, MO
Chinese Buddhist sculpture - Springfield Art Museum - Springfield, MO | Source

The Joan Cousins Hartman Gallery was open and displayed amongst other items the two sculptures pictured to the right. This terracotta figure was most likely created as a burial figure during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). It's entitled "Prancing Horse". This horse symbolized strength, power, and wealth in Tang Dynasty China.

Much of the early Chinese work centered around Buddhist art that seems to be bas relief kinds of art work on cave walls and the such. Occasionally, I've seen small works such as the one pictured here from the Springfield Museum's permanent collection.

Several of the galleries were devoted to the "All School Exhibition" where works are displayed that have been created by kindergartners through high school students. A lot of the work was pleasant but not memorable. Several of the items, however, were exceptional.

Tarantula Sculpture - All School Exhibition - Springfield Art Museum - Springfield, MO
Tarantula Sculpture - All School Exhibition - Springfield Art Museum - Springfield, MO | Source

Tucked into a corner of the exhibition was this sculpture done by a high school student. As is true of this work, a lot of the exhibit displayed very imaginative art.

Of surprise to me was the work done by first and second grade students. The work - while simple and straightforward - exhibited much more concentration and persistence than I would normally attribute to a child that age.

The "All School Exhibition" is an annual affair at the Springfield Art Museum.

One of the smaller of the galleries and the last gallery we spent time in was the Musgrave Wing Gallery. It held a cross section of the Springfield Art Museum's Permanent Collection. Particular emphases was on our country's history as it developed its identity. The exhibit includes major work by Jackson Pollock, Grandma Moses, and Asher B. Durand.

We weren't at the museum a long time. Probably spent about an hour there. Admission to the museum is free. There is information available on line about hours, admissions, and special exhibits that are occurring.


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