Cultural Event Report
Taking some time off from the daily routine is always refreshing, renewing and rejuvenating. In an effort to take time off from my common way of life, I visited the Patricia and Philip frost Art Museum. This was during an event dubbed the Target Wednesday After hours, which provided a superb opportunity to socialize and meet other people who have a liking for art, as well as increasing one’s knowledge on artists, exhibitions and museums. The event also gives visitors a chance to meet modern artists, as well as enjoy live music, talks, engage with controversial art, performance art and dance.
This museum is located within the enormous Florida International University. One of the reasons as to why I chose this museum is that it offers an exceptional resource for interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarly research, which augments the institution’s mission not only as a local but also global knowledge and cultural centre (Frost art museum, 2011). This does not mean that the museum does not have fun activities. As much as this description gives the museum an academic outlook, it provides an unparalleled collection of innovative exhibitions. Since its inception in 1977, the museum has grown tremendously to gain official recognition as a principal cultural institution of Florida. This is because of its unprecedented collection of 20th century American art and Latin American art, not to mention its creative exhibitions that enhance or draw on the collection. It is, therefore, no wonder that the museum has assumed a key role in the institution’s community, as well as South Florida’s cultural life (Frost art museum, 2011).
Given the museums academic outlook, I expected a rigid collection with a few artworks here and there with some explanations and voluminous collections of scholarly works. While the museum does not disappoint as far as scholarly utility and collection is concerned, it still performs well as far as the collection is concerned. One of the pieces that were particularly notable is the Netsuke. These are small sculptures invented in the 17th century in Japan, serving a practical function (Laurie & Bardon, 2008). Netsuke is carved, buttonlike toggles that were used for fastening the Cord at the top of containers in which individuals put their personal belongings such as tobacco, medicines, seals, pipes and money (Laurie & Bardon, 2008). These containers may, essentially, have been small woven baskets or pouches. However, the most common containers were magnificently crafted boxes called inro. The Inro was fastened using Ojine, some sliding beads which were on cords. Netsuke was used in fastening all containers irrespective of their types.
Other notable pieces were the collections of the 18th century artists, especially the Unfinished Portrait. This refers to a watercolor painting of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, done by Elizabeth Shoumatoff in the 20th century (Laurie & Bardon, 2008). The remarkable thing about this painting is the rich history that it imbues in the audience, thanks to the magnificent artwork and the fact that painter never got to finish it since Franklin collapsed and died before it could be completed (Ruhrberg et al, 2000).
It is imperative that I point out that I was pleasantly surprised as to how different the museum was from my perception before. This is because as a renown academic place I never expected it to have such a vast collection of items. The event was, however, a pleasant one especially after the performance of some jazz musicians in a live band. This was a marvellous performance for cementing the whole event and loosening the event.
Frost art museum, (2011). History. Web retrieved 9th June 2012 from HYPERLINK “http://thefrost.fiu.edu/museum_history.htm” http://thefrost.fiu.edu/museum_history.htm
Ruhrberg, K, Klaus Honnef, K, Schneckenburger, M, & Fricke, C, (2000). Art of the 20th Century, Part 1. New York: Taschen
Laurie, M, & Bardon, D. (2008). Florida’s Museums And Cultural Attractions. New York: Pineapple Press
(Laurie & Bardon, 2008) (Ruhrberg et al, 2000) (Frost art museum, 2011)