Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 trip to Texas: Day 11

Sarah, being on the east side of Dallas, and Bryan, being on the west side of Fort Worth, makes for an hour-long trip between them. We prayed and hung rosary beads from the rear view mirror, hoping that our rented Chrysler would make the trip without disintegrating on Interstate 30.

We arrived at Bryan’s without incident and he gave us the nickel tour. Typical of a bachelor’s pad, everything was arranged to maximize ergonomics rather than to promote esthetics. Mary went to the bathroom, flipped on the light switch, and on came the boom box located on the toilet tank lid blaring country western music.

Bryan took us to the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth which is currently hosting an exhibit featuring privately owned 18th and 19th century European paintings. The museum also is home to an excellent permanent exhibit.

Original works by Matisse, Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Munch, and many others almost seem out of place in this city made famous by its reputation as a cowtown. All of the privately owned artwork was loaned to the museum right out of people’s living rooms in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston and other nearby towns. Hey, what else are you going to spend your oil fortune on?

Kimball’s centerpiece is Michelangelo’s first painting, The Torment of Saint Anthony. Painted in 1487 by a twelve-year-old budding artist and sculptor, the museum paid an undisclosed sum for it this year. I was intrigued by the way Michelangelo took a German artist’s sculpture of this biblical event, painted his own version of it, changing some of the aspects of it but staying true to the original piece.

A little culture in Texas. Who would have thought?

Copyright 2009 Randy Hunt

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