The last time I visited the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, I went to see the giant, yellow rubber duck floating in the Hague. While I was there, I only had time to peek at one exhibit, so I resolved to visit again.
One of the best things about the Chrysler Museum is that admission is free, making it a perfect excursion for graduate students. The museum accepts donations. Or, you can contribute by purchasing something at the gift shop. (That's what I did.)
The sculpture in front of the museum is called The Torch Bearers by Anna Hyatt Huntington (modeled 1953).
My museum buddy Rachael and I didn't have time to look at every exhibit, so in honor of Independence Day, we only looked at the American exhibits. We started with modern art. What screams America better than Pepsi-Cola? (No offense to the Coke drinkers out there.)
This is Munchkins, I, II, & III by Idelle Weber (1964). It's a commentary on American corporate life and its "airlessness and isolation."
Rachael and I saw Pieta by Robert Richenburg (1954-1955) after viewing a lot of religious pieces from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. We stopped and stared at it. "Huh?" I questioned. "It doesn't fit with the rest of the pieces," said Rachael.
We read the description, "... Virgin Mary cradles Christ's body in her lap, their linear forms just visible amid a web of colors dripping down the canvas like a veil of tears," but we could not pick out Christ or Virgin Mary.
A helpful employee explained things: The orange circle at the top middle is Virgin Mary's head, and the leftmost orange circle is Christ's head. The black lines that emerge from the head represent his body and limbs. The woman explained that the museum integrates unexpected, modern paintings like this one to show that modern art can reflect traditional ideas and images in a new way.
I confess that as someone who is critical of modem art, I was convinced.
No musuem visit is complete without a trip to the gift shop. Guess who greeted us there? The last of the miniature rubber ducks. Aren't they cute?