So we didn’t just lounge around the hotel all day in Palm Springs (though it was tempting). We did get out and about as well – shopping and trolling around for vintage goods seems to be a major Palm Springs hobby, which I was excited to embark. I was hoping to pick up a few mid-century mod pieces here and there – nothing specific, and honestly, I’m not even sure where I would have put them, in luggage or home. But it turned out not to be a problem since most shops are open Thursday through Sunday. Not great when you arrive Sunday night and leave Thursday morning.
So we packed it off to the Palm Springs Art Museum (the Parker even comped our tickets – hooray!). The permanent collection houses great example of Modern and Contemporary work, as well as “art of the west” paintings but the real treat was the Andrew Wyeth exhibit. Ironically we had to come to the California desert to see art emblematic of the North East landscape but this was the first time I had seen his works life and in such quantity – most were from private collections and not seen before (and therefore difficult to find pictures of), and there’s been a resurgent interest in this quintessentially American artist since his death last year.
Diplo-husband, not exactly the museum buff, one-upped me as he knew of Wyeth’s famous Christina’s World (not in the exhibit but you can see it at the MOMA or up top) and I did not. Gah! There was a great docent-led tour, and we even got bonus points from her for bringign diplo-baby along, bemoaning the absence of children’s exposure to art. DB managed to make it through the visit without explosion, so based on her past museum experiences, I can’t tell if that means she found Wyeth so moving she was distracted enough, or if she didn’t find him moving enough and was distracted.
The cold landscapes were such a juxtaposition from the desert environment, and a lot of the 40 paintings were devoted to the Helga collection, a series of nudes and portraits done of the same woman over 15 years, unknown to his wife – there seems to some debate as to whether that qualifies as dilligence or obsession. In any case, I’ll definitely be on the hunt for more Wyeth’s next time on this side of the continental divide, and if you’re in Palm Springs, try to catch the exhibit before is closes in January 22.