Surprise at the Springfield Art Museum

With my family in upstate New York, I frequently make the trek across the state and Springfield is often the point in the trip where I begin my countdown for how much longer I have to go. Little did I know that there's a great collection of museums in the heart of downtown Springfield!

The last time I was visiting NY, my mom the ever-resourceful librarian suggested we drive partway together and see the collection at the Springfield Art Museum. You know I'm not one to turn down a new spot, and I'm so glad we went. The Museums include; the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield Science Museum, Lynn and Marie Wood Museum of Springfield History, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. If we had had more time, I'm sure we would have gone to some of the other museums, but knowing this is on a drive I often make, I'm sure I'll be stopping again!

We went for the D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, starting with the 'newest' art by winding our way through their contemporary and modern collections on the ground floor.

I fell in love with this pointilist piece — created meticulously with precise spots of paint.

Western Sea, Lyonel Feininger, 1932.

To begin with, I don't understand how you break down an entire scene into layers of different colored spots, let alone add in additional angles to offer the eye various vantage points. Whether it's 'easy' to do or not, I found it seriously compelling — never fear, I only half thought about taking it home with me.

Seventy Two Legs by Thomas Shields in the contemporary gallery, was such a cool concept to me. I love interactive art, and wish paint wasn't so fragile so that all art could be tangible. (If I could I would trace the figures in every painting and feel the brushstrokes with my fingers if I could.) Alas, paint is way too fragile for this. But with this artwork, the viewer holds all of the power. You sit in any chair and drink in the rest of the gallery, your view different than your companion's and solely dependent on the chair you chose. What a way to experience the art in the rest of the gallery space! Shields helps you to slow down and feel like you're seeing something special from your seat!

Allegory of Architecture, Francesco Trevisani, late 17th century.

You know me, it didn't take too long before I left the group and found the European art! And boy, do they have some awesome paintings from Medieval and Renaissance Europe on the second floor.

Madonna and Child, Giovanni Antonio Licinio da Pordenone, 1500.

To my absolute delight, the collection includes a painting by a follower of Hieronymous Bosch that I still can't believe isn't actually him!

Christ in Limbo, Follower of Hieronymous Bosch, 1550.

Bosch, a 17th century German painter, created this incredibly intricate and really weird compositions, often tied to something biblical. His works look like something that some sci-fi nerd like George Lucas came up with. His characters are implausible, grotesque, and oh-so mesmerizing to take in. Apologies for the haphazard photo — two boys were quite animatedly running under my camera to see the crucifixion scene nearby, launching into a discussion of what Jesus did that led to this and how much it must have hurt. (A pretty good summation of the scene, if you ask me!)

Triptych Crucifixion, Goswijn van der Weyden, 1518-1520.

I'll leave the rest for you to enjoy!

Holy Family with infant Saint John, Andrea del Brescianino (Piccinelli), 1515-1520.

Interior of the Old Church, Amsterdam, Emanue de Witte, 1670s.

Le Papillon, Adolphe Jourdan, 1860.

Rehearsal Before the Ballet, Edgar Degas, 1877.

If you find yourself in this part of Massachusetts and are looking for a bit of culture, check out Springfield Art Museums!

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