Thursday, October 31, 2013

National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria is a free art museum in the heart of Melbourne. I made myself visit this place so I could lie to myself and say that I wasn't just going to the train station to buy candy. The museum gave a good alibi and it happened to be in very close proximity to the candy store. I do like art to a point. My mom was quite the artist while I was growing up. She did photography, acrilic on canvas, faux finishes, murals, and illustrations, to name a few. With every new endeavor, she learned all she could pertaining to it. I didn't even realize how much she drilled into my head until my first college course in art. I got straight As because I already knew the artists and their works. There were a few facts I learned fresh, like that Van Gogh shared his name with an older brother who died as an infant, but those stuck with me because they were few and far between. The real challenge was memorizing the dates and locations of specific pieces. So, I know quite a bit about famous artists and their art. However, like plants, the knowledge is not pushed by too much interest. This gallery was interesting to see, but I didn't take many pictures, and I likely won't go again. Since I did go, since there were a few notable pieces, and since I know some people reading this blog (Mom) might be highly interested in what this gallery has, I figured it best to post about it. Here are some samples of what I saw:

Biology lesson for the day! In real life it is called diprosopus to have one body with two faces, almost but not quite separated. In that case, it is just one person who had an embryonic issue properly developing the face. If a real human was born with two full faces or two heads, it is more often a case of conjoined twinning, two individuals fused together. Just seemed like a good time to share with multi-faced artwork and all! :)

At this point in the gallery, an older Australian employee said "Hi" to me. I responded with "Hello" and began walking away. He got my attention again to ask where I was from. I didn't think before I spoke and replied quickly "Minna-Merica. USA. Minnesota." He spoke for the next twenty or so minutes about how he lived in Minnesota for four years to be with his now wife. Brian, as I read his name while he spoke, went to see a Vikings game once. He didn't like it. So he became a Green Bay fan instead. Plus there is something with the colors greens and gold relating to Australia too. He proudly showed me his car keys with a Green Bay logo dangling from the chain. He then reached to his wallet to pull out a torn piece of the latest American football scores from his Australian newspaper. The next time Green Bay makes it to the Super Bowl, this man will be on a flight back to see them in action. He then asked if I had gotten into any Aussie sports since arriving. I said no, without revealing that I was probably the last person on earth to discuss any sports with. He suggested I go to the horse races on Tuesday. The tickets are "cheap," only $60-70 right now, he informed me. I thanked him and said I'd look into it and walked over to the next room. 

After writing this blog entry, I learned something interesting about this painting, Weeping Woman by Picasso. In the early 80s, it was stolen from this Gallery. The thieves tried ransom and threats. A police tip led to the return of the painting, and the thieves were never caught.

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