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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Docent Favorites

Happy Holidays

This year we added 22 new docents to our volunteer program, bringing our total to 40. We thought it would be fun to hand over this year's holiday blog to them all, asking them to tell us about their favorite piece in the Kirkland collections. So many fresh perspectives!

Here are some of our favorites -

Raphael Lillywhite

Untitled (Mountain Stream), 1929
by Raphael Lillywhite (1891-1958, American)
"I love the beautiful colors; the scene is peaceful and inviting. This painting captures what I love about Colorado." - Sue

Clement MassierClement Massier Pottery

Sicardo Line
Art Nouveau Ceramics, 1902-1907, Weller Pottery Company, Zanesville, Ohio
Clement Massier Pottery 1902-1907
"I enjoy seeing the iridescent-glazed vases by Clement Massier (1844-1917, French) and Jacques Sicard (1865-1923, French) displayed together. I like the corporate intrigue of the display since American pottery company Weller hired Sicard away from Massier in order to use Sicard's knowledge of the lustrous glazes for which Massier was famous." - Candace

Charles Fergus Binns

"My favorite piece is the Spherical Vase 1930, made by Charles Fergus Binns (1857-1934, British-American). The shape of the vase is simple and the pale green glaze is rich and subtle. The combination of form and color results in an elegant ceramic vase." - Karen

Split Bush by Harry BertoiaAnd three of the crew are just wild about Harry! They each chose Split Bush 1968 by Harry Bertoia (1915-1978, Italian-American)-

"I love the Harry Bertoia sculpture. It is a large piece that reminds me of the plants that I work with in the summer. Besides that, I feel that it communicates with me through the beautiful sound that it makes as I walk by." - Sally

Almost every visitor stops and with a "what's this" look in their eyes, stares at the bush. As a docent, this opens up a whole line of storytelling. Some people seem to already notice its "soundings," so this gives me an opportunity to talk about Bertoia's connection to Colorado, his many other pieces in the museum, and even his drawings in the hallway. When we finally get to Bertoia's chairs downstairs, many people ask "Don't they make any sound?" - Ron

I love the way you hear the gentle tingling as the floor vibrates when you walk by. He took hard metal and made it appear somewhat soft, organic, and ready to sway in the wind. When I look at it I'm reminded of a perfectly trimmed bush in a lush formal garden. - Ruth

Barry Kryzwicki Interning this year in the collections office, I have seen a lot of objects both on display and in our vaults. While it might not be my favorite piece in the entire museum (there are far too many to blog about here) Barry Kryzwicki's (b. 1952, American) Teapot (1988) sticks out as my favorite for 2009. His use of form and design for an everyday object makes it appealing and unique. It's an object I would love to own in my own home. - Kat

David Yust

David Yust's (b. 1939, American) dramatic 9' circular painting, Circular Composition #118 (Change in Scale #102) 1978, in the back stairs gives me a gasp whenever I go down those stairs. I know that it is one of a triptych that was done for a bank in Greeley and I wish I could ever see the three together, or that I could see this one from a greater distance. I like that he has gotten out of the more usual rectangular shape of paintings and I love what happens, beautiful curvilinear areas of color and repeated shapes. - Jan

And so, with deep gratitude for this wonderful art and these superb docents, we wish all of you a very happy holiday season and a Happy New Year!