Ganesha: The Playful Protector Meets Colorado Traveling At Denver Art Museum

Today, I Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, met Ganesha, the Hindu Playful Protector.   We walked to the Denver Art Museum.

Entrance to Denver Art Museum

But a short distance from the main entrance, we stopped to see this Broom and Dust Pan.

Broom and dust pan sculpture

Denver has several unusual sculptures around the city and the entire metropolitan area.   Inside the Denver Art Museum, we went to the second floor for the Ganesha special exhibit.   Who is Ganesha?

About Ganesha

Normally in the museum, we are not allowed to touch the displays.   But this Ganesha, of yellow sandstone, is for us to touch.

Ganesha

Many rub the belly or feet for good luck.   Of course we did rub the belly.   Every human and duck can use some good luck.  Next we admired this Dancing Ganesha, from India, made of stone.

Dancing Ganesha

At least the sign said he was dancing.   Ganesha is being carried during a parade here.

Mural with Ganesha

A very large mural.   This sign explains the story of Ganesha.

Story of Ganesha

That is quite a story.   Ganesha is loved in the Hindu faith, and Ganesha also has a role in Buddhism, especially in Nepal.   Here is the prize of this exhibit.

Ganesha. On loan from Cambodia

This sandstone statue is on loan from the National Museum of Cambodia.   It is from the 600s-700s.   We ducks were sitting with Ganesha, but an employee told us we could only sit on the floor.

Statue on loan from Cambodia

The sign explains more about this statue.

Zeb and Soapy in front of Ganesha

Here we are, sitting on the floor near this statue from Cambodia.   Check out this mask.

Ganesha mask

The Ganesha Mask is oil paint  on paper-mache.   The mask is from the 1900s.   We liked this bronze.

Ganesha and Consort

Ganesha and Consort from Kerala, India.   From the 1300s-1400s.   There were several items on display, but this wall hanging is the last we will show you today.

Wall hanging of Ganesha

It is from India and is ink and paint on cotton.   Ganesha is an interesting exhibit, but if you want to see it in Denver, you must hurry.   This temporary exhibit is displayed only through this Sunday, January 13, 2019.   We enjoy visiting the Denver Art Museum.   Just wandering around we always find something new and interesting.   We hope you also explore museums near your home.   You never know what you may discover.

All That Glistens at the Denver Art Museum with Zeb the Duck

Toxic tree sap becomes shiny lacquer of various colors.   Zeb the Duck and mom loved this exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.   All of the pieces on display were created during the 1900s.    Let’s take a look.

The Denver Art Museum has Japanese Lacquer

The Denver Art Museum has Japanese Lacquer

This plaque with a Persian Cat and Bumblebee was created by Itaya Koji during the period 1975-85.

Persian cat with bumblebee

Persian cat with bumblebee

Itaya used lacquer, gold, mother of pearl and wood.  In 1942 Yokoyama Ichimu created this Folding Screen with Vines and Vegetables.

Folding Screen with Vines and Vegetables

Folding Screen with Vines and Vegetables

Yokoyama used black lacquer, two tones of red lacquer with details in gold and shell inlay.

Indigenous to China, India and Tibet, the lacquer tree (Rhu vernicifera) was introduced to Japan thousands of years ago.   The toxic sap hardens into a remarkably durable, light weight and versatile substance that can be applied to wood both and basketry.   Let’s look at some more.

Next we admired this Tray with Autumn Leaves, created by the Osaka artist, Shimano Sanshu in 1952.

Lacquer tray with Autumn Leaves

Lacquer tray with Autumn Leaves

The autumn leaves are of raised lacquer in silver and bright autumn colors.   In 1935 Watanabe Shinji created this vase.

Vase by Watanabe Shinji

Vase by Watanabe Shinji

After layering orange, red and white lacquer, the carved lacquer technique was used to create an abstract design on its surface.    Next we looked at this Folding Screen with an Autumn Scene.

Folding Screen with Autumn Scene

Folding Screen with Autumn Scene

Yasutani Bisei shows plain kimono fabric drying in the autumn breeze.   Seasonal flowers and grasses in raised lacquer against neutral ground of tan-colored lacquer created this screen in 1941.

Pure lacquer is clear and amber to reddish brown in color   Different pigments can be aded to liquid lacquer to create opaque colors.   Red and black are the most traditional colors.   Once hardened, lacquer may be polished to give it a mirror like finish.   Let’s look at more and see that mirror like finish.

Here we have a pair of Hand Warmers with rabbits and ferns by Suzuki Hyosaku.

Pair of Hand Warmers

Pair of Hand Warmers

Rabbits and ferns are rendered on mirror-black lacquer with raised lacquer and inlaid lead and mother of pearl.   The gilt-copper inserts held charcoal to provide warmth.   This a Brazier.

Brazier by Suzan Sakasho

Brazier by Suzan Sakasho

This Brazier has bamboo and a poem on it.   Suzan Sakasho created this when she was 83 years old.   This reddish-brown lacquer brazier was used in the preparation of steeped tea.   I, Zeb the Duck, just learned about a Brazier.

Artists can carve into or etch multiple layers of lacquer with designs or add previous metals and other substances–such as powdered gold or silver and inlaid mother of pearl and eggshell, to make surface glisten or to add decorative touches.

Tsuihu Yozei XX created this Plaque with Mount Horai and Cranes in the 1920-1940 period.

Plaque by Tsuishu Yozei XX

Plaque by Tsuishu Yozei XX

The carved lacquer technique was used.   First you build a thick substrate of colored lacquer, then carve through the hundreds of layers to create a design in high relif, revealing different colors of lacquer at varying depths.   The artist, Tsuihu Yozei XX combined Mount Horai, the mythical island of the immortals and cranes, symbols of good fortune and longevity.   We hope you will visit the Denver Art Museum to see this exhibit.   Like many exhibits in the Denver Art Museum, we are in awe of the detail work done by the artists.   These shiny lacquer works are in a smaller area with many lights.   This is wonderful to see, but mom had trouble taking photos.   The reflections are everywhere.   This exhibit will be on display through September 7, 2016.   We have seen it twice.    It is beautiful and interesting; we think you would enjoy it also.   This would be a good activity for this rainy/snowy weekend in Denver.   For more information visit http://www.DenverArtMuseum.org   Click on Exhibitions at the top and then current exhibitions.   The Denver Art Museum is great.

Zeb the Duck Visits the Samurai at the Denver Art Museum

Between the late 1100’s and the late 1800’s, the Samurai controlled Japan.   The samurai formed the top tier of a strictly hierarchical society.     And, I, Zeb the Duck, am at the Denver Art Museum exploring the special exhibit about The Samurai.

Let's visit the Samurai

Let’s visit the Samurai

Look at this suit of armor.

Samurai armor

Samurai armor

It looks too heavy for a small duck to wear.   But, who were these Samurai?   Good guys or bad guys?

Who are the Samurai?

Who are the Samurai?

They were the good guys.   They were great warriors, but also very educated.   They were trained to be exceptional gentlemen in all phases of life.   They had to keep their lives balanced.   The boys of the Samurai families began training when they were about 6 years old.   They were given their first wooden sword to begin training.   They also became skilled in martial arts, learned history, classical literature and calligraphy.

Boy's first armor

Boy’s first armor

The boys earned the first suit of armor when they were about 12 years old.   This one, from the 1800’s, is of iron, lacquer, gold, wood, lacing and fabric.    I liked this silk screen.

Silk screen

Silk screen

It recounts an episode during the Genpei War (1180-85) when the Minamoto family’s defeat of the Taira family ushered in the era of Samurai rule.   This Samurai warrior looks very formidable on his horse.

Samurai and horse with armor

Samurai and horse with armor

He is wearing armor of the Tachido Type from the 1600’s made of iron, gold, lacing, bear fur, silver, and wood.   His horse is wearing armor with a horse mask from the 1600’s or 1700’s, made of leather, wood, silk, lacquer, fabric, gold, and horsehair.   The horse tack from the 1600’s or 1700’s is also made of leather, wood, iron and lacquer.    Stirrups were very important.

Stirrups with monkey

Stirrups with monkey

These are of iron, wood and copper.   Notice the seated monkey at the front of each stirrup.   Monkeys were considered to be protective figures for horses and were often housed in stables alongside horses to keep them calm.  The Samurai men were often away fighting, so the women were trained to defend themselves and their homes.

Women samurai defend their home

Women samurai defend their home

She is using the naginata, a pole with a curved blade attached to a long shaft.   This was the weapon of choice for Samurai women.   Horse masks were often made of paper maché, but not this one.

Mask for horse

Rare iron mask for horse

This is a rare example of a horse mask made of iron.   The mask, often worn in a parade or procession, transformed the horse into a creature of mythical power.   Here is the Mōri Ensemble.

Mōri Ensemble

Mōri Ensemble

You are viewing the only known example, outside Asia, of an entire set of armor and accessories belonging to one family.   This panel shows daily life of a samurai.

Panel with Zeb's friend

Panel with Zeb’s friend

The docent near the panel is my new friend.  You will notice I am in front of the armor and I am wearing a samurai hat.

Armor

Armor

My new friend made it for me.   I like it!   This armor is from the early 1600’s

Fancy armor

Fancy armor

Made of iron, lacquer, bear fur, paper, bamboo, gold, wood, fabric and horsehair, this is very fancy.   My humans and I really liked this exhibit.   Since it is a special exhibit, it will only be at the Denver Art Museum until June 5, 2016.   If you visit this exhibit, you will like it.   There is so much to learn and so much to see.   Of course, I could not show you everything.   When you enter the exhibit, you receive an audio guide that will explain various displays to you.   We really like the audio guides that we use for special exhibits here.   We hope to see you there soon.

Zeb finds A Place in the Sun at The Denver Art Museum

A group of foreign students in an art class in Munich.   Years later, two of them find fame in Taos, New Mexico.   Walter Ufer and E. Martin Hennings developed their own styles in Taos.  Ufer found fame first.   As his popularity fades, Hennings’ rises.   The Denver Art Museum exhibit, A Place in the Sun, displays paintings by Ufer and Hennings and it is worth seeing.

A Place in the Sun at the Denver Art Museum

A Place in the Sun at the Denver Art Museum

This exhibit will be available until April 24, 2016.   I, Zeb the Duck, have been here twice and it is great.   This is one of my favorites by Walter Ufer.   Ufer named it Plaza de Taos.

Plaza de Taos by Ufer

Plaza de Taos by Ufer

This is an oil on canvass painted in 1916 0r 1917.   Also a Taos painting, this is from E. Martin Hennings, Taos Indian Chanters with Drum.

Taos Indian Chanters with Drum by Hennnings

Taos Indian Chanters with Drum by Hennnings

This oil on canvass was completed in 1935.   As an introduction, a sign in the exhibit, explains a little about the artists.

A little about the artists

A little about the artists

All of the paintings we show you are oil on canvass paintings.   Now let’s admire a few of Walter Ufer’s paintings.   Here is Oferta in Chimayó, New Mexico.   This was completed in 1916.

Oferta para San Esquipula. This is the sanctuary at Chimayó near Taos

Oferta para San Esquipula.  This is the sanctuary at Chimayó near Taos

Making Ready is another of our favorites.

Making Ready by Ufer

Making Ready by Ufer

Ufer completed Making Ready in 1917.   Of course, Fiddler of Taos, from 1921, must also be included.

The Fiddler of Taos by Ufer

The Fiddler of Taos by Ufer

Luncheon at Lone Locust, 1923, also held our attention.

Lunchion at Lone Locust by Ufer

Lunchion at Lone Locust by Ufer

As Ufer’s popularity began to fade, he completed this painting in 1935, which was well received by the public.

Bob Abbott and His Assistant by Walter Ufer

Bob Abbott and His Assistant by Walter Ufer

Bob Abbott and His Assistant was an artistic success.    Several additional paintings by E. Martin Hennings are also displayed.   Beneath Clouded Skies, 1922, is a favorite.

Beneath Clouded Skies by Hennings

Beneath Clouded Skies by Hennings

We love The Twins.

The Twins by Hennings

The Twins by Hennings

Mom has always been fascinated by twins, so she really liked this painting from 1923.   Isn’t The Prospectors Cabin great?

Prospectors Cabin by Hennings

Prospectors Cabin by Hennings.   Painted in 1922

Seems like we could walk through the trees to the cabin now.    And a Goat Herder.

The Goat Herder by Hennings

The Goat Herder by Hennings

Painted in 1925-1927.   We love it.   Hennings’ Pueblo Indians, 1923, seem alive and right here with us.

Pueblo Indians by Hennings

Pueblo Indians by Hennings

Remember these two young men studied together in Munich, and apparently traveled a little.   This is Ufer and Hennings in Paris in 1913.

Ufer on the left and Hennings on the right in Paris, 1913

Ufer on the left and Hennings on the right in Paris, 1913.   Smoking used to be a sign of sophistication.

I, Zeb the Duck, am in the picture also.   I just did not get to Paris.   We love having the Denver Art Museum bring special exhibits to us.   You would enjoy this exhibit and it is included in your general admission.   Visit the Denver Art Museum soon.   It has so much to see.

Zeb Visits the Wyeth Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

This week, my little friend, Lagertha Duck and I, Zeb the Duck, returned to the Denver Art Museum.   Lagertha Duck is named for a Viking Warrior Queen.   Great name, Lagertha!

The Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum

This museum has so many interesting permanent exhibits, and they have really great temporary exhibits.   Let’s go to the special Wyeth exhibit now.

Let's go in

Let’s go in

This exhibit will be in Denver through February 7.  This features Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) and Andrew’s son, Jamie Wyeth (born 1946).   They are both famous and talented artists.   Here they are, father and son.

Andrew Wyeth and his son, Jamie Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth and his son, Jamie Wyeth

I loved this painting when Jamie was a young child, painted by his famous father.

Portrait of Jamie Wyeth as a child. Painted by Andrew Wyeth, his father.

Portrait of Jamie Wyeth as a child. Painted by Andrew Wyeth, his father.

Even at a very early age Jamie wanted to draw.   The scribbles at the bottom were done by Jamie.   This is Christina Olson.

Christina Olson by Andrew Wyeth

Christina Olson by Andrew Wyeth

She was a friend and frequent subject of Andrew’s paintings.   Andrew completed this in 1947.  At one time Jamie Wyeth had a place in Andy’s Warhol’s New York studio.  During this time, in 1976 Jamie painted Andy Warhol.   Andy is holding is dog, Archie.

Andy Warhol and dog, Archie. By Jamie Wyeth

Andy Warhol with his dog, Archie.   By Jamie Wyeth

Here is a painting by Andrew, finished in 1943, called The Hunter.

The Hunter by Andrew Wyeth

The Hunter by Andrew Wyeth

Both Andrew and Jamie really wanted to know their subject and the area well before they painted.   Both of the Wyeth’s spent summers in Maine and the rest of the year in Pennsylvania.   Included with our entrance ticket to the Wyeth exhibit, was an audio guide.    We enjoyed the audio comments by Jamie Wyeth.   This painting of the Kent House, by Jamie in 1972, was painted from inside a bait box.

Kent House by Jamie Wyeth

Kent House by Jamie Wyeth

The house painting is oil on cardboard.   The audio guide said Jamie did not want to be observed while he painted, so he borrowed this bait box from a fisherman, sat inside, and painted the Kent House on the hill.

Bait box studio

Bait box studio

Jamie says he never really painted the sea.   The sea is “more interesting when it’s reflected in a gull or sheep that lives the island”    This painting in 2008, named Jenny Whibley Sings, is oil on board.

Jenny Whibley Sings by Jamie Wyeth

Jenny Whibley Sings by Jamie Wyeth

In the background is Jamie’s home and studio in Maine.   Here is The Islander, with the sheep, painted in 1975 with oil on canvas.

The Islander by Jamie Wyeth

The Islander by Jamie Wyeth

Meet Kleberg.   He is Jamie’s dog.

Kleberg by Jamie Wyeth

Kleberg by Jamie Wyeth

This is an oil painting on canvas and completed in 1984.   Notice the unusual making around Kleberg’s eye.   Kleberg was getting too close to the easel while Jamie was painting one day, so impulsively, Jamie put his finger in the black paint and painted Kleberg.   The marking was so popular with humans, so Jamie repainted it about once a week.   You will laugh as you hear Jamie tell the story on the audio guide.   Jaime has another funny story about painting this Raven.

Raven by Jamie Wyeth

Raven by Jamie Wyeth

In the spring of 1980 he had a cow carcass delivered to his island.   The neighbors noticed.   The dead animal attracted the raven so Jaime could paint him.    Betsy is Andrew’s wife and Jamie’s mother.   Andrew completed this painting of his wife, Betsy.

Betsy by Andrew Wyeth

Betsy by Andrew Wyeth

Betsy did much of the framing for Andrew’s paintings.   She did frame her portrait.    Notice the embroidery on the bottom.    This painting and framing are spectacular when seen in person.   There are many works of art exhibited, completed by Andrew and by Jamie.   We hope you visit this exhibit and enjoy the paintings.   When you have seen the exhibit, we hope you stay in the museum and visit the North Building.   On level 6 there are a few more paintings by Andrew Wyeth.    This, Rough Hauling, a watercolor completed in 1940 is my favorite.

Rough Hauling by Andrew Wyeth, 1940, watercolor

Rough Hauling by Andrew Wyeth, 1940, watercolor

Then on level 7, you can see an illustration by N. C. Wyeth, Andrew’s father.   N. C. was a very famous illustrator.   His first commission as an illustrator, in 1903, was Bucking Bronco for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.   This illustration, owned by The Denver Art Museum, completed in 1916, is Gunfighter.

Gunfighter by N. C. Wyeth

Gunfighter by N. C. Wyeth

The illustration of a saloon fight represents a larger than life version of a bygone era.   We hope you visit The Denver Art Museum soon.   We like to visit here often.

Zeb the Visits Northwest Coast Art at the Denver Art Museum

I, Zeb the Duck, visited the Denver Art Museum again.   I like this museum.   This mom and a friend took me to the Northwest Coast Art.  This is on level 2 of the North Building.   I saw this mask.

Great mask

Great mask

Beau Dick created it about 1955.   It is made of wood, horse hair, paint, rope, and cedar bark.   Then I looked a this mask, labeled Magic By the Firelight.

Looks like magic

Looks like magic

These are big masks.    This Pair of House Posts, was created by Douglas Cranmer.

I am on there

I am on there

Douglas is from Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, British Columbia.   Look a this.   Chief Johny Scow, a Welcome Figure from around 1900 is made of cedar and metal.

Welcome

Welcome

This Welcome Figure originally stood at the mouth of Kingdom River in British Columbia.   Once it held copper (a sign of wealth) in its up raised arms, signifying wealth and power of the artist’s clan.   Button Blankets showed power.   This one, made of cloth and buttons about 1925 is by Willie Seaweed.

Button Blanket by  Seaweed

Button Blanket by Willie Seaweed

This blanket showing two killer whales was worn by the artist, Willie Seaweed during a variety of dances.     We also liked the other Button Blanket.

Button Blanket

Button Blanket

Here is a Bentwood Box by Larry Rosso.

Bentwood Box

Bentwood Box

I like it.   This smaller Bentwood Box is by a Haida artist from the mid 1800s.

Smaller bentwood box

Smaller bentwood box

This is another really tall totem.

Tall Totem

Tall Totem

I, Zeb the Duck, look so small.   Here is a suit of armor by Jimmy Otiyohok from about 1945.

Suit of Armor

Suit of Armor

This suit of armor is made of wars skin, seal skin and wood.   Here is a photo of a mannequin showing the suit of armor is worn.

Wear it like this

Wear it like this

There are so many things here, you would really like it.   There is something to capture the interest of every human.

Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck Admire Oceanic Art at the Denver Art Museum

Today we visited the third level of the Hamilton Building to view Oceanic Art.

Let's go inside

Let’s go inside

We have been visiting the Art Museum frequently this spring.   May in Denver this year has been very rainy, cloudy and cool.   Many days in the 40 and 50 degree range.   Flooding is a concern again.   Even though we are ducks, we Colorado Ducks have become accustomed to warm, sunny days.   The Oceanic Art focused on the Art of Bark Cloth.    These belts from Papua New Guinea are gorgeous.

Look at these belts!

Look at these belts!

We ducks like them.   Each belt is made of a single, springy coil of bark.   The outer surface is engraved with elaborate geometric and figurative designs and further enhanced by rubbing with white or colored pigments.   Young men wore these belts during ceremonies to indicate their status.    The loincloth is great.   A lot of work was done to create this.

Loincloth from Papua, New Guinea

Loincloth from Papua, New Guinea

This loincloth , from Papua New Guinea, was made around 1930 and is made of bark and paint.    Look at this skirt.

A skirt

A skirt

It is also from Papua New Guinea and is made from bark, shell, feather and seed.   Probably worn around 1900.   Bark Cloth is really made from tree bark.   Women pound the thin strips of bark with these beaters.

Beaters used to turn bark to cloth

Beaters used to turn bark to cloth

Women used beaters like these four, to pound and flatten narrow strips of bark into large and flatten pieces.   Many of the beaters have patterns engraved on the them.  During the beating process, the beaters leave designs on the bark cloth.   Bark Cloth is so much a part of life  that a postage stamp was issued to honor Bark Cloth.

Celebrate tapa or bark cloth

Celebrate tapa or bark cloth

WOW!!    The stamp depicts Jacques Combet’s Making Tapa Cloth.   This postage stamp is from the French territory Wallis and Futuna.  This is the first full body mask that we ducks have seen.   It is from the Asmat region, Papua New Guinea.   This is a Jipae Mask from the mid 1980s.

Full body mask

Full body mask

The mask is made of bark, wood, paint, shell and feather.  Among the Asmat, deceased male ancestors are respected, but also feared.   Their uncontrolled spirits can cause harm to the community.   Out of view of the women, skilled male artists create full body masks by intertwining narrow fibers made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree.   Each mask is named for an ancestor.  As they are worn and danced throughout the village, everyone has the opportunity to interact with them one last time.     Look at these pieces of cloth.

Bark cloth ready to use

Bark cloth ready to use

Hard to remember that they started as tree bark.    Masks like this sure are big.

Huge eyes on dance mask

Huge eyes on dance mask

This is a dance mask, from New Britain, Papua New Guinea.   Made of bark, cane and paint, it was worn in the early 1900s.  The artists stretch bark cloth over bamboo foundations in the shape of fantastical animals with large open mouths and protruding tongues.   They paint oversized eyes on the front and bold geometric motifs on the back using bright red, back and white pigments.   These masks serve multiple purposes as they are used in ceremonies to honor the dead and to celebrate.   We were fascinated by the picture of people wearing these masks in New Guinea

Celebrating a plentiful harvest

Celebrating a plentiful harvest

to celebrate a bountiful harvest.      When you visit the Denver Art Museum, we hope you look at the Oceanic Art display.   They have videos of people making bark cloth.   We think you will find it fascinating also.   For more information visit  www.DenverArtMuseum.org   See you there!