Saturday, August 30, 2008


Between the lone SAA session of the day and the conference reception in the evening, I went to the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park with a colleague and one of her friends from graduate school.

The star attraction was an exhibit of the work of Dale Chihuly. He has no shortage of detractors, but I love art glass, and Chihuly is the best glass artist around today.

I was pleasantly surprised that the de Young allowed (non-flash) photography in the exhibit, and I took full advantage of this policy.

The first room in the exhibit is devoted to "Persians"--odd-shaped pieces that call to mind the ancient glass found at archaeological sites around the Mediterranean.

Also on display: a couple of wooden boats filled with glass pieces, this one inspired by the artist's travels in Japan.

My favorite part of the exhibit was the "Persian Ceiling"--a room in which all kinds of Persian forms (plus the odd cherub or two) were placed upon a suspended glass ceiling and lit from above.

It was pure joy. Judging from the amount of time that other attendees spent in this part of the exhibit, lots of people felt the same way.

I was also to see the de Young's permanent exhibits of 19th century American decorative art and painting and its extensive exhibit of art from New Guinea, which was exhilarating.

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