Monday, November 24, 2008

Field Trip: Rembrandt in Southern California

Go get yourself a drink.  Perhaps turn on some soft music.  It is time to check out some great art.

Are you comfortable?

Good.

So, today's featured artist is Rembrandt van Rijn, a Dutch painter from the 17th century.  Five of Southern California's finest museums -- the Timken Museum of Art , the Norton Simon Museum ,  the Los Angeles County Museum of Art , the Hammer Museum , and the J. Paul Getty Museum -- have pulled together a "virtual exhibit" of Rembrandt's work.  Collecting Rembrandt's paintings was popular in Southern California during the 20th century and according to the exhibition's website the southern end of the state has the "third-largest assemblage of Rembrandt paintings in the United States."

Rather than staging an exhibit with all of the paintings in one gallery, the five museums have pooled their resources in a different way:  a virtual exhibit.  The paintings remain on display in their respective museums, but the resources online draw connections between the various pieces.  I was dubious at first.  After all, looking at a work of art in person is something entirely different from looking at it online.  However, the resources online are great.  There's a printable exhibition guide , an audio tour, and concise text about each painting.  I spent a delightful lunch with Rembrandt, perusing the paintings, reading the text, and listening to the museum curators speak about the paintings.  It isn't quite the same as going there, but it makes for a lovely afternoon outing no matter where you are (or what you are wearing).  

So, take a few moments and immerse yourself.  The world will wait.


When you return from your trip, tell us...
What's your favorite of the paintings in the exhibit? 

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