Every now and then I have to get away from “cat hat studio” to find my inspiration for my next project. This weekend I was fortunate enough to visit the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT. This museum is about an hour and a half away from my home in Boston—- it is a convenient meeting place for my parents and I since it is between both our homes and we all enjoy perusing the artwork on occasion. What inspiration did I come across this time? Let’s see!
The inspiration began before I even entered the exhibit portion of the museum by way of the museum’s cafe. Besides the usual offering of beverages, the cafe also stocked “Always Ask for Avery’s” sodas that are made in Connecticut. Wouldn’t you know they had a flavor named “kitty piddle”? I enjoyed the orange/pineapple flavored soda all the while grossing out my parents. Bonus 🙂
After lunch, we headed into the museum. There are several pieces of art in atrium between the first and second floors that caught my eyes. The first: a giant glass piece by Dale Chihuly that hangs (somewhat magically) above the first floor staircase.
In the background of the Chihuly piece picture, you can see the wall decor of the New Britain Museum— Below is another close up. Yes, those are cups—- most are clear plastic ones that have been painted, but there are also paper ones as well. Pretty cool, huh?
Once upstairs my parents and I made our way into the Henri de Toulouse Lautrec exhibit which happened to be going on. I have always liked Toulouse Lautrec’s paintings— something about the bold colors and style bordering on abstract expressionism. Here are a couple of the paintings/sketches/prints that I saw that caught my eye
Translated title of the above print: The cow is enraged!
Above print title (translation): A Basement Shop in Cracow
My favorite prints by Toulouse Lautrec tend to feature cabaret singers like the one above. Crazy fact I learned in the exhibit: HTL died when he was only 36 years old! Glad he was able to get a handle on his artistic style during his short life (something other master artists don’t do to until much later on). An important lesson in any case: do your best work today, since you never know when you might be locked away in an asylum tomorrow!
All in all, a pleasant museum trip was had by all. Now lets see how this new inspiration manifests itself in the world of cat hats 🙂 Stay tuned…