Monthly Archives: June 2011

Museum Café and Store Updates

By Elizabeth Jones
Director of Visitor Experience

Stop by the Portland Museum of Art and you’ll notice some things that are different.

The exhibitions will feed your soul, the Museum Store will satiate your shopping appetite and you’ll feel culturally full, but surprisingly hungry!  It’s the perfect time to have a bite at the newly opened Museum Café by Aurora Provisions. This new partnership between the Museum and Aurora Provisions builds upon the art of food, serving an array of tasty tidbits and delicious lunches which we think will complement your Museum experience delightfully. Sample menu

We are thrilled to be able to provide this fabulous amenity for our visitors and members a-like and we’re not done yet! Keeping coming back and you will notice that we’re making the Museum Café by Aurora Provisions even cozier with comfy seating, free Wi-Fi, and places for you to sit and relax with your family and friends. Stay tuned!

Remember, the Museum Store and Café are always free to visit and members receive 10% off on every purchase. See you at the Museum Café!

What is so Interesting about That?: “White Bowl with Fruit and Indian Jug” by Konrad Cramer

By Vanessa Nesvig
Coordinatorof Special Projects

This still-life painting has to it a bit more than meets the eye. Who does it remind you of? What style?

Kramer was a German born artist who fell in love with an American girl while studying art in Europe and the two came back to America and settled in Woodstock, N.Y. Though already an artist community, Kramer was a huge proponent of Modern art, and started a group there whose motto was “modern art or die!” A great teacher himself, his early influences were Georges Braque and Ferdinand Leger as well as the Blue Rider Group. This painting was painted after Kramer had seen an exhibition in New York of French artists. Look around in this gallery and you will see a Braque still life that has some similar qualities. The groups love of folk crafts is evident in the stippling and stencil looking designs, which was also interesting to Braque and his circle. See the Leger in this gallery and see if you can notice his influence as well on this Modern American painter.

Image credit: Konrad Cramer (United States (born Germany), 1888-1963), White Bowl with Fruit and Indian Jug, 1930, oil on board, 24 x 30 inches, Museum purchase with support from the Friends of the Collection, Director’s and Curators’ Hamill Acquistion Fund for American Art, and William McGonagle

What Is So Interesting About That? “Pine and Moon” by David Driskell


By Vanessa Nesvig
Coordinator of Special Projects

I always look forward to our monthly discussions about a work in the Museum’s collection or exhibitions called “What Do You Think”? Recently we sat and took a long look at Pine and Moon by David Driskell that we purchased last year. We had a large group, with lots of comments and opinions.
First we noticed, how the background has been divided by different fields of color, sometimes in linear rectangles. This patchwork of color gives a modernist feeling to a work that could almost be mistakenly thought was done outside with the tree in front of him. In fact, Driskell looks at the pines he loves every day, but when painting, is doing the form from emotional memory. This is how he feels about the tree, not a specific tree.

His use of color gives us the sense that it is spring and there is growth and renewal, because of this, people might elude to his Byzantine use of color. The moon looks as if in an eclipse, or how it looks on a sunny day when the atmosphere makes it indistinct, people might say it looks like the disc of an African mask. This piece is all of those things and none of them.

When looking up this work, I found out that it is one of only five pine trees he has painted in oil. He has painted pine trees since he was in graduate school, and in fact they were the theme of his graduate thesis, but all have been in other mediums. This was the last oil in his possession, him not wanting to let go of it for many years. This to me is the most interesting thing to know about this piece. Thinking about why he loved this piece so much, what it meant to him, what he saw in it. This gets us one step closer to truly understanding this artist.