I set out a note for the girls to do some school stuff, Hannah was packed and Bethany was dropping her off at church at 4pm to leave for camp – I was heading downtown with my Schnooke for breakfast at Snooze and then to an all day teacher training event at the History Colorado museum and the American West museum.
Only a few of the teachers there knew we (there were two other ladies from my HS group there) were homeschoolers, but they were cool with it. We learned about the resources the museum has, field trips, docent tours, on-line archives, hands-on materials and then took a tour of the new Backstory exhibit which has DAM Western art and History Colorado artifacts paired to tell a story.
The pieces were pretty amazing, much better in person, but here are a few things.
Lewis and Clark’s telescope!
Alfred Miller, Shoshone Indians at a Mountain Lake. This painting is so tranquil and I love the way the tree and cliff are boundaries for your eyes that bring them back to the center of water and mountains.
Civil War drum and drumsticks. This is from a NY regiment.
Albert Bierstadt, Estes Park Long’s Peak. This picture is huge, it’s of the Estes park area. I love the way the light bounces off of the trees and the shadows that are cast.
Charles Russell, In the Enemy’s Country. There was a lot of detail in this small painting that you can’t see in the photo. The Indians that are further back are covered in buffalo hides to camouflage them as they trek though enemy territory. Sometimes reading the title of the piece is helpful.
E. Irving Couse, Crouching Indian by Fire. I loved the brush strokes and color in this one.
W. Herbert Dunton, Black Bears. This one reminds me of an Emily Carr painting.
Kenneth Adams, Reapers (Harvest). I love the light and the flow of this one.
After that we had lunch, then went over to the American West museum, which I have never seen before, though I have passed the building many times. The building itself was just as impressive as the art it held – built in 1880 as a girls’ conservatory school, then it was won in a gambling match, lost in a gambling match, was a brothel, then a gentlemen’s club, an Italian restaurant, a gallery for art and now a museum housing salon style art of the American West (no pictures.) We went over Visual thinking skills and strategies, had a tour of the galleries, then were sent off on our own to investigate a painting. I chose this one:
Donald Crowley, Raindrops.
Yes, that is an oil painting. We convened back at the tables and discussed the paintings we had studied, then it was time to go. The American West museum is free for school groups, so I’ll be setting one of those up. The art is just amazing, you could spend hours there.
Hannah made it onto the bus just fine, she was a little sad that she didn’t get to say ‘Bye’ in person, but I think she’ll have fun.