Forecast for Austin: Bitter Cold. We could hear the Arctic blast roaring down from the north last night and we woke up to temperatures even colder than predicted. It went from 78F yesterday to 40F today. What's an Astral to do? Go see some art in the warmth of a museum, have lunch in the warmth of a cafe, check out some Texas history in the warmth of another museum, and check out some 3D cinema in the warmth of an IMAX theater. The first museum we went to was the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas. An incredible space and a well-curated collection. We also checked out the Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History, which was right across the street and also contained an IMAX theater where we saw Hubble 3D, a moving flick about the Hubble Telescope.
Since we're staying in South Austin, we drove up Congress Avenue
into the heart of the city. Traffic? Pretty damn light for someone
used to the Northeast.
The skies were clear but it was cold and windy.
Texas is all about the Lone Star. They're everywhere. Here's the
front of the history museum.
The Blanton Museum is a really great space architecturally.
There's an artist named Robert Wilson who's a native
son of Texas (from Waco) and they had an installation
of some of his video portraits. Not sure myself about
the value of this particular medium but this piece was
pretty arresting. And downright freaky.
The collection here is not overwhelming in terms of
number of items, but the display space is excellent and
is really well-curated. There are detailed information
cards for every piece. Here's an original Remington.
These are 19th reproductions of Greek statuary.
Astral Wendy had a dream as a child of the busts of great
philosophers floating up the stairs of her childhood home so
this display was deja vu for her.
The collection was nicely balanced in terms of
Great space for giant Abstract Expressionist works.
We both really dug this work but I cannot
remember the artist's name.
This seemed liked a Kandinsky but it wasn't. Ha!
A haunting work in blue by George Segal.
This installation piece was pretty cool. It was supposed to say something
about the colonization of Mexico. Black curtains, a floor of 60,000 pennies,
a central hanging cord made up of communion wafers, and hundreds of
cattle bones hanging from the ceiling. Hmmm..Not sure about the
colonialism message but the shimmer from all that copper was enchanting.
This installation piece made up of lots of hunks of sun-bleached
timber was so huge it dwarfed me.
This was another video installation by Robert Wilson. Sorry not
to get your black panther party.
There was a decent representation of European Masters.
The outside of the museum had shady arcades that would probably
be great in the summer heat. Today, we just walked down as fast
as our legs would carry us.
There was no photography allowed in the exhibit space of the Texas
History Museum, but it did have this great floor mural in the lobby
depicting the types of people who played a role in Texas history.
My favorite: Buffalo Soldiers.
In the Imax 3D theater: Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun!
In New Jersey we would call this Grease Truck dining. In Austin,
it's called truck food. There's a couple of these at locations along
Congress Avenue in South Austin.
Just another beautiful day.
In case you thought we were kidding about the
weather, here's some icicles.