Friday, July 22, 2016

The Broad Museum

 
Me and a freestanding Lichtenstein at
the Broad Museum
 
There's a new museum in town, showcasing the extensive modern art collection of Eli and Edythe Broad. UCLA alums will recognize the Broad name from the recently renovated art school north of the Young Research Library. Those of us, who are older, probably remember the name from when actor Tom Skerritt was TV commercial spokesperson for homebuilders Kaufman and Broad (pronounced Brode) in the 1980s. Since then, the Broads have become L.A. mainstays and highly respected philanthropists. Their new art museum opened in downtown Los Angeles, late last year.

I am not a big modern art fan, but I do love interesting new architecture, of which the Broad certainly is a good example. Located a block south of Disney Hall, the museum is covered in a honeycombed concrete, steel and fiberglass "veil" that filters natural light into the exhibit space. I quickly became enamored of the building as well as the art it contains. Plus admission is free. So what's not to love?

 
Waiting on line to get into the museum
 
 
Detail of the exterior "veil" (street-level)

 
 Looking up through the roof of the veil

 
Space-age elevator shaft to the third floor

 
Looking north to Disney Hall and the L.A. cathedral beyond
 
The current special exhibit, on the ground floor, features the work of Cindy Sherman, one of our favorite 20th-century photographers. Her preferred—and only—model is herself, creating portraits of unique and amazing characters, often individualized by their fashion and period setting. Sherman is a true chameleon, who fully disappears into her work. Can you believe that this is her in each of the following photos?

 
Wall-sized image of Cindy Sherman greets visitors at the
start of the exhibit

 
A trio of female portraits (click on image to enlarge)

 
Cindy as librarian?

 
One of her most famous pieces, Untitled #92

  
Provocateur

 
Mother who has lost her child?

 
Mother with child

 
Gloria Swanson?

 
One of her most recent works—double image intentional—
my favorite piece in the exhibit

The third floor is mostly open space, where various pieces of the Broads' collection are rotated every few months. (Apparently one new item is added to their collection every week!) Some works are extremely famous, some not so much. Here are a few of the items we admired:

 
Both the elevator and escalator open onto a bright space,
featuring Jeff Koons' balloon-like Tulips and Takashi Murakami's

 
Part of mural detail (click on image to enlarge)


 

 

 
Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles porcelain sculpture

 

 

The rest of the collection, not on view, is stored in a vault that's visible through a window on the second floor. The point, of course, is to tempt you to periodically return to the museum to see what new delights are on display. We will be going back soon.

 
Peeking into the vault 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nate and Vanessa's Wedding

 
Happy newlyweds
 
Although Tim and I never had any kids, we do have plenty of amazing nephews and nieces, for which we are both exceedingly grateful. I love my sister Vicki's sons and daughter as if they were my own.

Last Saturday, my youngest nephew Nate married his long-time sweetheart Vanessa in Snohomish, WA, where Vicki and her husband Frank live. The ceremony was joyous—personalized vows from the heart (lots of happy tears!)—and the venue, Woodland Meadow Farms, magnificent. Never have I seen two people so truly belong together. We partied all weekend long (wienie roast, Friday night, in Vicki's beautiful backyard). What a wonderful celebration.

 
Uncle Tim showing grand-nephew Henry how to roast wienies

 
Me and Vicki

 
The groom's siblings: brothers Micah and Aaron and sister Beckie

 
Wedding venue

 
Walking down the aisle

 
Mr. and Mrs.

 
Beckie, Vicki and me

 
Vicki and son Micah

 
Tim and me

 
Nate, Frank and Vanessa

 
Beckie's 2-year-old daughter Vivian

 
The cake before . . .

 
And after 

Much happiness, Nate and Vanessa. We love you! 

Friday, July 01, 2016

The Beatles at the Grammy Museum

 

 The Grammy Museum has featured exhibits on the individual Beatles, but never on the group as a whole. That is, until now. A new exhibition, called "Ladies and Gentlemen . . . The Beatles!," opened today on the 2nd floor of the Museum. We, of course, were there.

Small, but nonetheless fun, the exhibit focuses on the band's early years, directly before and after they became famous and performed in the U.S. There's a short video of several women who saw the Beatles live on the Ed Sullivan Show, plus interviews with a handful of men who helped produce the show. Seeing the Beatles in-person and working with them, that unforgettable night on Sullivan, remains an obvious high point of all their lives.

There's also lots of memorabilia from the Beatles' heydays—posters, a lunchbox, and even candy bars—some of which I remember, but some I'd never seen. The exhibit is a nice overview for non-fans, who may not know all that much about early Beatlemania. Still, even old veterans, like Tim and me, learned at least a couple of new things. 

I wouldn't fly into L.A. just to see the exhibit. But if you already live here, there's no excuse, especially if you've never been to the Grammy Museum. Recommended!

 
Me, pretending to walk across Abbey Road 

 
Tim, pretending to be Ringo

 
The exhibition

 
Before fame: opening a concert for Chris Montez!

 
Famous: 1st U.S. tour

 
Memorabilia

 
Beatles cartoon Colorforms (hmmm, looks very familiar)

 
Lunchbox and candy bars

 
Tim taking it all in

 
Me and John (forever)

 
Paul's jacket from the Shea Stadium concert

 
George and John's guitars

 
Paul's guitar

 
their final one 

 
The infamous "butcher" album cover that was pulled after only
one day and is, of course, now worth a fortune 

 

 
Leaving the building