I hope you are dry and warm! It's wet and cold outside here in Georgia, with threats of snow and ice. But before the wintry mix started this afternoon, the boys and I braved the drive to Cartersville to visit the Booth Museum of Western Art so that I could tell you how wonderful it is!
Throughout my college years, I often passed the sign for the Booth coming to and from Atlanta. I knew from a friend that it was a good museum, but I never seemed to find the time to stop and enjoy it. But this week a combination of many local art museums having their main galleries closed to change exhibits and my recent itch to enjoy the beauty of the Western vistas I've visited before collided. I was so eager to hit the road, that I would have totally forgotten to pick up Murmuration 1.0 from the Duluth City Hall if my friend Brenda hadn't texted me!
The Booth Museum of Western Art opened in 2003, and is much, much larger than I expected. In fact, it's the second largest art museum in Georgia (I believe the High Museum of Art is the first), and it houses the largest permanent exhibition space for Western Art in the country. It boasts a cafe, shop, library, ballroom, and theatre, and it has been an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute since 2006 (many thanks to their About page for these quick facts).
The Booth is spacious, well lit, and has a very friendly and helpful staff (many blessings on the guest and staff person who found the kitty rattle that Ian dropped). We were there for about two hours, and we walked through all the galleries, but I could have lingered all afternoon going back to pieces I especially loved or more carefully examining each artist's brush strokes and composition (unfortunately, two two and under are not particularly patient with that manner of lingering).
We saw several wonderful temporary exhibits today, but my favorite was 65 Years of Chasing Sunlight: The Art of Merrill Mahaffey. Breathtaking, simply breathtaking. I think I appreciated it all the more because I've been to the Grand Canyon, and the deserts and highlands of Arizona and New Mexico, and the badlands of North Dakota, etc. Every painting took me back to a family States Tour vacation. I've been thinking a lot about those places lately, their color palettes and their energies, and these paintings helped me connect with those memories.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I recently bought two fabric bundles that were curated by Mister Domestic and Jenn Rosetti for the Stash Fabrics Design Star Challenge. As much as I've been attempting to moderate my fabric addiction, I just couldn't say no to these beautiful fabrics (see below). Matthew's (Mister Domestic's) bundle was inspired by the Sedona region of Arizona, and Jenn's bundle was inspired by the Northern Lights. However, I liked the bundles best together. Seeing these paintings today only confirmed that and continued to inspire me. I still don't know what this fabric will be when it "grows up," but we are in some inspiration related dialogue/ love affair, and I can't seem to go very long without thinking about it.
In addition to being inspiring and beautiful, the works at the Booth preserve American history. There is a gallery of contemporary works reflecting on the horror of the American Civil War, a gallery about the myths of the "Wild West," and piece after piece showing respect for Native Americans. At least as far as my non-expert knowledge of American History is concerned, I walked away with the impression that all the sides of the stories were told: Native Americans, Settlers, Soldiers, even the Land itself. I also felt like nearly all styles of art were accepted and appreciated (I wouldn't mind seeing some more fiber art and textiles, of course). I enjoyed the variety and extensiveness of the Booth collection.
I loved our visit to the Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, GA. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students, and children 12 and under are FREE. How cool is that??
You can find them on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest exhibits (or the dates for the Cowboy Festival, which sounds like way too much fun!). While you're at it, don't forget to visit String & Story on Facebook and Instagram as well so you can see all the fun things I'm up to!
Enjoy you're weekend, folks! Go make something!
PS Bonus! Pictures of the boys and I in the museum and enjoying the children's exhibit downstairs! (of course the pictures are blurry because these little cowboys never stop moving!)