Saturday, July 25, 2015

National Ornamental Metal Museum

A couple of weeks ago, while we were in Memphis, we took the grandchildren to a different kind of museum.  The only museum "devoted to the advancement of the art and craft of fine metalwork," the National Ornamental Metal Museum has a variety of classes, exhibitions, and an onsite fabrication facility.  

We enjoyed the fabrication building and spoke with students and artists for a few minutes, but the number of photos from the museum indicate that the museum exhibits were the hit of the visit.

There were three different exhibitions going on at once.  The first floor rooms held an interesting exhibit, titled "Adorning the Table" devoted to kitchen and table items.  Of course, these are pieces of art, not utilitarian pieces, but some of the pieces look quite real.  

 A second exhibit, "A Kind of Confession" is meant to highlight "conversation about American identity and aesthetics" (museum website).  Although my least favorite exhibit, my favorite single piece comes from this room.  

This piece is about the black servant dressing her mistress, but I can easily see it as a seamstress fitting a customer dress.  I also was very impressed with the mirror and took a second picture to so that I could get it into the photo.

 Part of the museum's permanent collection is displayed upstairs along with a final exhibition, called "Beauty in the Boundary: Gates, Grills, and Fences."  I love wrought iron work and found these pieces to be especially interesting--with hard lines softened in a variety of curves, scrolls, and even human shapes.

Also in this section are several crosses and other items.

I'll leave you with a few photos of artworks outside the building.  A word of caution should you ever visit the Metal Museum: noon on any day in July is not the ideal time to walk through the exhibit gardens.  Even parking oneself in the shade is a hot proposition.

For more photos from the Metal Museum go to my "worked, iron" board on Pinterest. 

Have you visited a museum of a different aesthetic?  Tell us a little about it in the know how we love comments!


Kaja said...

No museums recently, though I love them. This one looks fascinating.

Mary Marcotte said...

It definitely was, Kaja. Our grandson chose doubt to annoy his sister, but they both enjoyed it much more than I expected. He liked the foundry where he got to handle metal objects, like sword blanks and huge nails. But she got to pose for pictures and selfies in front of ART! (I think that in the end, she won that game.)