My day at North Carolina Museum of Art

As I walked toward NCMA last Thursday (March 1) I was greeted by the massive 19-foot tall sculpture by Ursula von Rydingsvard. It’s titled Ogromna (2009), made of cedar and graphite.

Ogromna, 2009

I liked how the sculpture plays on the idea of nature and the man-made. I found some of the articles on the sculptor’s website a worthwhile read, which mentions more about her process and biography.

I also loved the surface — its craggy texture appeared rough but beautifully warm as well.

I wasn’t sure where the museum’s entrance was located so I ended up walking unknowingly through the Sculpture Garden first. I passed by a water feature where I luckily saw this water lily starting to open its face to the world.

Water lily

While I walked around the museum taking in the artwork I was somewhat disconcerted by the space even though it was open, airy, and well-lit. I’m not sure why I felt out-of-sorts; the only thing I could come up with was that the museum had all the artwork from different eras and countries sectioned off but still in close proximity of each other on one floor. Is it because I’m used to larger museums like the MET and MOMA in NYC where there’s more of a transitional space between different types of art?

For lunch I ate an unexpectedly delicious meal at Iris restaurant within the museum. I ordered the day’s special, a salmon sandwich with pineapple (minus the prosciutto for me) on a very yummy onion roll with field greens. The prices were moderate; service was attentive and friendly.

I recommend joining the daily public tour at 1:30pm. One of the highlights was learning a little bit about the Andrew Wyeth paintings and how one of them may hint at the painter’s possible issues with his father. (The museum also has Wyeth’s father’s painting displayed on a different wall.) at the end of the tour the guide had mentioned in passing that the museum has three Monet paintings displayed that I missed during my own walk through. I went to take a look at them before leaving. Below is one of Monet’s paintings, The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset (1882-83)

Monet's The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset (1882-83)

My most cherished Monet moment was when I saw his Water Lilies painting in NYC (at the MOMA?). My senses were happily engulfed by the sheer scale and affecting colors. Ever since then, if I have the chance to gaze upon a Monet art piece I would do it to pay homage to the master painter.

The museum is accessible by bus, but next time I would like to go back by car so that I can leisurely explore Museum Park.

My day at North Carolina Museum of Art

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