Recently I got around to checking out the Toledo Museum of Art, which is about a two hour drive from where I live. I’m ashamed to say that it’s been in my backyard, so to speak, for almost 15 years and I just never visited it.
It fulfills all the requirements of a classic art museum – columned front and lots of marble steps leading up to it, generous local donors whose gifts formed the nucleus of the collection (in this case the Libbey glass family,) and at least one Rembrandt. It also has a separate glass pavilion which was undergoing rearrangement during my visit, to my disappointment. Most of the good stuff was jammed into a study room, and some of the glass could have used more breathing space. Of course I was spoiled by the Corning Glass Museum.
My personal highlights included the room of Grecian urns (and drinking cups and plates) and the huge display of netsuke. Here are the pieces I would like to display in my house (as if!)
The painting with the purple sail is by Georgia O’Keefe, a very different subject for her. You can view most of the museum’s collection on its website.
I spent a lot of time peering at the netsuke, which are mostly the size of a small plum. By accident I discovered drawers filled with inro, which are the containers for personal belongings attached to sashes with cords and secured with a netsuke. How it all worked is described in this article. Here’s an inro that features Raiden, the thunder God.
I love that the last boat one is called How to Weigh An Elephant. The other boat is a party boat occupied by two party ladies and one gentleman. I don’t they’re interested in being weighed.