Why travel, you say?
Ok, I'm just going to say it. The best reason to travel, besides the interesting people, unusual foods and architecture that you could never see at home, is the art. There, I said it. Let's say you loved Picasso as I do and wanted to see all of his works? Well, you'd have to do quite a bit of traveling. His works can be found in Paris, Boston, Barcelona and St. Petersburg, to name just a few cities. Let's say you liked Gustav Klimt? In Boston, we had one piece travel to the MFA a few years ago, but otherwise, we don't own one in Boston. If you go to the Belvedere in Vienna though, you can see 18 of his largest prints in one room!
Sadly, most works of art don't travel.
On my recent visit to the Peggy Guggenheim collection in Venice, I was able to see several works of art that I had never seen before. For example, of the 10 pieces that Picasso worked on in 1911, all are dispersed around the world in New York, Venice, Prague and Switzerland as well as in several private collections. Le poète (below) was painted in 1911 along with themes on Guitar, Violin, Mandolin and Clarinet in the same year. All are considered part of his cubism period. Too bad none of my peers ever met Picasso. Maybe there would be a L'homme et le trombone!
La Baignade (On the Beach) (below), from 1937, is so obscure that it doesn't show up in a complete listing of his works. It is full of humor and playfulness. Qualities that show up in much of Picasso's works.
I had never seen Gino Severini's work before. His Sea = Dancer below reminds me of the work of Georges Braque and others from the futurist movement in Paris in the early 1900's.
I am continually amazed at what is available to us in our travels. So with that said, my final words from this visit to Venice are the following: Go to the Peggy Guggenheim collection. She had exquisite taste and you'll get to enjoy it in only about an hour of your day. È per la venezia. Da qui a Firenze! (That's it for Venice. Onwards to Florence!)
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Lawrence Isaacson is a conductor and educator based in Boston. Biography >>