Along with a passion for California and the West Coast, a key theme in Ed Ruscha's work and Ed Ruscha and the Great American West is the abundance and playfulness of words. Throughout his career, Ruscha experimented with words, song lyrics and sayings, even filling notebooks with them and waiting for the moment that the temperature of a word becomes "really hot."
Photo by FAMSF
In this post, Geneva Griswold, the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Objects Conservation, explains how she and her colleagues keep Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker looking its very best. Read on for more about how the job involves a propane torch, why boat exhaust is an issue, and how hard it is to get to that awkward spot on the back of the leg.
Wild West: Plains to the Pacific, now open at the Legion of Honor, includes a spectacularly large photograph from the Museums’ collection, taken by Howard Clinton Tibbitts (1863–1937). Tibbitts was a San Francisco–based photographer who documented the American West for the Southern Pacific Railroad’s magazine Sunset, still published today. This photograph from 1899 depicts members of the U.S. Cavalry’s Troop F, who were charged with the protection of Yosemite from 1883 until 1916.
“Indispensable” is a series that asks the de Young’s Artists in Residence to describe a tool that’s essential to their work.
Steve Ferrera was desperate, so he went to the Alameda Flea Market and bought a bag of used dental tools.
Wild West: Plains to the Pacific, now open at the Legion of Honor, includes more than 170 works—from John Raphael Smith’s mezzotint, The Widow of an Indian Chief Watching Over the Arms of her Deceased Husband made in 1789, to photographs of the central valley taken by Matt Black in 2014—to trace an ever-changing sense of America’s frontier. We talked to the exhibition curators, Jim Ganz and Colleen Terry, about what visitors can expect.
This exhibition is made up entirely from works in our own collection. Does that present any special opportunities?
Jim Ganz: This is a chance to see some old favorites from the de Young in completely new contexts at the Legion of Honor, paired with works that they wouldn’t ordinarily be paired with. For example, Albert Bierstadt’s California Spring reflects the long tradition of European landscape painting, and it’s an idealized, bucolic view of the Sacramento Valley. Robert Bechtle’s Four Palm Trees, on view in the same gallery, was painted at Dixon, CA, only about 20 miles from the location depicted in the Bierstadt.