Intrepid sea, air and space museum

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Recently, a friend and I took advantage of the Smithsonian Museums free day and went to see the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on the Hudson River in New York. The museum is housed on the aircraft carrier Intrepid.

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A little history on the Intrepid – the aircraft carrier launched in 1943, served in World War II, the Cold War and the Vietnam War. In the 1960s it functioned as a NASA recovery vessel and was decommissioned in 1974.

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As we wandered around the different decks, we viewed planes, items from the Intrepid and space artifacts.

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Videos accompany the interactive exhibits. It also has great interactive spaces for kids and adult kids to climb into space exhibits and virtual simulators, including ship bunks to climb in, space pods, a practice captain’s deck and more.

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Some of the planes on display include: Navy planes, spy planes and the Concorde.

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Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the submarine Growler because the Intrepid was packed full of visitors. While we were in line to go through the submarine we were told we most likely wouldn’t make it inside before they stopped the line. It was still worth the visit just to walk around the Intrepid Next visit — the Growler.

 

I Love Art!

My last trip to a museum was on a gloomy, rainy day. But museums are also a good way to escape the hot, hot heat.

Charlotte, N.C. has numerous museums with fabulous art, but more of a quality over quantity situation, hence how I was able to make my way through both the Mint Museum Uptown and Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in one afternoon.

As far as classical paintings go, I tend to lean toward European artists such as Vermeer, Klimt, Monet, Duchamp, Kandinsky, and Renoir. In the Modern art realm — Cezanne, Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, Gauguin, Matisse, Picaso, Chagall, among others. I’m a huge fan of glass works, sculptures by Rodin and other traditional artists, pieces by graphic artists — Kozik and Coop, Japanese pop art artist Yoshitomo Nara, and prints and sculptures by Alan Forbes.

So, on to my adventure…

First, I made my way through the second Mint Museum in town, which features American and Contemporary Art and Sculpture, as well as Craft and Design. My favorite work by American artists  — Robert Henri, Eugene Healan Thomason, and Norman Rockwell.

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As a collector of vintage kitchen gadgets, I really enjoyed the special exhibit F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design) – modern and contemporary objects used to prepare and serve food. Unfortunately, I could not snap photos in that area, but they had amazing examples of utensils, plates, coffee makers, appliances, and other gadgets throughout history from cultures around the world. The plastic snap out TV tray with partitioned sections was something I had not seen in a long time.

Modern Art at the Bechtler included favorites by Jean-Paul Riopelle, Joan Miro and Fernand Leger.

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If you are in town they are both worth checking out, as well as the Mint Museum on Randolph, which I wrote about in a previous blog.

A Rainy Afternoon at the Museum

DSC02855editIt was pouring rain a few days ago and I just really needed to leave the house. So, I decided to check out one of the two Mint Museum locations.

I chose the Randolph location because there is currently an American glass exhibition and I have a glass fetish — depression, leaded, Roman, Czech Crystal, Borowski in Poland, Murano off Venice, Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright, Blenko — you get the picture.

This was my first trip to this location and I am glad that I went. The museum grounds reminded me of visiting parks in the UK when the weather was a little gray but lovely. The building itself was originally a United States Mint location and one of the smaller collections displays historic coins from the original Mint.

The museum is not massive with sprawling collections, but the main collection and exhibits have pieces that show the diversity of cultures and eras. They have crafts, ceramics, fashion and glass, as well as American, African, Latin American, and Asian art.

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I really do love art in general, but I seek out African art and was pleasantly surprised to see such a varied representation of different African cultures.

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Gorgeous pieces of American glass were on display, as well as for sale in the gift shop…
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The fashion exhibit was another highlight…I have a closet full of vintage dresses and shoes; the 1920s – 1950s is my favorite span as far as clothing that I like to wear.

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However, the Jane Austen reading, British period piece-film watching part of me loves looking at clothing/costumes from the1800s to early 1900s as well.

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The Mint has a lovely display of dresses and suits created by French, English and American designers, some of which were worn to famous events such as a suit that was worn at the royal wedding of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI at the palace of Versailles. A few of the highlights include dresses by Dior, Balmain and Saint Laurent.

Not too shabby for a rainy afternoon.