I had never been to The BYU Museum of Art before this past week. They have quite a few different type of events that are available to the public. The art exhibits down at BYU are usually free and I have heard only positive remarks about others experiences there. We have been waiting patiently to go down and see The Carl H. Bloch exhibit at BYU Museum of Art for a few months now. With our International Studies, I was trying to figure out which country to fit this exhibit in with. Carl Bloch is from Denmark and some of his alter pieces are in Denmark and some are in Sweden. I finally decided that, since so many of Carl Bloch’s paintings were of Christ and Easter fell during the time of the exhibit, we would connect our visit with our study of Israel (which was this week and last). That is where all of the alter pieces took place and where Jesus lived most of His life.
We were able to check Alex out for the last couple of hours of school and Mr. C’s awesome parents watched baby Simon for us (Simon just doesn’t appreciate art the way the rest of us do, but he will someday). We were thoroughly impressed with all of Carl Bloch’s paintings and etchings. I have seen them in the foyers of our churches, on the front of manuals and books, and in various other places throughout my life. But, as any of my fellow art buffs will tell you, there is nothing quite liking seeing an original up close. I have had the privilege of spending a little time in some great art museums around the world, including The Louvre, The Vatican, The Egyptian Museum, Terracotta Warriors Exhibit, etc…. While I found all of these to be nourishing and even fulfilling on some level, I have never been allowed to see *up close* such remarkable works. With the exhibit at BYU Art Museum, the fine details and the amount of effort Bloch had obviously taken, were completely revealed to all. Carl Bloch’s soul spoke directly to me through his works. His love of God, of his deeper understanding of the life of our Savior…it was all there. His desire to share this understanding was beautiful. I could almost smell the paint and hear the carefully placed strokes, as I stood, a little over a foot away, from his life works.
When we were done with his exhibit, we went over to another exhibit, which was “way cool”. It had a stunning art piece made out of around 80,000 lbs. of books, all arranged to make a perfect square block, that was around 20 ft tall and wide. There was also some “carpet” that was made of alphabet pasta that had been spray painted black. The kids were very impressed. I could see the creative wheels turning in their heads as they took it all in.
It was such a great experience sharing inspiring art with the kids. We even bought a few prints of Carl Bloch’s works. On the way out, I asked the kids which piece they enjoyed the most. Ryan couldn’t wait for her hesitant, older brothers to answer my question and quietly replied, “The one where Jesus was dying. He died for us, you know….He loves us.” If that is the kind of appreciation art can inflict, I am all for it. I feel a definite need to visit more art exhibits with the kids in the future. I am now on the lookout free or inexpensive exhibits. I’ll let you know if I find any. 😉 If you haven’t been to an art exhibit recently, you owe it to yourself.
Mrs. C (Carl Bloch fan #1)