The summer of love started early in San Francisco. A few weeks ago, I substituted an Academy of Art University graduate class. The assignment was a field trip to the impeccable and impressive de Young museum. Students were eager to witness and absorb greatness. The day didn’t disappoint.
First step was negotiating a reduced ticket for the students. Had free museum passes but they only covered general areas. Special exhibitions cost more and are pricey. However, the price is worth the knowledge along with the extensive amount of expertise needed to vet, curate, and present intelligent concepts. Museum staff worked magic by applying my vouchers, adding a discount, and students entered happy with a good admission deal.
Before entering the galleries, a open and wildly expansive public space welcomes. The scale is luxurious reminding a visitor of one’s place in the creative universe. Artist Leonardo Drew’s Number 197 is my favorite artwork to have ever traversed this territory and on display till October 29, 2017. From the website: “Spanning three walls in the museum’s atrium, it comprises a multitude of sculptural elements created and arranged in response to the unique context of the de Young’s landmark architecture.”
Next stop was The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll. The exhibit was a history lesson for the younger and international students. They shared valuable and diverse perspectives on American culture and politics. The artists provided depth and meaning to the experience. From the de Young: “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll will be an exhilarating exhibition of iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films.”
Last visit would be the Stuart Davis: In Full Swing exhibit. On display was a diverse collection of seventy-five pieces that were vibrant, stylized, and mimicked the movement of Jazz. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how Davis fought against war and was a labor organizer during the 1930’s. Impressed is an understatement.
The voices of the past guided the artists of the future. The class engaged and had a good day. That is what truly matters. Stuart Davis: “The value of impermanence is to call attention to the permanent.” Thank you.