Monday, August 20, 2012

Museum Gems

Our family went to see the completely uninspired ... Is James Bond exhibit at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).  Do you really need to devote a gallery to screens showing the James Bond opening sequences without curation?  One can learn more by staying at home to view them and read the DVD inserts.

However, if you really want to learn about the gems on view, ask the security guards for their favorite shows.  I asked one lady at the top of the stairs in the Ahmanson building what I should see if I was particularly interested in textiles.  She didn't skip a beat before enthusiastically recommending that I see the molas in the back back corner of the Art of the Americas section.

Wow.  I've never seen molas like this before.  Even though the exhibit is confined to one small gallery in the back corner, it packs quite a punch.  Molas are small, so there are many of them on view.  Additionally, many of them were loaned by a collector with exceptional taste and access to some of the finest mola art I have seen anywhere.

Most of the molas you see for sale and bought by travelers are necessarily quickly made to keep the prices low enough to easily sell.  You don't see such detailed (and expensive) molas very often.  All of the pieces were exceptional in craftsmanship and the curation is first-rate.  The show gives a broad view of the history, meaning and purpose of molas--from the spiritual to the political to the economic--and it includes a broad cross-section of the themes found in molas.

The show closes on October 13, 2012 so visit it soon.  The lighting is dim and I don't think that photography is allowed, so bring your notebook to take down notes and ideas.  This is a show I need to go back and revisit.  It's that good.

Stitching Worlds: Mola Art of the Kuna

The next time I go, I want to check out the newly-opened Ohie Toshio and the Perfection of the Japanese Book, in the Japanese pavilion.  Check out the beauty of that inlaid leather and the asymmetric, yet pleasingly balanced composition. It's on view through October 21, 2012.
Anyone want to make a museum and lunch date? Little Ethiopia with it's plethora of dining options is very close to LACMA.  Museum admission is always free for children 17 and under.  Each child can bring in one adult companion for free.


  1. That mola is beautiful!

  2. Lovely artwork. Interesting, that style of concentric outlines of colour "shadowing" an object is vaguely reminiscent of a common theme in indigenous Australian artwork.


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