September 23, 2007

Pleasant Surprise

While on our recent trip to Puerto Rico, our gracious hosts suggested that as a part of our day trip to Poncé (the island's second-largest city) we check out the art museum there. Sounds like fun, why not?

Well imagine our surprise at what a great little museum this was.

First of all, the museum had a traveling exhibition on Rodin - only my favorite sculptor ever! The exhibit included all kinds of treasures, including some models for The Gates of Hell as well as some for his famous Burghers of Calais. Such a treat!

But then we see the big surprise - Fredrick Lord Leighton's original painting of Flaming June. This work is one that ScottE and I have admired for years (a print hangs in our bedroom). To see it up close and in person was astonishing. The sumptuous colors and sensuous curves were intoxicating. Truly a masterpiece. And it's tucked away in a Puerto Rican museum of all places! (Imagine that the museum's founder, Luis Ferré, bought the piece for only $6,000.

The upper floor of the museum is also nothing to sneeze at. This little place has works from a lot of other famous painters too - Rubens, Velazquez, El Greco and van Dyck. The museum is laid out in a pleasing format of several circular galleries.

All this, and the building itself was designed by Edward Durell Stone, the same man who was the architect for the Kennedy Center, the National Geographic building, and the MoMA in New York.

So should you find yourself on the Caribbean isle of Puerto Rico, do yourself a favor, and check out this little treasure of the south. You won't be disappointed!


ScottE. said...

What a surprise! I had no idea and was totally caught off guard.

I was just looking around enjoying the art, I looked at June, passed over it and realized what I saw....zoom! Squeal like a little girl.

Then my eyes got all misty and wet.

So Awesome! She's gorgeous.

Stef said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your Puerto Rico trip!