Thursday, September 13, 2012

T. Rockwell at the de Young

Ahh... today was super sweet.  I don't really know how to start...  Lets begin with a quote from Tony Rockwell,

"it's good to know certain people".

This certain person.. named, Tony, was enrolled in my pottery class for the last 8 weeks.  Tony is just... amazing.  Not only did he pick up throwing like a person can ride a bicycle after years and years of not riding, while looking like they never stopped.... he's the kind of person that can work on a sculpture for YEARS... in fact the particular piece he's been working on now has recently turned two years old.  Here it is..uncovered...  ohhhh... wild right?  so incredible.

Tony works for the conservation department at the de Young, focusing on American painting/or paintings in general.  His job is to restore damaged paintings that are either a part of their collection, or that other museums/people/whatever send to them.  Here's Tony and the project he's been working on.

A shot of the workshop...  Some high tech things are going down..  they have a micron spectrometer that can analyze the type of materials used in the it becomes easier/more homogenous when restored.  Very cool.. 

Another piece a co-worker of his is working on...

So a a few weeks back, he invites me out to the museum for a behind the scenes tour.... and to tell you the truth I'd heard about this from past residents or people that work here.. "hey if Tony invites you to the de Young.. You should go man, it's incredible".  So I waited..and I waited..  finally he asked I could tell him Yes YES!  The de Young is one of my favorite museums of all time..  it's an incredible building and the permanent collections are just amazing.

 Tony happily showed me around, after buying me lunch at the cafe along with a nice glass of wine... so tasty!....  He showed me the conservation departments from textiles, to objects and paintings.  Everybody working was very serious..and working very hard...  so I didn't have the chance to mingle or get to know anybody else..but that's fine.  I didn't want to bother anybody.  As the tour sort of came to an end, Tony says.. "hey bobby, so is there anything else you want to see that you think I could show you?"  I say..."yah.  I want to see the belly.. take me to vaults!"  Ahhaha... oh man, so we went down down the elevator through a few security check points and bubam!.... I was in the bowels of the de Young.. walking through huge, white sliding doors into the dark abyss of art work...   Henry Moore, DeStabler, Kaneko, David Smith (i hardly recognize any painters..but 3d objects are my choice)..  all wrapped and secured like the precious work that they are... an incredible number of paintings, ancient objects and even a contemporary teapot collection where I recognized many clay people that I know.  I have some pics of it..but when I asked about sharing them online, Tony asked me not to..  ah well.. museum copyrights.  I understand.  After that he turned me loose and went back to work... I had a free pass for the museum.. so I happily spent a couple hours wondering around enjoying what they had to offer.

So it was a killer day in the city..and to tell you the truth.. I really needed to get out and do something.    Thanks so much, Tony.   It's at the top of my museum experiences by far.

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