Yesterday, as we drove toward Minneapolis to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, we encountered the gifts left by an early morning freezing fog. The landscape in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota looked as if it stepped out of a fairytale. One could imagine a Nordic scene or a pale Japanese cherry blossom setting for a story.
We were on a tight schedule as our admission tickets were for a specific time. These two trees were so striking that we had to stop. They are natural works of art that complimented the Asian art we viewed later in the day. The laceyness of the branches is reminiscent of the intricate patterns on some of the brass and terracotta objects in the Terracotta Warriors exhibit. Buckles, pots, tiles, weapons, and the carved hairdos of the warriors and their horses often had branching designs.
Art museums are the reference works for artists of all types. Photographers have much to learn about light from paintings. Sculptors teach how to present subjects within a composition or in isolation. Great collections like those in the Minneapolis Institute of Art need to be studied and enjoyed in small portions.
Yesterday we were immersed in the story of the First Emporer and his warriors and plan to learn more. We also visited several other rooms to look at more Asian art and some North American Indian artifacts. We quickly realized that we had to process what we had seen and heard about the warriors before adding more. There will be other occasions to absorb some of the other works.