Saturday, November 02, 2013

Art date

Sofia did not have school today so we went to the Art Museum. We took the MAX train from Beaverton to downtown. It was a crispy, foggy day and as we walked through the South Park blocks toward the museum the leaves were falling from the trees and swirling around us. I love this about Portland—so many trees and open spaces in the heart of the city. The changing seasons keep the city real and alive.

I had heard that the Samurai exhibit was wonderful and it truly is. It is mostly Japanese Samurai armor from the 16th and 17th centuries. Somewhat surprisingly it is a special treat for those of us who love fibers and finishes and embellishments and details.

Looks like this guy is peering over the edge of the rock at Sofia doesn't it?

The piece below was fascinating. This is mostly intricately woven and plaited silk cording. The texture and pattern were really interesting and I would loved to have been able to handle it and look at the inside for more clues as to how it was done.

The exhibit was set up beautifully, with dozens of these armors, including horse armor and fantastical helmets. The black and white graphic crests on the wall behind the displays indicate the families the armor came from.

Sofia and I agreed on the one below as our favorite. We are both suckers for red and turquoise!

We found some postcards in the Museum shop—we always buy postcards to remember our visits to the museum—and headed down toward Pioneer Courthouse Square, looking for someplace for lunch. We settled on Elephant's Deli, a Portland favorite, and Sofia declared their mac and cheese "excellent." We walked down to the square and caught the MAX train back to our suburban environs.

I love going to the museum with Sofia. What a treat for both of us. I wish I had been able to visit a first-class art museum easily as a child. I enjoy Sofia's "critiques" of the art and what particular things she notices. We wandered through another exhibit of regional work and she sniffed at one piece, "I could have done that." I had to agree. Then she became completely entranced with this Abby Miller construction that is pieced vinyl that is constructed with long zippers that allow it to fit over a metal armature. It was big, it was red, it was sewn, it was shiny! I liked it too.


  1. I remember when you introduced Sofia to your blog audience. She has grown in a lovely young girl.

  2. Big, red and shiny -- what's not to like about that? I liked your tour very much and the delight of being with a suitable companion, full focused attention on her, who is fully focused, of course, on the museum -- what fun. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow! I am with the two of you, that last armor piece is gorgeous. I am always amazed at what was created before machinery. I can't imagine doing all the sewing, plaiting, dyeing, etc. to make that come to life, all by hand. I am still trying to wrap my head around how grown up Sofia has become. She is such a beautiful and intelligent lady in the making. :) I love Portland. I grew up outside of Seattle, but Portland is where I've always wanted to live. It is so diverse, well laid out, and pedestrian friendly. Thanks for sharing your art date.

  4. I love hearing about your and Sophie's art adventures. I think I would have enjoyed the samurai exhibit too. What they did with fabric and leather(?) is amazing. The red vinyl link went to a beautiful samurai, so I looked up Abbie Miller and found this: It mesmerized me, is it what you guys saw too?

  5. Just catching up on your blog. The exhibit sounds wonderful but the photo of Sophia really blew me away!!! She has certainly grown up. I haven't been keeping up with blogs in a while. She was about 1 yr old when I last saw a pic of her. She is a pretty little girl!

  6. Just now seeing this..... Our girls are growing up. Ella & I continue our mutual love of art and she is becoming a confident sewer--the daughter I never had, despite giving birth to two female children! We are mutually blessed--both granddaughters and grandmothers. Lovely post.