In one of those rare moments of going to a museum during the work day, I headed to the Kimbell Art Museum to attend a meeting yesterday. It had been awhile since I visited, but the moment I walked through the doors I felt home again.
Many years ago (too long and far away) I studied art history and journeyed to as many museums as my days could hold. When I go to museums now, the days seem shorter –it must be my age.
The major exhibition up now is Picturing The Bible: The Earliest Christian Art. Jerome Weeks will blog more about this, so I won’t steal his thunder. Regardless of what’s current, viewing the Kimbell’s permanent collection is worth any trip.
I’ve always had great fondness for the Kimbell’s antiquities collection and in my humble opinion, the Pre-Columbian objects are so exquisite and unique we don’t realize how lucky we are to have them. I’ll never forget when in 1986 the Kimbell did a groundbreaking Mayan exhibit, The Blood of Kings, which with precise scholarship and unparalleled objects unlocked the unknown life of the elite. I was slackjawed wandering through that exhibit that I had to return time and again.
So it was with a sense of welcome when I realized that some Pre-Columbian objects are still present to greet visitors at the entrance. I was delighted to see old Cocijo, the potent Zapotec god of rain and lightening. He can be Tlaloc or Chaac, depending on where in Mexico or Guatemala you see him.
As I’m looking, a man and his family approach Cocijo and stare. The man threw his hands up in the air, either in confusion or awe, but he didn’t move. He was mesmerized. This speaks volumes to me. Those ancient, layered images may be hard to decipher, but you can’t leave them.