Monday, March 05, 2007

The Royal Ontario Museum I

I was at the ROM for a short visit on the weekend, and took a few shots. The ROM is distinctly unfriendly to photographers - no flash, no tripod, everything's behind glass and for the most part, dimly lit.

However, the ROM has the largest collection of Asian art (Asian being the continent, not the cultures) and as it's the only section open right now, it's going to have to do. I also happen to know that a full third of the blogs who link to me are deeply interested in the art of the Orient...

To them all I can say is: There will be many more shots - eventually! And I will make it to the recently renovated and expanded Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts one day soon.

And I do have some essays in the works, the problem being that as I dive further into the subject matter, I find myself getting lost in a sea of journal articles and books. But it's a pleasure anyway, and I hope they'll be as pleasure to you once I'm done. But without further ado, here are some pictures. I leave it up to my readers to tell me what these are.

First, of course, the tableware. This was my second favourite piece - my favourite piece didn't photograph so well.

I just really like the simply, modern feel to this 19th Century chinese tea set. I'll get more info next time I'm there. I know I keep apologizing, but another reason why these shots didn't work out was because I was chasing my son around, trying to keep him from toppling statues of inestimable value.

From a better angle - you see the point:

Now some plates - these weren't the best there, but they're the best of what turned out:

I quite liked this one:

The detail in the illustration on this bowl is quite remarkable:

And a beautiful little teapot:

How about some statues? The current exhibition in the asian collections concerns heaven and hell- the guy up top and this fellow both have quite a bit of character in this regard, although I wish I understood the significance of the body language:

A buddha - it is the Chinese collection, after all:

Some more:

The final pieces here are actually two enormous wall paintings- I will get details! Perhaps a post on these alone would be nice. Focus the mind, linger over details...yes, yes!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this brief look at our local hoard. Dear readers, feel free to tell me what it is I've shown you - I profess total and utter ignorance.

But I look forward to the knowing.


The Absurdity Miner said...

I can't wait for the unveiling of the fully renovated and expanded museum. To quote Lando Calrissian, "That thing's operational!"

But with all the excitement over the renovations, it's easy to forget just how fascinating the inside of the ROM can be. Thanks for the reminder!

Otto van Karajanstein said...

I just hope eventually I can tell everyone something more interesting than "look", although that too has it's pleasures.

gawain said...

Otto, mon ami, how wonderful; welcome on several counts: first, welcome the the business of outing the museums' vast and hidden holdings! second, to the world of show-and-tell. third, to the world of pottery. the yellow pate you quite like i do, too. and the white pitcher with red enamel. the piece you describe as "modern" isn't -- not in Asia anway, this shape, with a slightly depressed top goes at least to Ming Dynasty. its wonderfully whimsical and very graceful. i love it. the tea set you have just below it though looks horrible -- from the practical point of view, anyway: how would one ever drink anything from it?! and the wall paintings look fabulous, we all want better pictures!

chris miller said...

Thankyou, Otto !

Most of those things you showed were 19th and 18th C. weren't they ?

I remember some days spent at the ROM about 30 years ago (when I lived in Buffalo) -- and it felt so dark, cold, and vast -- a perfect place to go exploring.