Yesterday, members of the PPP team beat the heat and cooled off in the art infused AC of the Portland Art Museum (PAM). We toured the summer exhibition Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Back in the day, the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris was the OG school of fine arts, fostering fierce competition and the emergence of some of Europe’s most renowned artists. The exhibit features art that reenacts Homeric and biblical narratives, including approximately 140 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper dating from antiquity through the nineteenth century.
I was struck by the gorgeously rendered bodies, cloaked in shadows but drenched in color. The artists of the École des Beaux-Arts were clearly theatrically inclined and partial to dramatic postures and symbolic staging. There are dragons and fire breathing bulls, folks. Epic. One thing I discovered: avoid pride and boastfulness because the gods will rain down their wrath upon you (wrath=arrows that shall pierce your heart).
Don’t miss the “Expressive Head Competition” sculptures; students of Beaux-Arts were tasked with various competitions where they explored human expressions in stone and marble. Pain, disdain, transcendent admiration. So expressive! We decided to take selfies with our own expressive heads.
For date nights the museum offers reduced admission and extras on Fridays: every Friday after 5pm the museum offers $5 admission, which gives you 3 solid hours to peruse. Every 4th Friday, admission is FREE! As an added bonus, Friday nights at PAM often feature beer and pizza in the pop-up pub, photo booths, and Game of Thrones tours (Wait, what? Yes, please).
I highly recommend heading over to the Portland Art Museum this hot and sticky summer; it is, literally, cooler than most places in Portland and witnessing art activates that internal drive to CREATE and INSPIRE. Step out of the office; go see some art!