~posted by Carmel O’Donovan, KMFA announcer
I think Joni Mitchell hit the nail on the head when she sang: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?”
Certainly, moving as I did from London almost four years ago, I felt a great sadness as I packed the boxes and cases knowing that I had had some of the finest art galleries almost on my doorstep, and yet I had taken them for granted and consequently failed to visit them as often as I could have. Even the thought of the deeply irritating and wildly incontinent pigeons fluttering around the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square made me feel a little misty-eyed. But girding my loins, I carried on packing and before long I arrived here in Austin, Texas.
I am happy to tell you that I had not been here very long when I discovered our very own jewel in the heart of the city – The Blanton Museum of Art. At that time my oldest son was a freshman at UT and his dorms were just around the corner, so when bringing food parcels and his clean laundry (yes I know I am a mug), I could “pop in” to the Blanton, have a swift chug of culture and drive home to cook and wash for my other children. It was a haven of civilization in my otherwise rather overly domestic existence. I became a member of The Blanton, and while I’m still guilty of not visiting as often as I could, every time I go it is quite simply a delight.
For those of you who have yet to visit The Blanton, I urge you not to miss the current exhibit, “Turner to Monet: Masterpieces of the Walters Art Museum.” The exhibit opened on October 2nd, and runs until January 2nd, 2011. It is, quite simply, world class, with 40 paintings by Degas, Monet, Turner, Manet and others, collected by the Walters family at the turn of the last century. Some of them will just take your breath away. My personal favorite is the portrait of Mrs. Monet reading under a blossom tree – the organizers clearly like that one too, as it is the picture featured on the brochure and adverts. I love being a member as I can visit as many times as I like and stay for even a few minutes and then go to the café and sample some of their delicious home-cooked goodies. And for those of you stuck for ideas for Christmas gifts (like me), what about a membership from the Blanton? Look out for me, I’ll be the one lurking under the Monet, determined to learn from my London mistakes and making the most of this treasure!
Carmel O’Donovan is a part-time announcer on KMFA 89.5; you can read more about Carmel and all our Music Hosts on our website.