Friday, July 10, 2015

A Grand Strand Visit to the Franklin G. Burroughs - Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum

Today I visited a gem of a little museum, the Franklin G. Burroughs - Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Walking in I began with John Baeder's Road Well Taken which was a delightful walk through the diners of yesteryear.  Through his "photorealistic paintings and prints of roadside diners" I recalled eating at the Miss Worchester in Massachusetts and several of the New Jersey diners featured in his work.

I didn't take any shots of his work (cause I hope you'll go see it) but attached to this exhibit space there was a darling little cafe-like room set-up like a little diner to have a glass of tea or buy a cookie.

Actually, I went to see the exhibit of Norman Rockwell's illustrations of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. 

[Okay I'll confess though it will change the way some people see me I do not believe I have ever read either of these American classics. How this happened I know not.  I changed schools.  Perhaps I missed the assignment moving from one school to another.  I know. I know.  What an admission!  It's just shocking. How is this even possible?]

Although no photography of Rockwell's works was permitted, the exhibit featured several vignettes and interactive features that I could shoot — read and see for yourself ...

The vignette below was of the schoolroom and included a recreation of Rockwell's studio setting where he painted his self-portraits.  With mini-clipboards, black construction paper, and white crayons, visitors were asked to draw their own image and then hang on display ...

Here is mine and here is another self-portrait done by someone who is FAR more talented than I am!

Another significant scene of this classic was Tom whitewashing the fence and all the loot he gathered in payment for others being allowed the privilege of painting the fence!

Besides John Baeder's diners and Norman Rockwell's Americana, there was a wonderful exhibit of Sandy Logan's abstract works and then I went upstairs to the charming second floor with its exhibit space featuring paintings of the local area by a local artist (I don't know why this place is called the Grand Strand...) 

and an absolutely wonderful art studio for kids.

I rounded out the visit by stopping in the gift shop which had very wonderful things, including notecards made by a local artist and museum employee with a beachy sense of humor.   But before I left, I was struck by the view from the second floor of this little house museum and one of the placards in the Rockwell exhibit.  It reminded me how important literature and the arts are and how they can be taken away if we are not careful. [See the "Fun Fact" below.]


As I headed for the car (my friend's car) I made one last stop to chalk in my remark on the exhibit outside...
 If I write it, will you read it?

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