Mythologia at the Portland Art Museum

It’s not often that I get excited about an upcoming exhibition at the Portland Art Museum. Some of my favorite exhibitions, of course, were in the Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts (Piranesi’s etchings of Rome, Goya’s Los Caprichos, Käthe Kollwitz, Leonard Baskin, last year’s lithographs from Tamarind).

The upcoming exhibition, Mythologia: Gods, Heroes, and Monsters, was chosen in sympathy with the main exhibit, the 120 statues and objects from the British Museum’s collection of Greek and Roman art. I’ll go see that, of course, but what I’m really looking forward to is Mythologia. My work is concerned with myth, folklore, and symbolism derived from these shared stories. I’ve marked my calendar: Saturday, October 20th is the opening day. I’ll probably wait until a quiet weekday to go though; I prefer to have the Gilkey Center to myself as much as possible.

I love walking around on the squeaky parquet floor, looking at prints and drawings. It’s usually one of the quietest areas of the museum, and I can’t help but feel a special kind of comfort there – I was lucky enough to have my history of print class taught in one of the rooms attached to the gallery. It was where I first saw Max Klinger’s work, whose thoughts on the nature and unique purpose of the graphic arts, though arguably outdated, formed some part of the philosophy behind my thesis paper (and my approach to creating work).

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