Museum Campus South Passport: SMART Museum of Art
My first stop on the Museum Campus South Passport was the SMART Museum, which is only a short walk if you live in North or Max P! The SMART houses an expansive collection, ranging from Asian pottery and sculpture, to furniture from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and works by Mark Rothko and Diego Rivera.
It’s a perfect museum to visit if you’re unsure what kind of art you’d like, or if you’re in the mood for a serving of everything.
I spent the most time in the Asian Art gallery, where most of the pieces are from either China, Japan, or Korea. One of my favorites was called “Translated Vases,” which is a 2007 piece by Korean-born artist Yeesookyung.
The work is a collection of pottery shards that the artist acquired from a Korean master potter who would smash and trash the ceramics he saw as imperfect. Yeesookyung then collected the shards and glued them together with intentional asymmetry.
She also highlights the original cracks in the ceramics by painting them gold, a move that Yeesookyung views as “literally ‘translating’ the … pieces of broken vases and mending their ‘wounds’…” The practice of restoring objects with gold lacquer is prevalent in Korean Buddhist temple statues, where the use of the gold implies reverence through restoration.
The technique is also found in Japanese art, where it is known as “kintsugi,” or “Kintsukuroi.”
I also loved the photography exhibition “There Was a Whole Collection Made: Photography from Lester and Betty Gutman.” Basically, the Gutmans were a Hyde Park couple who collected over 830 photographs by 414 different artists, just because they loved the medium of photography so much (#goals).
The collection at the SMART contains pictures from almost every time-period since photography has existed, and of almost everything that can be photographed. Check it out if you get a chance!
The SMART museum is free for students, and their new café takes Maroon Dollars!