Tag Archives: Museum

Chihuly Glass lifts my spirits after the election

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa. Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa. Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa, Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa, Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier

This is my second post about Seattle’s Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum which I had the pleasure of visiting in February of this year. Bright colors like this make me happy and help to transport my spirit to a better place. The metaphor of a boat filled with Chihuly glass couldn’t be more poignant at this time. The word Chihuly starts with chi, which in Chinese culture can be interpreted to mean ‘life force’. Therefore, I’m hopping aboard this little boat full of life force that’s traversing a black sea, taking me to places unknown with a whole lotta faith. And faith is what is needed in light of the recent presidential election here in the states. It left half our country feeling completely  devastated, as well as some countries abroad. We’re in a time of transition and it’s anyones guess where we’ll end up.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and spent ten years living in the downtown area of Seattle, moving to L A in the mid 90’s. Chihuly has always been part of the local vernacular there. I had clients who owned pieces of his work, and  downtown office buildings have permanent  installations of his blown glass in their lobbies, such as the one below. Plus, there were always frequent gallery openings or museum shows that anyone could attend. It was just one of those things you sorta took for granted. But now that I live in earthquake country, I appreciate his work even more. My own small blown glass collection made from Seattle glass blowers, which I love tremendously,  remains in storage for safety reasons.

Chihuly Glass Installation, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier
Chihuly Glass Installation, Seattle, Wa., Photo Romi Cortier

The other thing that I’m reminded of when I think of my time in Seattle, is how I was perceived as ‘other’.  With my black hair and olive skin, I was constantly asked my ethnicity. Are you Egyptian, Mexican, Persian… I was oddly exotic in those days. Then I moved to Los Angeles and all of that changed. I was stunned and excited at how remarkably diverse the culture here was. It was rather mind blowing to me that people came to this little plot of land from all over the world, to share in the California dream.  At that point, I became much more aware of how white I actually was, and that I was also a minority here in a completely different way. If I were living on the westside, say Santa Monica or Brentwood, then I may have blended in more.  I never gave it much thought, it was just the way LA was… a melting pot of really interesting cultures from all over the world. And now, with my silvery white hair and paler skin,  I  feel like the old  waspy white guy. Wow, how did I get here in 25 quick years.

Romi Cortier with sisters Tami & Tina
Romi Cortier with sisters Tami & Tina

The reason that I bring this up is because most of us in white america never know what it means to be ‘the other’.  For a period of time, I did. I  think that is why so many of my friends here in Los Angeles, as well as my clients at the salon,  feel completely devastated by this election. Some of them truly fear for their safety when they travel outside of our diverse little L A bubble.  Honestly I’d never given white privilege much thought, until I discovered that I’m actually pretty white.  My very handsome fiance is black, which also helped shifted my point of view, opening my eyes to the challenges he and his family have  faced over the years.   For me,  people are people. Color has never been an issue. In fact, I’ve always thought people with darker skin than me were much better looking… maybe it’s the artist in me.  And at my salon,  I’m hearing interesting points of view from my clients who’ve immigrated  from Ireland, England, Iran, Paris  and Armenia. Even though most of them pass for ‘white’,  they’re still concerned at what all of this rhetoric from our new president elect may mean for them.

As a progressive guy, I was very excited about the possibility of a female president, regardless of her baggage. To me, she was the most prepared for the position. I’ve since learned that over half of our country doesn’t feel included in the current american dream, and was willing to shake things up in an unprecedented way.  Since the Donald is a complete wildcard, it’s anyones guess what the next four years will bring.  This forced me to look deep into myself and ask myself what was important for me. It helped me to get clear on my soul purpose once again. Below is what I shared on my facebook page the day after the election.

Today I am a citizen of the world. I renew my commitment to focus on what is beautiful and right in this world, and will do my best not to go down the rabbit hole of fear, hatred and anger. I will continue to celebrate that beautiful piece of art, or a glorious piece of architecture that came from our higher source. I will celebrate man made elements that reflect our better selves, holding us to higher standards born out of our infinite source of creativity. To me, that is being godly, while staying connected to this world in a way that serves us all. #LoveWins

Thank you again for joining me on  this journey of art, architecture, interior design, and anything else I find worthy of sharing with you.  I really appreciate having a forum to think out loud, hopefully bringing a new perspective to things. Besides, beautiful things never go out of style.

FIDM Museum & Galleries Emmy Nominated Costumes 2016

FIDM Museum, Scream Queens, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Scream Queens, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum, Defiance, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Defiance, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM, Marvel: Agent Carter, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Marvel: Agent Carter, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Game of Thrones, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum, Outlander, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Outlander, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum, Vinyl, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Vinyl, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum, Jane the Virgin, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Jane the Virgin, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum, American Horror Story, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, American Horror Story, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Empire, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Empire, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries , Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Photo Romi Cortier

FIDM Museum & Galleries recently hosted their 10th annual “Art of Television Costume Design” opening reception. The kick off event was to  celebrate the Emmy nominated Costume Designers of 2016, with over 100 costumes from 23 television shows in a variety of genres.

I have to admit that I’d heard of FIDM for years, but had never actually been to their college in downtown Los Angeles. Fortunately a  longtime client of salon manicurist Lisa Preciado happens to head up this annual event. Therefore, she graciously extended an invitation to me when I heard them discussing the upcoming event. Having recently seen LACMA’s Reigning Men exhibit, I was more than intrigued about the possibility of seeing costumes from some of my favorite tv shows. The evening was so exciting and certainly didn’t disappoint. And if you’ve never seen an actual Emmy statue in person, this is your chance.

FIDM Museum & Galleries, Emmy Statue, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Emmy Statue, Photo Romi Cortier

This current exhibit is free to the public, and will be on display until October 15, 2016. Gallery hours are from 10am – 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday.  Location: 919 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90015.

Learn more about FIDM  HERE, or sign up for future events.

After seeing the costumes in person, it will make it that much more exciting to watch the Emmy’s live on September 18, 2016.

FIDM Museum & Galleries, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM Museum & Galleries, Photo Romi Cortier
FIDM event: Lori, Mathew Hancock, Lisa Preciado, Romi Cortier
FIDM event: Lori, Mathew Hancock, Lisa Preciado, Romi Cortier

Neoclassical Paneled Room @ The Getty Center

Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Paneled Room Detail, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room Detail, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier
Neoclassical Paneled Room, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Photo Romi Cortier

I love this French Neoclassical Paneled Room at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. It’s so rich in neoclassical details from the Louis  XVI (16th) period. Chairs with thin fluted legs, decorative items with garlands, swags, palmettes, and flowers,  and a return to simplicity in shapes, such as the rectangular and circular motifs in the doors. Yes, there’s a lot going on here compared to todays much simpler rooms, but the attention to detail and the subtle gilded ornamentation helps the viewer experience the refined joy of this period.

The end of the Louis Louis’s, as my art history teacher used to say, was the lightest and leanest of the three periods. You can see by these delicate and symmetrical details how pleasant this room must have been to live in during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. The heavy Baroque and Rococo period gave way to these refined details thanks in part to Louis XV’s (15th)  mistress Madame de Pompadour. Additionally, the discovery of Roman ruins at Herculaneum and Pompeii (1738-50) helped to turn the tide on the previously decadent and ostentatious period, with a return to the classicism of Greece and Rome. Note the grecian inspired women on the doorknob mechanism and the stunning wall mounted candelabra.

Visiting this room makes me feel as if I’m back in Paris visiting any number of my favorite places… I love to linger here and soak it up whenever I visit the Getty. It’ll have to hold me over until I can plan my next visit back to the mothership.

This salon, or main reception room, is from a residence in Paris called the Maison Hosten. It was built for Jean-Baptiste Hosten, a plantation owner from Santo Domingo. He Commissioned the architect Claude-Nicolar Ledoux to design his residence as the focus of a larger house complex that was to include fourteen other surrounding town houses. The Maison Hosten and six of the others were completed by 1795, when building stopped after Hosten fled the country during the French Revolution. The whole project was dismantled at the end of the 1800s. The complex is considered to have been among the most significant works of French domestic architecture by one of the leading architects of the 1700s. (per the Getty Center placard)

Getty Center

 

Reigning Men @ LACMA

Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier, Right: Suit, Italy, c. 1770
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier Right: Naval Uniform Ensemble, England, c. 1820
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier, Court Suit, France, 1785 – 90
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier. Left: Court Coat and Vest, Italy, c 1800
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier, Suit, England, c. 1780
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier, Riding Coat and Breeches, England or France, 1780 -90
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier
Reigning Men, LACMA 2016, Photo Romi Cortier, Coat, France, c 1800

It’s Reigning Men at LACMA!  And no I’m not talking about the Weathers Girls song from 1983, but reigning…  as in occupying the throne like a King.

With over 300 years of regal wear, it would be hard not to find something to love at this exhibition. I’ve chosen my faves which represent the more genteel of garments from France,  England and Italy. However, this show also features everything from a 1952  ‘Aloha Shirt’ to a 2014 Tom Ford Silk Dinner Jacket, to a 1970 Unisex Caftan.

One of the stunning things I truly loved about the exhibit were the meticulously crafted wigs by milliner Deborah Ambrosino. It took her two years to create them, with the help of assistant curator Clarissa Esguerra who did the research. The white wigs are correct for each specific period, without being a distraction to the final presentation of the garment.

When it came to the 131 mannequins required for these three centuries of mens garments, costume and textile specialist Melinda Webber Kerstein took 28 months to laboriously create the proper mens silhouettes from 5 basic mannequins. Over 40 mannequins were cut down and re-sculpted to fit the extant garments. Over 275 yards of batting and 400 yards of tulle were used to pad out the mannequins and mounts in the show, as well as 300 pairs of queen size control-top panty hose.

This exhibit runs until August 21, 2016 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Click HERE for more info on the show, and click HERE to read more about what it took to bring these Reigning Men to life.

Oh, and in case you have no clue about the Weathers Girls, you can watch their iconic 80’s video below.

Cheers!

 

Colorgasm at Chihuly Garden and Glass

Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier
Mille Fiori, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Photo Romi Cortier

There’s so much to Love at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, including this massive installation titled Mille Fiori. I was so taken back by this remarkable work of art, that I’ve chosen to do an entire blog post dedicated to this one room of blown glass.

Mille Fiori, Italian for a thousand flowers, is only one of eight interior galleries, as well as multiple exterior gardens that include blown glass objects on this 1.5 acre plot in the heart of Seattle. The pieces above look quite stunning in the absence of daylight, beautifully lit to expose the saturated quality of the glass, as well as their sinewy and amorphous shapes.  Being in this room makes me  feel like I’m standing on the ocean floor a thousand feet below the waters surface,  watching molten lava emerge from the earth as it forms colorful new worlds.

Situated at the foot of the Seattle Space Needle, this extraordinary museum offers both visitors and locals a glimpse into the mind of probably thee most famous artist to ever come out of Tacoma Washington.   As you may know, Chihuly has created notable installations around the globe such as: Chihuly over Venice, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem, Chihuly at the V&A,  and Dale Chihuly objets de vere, at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Palais du Louvre.  This particular museum opened in 2012 and received LEED Silver certification due to the ‘repurposing’ of the existing building for the Exhibition Hall. I’d been hearing about this space for several years and am delighted that I can now cross it off my ‘to do’ list. That said, I have no doubt that I’ll be returning again and again with family members and friends to share the joy of this important space dedicated to one of Seattle’s own.

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum info here