Saturday, January 7, 2017

Art and geography quiz

Quick: Chicago, DC, Queenstown and Hawaii - what's the connection? Clue: it's arty. And it's unfair to expect you to understand the Hawaii link. No? Gothic? Yeah, some of you are getting there, aren't you? Someone saying Grant Wood? Well done! Of course, being able to see the photos below may have been just a bit of a giveaway.

The famous 1930 American Gothic painting by Wood hangs, like Nighthawks, above, in the Art Institute of Chicago, which is where I saw it first, and where (so far as I'm aware) it has always hung. So, when I was watching a while ago a rerun of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian with Ben Stiller (purely because I'd been to the museum recently) and spotted the painting in the background of one shot, I knew that it was an error.

Then, when I was in Queenstown last February, on the wall up at the Skyline on top of Bob's Peak, I came across the painting again. Not the original, natch - this one was composed of 20,000 gourmet jelly beans in 32 colours. Apparently it took 130 hours to compose. I wonder how that compares with the original? And how many beans were eaten during the process? (And whether the artist has been able to touch one again since...)

Finally, on my recent UnCruise through four Hawaiian islands, there was a very pleasant couple on board who (minus the shades and the shaka salute) straight away put me in mind of the painting again. I didn't mention it, though. Should I have?


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