Friday, March 29, 2013
Friday was another travel day, like Thursday. We got up early enough to get on the road and head to Dallas area with time to spare when we got there to look at one of the Ft Worth Art Galleries (Kimball), which was having an exhibition of Bernini’s clay models.
The scenery hadn’t changed. It started out with farm land all around, but after awhile, the scrub brush (like California) appeared (juniper tree variety), and seemed to follow on one side or another all the way into Dallas/Ft Worth. The towns kept coming one after another about every 8 to 10 miles. The road we were on, however, maintained its dual highway status, so the speed limit got up to 75 for the most part. The definition of ‘freeway’ in Texas (and OK, and even in AR) seems to be a little different from what I’m used to in CA and MI. I’m used to freeway meaning a limited access road, but the roads in TX with the 70 or 75 MPH limits were not limited in access. There were crossing roads, entrances directly from driveways, entrances and exits that cross lanes of opposing traffic. (OK, when they cross the opposing traffic, that traffic has a “yield” sign.)
We got to our hotel in Arlington, looked at what was available to do, and found that the Kimball Museum in Ft Worth, with the Bernini exhibit, was open until 8:00 in the evening. We decided to try to find a good steak ahead of going over, as it was about 4:30. So, over to Ft Worth we went. The TripAdvisor website indicated that the best steak was at Del Frisco’s, so there is where we went. What we didn’t know was that this is a gourmet place; but that was all right – we wanted a good Texas steak. Gwen got the Filet Mignon, and I got Osso Buco; a good choice, but not as good as the Filet! We got in because we were there before they really opened (at 5:00), and were able to get out of there before 5:45, enabling us to get to the exhibition at about 6:00.
We went into the museum, and I don’t know what Gwen expected, but I was surprised at what we saw. Bernini was a great 17th century Italian sculptor, and was responsible for much of the fountain sculptures in Rome. It is of course not possible for the exhibit to bring over the finished products, so they did the next best thing – showing the clay models still extant made by Bernini to show his customers what he was planning, and in their refined form, to be used by the sculptors who worked for him to help him translate design into the finished marble product. The final model, no larger than three feet tall, was measured and expanded to generate the larger than life statues and collections of statues that ended up all over Rome, including St Peter’s, as well as the public fountains. The exhibit was very well done, enabling me to learn a lot in a short time about the models, the approach Bernini used (he used clay, as well as drawings by the hundreds to develop his ideas, something not all other sculptors do), and to show the unsuccessful ideas as well as the successful ones.
In addition to the tour of this exhibit, we took a brief tour of the other elements of the Kimball’s collection on display, and then came back to the hotel. We agreed that the Kimball is a great boutique collection.