Flora in Winter

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Flora in Winter, Worcester Art Museum

Worcester Art Museum is offering a terrific event this February. Flora in Winter is a program for which for chosen pieces a florist designs an arrangement inspired by the painting, sculpture or other piece.

The added flowers uplift museum goers who’re no doubt tired of the gray cold of New England or elsewhere.

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Worcester Art Museum has a wonderful collection with pieces from all over the world and from ancient to modern times.

Shanghai Art Museum

I visited the Shanghai Art Museum in December. The day I went only one exhibit was open, but since the museum is free, I went in. I liked paintings by Peng Cainian, though I’d say these seemed more like “living room art” than like fine art. That’s not necessarily bad.

The exhibit’s introduction noted that when China first opened up, painters blindly leapt on Western art techniques. Cainian took a more thoughtful, meditative, careful approach. Cainian favors quiet aestetics and now focuses on ancient Chinese art in his work. I did like these paintings of ancient artifacts and landscapes and I don’t always want to see art that’s political or cutting edge.

From the National Art Museum of China

I spent a lovely afternoon last Saturday wandering through the galleries of the National Art Museum of China. The collection consists of paintings, drawings and sculpture from the 20th and current century.

If you’re in Beijing, I recommend this museum. It’s free if you show your passport or Chinese i.d. card, and it’s not so crowded, a rarity on the weekends.