Monday, April 5, 2010

Hominid skulls at the Natural History Museum

A series of pretty quick, pretty rough sketches at the American Museum of Natural History. For some reason, the human evolution hall is almost completely unlit in many places. I could barely see the paper when I was drawing these, let alone the specimens I was trying to draw. In addition to the near-total darkness, they have some incredibly loud sound installations that are really distracting.

I love this museum, but this particular exhibition design is a total nightmare. Next time I go, I'm bringing an iPod, noise-cancelling headphones and miner's helmet.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mourners at the Met

The Met's main medieval room is playing host at the moment to a quite wonderful little army of statues, alabaster figures of mourners from the tomb of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife, Margaret of Bavaria. Their regular home, a museum in Dijon, is being renovated and they're here in New York for a few months while the work is being done.

I've already drawn the Met's own mourners - a couple of times, in fact - which are in much less prime condition than the visitors and it was very good to get a crack at some new works in the same category.

The Met's website has a page about the work, with a link to an especially tasty 3-D gallery that lets you rotate the figures onscreen for all-around viewing. There's a related show of spectacular illuminated manuscripts. This, taken with the Catherine of Cleves show at the Morgan Library, make this quite the spring for late medieval gorgeousness.