TIMKEN MUSUEM OF ART
The Timken Museum of Art has its roots in the coincidental San Diego Relationship between two sisters, the Misses Anne R. and Amy Putnam, members of the Timken family of the Timken roller bearing treasure, and a local attorney, Walter Ames. The affluent Putnam sisters arrived in San Diego in the early 1900s from Vermont, accompanied by their elderly parents and preceded by a millionaire uncle, Henry Putnam.
The two sisters never were married, spent decades obtaining Old Masters. Initial paintings were donated to San Diegos Fine Arts Gallery. Later, the sisters acquisitions remained in their possession and were loaned to prestigious institutions around the country. Next, attorney Walter Ames appears on the scene in 1950, helping the Putnam sisters establish the nonprofit Putnam Foundation, and later securing the financial support of the of the Timken family to build the TIMKEN ART GALLERY which is now known as the TIMKEN MUSEUM OF ART. In 1965 the Putnams commodious art collection came back home and was hung in its permanent quarters on the Prado in Balboa Park, and the Timken officially opened on October 1 of that year.
Today, the Timken collection is comprised of 126 works of art, predominantly paintings augmented by small holdings in sculpture and embellished art objects. The works consist of three distinct collections: European Masters, Russian Icons and American Artists. Each collection boasts unique and priceless representations of the specific genre. In the European Masters collection, Rembrandts Saint Bartholomew is the only painting by that Dutch artist on display at any museum in San Diego!
First, let us take a look at the famous painting, Our Lady Of Jerusalem. It is a seventeenth century panel painting of tempera and gold on wood. The colors are of dark shades and very little background. I like how the Virgins head is highlighted with a darker shade of gold than the background. The gold leaf has been burnished and tooled with punched designs in the halo of the Virgin, the decorative pastiglia in the corner, and the flat of the panel along the arch above the Virgin. The final layers of paint have been applied. The blouse of the Virgin shows the scraffito, scraping away of the paint layer to reveal burnished gold below, design and punching. The hems of the Virgin’s robe and the cushions on the floor are incisive gilded. Also I like how in a restrained and graceful gesture, the Virgin inclines her head toward Christ seated on her arm.
Secondly, we have the Portrait of a Lady in a Green Dress. An oil on oak panel about 1530, by Bartolomeo Veneto. Bartolomeo was a northern Italian painter, a native of Venice, who specialized in portraits of extravagantly dressed figures, particularly women. The artist signed many of his works and in this panel his signature appears on the cartellino attached to the heavy ruby-colored curtain. I noticed that the sitter is wearing a hawking glove on her right hand, although European falconers traditionally carried their hawks on the left hand. Perhaps the sitter was left-handed. I especially like the dark background with minute light. This draws most of your attention to the light shading of the face and neck. The detailed lines of the dress and the shoulders of the dress are remarkable. Also there is immense use of texture and pattern for the dress.
Thirdly, I enjoyed the painting called, Lovers in a park by Francois Boucher. It is a sixteenth century oil canvas. Francois Boucher is the most successful painter of his time. This painting is elegant and decorative. I like the blue sky shading in the background. He also has a little foreground including the enumerated trees. The attention span was the way he made the ruins fanciful and nice to look at. The expressions on the figures faces were soft and pleasant.
Last, I enjoyed the eighteenth century oil canvas called the Fall Landscape by Jasper Cropsey. Cropseys native artistic abilities were quickly recognized by his employers and he was encouraged to work in watercolors and oils. He completed his course of study and by 1843 was a practicing architect and artist. I particularly like landscapes that portray nature. This is my favorite. I like the soft glorious and brilliant colors of the trees. I enjoy how the sunlight slightly beams its way through the clouds and brightly shines on the water. He has shown background and foreground in the painting. There is also use of lines for the trees and pointing shapes for the mountains.