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What To See In An Hour

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SHOWN ABOVE: Frederick Childe Hassam, At the Florist, oil on canvas, 1889. Click image to enlarge.

The beauty of free admission every day is that you don't have to see everything in one visit. With that in mind, we surveyed our Gallery Hosts (the helpful people wearing pale blue) for tips on how to maximize even the most brief of visits. Here's how they answered a simple question: "I've only got an hour. What should I see?"

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS IN BRIEF

Looking for something for your children? Our exhibition on Smokey Bear is adorable.

Looking for something that breaks all the rules of something you'd see in a normal art museum? Worn to Be Wild is an exhibition of black leather jackets that rangers from outlaw bikers and military fliers to punk rockers and fashion models.

More artistically inclined? For those who appreciate classic Romanticism, there's Thomas Cole's Voyage of Life.

Modern art more your style? Check out Fractured Lens, an exhibition of Cubists such as Picasso and Braque.

Fan of glass art? We have the stunning work of the husband and wife duo Libensky and Brychtova.

Photography buff? We're reprising an early '70s landmark: Larry Clark: Tulsa.

If you are here with children, start in our first-floor Ancient Worlds area. The youngsters will be familiar with Egyptian mummies and ancient Greece and Rome from school, and little kids find all the faces in the Meso-American galleries quite appealing. There's also a create-your-own art station for kids right down the hall from these first-floor galleries.

Our survey of Gallery Hosts also found recommendations for the Nick Cave Soundsuit, since it includes dozens of toys, and John Miller's glass-art cheeseburger and fries, both of which are upstairs in the Modern and Contemporary Art section.

Even if you're not here with children, half the Gallery Hosts still said to start in Ancient Worlds. Of particular interest here are two statues from the collection of Vincenzo Giustiniani, and the story of their restoration is detailed on our YouTube channel.

An overwhelming favorite in terms of what to see in an hour was our glass art collection, and not just the newly refurbished first-floor wing.

Luke Jerram's Chrysler Chandelier, which dazzles in the spiral staircase linking the modern and the children galleries, was a popular suggestion, as was the Baccarat candelabrum in Gallery 216.

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Said one Gallery Host: "Our glass collection is one of the three best in the country. Our Tiffany collection is one of the two best."

In terms of specific quotes from our survey, Gallery Hosts suggested:

  • Gallery 212. "With The Old Mill by Cropsey, and the works by Bierstadt, you have two of the finest landscape painters in American history."
  • "Glass, Ancient Worlds, and the sarcophagus. It's all on the first floor and easily accessible, and you have faces, sculptures, paintings—a little bit of everything in one area."
  • "I'm a Francophile, so the candelabrum upstairs, the Impressionists, and the Art Nouveau furniture. I'm a second-floor kind of girl."
  • "I'd tell them the Impressionists upstairs and the Baroque painters on the other side of the upstairs." The Baroque galleries includes works by Rubens and Van Dyck.
  • "If somebody asked me what to see in an hour, I'd ask them what kind of art they like. A lot of people find modern art difficult, so I don't recommend it first. People who like it, love it, but I hear people saying 'Why is that here?' or 'I could do that.' The Pop Art is pretty accessible, but with the other stuff you hear people say they don't get it."

When asked to suggest one specific work:

  • "The Gauguin would be my No. 1, but it wouldn't be most people's No. 1"
  • "It would have to be The Lunatic or The Neophyte."
  • "The Boncoris are a real detective story, kept apart for so long. They are a good versus evil story, and a good story about conservation."

Shown below is a small sampling of staff favorites. For a curators' view of our most significant works, see our Collection Highlights section. And be sure to enjoy your visit to the Chrysler Museum of Art.