Size matters when it comes to art attractions, but the new Micro Museum in Boston wants to prove bigger isn’t always better.
While it could take days to see everything the Louvre has to offer, visitors at the Mµseum can take in all the art in a matter of seconds. It pays to be short: the three-wall gallery, located at 72 1/2 Union Square, is less than 5-feet high off the ground, and measures a mere 16 inches wide, 8 inches deep and 10 inches tall. The first exhibition is entitled “Invisible Cities” and features six tiny works of art. Museum founder Judith Klausner told Boston.com that she expects the exhibits to routinely rotate.
The museum is as much of a statement on urban development as it is an actual art installation. How many people will actually visit the micro museum to actually study and reflect on the miniscule art and how many will pause for a moment to take a quick Facebook photo and walk on? Who knows.
Micro Museum isn’t the only gallery marketing itself on its diminutive size. A suburb of Indianapolis boasts the World’s Smallest Children’s Art Gallery, featuring works from local elementary school children. You might think the Los Angeles Museum of Art would be a massive structure befitting the second-largest city in the nation. That’s true of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, but not its near-namesake, a 13-foot, hand-built structure located in the artist enclave of Eagle Rock.
“Shaping Power: Luba Masterworks from the Royal Museum for Central Africa” examines the royal art of the powerful Luba Kingdom, which from 1585-1889 dominated central Africa. Its royal lineage was highly regarded and developed an elaborate artwork to reflect its prestige.
The exhibition includes many objects loaned by the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium, like this mask of a legendary hero. Many of the items depict women. While they didn’t rule, they were considered the spiritual guardians of the kingship and the creators of life. A Luba proverb says, “Men are chiefs in the daytime, but women are chiefs at night.” Among the works of art are masks, headrests, sceptres, thrones and cups.
The new Africa gallery is located next to the Egyptian gallery to highlight the influences the two regions had on one another. In addition to special exhibitions, the gallery will also host the museum’s permanent collection.
“Shaping Power: Luba Masterworks from the Royal Museum for Central Africa” runs until January 5, 2014.
One of the more interesting sites of the modern world meeting up with the prehistoric one that I’ve ever seen is in the section of Los Angeles where the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits are within walking distance of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and high rise buildings. The prehistoric dates back to 40,000 years according to the oldest bone fragment found in the pits.
Recently, the La Brea Tar Pits have shown up on the radar screen of interesting facts. If you’ve ever been there, you’ve seen the black tar bubble and perhaps thought about the animals trapped here before the last Ice Age. Bones of 600 animals have been recovered and are on display in at the Page Museum La Brea Tar Pits at the site. Dire wolfs, saber-toothed cats, Shasta ground sloths, a Columbian mammoth and an American mastodon are part of the bounty. The reason why there are so many? Think food chain. One sloth gets stuck and along comes a dire wolf to get dinner. Then comes the saber-tooth and so on.
Turns out the bubbling is caused by bacteria and not oil production that was thought to be happening 1,000 feet below the sticky, black goo. The bacteria feeds on the petroleum of this natural asphalt at the site and burp methane gas.