Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rex's Brother Jake and the Art of the American West

Rex's brother, Jake, is quite an unusual guy. After living in the city of Chicago for almost forty years, he and his wife, Connie, decided to retire to Fifty Miles from Anywhere, New Mexico. Last April on the girls' spring break, Rex and Grammy and the girls and I flew out to Albuquerque and drove a couple of hours to visit Jake and Connie in the beautiful house they built on 80 acres. He took us on a tour of the ruins pictured at the top of this post and regaled all of us with the culture that could be found in his "neighborhood" (if you included another two hour drive to Santa Fe)

Jake appreciates architecture, and he appreciates art. Jake and Connie like to travel, and Jake creates amazing photojournals to document their travel. Just after they moved out to New Mexico, Jake and Connie had driven down to Texas and spent several weeks touring the best of the art and architecture in the region, including the Stark Museum of Art (photo above) in Orange, Texas. Jake liked the way the Stark Museum of Art explores the art of the American West.

The Stark Museum of Art began as a vision of H.J. Lutcher Stark and his mother, Miriam Lutcher Stark, who was an enthusiastic collector of art, furniture, and decorative items from around the world. Lutcher Stark developed a similar passion for collecting, with a particular interest in nature and art depicting the American West. Both Miriam and Lutcher Stark shared the desire that one day a museum in Orange, Texas, would display the works of art they had collected over the years. Inspired by their shared passion, Lutcher and his wife Nelda founded the Stark Foundation in 1961 to enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas through education and the arts. After Lutcher Stark’s death in 1965, the Stark Foundation, under Nelda C. Stark’s direction, built the Stark Museum of Art, which opened on November 29, 1978, and continues to acquire new works of art today.

The Texas trip photojournal that Jake shared with us during our visit included his take on the Stark Museum's collections of Western Art, American Indian Art, Decorative Arts, and Rare Books and Manuscripts. According to Jake, the Stark Museum's Western Art collection conveys the artistic interpretation of the western region over two centuries; their American Indian collection consists of objects created by members of the tribes of the Great Plains, Southwest, Eastern Woodlands and Northwest Coast; and the Decorative Arts collection features glass and porcelain, including numerous items by Steuben Glass.

I hope I didn't get any of the details confused, or when I see my brother-in-law at our family reunion this August at our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey, I'll surely be in for an earful.


Mariuca said...

Hi Roxy, thanks for the pics, it's always nice to see pictures from faraway places! :)

Also here to vote for u dearie! Good luck! ;)

Sass said...

HI Roxy, I never heard about Anywhere, New Mexico... but it appears an interesting place based on the photos you provided.

louisville chick said...

Wow, these pictures are great. I hate to say that I am an east coast girl and rarely make it over to the western side of the states. Thanks for sharing beautiful photos of what it looks like.

Wally Banners said...

Nice pics of the sticks. Your a grand woman Roxie and Rex is what is name means. a king among Men:) You got my vote lil Queen of Jersey!

LadyJava said...

And we're here to vote again!!! Zroom.. oh i have another battle on as well.. let's see if I can win three in a row..lolzz!!