Oh my goodness! I stepped into the newly renovated Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park today and my mouth dropped open. The first thing I noticed: all that brightly shining brass!
Had I stepped into a golden palace?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the Timken was closed to the public, not only was a new high tech air filtration added to the museum, but works of art were rearranged, gallery walls painted a pleasant slightly bluish off white (which works perfectly with the many painted masterpieces in gold frames), and all of the building’s brasswork was polished. I’m talking lots and lots of ornate brass, both inside the museum and out!
The building is now more light-filled and elegant than ever, but also less stodgy, more inviting. And it’s still free to view some of the very finest paintings on display in San Diego, including our city’s only Rembrandt.
I learned those two tapestries that used to hang in the central lobby were removed to preserve them, and that the Mercury sculpture has been moved into the outside garden. It’s visible in one my photographs.
The museum’s huge windows not only invite in ample light, beauty and life from the outside world, but the collection now extends itself into that outer world, as well!
I noticed two pieces recently added to the Timken’s world-class collection are now on display, including the fantastic Salomé, considered the most famous painting of artist Ella Ferris Pell.
You might enjoy reading something I posted four years ago, after an architectural tour of the Timken’s remarkable building. The sleek building is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of mid-century Southern California Modernism and the International Style in the nation. You can find that blog and see those photos by clicking here.
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