Thursday, May 9, 2013

Functional Art

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.  
Henry David Thoreau

I'm not much of a shopper.  I can go weeks without buying anything other than groceries and staples.  When my husband and I travel we frequent antique shops and museums and the occasional gift shop.  This vacation was no different.  We went to a few antique shops, they were not too common along the paths we went and we went to four art museums.  We did have to go a little out of the way to get to them.

I love to browse in the gift shops at art museums!  They have some of the most unique items.  Some of them are very functional.  Here's a few of the things we found.  They will add a smile to our days as we use them.  Maybe you have seen them before but I think they are fun.  Like I said, sometimes I don't get out much.  LOL

Can you tell what it is?

This cute little helper came in a rainbow of colors, of course Mr. CPA picked black.  It came with a whole notepad of pictures of ideas of how to use it.  He plans to hang it on his rear-view mirror so he can keep up with his cell phone.  It's very bendable.

A better look

People Pyramid

 Can you tell what these guys are?  They will stack up in various configurations.  It's little people figures on a magnetic base.  What to do with it?

Personal Person Paper Clip

Aren't they cute!  Art with a purpose.

Meet Adam

This is Adam the Doodle Man.  He is resting on a reproduction art supplies tin.  

Adam says Hi!

I already had a wooden gestalt figure that I had got at IKEA (they had them in many sizes).  This one really caught my eye and I just had to bring him home.

Ready for a Nap Adam?

The inside of the tin has a small brace support and a landscape scene inside the lid.  I'm not sure what decade the original was from but it looks like something from the 40s to me.

Adam's very flexible.  I wish I could move like that!

Bondi Man and the Art Tin came from the Mass MoCa Museum  
Adam and the People Pyramid were found at the Williams College Museum of Art

Vermont Maple Syrup

We didn't make it to Vermont although we were close in Williamstown.   I did find this great bottle of syrup in Stockbridge.  Being the tree lover that I am I had to have it.

You may have noticed the batik background.  I'll share my fabric finds later.  I have a few more items from the museums' shop too.  The antique shopping is another story as is the Pottery shop.

As a quilter I feel that what I create is functional art.  I like to have things of beauty and things that tell a story or make me smile in my home.

What are your feelings about functional art?  What do you like to be surrounded by?

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  1. So clever and functional at the same time!

  2. In theory I would love to have nothing in my house that I "did not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" but unfortunately that isn't always how things work out!

    Looks like your purchases fit the bill though :)

  3. One of the things I love about quilting is knowing I'm making something lovely AND practical. Japanese office supplies are the same - artful yet oh so efficient. I really enjoy art museum gift shops too.


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