As the year comes to a close I thought it might be nice to find out what some of the docent’s favorite works in the museum are. As you probably know, we have an eclectic bunch of works on display in our galleries from prehistoric objects to African masks to Renaissance works to modern paintings and sculptures; everyone has their own personal favorite(s)!


“Chandelle”, Norman Bluhm, 1960s

My favorite work is Norman Bluhm’s Abstract Expressionist painting Chandelle. I fall in love with it every time I see it! Abstract Expressionism was a very personal type of art and Bluhm used the style to express his feelings on the war. Bluhm was a bomber pilot during WWII so his composition actually reflects the aerial maneuver of the same title. It just seems all too easy for someone to look at a painting like Chandelle and see nothing more than paint thrown on a canvas, but when you learn a little about the artist and find out why the art was made, you can gain a whole new perspective.

Docent and former German professor at Ball State, Sigi Koehler shares similar thoughts on Abstract Expressionism. Her favorites in Lee Krasner’s Right Bird Left, Alfred Leslie’s Pythoness, and Chandelle. Sigi says, “To me, these paintings are great examples of showing how Abstract Arts uses the elements and principles of design to express the techniques, emotions and intentions of the artists.” I agree.


“Right Bird Left”, Lee Krasner, 1965


“Pythoness”, Alfred Leslie, 1959


“Joan of Arc”, Anna Hyatt Huntington, 1915

Mae Dickinson’s favorite work of art is of a completely different style and medium, Joan of Arc by Anna Hyatt Huntington. She really enjoys this beautiful bronze sculpture because “…it speaks to the feminist nature. It is an imperative to have works that show woman in a role of strength rather than a submissive delicate ornament that dominated the arts for so long. ”Too bad her favorite work is currently in storage. If you agree with Mae, check out my blog post about the Guerrilla Girls here. Maybe DOMA should put on a feminist or all female exhibit? Thoughts?


“Rest by the Wayside”, William Merritt Chase, 1899

One of Vinny Pucciarelli’s favorites is William Merritt Chase’s Rest by the Wayside. This painting reminds him of when he used to live on and visit the beaches of Long Island. “I can connect with his view and identify totally with the landscape and summer sensations. In my mind I do replace the hobo with a beach goer enjoying the warmth and gentle breezes coming off the ocean just over the horizon. You can almost hear the waves breaking at the surf line.”


“Leaving the Port of Le Havre”, Louis Boudin, 1833

Suzanne Walker’s favorite is also one that offers a very calming feeling. Suzanne especially loves Louis Eugène Boudin’s Leaving the Port of LeHavre. She says, “. I love the beautiful multicolored waves and sky in this magnificent seascape. I can feel the misty salt air and the movement of the waves as the rowers struggle to reach the ships.”

If you like these calming images, definitely stop by and ponder them. Or you can participate in Meditation at the Museum which typically takes place Fridays at 3:30.