Thursday, February 13, 2014

Amaranthine Museum Baltimore, Maryland

Touring through the Amaranthine Museum is equivalent to passing through the mind of an astounding artist, and a brilliant person. The walls and halls are lined with over 200 pieces of work from artist Les Harris. A man who lived an extraordinary life. He served under General Patton during World War 2, danced onstage at the famed Metropolitan Opera House, and also studied with famed Realist painter, Charles Rain. 

Art and teaching eventually became Les' passion. He had an undesirable thirst to educate his fellow man. He first began teaching art at Albany Academy in New York. He encouraged his students to look outside of the scope. To break traditions and see "beyond the vase." His love of art and teaching eventually brought him back home to Baltimore, where he continued to pursue his own further education. Eventually receiving a Master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. He resumed teaching for several more years before retiring in 1977 to pursue his own art on a more frequent basis.

Instead of selling his art to make a profit Les kept his collection and opened his own private museum. He would show great pride in his work as he led visitors through his 2,000 square foot gallery. Visitors from all over the globe were greatly intrigued by the artist and his unusual works of art. 

Les wasn't afraid to experiment and incorporate several mediums into one piece of art, and his style ranged greatly. His works could be described as visionary, surreal, hallucinatory, contemporary, and classical. And to say you're just looking at art, would be an understatement. Passing through the halls is almost like passing through millions of years at one brief time. You may find yourself discussing the beginning of life or the creation of earth. The next minute you may be questioning humanity and the whole reason for life. Symbolism, religion, physics, astronomy, numerology, and romance can be found in every piece of art you encounter here.

The Amaranthine Museum is named after the amaranth flower, the unfading flower. While visiting be sure to check out the multiple frames Les painted. The represent a collage of various famous paintings throughout history. At first they appear to be a kaleidoscope of colors, but upon closer examination you marvel at the details and meticulous work that went into the creation. The same way the artist wants us to interpret our own worlds. As long as this labyrinth of beauty remains for the world to see, the work of Les, and art in general will never fade away.

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