Today's post features the Monterey Museum of Art. Though technically not in Carmel, the museum is a gem on the greater Monterey Peninsula. They have 2 locations, both offering high caliber exhibitions that focus on regional art and artists. I thoroughly enjoyed both locations on 2 different occasions, with exhibits featuring top notch collections of art.
Downtown Monterey Museum of Art
Located in the heart of Old Town on Pacific Street amongst a slew of must see adobes, this branch offered a look at some of the permanent collection of photography by Edward and Brett Weston, Ansel Adams, and New York photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The top floor gallery was closed to visitors but was in the process of installing a whimsical exhibition of colorful renderings of military insignias from Fort Ord reproduced in large scale and in pastels telling the story of art in everyday life. That is something I can get behind given my vocation!
The other exhibit was a collection of stunning landscapes of the Monterey area. I was amazed at the caliber of the work and highly recommend a visit.
La Mirada Monterey Museum of Art
This second location of the museum is a former private home that was donated to the museum. Located in an old Monterey neighborhood named La Mirada, the building is a charming Mexican adobe that was remodeled into a lavish home that apparently hosted stars of the silent screen era. Intriguing! A modern addition has been added onto the rear of the building, off the charming gardens, and features the museum's special exhibitions.
The exhibits that we enjoyed here were entitled "Iconic Masterpieces of Early California" and From Dawn to Dusk: Gottardo Piazzoni’s Final Murals. Both were amazing. The landscapes were breathtaking and the murals surprised as the artist who painted them also painted the murals that once resided in the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch. They have since been moved to the DeYoung Museum when the old library was converted to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco's Civic Center. A fun fact!
The gardens that surround the La Mirada adobe include a rose garden, moss covered rock walls, borders of fern, and hidden statuary and bird houses. Charm galore! A must in any season.
I highly encourage you to visit both locations as their collections are focused on the area's artistic history yet each property is unique unto itself.