I'll never forget seeing this cartoon of the Mona Lisa for the first time at the Hyde Collection. The Hyde is full of masterpieces but turning a corner and coming inches from this full-size drawing in a narrow hall... I hadn't expected it.
The Hyde is a small house museum like the Gardener and the Barnes - I think the Hydes were actually inspired to think about making their home public after a visit to the Gardener - but much further off the beaten track way up in Glens Falls, NY.
On my visit last week they had out at least one piece each by Rubens, Ingres (I think there were three out), Tintoretto, Homer, Hassam, Eakins, Renoir, Bierstadt, Courbet, Pisarro, Picasso, Whistler, Rembrandt, Vedder, Ryder, El Greco, Seurat, Ruisdael,Tiepolo, Bellows and more. The Da Vinci is not currently on display but the small Botticelli is sitting on the same table as last time. You would not believe how close you can get to these works, it really does feel like you are in someone's home. This is a stately home but small and intimate by the standards of many of today's new homes. My favorites this time were the Ingres linked to above and this little piece by John Frederick Peto - that mug is much crustier and clumpier in real life. Or maybe my favorite was Rubens' Man in Armor or Cranach the Elder's St. Helena with the True Cross, on loan from another museum in exchange for yet another Rubens. Too Much!!!
More on the Hyde tomorrow.
FYI - the Hyde is the last of the three museums I visited last week. The other two were North Adams MA's Mass Moca and Saratoga NY's Tang. If you are in the area I also recommend a visit to Williamstown MA's Clark Art Institute and Bennington VT's Bennington Museum (for it's great Grandma Moses collection).