"Surpassing attendance expectations, M.C. Escher: Impossible Realities has drawn record crowds to the Akron Art Museum. As the last of only two venues in the United States to show this once-in-a-lifetime loan from Athens, Greece, Impossible Realities drew visitors from across the country. Escher fans came from as far away as Alaska, California and Washington, with most of the out-of-state visitors hailing from Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Illinois.
Because of its overwhelming popularity, the museum, in an unprecedented move, is extending the exhibition’s closing date. Visitors now have until Sunday, June 5, 2011to examine first-hand the masterworks of Maurits Cornelis Escher before the collection returns to Greece."
We saw this fantastic show on our trip to Cleveland. Due to bad weather and some kind of camera screw up I don't have any exterior shots of the great new museum building--which to a large extent is the main reason we dropped in.
I also thought the Escher show would be great and had some idea the museum's overall collection was worth a look. In total everything was way better than expected.
Escher, is an artist I love but since his primary work is geared towards graphic reproduction, I felt that seeing things in person might be redundant. One can see all this in a book. To some extent this is true. Even so, the show includes some more obscure works you may not know, examples of his process like some 3 D models, cancelled Lithography stones and many working drawings. They also made several large scale models of his impossible architectural constructions that were even more trippy when brought to life. The feeling of stepping into someones head and being surrounded and immersed in their world makes it worth seeing the prints in person.
An even bigger treat was the permanent collection which is heavily tilted towards contemporary art and worthy of a whole other post.
I do wonder exactly why the museum didn't think the show would be that popular. Escher is a huge cult figure, one of the few who's work attracts and influences people who normally pay no attention to art.