Friday, December 5, 2014

The Songs of the Fifty States: Utah

(What is "The Songs of the Fifty States"?)

After the Rush Hour, by Utah artist Richard J. Van Wagoner


Size: 219,887 km2 (13th)

2013 Population: 2,900,872 (33rd)

Statehood: 1896 (45th).

American Human Development Index: 5.03 (22nd)

Art Mecca: There is really only one serious art museum in town: the Utah Museum of Fine Art, or UMFA.  It's fun to say "oom-pha."  This is a museum dear to my heart, because a trip there way back in 2007 kicked off the custom of me and Mrs.5000 building visits to the local art museums into our travels. That visit also provoked the first mention of fine arts on this here weblog.

UMFA is housed at the University of Utah, and was only given limited institutional autonomy by the state legislature in 2005.  As you would expect, it doesn't have the kind of collection that is chockablock with A-list paintings.  In the online description of its holdings it fails to drop any big names, a sure sign that it doesn't have many big names to drop.  Instead, the website indulges in ambiguity:
It is Utah's only visual arts institution that collects, exhibits, interprets, and preserves a comprehensive collection of over 5,000 years of art from around the world.
And a few paragraphs later:
As Utah's flagship art museum, the UMFA collects, exhibits, interprets, and preserves a comprehensive collection of more than 19,000 original art objects from around the world.
I interpret these sentences together to mean "We're kind of small, and we're a little insecure about it."  But that's OK!  UMFA is cool!  I highly recommend a visit to anyone looking to break up a trip through the barren wastes and scenic grandeur of the American West!  (Go to the Salt Lake City downtown library, too.  It's kind of amazing.)

Michael 5000's Utah

First Visited: August 14, 1991 (9th)
Most Recently Visited: December 1, 2014 (3rd)

First Run In: December 1, 2014 (20th)
Best Run: 2.39 miles (December 1, 2014)

Have Admired the Visual Arts In: Yes.
Have Geohashed In: Yes.
Have Slept Overnight In: Yes.

Counties Visited: 22/29 (21st)
% Complete: 75.9% (13th)

Mrs. 5000's Counties Visited: 21/29 (16th (tie))
% Complete: 72.4% (11th)
Mrs.5000 First Visited: Unknown
Mrs.5000 Most Recently Visited: December 1, 2014

Atlas of All Roads Traveled

Plans and Aspirations

Utah is literally just the other end of Interstate 84.  We'll always be back sometime.


mrs.5000 said...

Hmmm, I see an enticing chunk of missing counties in both our maps. We would be rewarded for avoiding both natural splendor and urban amenities!

Dug said...

Maybe the artist is from Utah, but that picture doesn't look like any part of Utah I've ever seen.

Michael5000 said...

I wondered about that too, Dug. I-15 through the Salt Lake Corridor is pretty hopping, but since it runs along a big ol' lake, not a river, I don't recall any lateral bridges.

Seven quatloos to the reader who can find a plausible real-world location for this painting!