Perhaps most interesting to me in museums are the little discoveries. A tiny signature in the middle of a painting, or the most beautifully hand carved bead, or sometimes the most delicate of brushstrokes that come together to form something you've only ever seen in pictures. It never ceases to amaze me how humans in every era and every generation have found a way to express themselves and create little pieces left behind to let us know they were around.
Though we only saw approximately half of the de Young in 2 hours, I'm tentative to go back. There's so much variance in the galleries that my mind, feeble as it must be, is unable to deal with. I know of course that I will be back, because sometimes a quiet museum is something I need.
I may have hinted to it earlier but my favorite thing to photograph in museums is the artist signature. Often, there aren't any at all (this was the case in one of my favorite pieces) but when there are you can learn a lot about the artist. Some signatures are lightly scrawled, and others are done in opulent brushstroke. Anyone's personality is evident in their signature, I've found. So, here are three of my favorites, and a little peek at a my personal love without a Hancock.
In order they are, Mother and Child, John Henry Twachtman, 1893 // Tulip Culture, George Hitchcock, 1889 // The Blue Veil, Edmund C. Tarbell, 1898 // The Sonata, Irving Ramsey Wiles, 1889.
P.S. Check out those ornate frames. Almost more grandiose than the paintings?