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The CAT (the A is for Art)

THE CAT (THE A IS FOR ART): Two weeks ago, a group of us visited the CAT Museum in Shoreview, Minnesota. When I was first invited, I hesitated to accept because I really am not a cat lover. Well, not enough to go to a cat museum! Then I discovered that CAT stood for “The Cafesjian Art Trust which was established by the family of Gerard Cafesjian to share his collection of Contemporary and Modern art with the public” (from

What a treasure trove! Before entering the main gallery, we waited for our guide near the library and were amazed by the exhibit of the intricate work of Paul J. Stankard’s glass encasements. At first glance, they look like ordinary paperweights, but they are actually mini dioramas of flowers and insects all made out of glass! It was hard to fathom how Stankard accomplished these complex glass scenes. Here are photos of one work showing the top and also the human face on its underside:






After an introduction by our guide who explained that the CAT had 3,500 pieces of art in its collection, and that we would be viewing their current exhibit, Fooling the Eye: Optics of Vasarely and Kuhn, we entered the main gallery.Victor Vasarely (Hungarian, 1908-1997) really did fool our eyes! Whether we stood in front of his work or to the side, the paintings looked like they were either coming in or out of the walls:







The glass art of Jon Kuhn (American, born 1949) was phenomenal. Why did that fool our eyes? Well, it had to do with depth perception. I could look at his works from the top, the sides, almost from the bottom, and I couldn’t tell exactly where the middle of the work was if it had a central focus, and if it didn’t have a central focus, it was a shape changer when viewed from various angles.

The guide asked us what piece of work we would take home IF we could. I chose one of Kuhn’s:We ended our day in the Pergola Room and stared in awe at the ceiling which was a collection of blown glass by Dale Chihuly (American, born 1941):The museum is free, but you have to make reservations. I’ve mentioned only a few of the artworks in this exhibit. If you have the chance, don’t miss an opportunity to see the rest. What a memorable day!


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