Dec. 17, 2008 A few weeks ago, we dropped in at the Bob Timberlake art gallery in Lexington, North Carolina. My wife fostered my original interest in Timberlake’s art. Then, while we were living in Wilmington, the St. John s Museum of Art (since replaced by the Cameron Art Museum) had a wonderful exhibit featuring the works of Timberlake and Andrew Wyeth. Timberlake’s subject matter dovetailed closely with many of my own interests; snow covered barns, historical scenes, seascapes and mountain ranges. Most importantly, I love wooden boats, and many of Timberlake’s subjects are wood boats.
I wasn’t sure whether my Sony A350 would be welcome at the gallery, since many similar establishments have a “no cameras” policy. Thankfully, the staff at the Lexington gallery gave me permission to shoot, as long as I didn’t photograph the artwork directly. The huge hexagonal building is filled to the rafters (literally!) with interesting stuff…artwork, antiques and memorabilia. It would be a wonderful place to play “I Spy,” because there is a jumble of things everywhere you look.
That doesn’t mean the gallery is unattractive. The interior is light and airy and the items on display are attractively arranged. There is a whole lot of stuff, but the gallery is not cluttered by any means. The modern building itself is lovely, with a large well-lit atrium, dominated by a huge stone chimney.
The highlight, other than the artwork, is the fully rigged, antique sailing canoe suspended in the main gallery. It has gorgeous lines, and it was the main reason I wanted to tote the A350 into the gallery. Although the sailing canoe is the centerpiece, there are several other wooden boats and canoes inside.
Although there are many fascinating antiques, these aren’t offered for sale. The old guns, farm equipment, fishing gear and beach flotsam are simply backdrops for the artwork, furniture and clothing.
Yes furniture and clothing. While Timberlake is best known for his art (with good reason) he has branched into designing furniture, luggage and clothing. Naturally, almost everything in the Timberlake catalog is on display at the gallery.
Because I didn’t want to use flash inside the gallery, I shot everything with existing light. Thankfully, the large overhead windows and skylights provided bright, even natural light. The upper gallery was very well lit. In the lower area the light was dimmer, but Super Steady Shot made it possible to get decent hand-held images.
The Lexington location is one of two Timberlake galleries. The other one is located in Blowing Rock, in the western North Carolina mountains. I haven’t made it to the Blowing Rock gallery, yet…maybe next summer.
View the Bob Timberlake image gallery