Carla: “I have the day off on Thursday. Let’s do something!”
Me: “Want to go to the Secunda Art Museum?”
Carla: “Yes.” Pause. “What’s that?”
Me: “I don’t know, but they have a little sign on I-96, and I’ve always wondered about it.”
It’s good to have friends who are game for anything. I figured if the Secunda Art Museum was really something special we would have heard of it. It’s less than an hour from my house, after all! But Carla was as curious as I and we agreed to get ice cream after the “museum” so if the “museum” was disappointing, at least we’d get dessert out of the deal.
The Secunda Art Museum is located at Cleary University in Howell, MI. We followed my GPS’ directions, parked, and stared at the building. No sign. No clue it was an art museum. Shrugging, we walked inside. Art! Art! Everywhere! In every sense of the word! The museum is named for Arthur (Art) Secunda who was a prolific, well-respected artist. We were so impressed by the first paintings we saw, we immediately looked up this mystery man.
Turns out he’s not such a mystery in the art world. He has pieces in the Detroit Institute of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, MoMA, and tons of other places. This guy is legit! The museum consists of several long halls and one or two rooms dedicated to his work. It also has classrooms peppered throughout. Carla and I whispered our delight as not to interrupt the lectures going on. We were the only ones there to see the art (some pamphlets on display indicated we may have been the only non-student people to visit since 2019.)
Arthur Secunda’s range was akin to Adele’s. He did everything! (Does? He’s 94 now and hopefully still creating!) You could line up three paintings and not tell the same person did them. For instance:
There was one section of the gallery that featured portraits. Carla and I covered the names and tried to guess who was who. We got each and every one wrong. Want to play?
Answer key at the bottom of the post!
Here are a few more pictures from our visit.
The Secunda Art Museum was a pleasant surprise! (Thanks, little sign on I-96!) Next time you find yourself in Howell, stop by! And don’t forget your ice cream after!
Answer key: 1. Vincent Van Gogh 2. Anne Frank 3. Michelangelo