Booth Western Art Museum; Cartersville, GA

A Smithsonian Affiliate museum: while a lot of the art work here is ‘so-so,’ there are quite a few impressive pieces (often borrowed), especially among some of the modern art works.

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I’ve spent a fairly decent amount of time in the Southwest, in large part living on the Navajo Reservation, so I’m pretty familiar with this sort of work, and have seen better collections out there; that said, considering this is in the southeast I’m guessing its probably the best publicly viewable collection of Southwestern narrative art in this part of the country. It’s also a Smithsonian Affiliate which means they get to borrow things from that collection that the Smithsonian would otherwise keep in storage, like this incredibly racist piece which seems to have come from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

What I particularly enjoyed, were some of the modern art works.

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And this is a process I do not believe I have ever seen before, cast paper

The museums also contains some examples of paintings produced to be used for things such as book covers for western-genre literature, film posters, and magazine covers, etc. I found this particularly interesting as the wife of an old high-school friend of mine is an artist who specializes in the western genre and has had her work used for magazine covers, etc… so I checked to see if they had any of her work, but they did not.

What initially brought me the museum however was an Ansel Adams exhibition  (I was a photography major as an undergrad). It was an OK exhibition, it had a few of his photos and a collection of works by other who either influenced him, or were influenced by him. Of the latter, the most surprising ones were these:

And then this was one of the ones I might like in my own home

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Appalachian Grill; Cartersville, GA

This was a very tasty and VERY cute looking restaurant — like Disney Wilderness Lodge cute; traditional Appalachian music was on the radio (brother where art thou type stuff) and they specialize in a gourmet twist on traditional Appalachian food. I had the pecan chicken from their Appalachian specials list. It was AMAZING … the kind of thing that would make judges on cooking shows very happy — simple ingredients cooked creatively and with style.

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Pecan Chicken: pecan sage crust, lightly fried; served over mashed chipotle spiced sweet-potato with a bing cherry sauce

I was staying in Dalton, about an hour north of here and had come to Cartersville to see an Ansel Adams exhibit at the Booth Western Art Museum (it’s an extension of the Smithsonian Collection). The grill is located just around the corner from the museum and under the overpass — an odd location for a chef driven eateries, but from my perspective it was a great thing because it was raining cats and dogs the day I went and I was able to park my car in a space under the overpass and walk to the restaurant without needing an umbrella.

This place is close enough to Interstate 75 to be worth a pit stop if you’re looking for something FAR SUPERIOR to any of the national chain fare most travelers suffer.