Recent Blog Posts

“They Started It!”: Facts, Truth and Blame

Posted January 23rd, 2019
“They Started It!”: Facts, Truth and Blame

When I saw that video clip of Nick Sandmann smirking at Omaha Elder Nathan Phillips who was drumming and chanting, and realized just how close the two were standing, I was outraged at the boy’s insolence, shocked at the implicit insult of a white person to an Indigenous person. Later as more videos were posted,…

Books # 26 – 34 ½ in 2018: All The Rest

Posted January 16th, 2019
Books # 26 – 34 ½ in 2018: All The Rest

I had set myself a goal on GoodReads of 50 books in 2018 and got to 34 ½. I also determined that I would post on every book I read in this blog. Well, that’s two resolutions not kept. So here are the titles left out since 4 August 2018 (in the order read): Noah…

The Portal: Eugène Delacroix’s “The Women of Algiers in their Apartment” (1834)

Posted January 7th, 2019
The Portal: Eugène Delacroix’s “The Women of Algiers in their Apartment” (1834)

The painting on that wall in the Tisch Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art would not let me move on. Only a couple of years ago, My Dear One and I had wandered the maze of discontinuous hallways and Escher-like stairs that constitute today’s Louvre Museum to find the Delacroix’s and Théodore Géricault’s Raft…

Berthe Morisot, an Impressionist Painter

Posted December 28th, 2018
Berthe Morisot, an Impressionist Painter

I had known the exhibition was coming, noted it when it opened and then was all but resigned to missing it, as I do so many shows. But no, My Dear One and I occupied that empty day between Christmas and New Year’s with a drive to the Barnes Foundation. Damned awful title they gave…

Christmas Letter 2018

Posted December 5th, 2018
Christmas Letter 2018

We flew off to Montreal in October for some poutine, some art museum and a ride on the Grande Roue Ferris wheel, and came back to strange goings-on in the climate controls of the car. The Scion’s fan hadn’t been working well, clacking on low, squawking on high. Then there was that suspicious odor. The…

In The Shadow of Mont-Royal 1: Art Everywhere

Posted November 30th, 2018
In The Shadow of Mont-Royal 1: Art Everywhere

Art is everywhere in Montreal. In that chilly breeze in October, in the slaty light, the stroll down Sherbrooke to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts took us past memorials to Steve Jobs and Canada’s poet laureate, Leonard Cohen. The campus—for all those buildings around the intersection of Sherbrooke and the jogged ends of the…

Listen To The Kids

Posted September 5th, 2018
Listen To The Kids

The exhibition Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950 just closed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I had been thinking I should go see it since late last spring. I made it on the last day. Good show. Glad to see those works out of the vaults where they normally hide and I am impressed that…

A Tale Of Two Funerals

Posted September 4th, 2018
A Tale Of Two Funerals

I remember my mother glued to our old black-and-white television in November 1963 and Kennedy’s funeral procession as it wended its way ultimately to Arlington National Cemetery. I watched some of it—I was eleven—and remember the views of the caisson and the riderless horse, empty boots turned backward in the stirrups. The shock of the…

Books # 24 and 25 in 2018: “Renoir’s Dancer” by Catherine Hewitt and “Picasso and the Painting that Shocked the World” by Miles J. Unger

Posted August 5th, 2018
Books # 24 and 25 in 2018: “Renoir’s Dancer” by Catherine Hewitt and “Picasso and the Painting that Shocked the World” by Miles J. Unger

I have been reading a lot of books that focus on art and Paris from the 1890s into the first decades of the 20th century and these two followed one on the other. What is truly fascinating after a sequence that included Corbett’s Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin, McAuliffe’s Twilight of the Belle-Époque and…

Book # 23 in 2018: “Mad Enchantment” by Ross King

Posted June 25th, 2018
Mad Enchantment

Every time I pick up a Ross King book, it’s longer and weightier. Brunelleschi’s Dome was a little bit of a thing, perfect for reading on a transcontinental flight. Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling was longer but then the Sistine Chapel ceiling is a better documented creation. The Judgment of Paris was longer still and…

Book # 22 in 2018: “The Pharaoh Key” by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Posted June 24th, 2018
Book # 22 in 2018: “The Pharaoh Key” by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

I do like Gideon Crew–quite a bit more than Preston & Child’s better-known sleuth, Agent Pendergast, whom I find annoying in the southern, courtly, albino-pale, omniscient and omnipotent way. “The Pharaoh Key” (#5 in the Gideon Crew series) was a giggle and a treat I inhaled like melting ice cream on a hot summer’s day….

Book # 21 in 2018: “Making Sense” by David Crystal

Posted June 19th, 2018
Book # 21 in 2018: “Making Sense” by David Crystal

Books that explore language, grammar and writing are my guilty pleasure. I consider the injunctions presented as I am absorbed by the text, trying to figure out if the writers are following their own instructions. I also hope that I will learning something from them I can use in my own efforts. It has also…

Book # 20 in 2018: “Twilight of the Belle Epoque” by Mary McAuliffe

Posted May 29th, 2018
Book # 20 in 2018: “Twilight of the Belle Epoque” by Mary McAuliffe

According to the introduction, Mary McAuliffe produced “Twilight of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Picasso,Stravinsky, Proust, Renault, Marie Curie, Gertrude Stein, and Their Friends through the Great War” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) as a sort of conclusion to “Dawn of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their…

Hyggelig 6: A Copenhagen Miscellany

Posted May 26th, 2018
Hyggelig 6: A Copenhagen Miscellany

Note to self: if there is the chance to drop off luggage before the room has been prepared, drop off everything except for telephone, wallet, camera and guidebook. As we waved hej-hej (that’s “bye-bye”) to Lars the landlord and strolled into town, I realized that my tablet, hardcover book and the heaps of stuff one…

Book # 19 in 2018: “Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore” by Matthew Sullivan

Posted May 20th, 2018
the Bright Ideas bookstore

The Bright Ideas Bookstore is named for the former lightbulb factory in a slowly gentrifying section of Denver, Colorado, its founders have transformed into a sort of bibliophile’s fortress. It provides a quiet and contemplative environment for its patrons, rather like an old-fashioned library; comradeship in arcane interests for staff and users alike; and, literally,…