Category: General

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,…

Hyggelig 5: Rick Steves Writes a Crappy Guidebook

Posted May 19th, 2018
Hyggelig 5: Rick Steves Writes a Crappy Guidebook

I don’t like Rick Steves’ television persona. I find him sanctimonious, arrogant and supercilious, veneered with faux naiveté and faked authority. I don’t like his insistence that the primary and dominant function of travel is “getting to know” the locals—whether or not they want to get to know some random tourist. I take offense at…