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Posts Tagged ‘Peabody Essex Museum’

I took my mother to the Dutch and Flemish masters exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum yesterday. She loved it and was reminded of many things from her life as a young girl in Germany.

I visited the exhibit in a hurry last week but yesterday I was able to spend a relaxed series of breaths with the paintings and I could love the ones I love for a wee bit more time. The rooms were more crowded, too, and it was fun to listen to people talk about the paintings. I liked observing and participating in this little expression of human nature. What struck me as funny was how people have a lot to say about art and what they are seeing, have lots of ideas and feelings and impressions; but as there seems to be an unspoken pressure to be right about art (as if there is some objective truth beyond each person’s interpretation), a lot of folks tended to clam up. Then again, to give the patrons the benefit of the doubt, maybe silence helps most people take in the visual, and verbal commentary detracts from this pleasure–?. Being on the verbose side myself, I thought the funnest folks were the ones who were willing to say things out loud, to ask silly questions, and to engage with their fellows and fellowines (okay I know that’s not a word, but shouldn’t it be?).

My mom and I ate lunch out, ate dinner out, walked on the beach in Gloucester, and drove around in circles at various points on our journey because I no longer use a map (thanks GPS) and because the British-voiced GPS Lady is sort of !@#$ ed sometimes in her satellite-induced calculations. I used to be a champion map-reader, but not any more, and what does it matter because, map or GPS, when you get lost in a place and come back again some day, you’ve got a better lay of the land than if you hadn’t gotten lost at all.

Thankful for yesterday with mum, then.

Thankful for this beautiful herb drying rack which I ordered on etsy a few days ago (first ever etsy purchase):

You can see that I’ve been gathering lavender and bundling it to dry; cutting a few other herbs as well to see how they’ll fare. This is something I love–the flowers and herbs in my garden. I imagine how wonderful it would be to make those lavender bundles like you see in France or in fancy, expensive gift shops all over small WASPy and affluent towns in America. How do they get the lavender to stay darkly-colored and fresh for years? I think it has something to do with boric acid and that’s a step too far for me, so my lavender eventually dries out and sort of shreds away. Like the motif of fleeting time and mortality one finds in paintings from the Golden Age of Dutch art.

Here are a few of my fave paintings, at least ones of which I could find images:

Here’s one which didn’t have any commentary attached to it, as many of the pieces did. I love it. Of all of the paintings, I think it is the most pornographic in nature (there was one other, too, a dandy man in the early stages of disrobing in his dressing room, painted in shades of ochre). It is called “Young Girl Eating Sweets.” And so she is and wouldn’t I like some of what she has? But I don’t think she plans on sharing.

And this:

Isn’t she beautiful? I think I am in love with her.

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