Sunday, July 24, 2011

Museum Musings

Howdy all!
This weekend was grand (only a personal level, obviously - Norway's horrifying attacks were utterly shocking and saddening, to put it mildly. But this is a vintage blog so I will keep it peppy), especially since today the heat wave cleared up and it was a tolerable 80-ish degrees!
Saturday was the last day (fingers crossed!) of the heat, but it was really bad and I was fed up with suffocating in my apartment with no A/C, so I headed out to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, partly to escape the heat, but mainly since I'd been meaning to go to the museum since I got to Boston.
And boy, am I glad I didn't leave it to the last minute! Because I definitely need to make at least one trip back there, it was so huge I missed out on one and a half floors and the Chihuly exhibit because the museum closed before I was finished!
And I had a nice encounter with a stranger - I was staring at Victorian-era American painting when a young Irish fella came up to me and asked me if I had any experience with time travel. I took it as a compliment (even though he said I looked like I was out of the 50s, when technically my hair and outfit pointed to mid-late 40s, but hey, I won't be persnickety lol) and we started chatting, and exchanged numbers. Eventually, after the museum closed, we got coffee at a nearby cafe. It was a pleasant day, and good stranger-meeting events always put me in a good mood and make me feel like the general friendliness of the past isn't totally dying out (I read this article a few months ago that was on the Yahoo front page about how research shows most American young people think it's creepy/inappropriate to talk to strangers, which makes me sad because how else are you supposed to meet people outside of your normal circle??)
And then today I went out to a vintage shop I hadn't yet visited - and it was a success! More on that tomorrow, when I'll post some recent finds.
Anyway, I thought I'd post just a very few of my favorite parts of the museum that I saw - it was really difficult to narrow it down, but here's a few nice pieces that I found images of on the MFA website (except for the first two images).

"Stream in the Forest Near Plombieres" (1870s) by Francois Louis Francais. I don't know why I liked this so much - I mean, it is beautiful, way more so in person, but usually I'm drawn to paintings/art of people. But I just stood in front of this one for at least five full minutes, feeling really weird. After a bit I realized that I think part of it was that at that moment, even though I was enjoying the museum, I so badly wanted to be there, in that forest, by the stream, alone, with a picnic blanket and a cool breeze, to just lie there for ages - it would be perfect happiness.   Hah, okay, mushy ramblyness over. 
"The Haymaker and the Sleeping Girl" (1785) by Thomas Gainsborough. This one was pretty, and the description accompanying it was interesting, talking about the social context of it and whatnot. 

One of my favorite exhibits - the instrument room. There were such fantastical things in there, they seemed like only art objects, too visually appealing to also be capable of producing beautiful sounds as well!

Of course, I got excited about the few fashion prints I saw here and there throughout the museum:

 And some pretty ceramics/porcelain in the European art section!

- Emily


  1. I love the Boston MFA! It was one of my favorite places there. Boston is such a great city. I'm glad you got a break in your heatwave!

  2. Some pretty designs alright. Doing the painting yourselves is more fun but a good place for ideas for more design is this site of, that I use to help with my wall decorations.
    You can browse for a painting like this The tree, by 20th century Czech artist, Frantisek Kupka, for example, , that can be ordered on line and delivered to you.