We Went to the Museum

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My mom’s birthday was Saturday, and on Sunday morning we met at (where else?) the art museum to have a fancy, champagne filled brunch (there were macarons! and eggs benedict! and a cheese board! and plenty of gossip!) and then wander our favorite galleries (European art, 1850-1900). In her words, in order of artist importance, “There’s Renoir, then Monet, and then blahbideeblahbideeblah.” I got her to relent a bit (Cassatt and Degas and Cezanne and Van Gogh!) when pressed, but she wasn’t budging on anything post-1920 which explains a lot about me. We happened to wander into the contemporary American art wing only to scramble for an exit like we’d been lit on fire upon discovering Duchamp’s toilet statue (I don’t even know, you guys), escaping back to the safety of the Impressionists.

Art, top to bottom: ‘Garden of Armida’ Wallpaper, Édouard Muller; ‘Under the Pines, Evening’, Claude Monet (and close-up); ‘The Large Washerwoman,’ Pierre-Auguste Renoir; ‘Pythian Sibyl’ , Marcello; ‘The Moorish Chief’, Eduard Charlemont; ‘Still Life with Flowers and Fruit’, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (close-up).

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March 3, 2014 / art / photo / At the Museum / LEAVE A COMMENT / 29

29 comments

  • What a fancy (and lovely) birthday with your mom – you two are adorable. Happy birthday again mom!

    • Thank you!

    • Aw, thanks Rooth! It was such a girly, wonderful day. xo

  • Il pareil un rendez-vous parfait avec ta maman. Un beau musée, des macarons….
    J’aime beaucoup le “garden of Armenia”

    • Oui, macarons et musees…qoui d’autre que j’ai besoin?? xo

  • In my own defense, I have exquisite taste in paintings and sculptures. This is an opinion held by exactly 2 people on this planet. If you present a urinal….well, it’s a urinal. I can’t even. Again, in my own defense…..I’m the one who had to chase my little girl through a Picasso exhibit at the PMA when you took off for the exit like it was a timed, international race. Speaking of timed, international races, we flew through yesterday’s Korean exhibit like there was a bomb threat.
    The brunch was amazing and I thank you for that wonderful gift. Oh, we do know each other so well—a gift card to Barnes and Noble! As the maitre d’ suggested, we should go back there next year for my 22nd birthday.
    It’s so hard. Just so hard. Other people come into “our wing” and stand in front of the paintings. Something must be done!

    • That Picasso exhibit was here? I thought for some reason that was in Baltimore or DC. In my memory of that event (which admittedly, is blurred from the passing of time and the speed with which I blew through that room) it was in an entirely different museum than this one. Oh well. It’s still a funny story regardless; I was such an opinionated little shit, wasn’t I?

      Do you think if we changed the name on the gallery wing to our last name, we could kick people out? All of the art heists I’ve researched lead me to believe it’s not exactly worth it to steal the art for ourselves. Harumph! Regardless, I had such a good day and I’m so happy you did too! Happy birthday again, moomala. xo

      • I love you!

  • I think your mom could have likely been right about the bomb threat in the Korean exhibit, but that’s a story for another day, I suppose.

    Oh, this post makes me itch for our museum to open. Weeks away! I can’t wait. It’s always funny to me how different and the same our upbringings were. My parents took me to museums and galleries all the time, lingering always at Monet and Manet (“They also painted a little.”), Degas, and Renoir, and Casset, and on and on but we also headed straight to Chagall and Picasso Rothko and Robert Motherwell and David Smith and Louise Nevelson. The OLD Masters not so much their bag, I don’t think. ;)

    But since it was your mom’s birthday, seems to me she was allowed to think and see whatever she wanted! Sounds like you both made it a perfect one! Happy Birthday!

    • Thank you!

    • We talked our way through the whole Korean exhibit, stopping occasionally to observe a decorative scroll or kimono (I don’t think they’re called kimonos in Korea? I wouldn’t know, we didn’t read any of the signs. oops). So excited your museum is opening up again soon! What a travesty it was closed for so long, though I’m sure the renovations will have been worth the wait. I would have friendlied up to a guard or construction worker and snuck-in every once in a while, haha.

      It sounds like we had opposite art-timeline experiences. Started with the Old (old!) masters and ended in 1900, haha. xo

  • ah fisher would be happy to go with you to the museum, contemporary art makes him feel strong feelings of annoyance and disbelief. i like most all art, or maybe i should say i can appreciate it all in one way or another: the work, the risk, the confusion, the luck, the tenacity. even if some of it makes me say “what the bleepity bleep? are you kidding me?” but i like the different and the controversial, i like things that make me think something other than “pretty.” but to me it’s so different, i mean obviously they are different. i’d never compare renoir with a contemporary artist who uses old stuffed animals and a glue gun in their work, you know? i can appreciate the latter (likely solely based on their statement with the art) but it’s not in the same galaxy as renoir. and brunch at the museum sounds lovely! i don’t think we have that at ours, though there is a little cafe attached next door. do not look as though it would have macaroons though :( happy birthday you your mama! xo

    • It took me a long time to get to a place that I can appreciate the art for what it is without having to like it. As in, the past few years. All of the reading I’ve been doing for book research (like the book on the economics of contemporary art markets) has given me a new respect for the likes of Basquiat and Rothko and (gulp) even Damien Hirst. But again, I don’t like their work, but I’ve stopped getting angry over its existence, so that’s a start!! :) Heck, I even have learned to like Picasso, who when I was three years old I loudly declared was “dreck!” and bolted out of the exhibit. Took 24 years, but now I like him! Ha!

      The museum here has a few dining options, including a nice upscale cafeteria, a balcony cafe, and a restaurant called Granite Hill, which is where we ate. Beautiful restaurant, even more beautiful brunch buffet. It was glorious. xo

  • such beautiful paintings. i bet they were much more stunning in person.

    • They never fail to make me swoon. xo

  • so beautiful… the perfect day!

    • It really was! It rained, and I had to wait in line to get into the grocery store on the way home, but nothing could put a damper on our day! xo

  • Happy birthday to your biggest fan, mom! I am on two parts: the fact that your mom comments on your blog so often + that you had what sounds like the most wonderful day. Am I old that I want those kind of lunch dates with my girlfriends? Instead we are meeting at bars after work and sometimes I’d rather find my drama quota from Downton Abbey instead of real life girl talk. Anyway, cheers to your mom and many more mom dates like this one, it sounds like heaven.

    • Thank you!

    • It was a pretty great day! And don’t worry, we still discussed Downton Abbey, so we got our drama fix :) I’m too tired after work to do anything other than go home, tend to the dog, and get in sweatpants, so I need to get my socializing done before noon, haha. Brunch is the perfect solution, I tell ya. But then again, I’m really 85 years old so I’m not the best judge on what’s “hip”. xo

  • oh, I so envy you. my mother hasn’t heard of any of these people and has never been to a museum in her life…

    • Aw, well she doesn’t know what she’s missing! And you can always take yourself to the museum, and solo-dates never go out of style :) xo

  • Haha I googled the toilet statue to see what it looks like, and I have no words. What a fun way to celebrate your mom’s birthday!

    • Haha, right?? I’d have to read some sort of essay behind the sculpture or something, but even then I don’t think I’d understand it! xo

  • What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday with your mom! It seriously makes me want to head out the door, and do some art appreciation of my own; now, if only the weather would cooperate. Under the Pines by Monet takes my breath away. Happy Belated Birthday to your mom!!

    • I have to agree (even though I’m patting myself on the back, ha!) it really was a wonderful day! Wandering the museum is my favorite way to spend an afternoon. It’s like visiting old friends, without the pressure of having to be entertaining or even talk! Plus the friends are pretty ;) xo

    • Thank you!

  • Sounds like such a lovely day. And that building looks just magnificent.

    • Thank you, Santa, it truly was! And that wing of the building is just a smaallll section of the entire place. It’s enormous (not as big as the Louvre, but you can get a sense of scale at the size of the benches at the bottom of the photo!) xo