In the span of three days, we have managed to squeeze in visits to three of our favorite museums between visa chores and visits with friends. Thing 1, my sister-in-law Mrs. Balderdash*, and I headed to the SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for you philistines, www.sfmoma.org) for the Richard Avedon show last Thursday. Mr. Avedon, who passed away in 2004, started his career with Harper’s Bazaar and shot some of my all time favorite fashion photos (see above). As he grew older, and dare I say, less enchanted with the glamour industry, he shot photos of everyday people, flaws and all, in a very stark and stripped down way. The highlight for me was walking past the floor to ceiling photo of full-frontal nude models and Andy Warhol with fifteen year old Thing 1. Great way to start a discussion about art ….
Then there was the King Tut show at the deYoung Museum (www.famsf.org/deyoung/)in Golden Gate Park which I missed thirty years ago. I heart San Francisco. We did not make it into the Snake House (darn!) but since swimming with the anaconda in Bonito, I think I’ve completed my course of cognitive behavioral therapy for forever … Anyhoo, we met up with Thing 2’s godparents, the Baltimoron Ferdnancy family, for a tour of Tut’s funeral regala. Which, frankly, rivaled King What’s His Face in Xian. We were all disappointed.that the mummy and its accompanying sarcophagi were still in Eygpt (a holograph just doesn’t cut it). The artifacts were outstanding; however, I had no idea that there actually was a Book of the Dead, complete with spells, which just shows you how much I don’t know about that particular juncture in history. The Mummy movies were not that far off. Academically speaking, I felt like I’d just been clubbed over the head for my stupidity. Duh.
Thing 1 and I rounded off our museum spree with a trip to the American Visionary Arts Museum (www.avam.org)in Baltimore. Last year we saw a most excellent show there featuring post cards from PostSecret (www.postsecret.com), one man’s project in Maryland where people send him their deepest, darkest secrets on artfully created postcards. I almost started bawling in the museum last year touring other people’s pain. This year’s theme of the show is “The Marriage of Art, Science, & Philsophy”. Artist Leo Sewell created an amazing city scape out of slide rules that reminded me of the Shanghai skyline. From 1914, artist prisoner Patrick Culinane crafted a diorama of monkeys carved out of peach pits, gambling, drinking, living it up; he gave it to Henry Ford as a present who was so impressed he wangled an early release for Mr. Culinane. But our favorite display was by artist Dalton Ghetti who sculpted an entire alphabet out of the tips of lead pencils using only a razor blade and a sewing needle, no magnifying glass. His folk art church on a pencil tip looked vaguely Brazilian. A closer reading of his bio confirmed that Mr. Ghetti is indeed a Brazilian which pretty much explains everything. Fabulosa.
Today was the first of Thing 1’s medical appointments. Her vision is becoming problematic and until her own eye lenses drift and shift out of the way, they are literally obscuring the view, something of a dilemma. But a dilemma for another day. More later.
A big shout out to all my peeps for squeezing us in to their social calendars and making the trek to come find us, on either coast: Mrs. Balderdash and El Guapo Pescador, Mrs. BigBark, Mr. BigTrouble, Ferd-n-Nan, Baltimore Sue, Missionary Girl and Toucan Tom. Tomorrow it’s Martita in Wildwood Crest, NJ (but I don’t know what exit that is). It’s like I have family in every city close to my heart. You are the best! Mi casa es tu casa.