Friday, May 23, 2008

"Ageless Beautiful Jewelry"

I woke with incredibly sore calves. It is clear this trip isn't going to be the trip I thought it would be. I won't be able to see all I'd like. Meanwhile, I will make use of the cabs, to minimize travelling walking.

I woke nervous, too. As I despaired, I thought I'd at least get dressed and walk down to that café where I got the tasty turnover yesterday. The air was cool, but clear. I sat at a table just outside and observed the humanity walking down the street and at work. A muscular man climbed a ladder to reach a roof, where trees grow, defying the concrete. I saw a policeman on horseback. In Yuma, they often use bicycles, but I've never seen them on horse.

As I sat there eating, crumbs from the turnover fell to the ground. No sad waste, though, for a little brown bird got one of the large flakes in his beak and turned it to his advantage.

All sorts of living beings, and we for the most part, do the best we can with what we've got.


Twenty nine dollars because my legs are crap! That is what it will cost, that, and twenty minutes for the cab to arrive. If I had good, strong legs, two dollars. Crap legs, twenty nine dollars. Oh!! And I forgot my reservation number. Well, I will take a chance. Hopefully, I will get there!


I got there! But it seemed to take a very long time. Traffic here is terrible. When I am on foot en route to the subway or from the subway, I am not so aware of it. (And of course, underground on the train, I am not aware of it.)

The Klimt and the Wiener Werkstätte exhibits are very nicely displayed. The room with the jewelry featured tall silkscreens of the ladies of this time wearing the jewelry, along with the modern loose fitting corset free fashions of the day. Some of the ladies who wore that jewelry might have posed for Klimt.

Interior of Neue Galerie...

Klimt in his photos looks very much like the man who played him in the film. The exhibit was mostly drawings, but they showed how they were studies for larger pieces, by displaying a small photo of the complete work. It is the largest gathering of his works outside of Vienna (aka 'Wien').

I dined in their lovely restaurant, and discovered they make salmon as good as Julia does, moist and not overcooked. Delicious beets accompanied that, along with apple juice. I finished with iced tea and chocolate cake topped with cherries and whipped cream.

After that, where to go? I didn't want to overtire myself. The Met museum would encourage over-doing. But I remembered an exhibit the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World was having, "Wine, Worship, and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani". And it was very near the Neue Galeri.

From Grave 24, Vani, second half of the 4th century B.C.H. (max.) 6.6 cm, W. (max.) 6.5 cm GNM: 1-2005/1

Josef HOFFMANN (1870-1956), Brooch, 1907
Silver, partly gilt; agate, coral, lapis lazuli, malachite, turquoise, and other semi-precious stones.
Executed by the Wiener Werkstätte, 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 in.) Private Collection

What exquisite jewelry, skill equal to that of the Viennese artisans! But what brutal funerary practices! As late as the fourth century B.C., they were still burying the servants with the deceased person! Early in Egypt's history they did likewise, but not very many dynasties on, they quit that barbaric practice and used the Shabti, clay servants that would animate to do their bidding.

I thought I'd have to wait until I got home to check on this, but happily a book I bought at the Brooklyn museum tells of shabtis:

"First attested in the Middle Kingdom, funerary figurines known as shawabtis or shabtis or Ushabtis became common in tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty and were made until the Roman Period." _Art for Eternity: Masterworks from Ancient Egypt_

So, from 2000 BCE on, and common form 1390 BCE onwards, they used clay servants, literally "one who hears the summons". And they had beautiful jewelry, as well.

Lansberry after Klimt and the Wiener Werkstätte

I don't know if it was the fashion for ladies to have short sleeves in those days, but from what Klimt's models were willing to show, I'm not too worried!

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