Sunday, July 6, 2014 B
"Lights with 'Hats'"

Drawn while at "Brasserie Jo", a French style restaurant, where we enjoyed tasty omelets, mine with fried onions and green peppers.

Sunday, July 6, 2014 C
"Self Portrait and Our Museum Visit"

Using blue and brown colored pencils

Inspired by so many artists' self portraits, I decided to have another try at my features. Do I look a bit anxious? Was I a bit influenced by the precarious state of salmon? (The PBS TV program at the time.) ("What, no more yummy sammy???") Hopefully, the busting up of the dams that impeded their river flow and spawning will help.

Oh, the lovely art I've seen today! Just the way it was presented is an art, too. Isabella Stewart Gardner may have had a slightly eclectic way of presenting her treasures, but it all works aesthetically to be a multi-sensory delight.

Her courtyard is the centerpiece of it all, visible in all of the galleries through the arched windows:

At the bottom is a second-century Roman mosaic and beholding that mosaic is a Ptolemaic era Horus falcon:

Horus (Heru) has indeed blessed the feathering of Gardner's fine nest.

There's another ancient Egyptian piece, tucked into a cabinet with an assortment of other beautiful items. By the crown, I at first thought "Neith", but the info sheet said "Harpocrates" ('Heru the Kid'), and one arm is raised with finger to the mouth, signifying 'child', so 'Heru the Kid', it is.

A sad thing for this museum: in 1990 "thieves dressed as Boston police officers gained entrance to the museum and stole thirteen works of art, the most celebrated and valuable coming from [the Dutch] room." (The Isabella Stewart Gardners Museum, (Yale University 1995), page 92) "The Concert" by Jan Vermeer, along with two Rembrandts were among them. The thieves did not take an early self portrait of Rembrandt. It is fascinating to observe Rembrandt's aging process, comparing his various self portraits.

Such a lovely, peaceful place, this museum and, despite the din of everyone's conversation, its café, in the neighboring modern building, also has a peaceful feeling. Julia with her halibut and me with my chicken salad and chips, savored each bite. She followed her entreé with a goat cheese and lime merange cake, 'perfectly balanced', and I had the flourless chocolate cake accented with berries.

Of course we left the gift shop with treasures, a soft cover book about the museum, many post cards, and a can of Rooibos tea, which we'd enjoyed earlier at our meal.

We discovered a relatively easy way back to the hotel from the museum: walk to Huntington train stop, get off at Prudential stop, enter the Prudential mall, and stroll around to to Sheridan hotel entrance! Had we known it would have been so easy, we'd have saved some money on cabs.

Tomorrow, another visit to that Parisian cafe for breakfast, and on the train to MFA. Yummy, Yummy, Yummy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
"Our Last Day in Boston"

Last night, Julia and I discussed setting the alarm, Julia argued for earlier rather than later. No matter, for we woke well before the alarm went off. That horrid feeling of restlessness got us propelled and checked out well before the hotel's restaurant opened. That was to our benefit! Legal Sea Foods has a branch at the airport, so we each enjoyed a lobster omelet. Heavenly!

We managed to have at least one meal at all the restaurants we'd hoped do. After one last visit to the MFA to see the Asian arts, it seemed almost logical to follow it up with a visit to Kashmir. Opting for the buffect allowed me to satisfy my tandori chicken cravings, but Julia would have been better off with the menu for vegetarian/fishatarian cravings. Still, it all tasted good.

Meanwhile, the MFA. I had hopes of seeing one of those lovely large Shiva-in-the-fire-ring sculptures, maybe I missed a few galleries, maybe it wasn't on display.

I did, however, experience a lovely multi-headed stone statue of Shiva. I say 'experience', because this statue felt especially open to visitations by Deity. There was a Watchful Presence within that statue. Whoever it was, the Presence was much appreciated. (AliciaLYB has another view of it)

Julia and I spent a long time in the Greek and Roman coin galleries, perhaps because there's lots of chairs there, and an I-pad like computer program that allowed us close up views of both front and back of all the Roman coins in chronological fashion. A Greek Dekadrachm of the goddess Arethusa surrounded by dolphins stays most in my mind:

A maze-decorated coin, labyrinth from Knossos, also intrigued. All of them looked as good as new.

We saw so many Greco/Roman statues, mostly heads without bodies or bodies without heads. But most memorable is the hugely tall Juno, which had to be dropped down through the ceiling, and which I did photograph. That ceiling window was in the Egyptian galleries, hence she got captured while there was still memory card space:

Marble: draped body, 1st century BCE/ Head with diadem, early 2nd century CE/ Nose, mouth and tassel, 21st-century restorations
Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously, 2011; MFA #2011.75

In grayscale...

We enjoyed the special exhibit of an old Chinese house. No doubt the 'Kang', a brick raised area, which could be heated up, provided much comfort in cold weather. Pillows on the floor and a low table could be moved out of the way for bedding to be moved in.

In the airport, I am bundled up for warmth, plaid cotton shirt, tan twill vest, gray lightweight hoodie, and light blue fleece vest. Yes, I don't look like a Bostonian!

Go Back to Archives...
Go Back to Main Journal Index Page...
Go to Index of Joan's pages...

© Joan Ann Lansberry