June 1, 2011

Boston

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 11:13 pm by a care in the world

This past weekend, my husband and I took the bus from NYC to Boston to visit his best friend. I was so excited to have a whole day set aside for visiting a couple of museums– I hadn’t been to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts since I was 17, and I had never been to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. My husband was a great sport to go exploring with me, since he knows how much I love art museums.

At the MFA, I was on a mission to visit the 18th and 19th century American Art, since that’s my focus for my independent research project this summer (again, that post is coming!). I have very fond memories of visiting the MFA when I was 17 and studying at Amherst College for the summer. I think it was the first museum I had gone to on my own– my dad is an art historian, so I’ve been to many museums with him. There’s nothing like seeing something with an expert 🙂 Anyway, I was wandering through the MFA when I came face to face with Jonathan Singleton Copley’s “Watson and the Shark”:

personal photo

I’m sorry for the poor quality of my photo– I was being sneaky in taking it. I remember being stunned and getting the shivers when I saw this painting 10 years ago– it was the thrill of seeing something I’d read about in real life. You can read about the story behind this painting, but what was so exciting for me was seeing the pages of a book come to life in a 230-year-old painting. I felt a connection to the painting that the museum experience in a way that I can’t explain– I’m clearly not doing a very good job here. Suffice it to say, seeing this painting a few days ago gave me goosebumps all over again.

The MFA also had an amazing Chichuly exhibit on display (personal photos):
 
    
 
 
 
Our next visit was to the Gardner Museum, which is a totally different animal. A 100-year-old personal collection, the museum is based in a 3-story palace built around a stunning courtyard and houses more than 2,500 paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, manuscripts, rare books and decorative arts. Besides the courtyard, I think our favorite artwork here was John Singer Sargent’s “El Jaleo”:
 
Photo from here.
 
Gardner Museum Courtyard

Photo from here

After the museum visits, my husband’s friend picked us up for the drive to Portland, ME…
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