Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Art, Museums, Friends Old and New

Continuing our visit to New York City:

On Saturday we went to The Center for Book Arts (a favorite of ours). Barbara Page's Book Marks seemed deceptively simple at first - library cards for each book she had read. Closer examination showed that each card had been altered to depict the book it was representing. For example, a book about birds of New Zealand had bird postage stamps on it, a book about architecture showed a floor plan, or as she puts it, "remnants from the library of the mind." The vaguely sad part of the work was the fact that library book cards are now considered ephemera. As we proceed into the Kindle Era, perhaps physical books themselves will become ephemera. Take a look at Barbara's website for more info and other art (the map paintings are especially intriguing).

At the Museum of Arts and Design there was an exhibit of ceramics jewelry and this strange arrangement by Christoph Zellweger was Susan's favorite, even though the descriptive statement was "His 'seeds', which look vaguely like functional objects found in hospitals, can be worn around the neck or stored on hooks like other work apparatus."

We met up with some very special friends here and had a easy-going afternoon looking at art and talking about art, New York City, Italy, family, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a multitude of other topics. All topped off with a stop for some beer. Our original connection was via the internet and it continues to amaze me that perfect strangers can so easily become immediate friends. I guess it's because there are no questions asked, no emotional baggage toted and no strings pulled - just good conversation, always leaving us wishing for more time together.

Spirit of Fi Yi I, Victor Harris

We had hoped to meet up with some other friends in the city but schedules become complex and it didn't work out this time. When we travel we always let people know we are coming but we never expect them to drop what they are doing just for the "tourists". But when we do connect, it is always good.

Speaking of friends, Susan-Who-Talks-To-Everyone made new friends at the MOMA (unfortunately no pictures). It started with a short, casual chat about the exhibit with a woman sitting next to her on a bench in an exhibit room. About an hour later we were taking another break in a different area and, as if by magic, there she was, taking a break with her two daughters. Half an hour later she and Susan were still yakking away, covering Austin, politics, travel, museums, .... you name it, they were talking about it, as if they'd known each other forever.

The nicest, best thing about it all was that the entire time they were talking, the two daughters (ages 6 and 14)  never once interrupted them, they just sat there quietly, listening or looking at their sketchbooks. And we are talking about a 6 year old and a 14 year old. Unfortunately, we are used to having conversations interrupted by "Mom, Mom, Moooommmmy!" followed by "Just a minute, Mommy's talking" (repeated numerous times). When it doesn't happen that way we often guess the children are home-schooled, as those children seem to have learned that listening to adults means they learn something.

Debbie, thanks for all your advice about sights in NYC. We've checked the subway maps and have learned that next time we can easily make it to the Brooklyn Museum via the subway. Thanks for doing such as good job with the girls. Gabriella, your sketches were great and we'd love to see them with some color. Can you bring colored pencils to the museums when you sketch? Amber, you're only 14 but you can hold your own in conversations with any adult and we loved the fact that you never once said "Like" or looked bored. Good luck with your horseback riding. And thanks for reminding us about the Rockwell show, we enjoyed it when we saw it in Washington DC.


Lost Aussie said...

So glad you enjoyed your visit to the big City!
It was great to spend time with you too!

magpie said...

sorry i wasn't around to join in :(