Friday, November 21, 2008

De Miro à Warhol

Last Saturday I met Oriane, my friend from back when I was preparing the teaching certificate nearly 20 years ago. She lives in Lyons but comes up to Paris every so often to attend seminars in linguistics at the university. Her speciality is in swearing and use of vulgarity, which of course involves shifts in what is considered vulgarity over time, according to age, origins, and class. But now I'm getting off subject.
We had arranged to meet at the Musée de Quai Branly, but Oriane was delayed an hour and after having spent that hour on a bench outside, I no longer wanted to wind my way through the museum. Besides, we wanted to talk. So, we decided to walk to the Musée du Luxembourg, part of the French Senate building in the Luxembourg gardens. Let's say it was about 2 km. from one museum to the other. And we stopped for lunch. So we were still pretty fresh when we got there. There was no line to get in! And the exhibit is great. It's the Berardo collection of 20th century art. It takes you from Surrealisme and its origins (Miro, Magritte, Dali, and more) through Abstraction (Mondrian, Souza-Cardoso, Pollock, Reinhardt, Stella and more), on to Pop Art and beyond (Wesselmann, Indiana, Warhol, Lichtenstein, and so on). There are only 75 pieces and it's a varied collection, so you don't get bored.
We walked through the gardens and had a cup of hot chocolate. Then, down Boul. St. Michel, across Ile de la Cité, to the Beaubourg Museum, where we did not stop (oof!), through the Marais, all the way to Anne's apartment (just to show Oriane where it is) and then to the Gare de Lyons. All in all, with backtracking here and there, I guess we covered about 7 km., not including the museum. Our legs had had it and we managed to talk ourselves out, but it was a wonderful day.
For any of you coming through Paris, there are some great exhibits on:
and more. Paul went to the Musée André Jaquemard yesterday to see the Van Dyke exhibit. He came back very impressed with Van Dykes portraits, comparing them to hyper-realistic art, and he said the old Italian masters, the mainstay of the museum, were great to see, too.
Also, earlier in the week we attended the Phd. dissertation of our nextdoor neighbor, Rob, on the Ordinance of June 18, 1349, regulating laborer's wages. A result of the plague? The first national regulation of the sort? Wow, I never realized what "defending" a thesis was all about. It's horrendous. But he came through with flying colors.
I left the dissertation ceremony early in order to accompany Anne to her signing for the appartment. It is now hers and she's moving in this weekend!

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