Let’s just gloss right over how absent I’ve been and move to the good stuff, huh? In all seriousness, it is amazing to me how quickly the semester has flown by. I have a couple items worth sharing so you’ll see the blog stir to life once more.
First up, at the beginning of October I was able to visit the Currier again and view two of their limited time exhibitions: Toulouse-Lautrec and Monet. How fortunate for me, since I love impressionist and I have a deep rooted fondness for French poster art.
The Monet just closed this week, so hopefully you were able to go visit. It was a spotlight of 4 paintings tracing the evolution of his painting style. It was wonderful. My favorite of the pieces happens to be the one that is part of the Currier’s permanent collection, so you can still see it without the other pieces. That one is The Bridge at Bougival, which isn’t full on impressionist but its not the style of the times either. The exhibition description calls it “one of only a handful of early pictures that foreshadow Monet’s development of impressionism.” And its true. The exhibit itself had an explanation about how he was playing with depth of field, not using traditional methods but conveying it all the same.
A close runner up for my favorite of the four pieces was Charing Cross Bridge, which I’m sure will seem familiar if you’ve seen any of Monet’s London works. I love the way he captures the light and the fog, and the colors that go into both. That one is from the MFA in Boston, so its not too far afield.
Second was the Lautrec. Man, I love those poster. I don’t even really know why, I just always have. They’re just this wonderful fusion of life in both the beautiful and the mundane, and there’s a frenetic energy in some and a bone-deep weariness in others. They’re just fabulous (and bless my husband for accompanying me when he doesn’t care one whit; he’s an architecture and sculpture fan). The Lautrec is on exhibit until January, and you can see more about it on the Currier’s website.
The Monet didn’t allow for pictures, but the Lautrec did so I had a couple up on Instagram that I’ll share here as well.
And, as always, a few more fun items spotted at the museum:
The semester, and the fall, are upon us! Welcome back to New England. The leaves aren’t quite changing– yet. There are some that have turned russet or yellow, but we mostly have green as befits our rainy summer. The humidity is leaving though, and its cool enough to spend days with the windows open, and there is loveliness in that.
We’ll be getting back to our library escapades this semester as well, but here’s a shorter note to start. Did you know that New Hampshire has a poetry festival? The New Hampshire Poetry Festival is schedule for the end of the month, Sept 23. Now, shocking as this will be for some, this particular librarian wasn’t a lit major, and so poetry isn’t exactly within my personal wheelhouse. However, it looks like this will be an interesting day with a number of different workshops and panels. Check out their site for all the details.
If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of campus, you are not so very far from Walden Pond and the many haunts of the New England transcendentalists. Thoreau in particular is in the limelight this year, as it is the bicentennial anniversary of his birth.
Concord, MA is where most of the movement was centered, the “biggest little place in America,” so Henry James once said. Concord is worth wandering for all manner of reasons, but I wanted to highlight the bicentennial events in case anyone wants to explore Thoreau in more detail this year.
There is, of course, Walden Pond. Its a state park these days, with hiking trails and swimming allowed, along with the requisite guided tours. You can check out more info on the Pond here.
The main event is probably the Concord Museum, one of the main locations to find all things Thoreau. They have several exhibits this year on Thoreau, and they’ve got an event for Thoreau’s birthday (July 12th, just around the corner!). The Museum also has exhibits on the other notable events and residents of Concord, and online exhibits as well for those farther afield.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t link to this article in the Paris Review. I must confess, I didn’t remember that this was the bicentennial on my own. The article popped up in my RSS feed, but I’m glad I did. Its an interesting read, whether you are a fan of Thoreau or not.