Monday, May 25, 2009 E

"Quiet Night"
8:17pm

I called Julia. She is having a quiet day. She was watching the news and said a Starbucks in upper Manhattan was bombed, around 90th Street, quite a ways from me. I was going to hunt for a news channel, but opted instead for a Memorial Day concert on one of the two PBS stations. Catherine McPhee (who either won or almost won one of those American Idol contests) sang "Somewhere":

There’s a place for us
Somewhere a place for us
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us...
Somewhere.
There’s a time for us
Someday a time for us
Time together with time to spare...

I am missing Julia very much tonight.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 A

"Waking Early"
5:50am

This morning, I must call the Supershuttle people to make reservation for the airport trip tomorrow.

This trip not over yet, I am already thinking about the next one. It will be one needing only one short plane trip, which will not tax Julia's long legs too much. (In this regard, I count myself fortunate to be short legged.) I'm wanting to have a balance of active museum days and at least one day as a more restful day. Perhaps a good concert or play can be found, around which to schedule the other days.

Meanwhile, this trip's last day... I want to spend time with the 18th and 19th century European paintings (maybe some 20th century, too) and revisit the 'old friends' in the Egyptian collection. Looking at the museum map, I see I've forgotten the Asian department. We'll see how well the feet last!

7:10am
A Drawing to Pass the Time

Needing to pass the time, I found something to draw. I bought a nice book, _Egyptian Art at Eton College: Selections from the Myers Museum_. Two photos of the lovely pectoral ornament featuring Set and Horus are in it. The side I've only seen is actually the back side (which I've drawn above). The two devices to the outside of the two large eyes are channels for the neck cord to go through. The front side "inlays of lapis, carnelian, and feldspar (?) are mostly lost, having fallen out.." So that side, with its missing inlays, is not usually shown to us.

The craftsmanship is amazing, consider all this detail is packed into a piece only 1 1/2in (3.8cm) high!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 B

"Dining and Remembering"
1:45pm

I've just had lunch. It featured the same 'curried tilapia' and squash as before, (in quotes, for I was hard pressed to detect any curry!) Instead of the tough green beans, I opted for the rice instead. No carrot juice, I got a cup of 'organic green tea', which tastes of quality, like the special teas Julia buys.

I couldn't resist some badness, but the package of cookies will be tucked away for later...

...But why am I talking so much about food, you want to hear about my adventures in the museum, not merely its cafeteria. I returned to the Egyptian collection, and was surprised how many items I missed the last couple of times. I took many photos of Early Dynastic items, got better, clearer views of some items I'd photographed before, and in general, enjoyed my visit very much.


Recumbent Lion
Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, ca. 2575-2465 BCE
Granite, muzzle reconstructed, from Ihnasya el-Medina (Herakleopolis Magna)
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, in honor of Annette de la Renta, MMA 2000.485

(From info card)
"This imposing lion once guarded the entrance to a pyramid-age sanctuary. As the most powerful predator of the steppes bordering the Nile Valley, the lion was a symbol of royalty from early on. The animal - especially the female - also embodied a number of deities. This work is the earliest extant example of a lifesized lion statue that is almost entirely preserved. It is excavated by the British Egypt Exploration Fund in 1891, at Herakleopolis Magna in the Nile Vally, southeast of the Faiyum oasis."


Bowl with Human Feet,
Predynastic, Late Naqada l–Naqada II; Red polished ware, ca. 3750–3550 BCE
Pottery; H. 9.8 cm (3 7/8 in.); diam 13.5 cm (5 5/16 in.)
Rogers Fund, 1910, MMA 10.176.113

I found info for a piece referencing Set, but sadly couldn't locate the piece:


I'm sure the gold and jewel inlaid 'motto clasp' declaring "may the hearts of the two gods (Horus and Seth) be content." is lovely...

I still haven't found the small relief of Set's face, I suspect it is on loan somewhere. The lovely faience and gold tile with the cartouche of Neb Ma'at Re is "AWL" (absent with leave). A little signed note was there in place of the piece.


Standing Man,
Dynasty 4 (ca. 2575-2465 BCE)
Quartzite with traces of paint, probably from El Kab
Morris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1962, MMA 62.200

I look forward to examining my photos. Now, the 19th and 20th century European paintings are calling me...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 C

"Ready to Go Home"
5:55pm

I saw all the lovely paintings, and even saw the modern ones, too. I also saw a little bit of the decorative arts. But I couldn't last much longer. I didn't hesitate, I went straight for the cab.

It is cold in my room tonight. The TV weather report says it is 57F degrees. They don't forecast storms, though, until I'm well out of the area.

The local news here is full of the President's nomination of Sonia Sotomayer to the supreme court. She is from the Bronx, of which all New Yorkers can be proud. She has yet to be voted for, so it is not certain yet.

7:32pm

I'm as packed as I can be to leave tomorrow. I've called the front desk to ask for a wake up call at 5:25am, and I've called Julia. I'm looking forward to going back home...


Thank you, New York, for being such a good host...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 A

"Sleepless and Full of Thoughts"
4:33am

I can't sleep. I keep thinking about all I've seen and experienced. That's quite vast, but I'll narrow it down to artistic observances. I have new respect for the artist Renor. I love everything he did. Matisse, sometimes I love it, and sometimes I wonder what he was thinking. A too busy background that distracts from the subject is usually the fault. But sometimes he wastes space. There is one at MOMA with a green table that juts into the composition. Nothing is on that table. Why? He even has one clumsy attempt at a child's portrait, well, if it were mine, I'd scrap it off and start over again.

One that is successful... (IMNSHO):


Seated Odalisque,
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954)
Oil on canvas, 1926
Gift of Adele R. Levy Fund, 1962, MMA 62.112

Yes, I'm critical. But it's necessary for me as an artist, as I refine my own artistic goals. Also, these flawed pieces give me hope. If I grow frustrated with my own artwork, I am not alone. Ptahhtop said it, "No artist is perfect." Except for Vermeer. But I suspect he might have just destroyed his 'clunkers'. He is not known for a vast output, and I suspect this is why.

I leave with hope. The bristol board is calling me.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009 B

"En Route"
8:25am

I've arrived at the airport in plenty of time. It is cold and rainy this morning. I'm so fortunate the weather was good all week. Then it sours today to make me not so unhappy to return to Yuma heat.

Oh, I'm sleepy...

10:30am

Flight delays. We are plane #20 in waiting for clearance to leave. I hope I'm able to make the flight to Yuma. Once we arrive at Sky Harbor, I may have to run for it.

2:40pm NY time
11:40am AZ time

The pilot just announced Colorado is on our right, New Mexico is on our left. We are an hour and ten minutes from touchdown...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 C

"I'm Back!"
5:48pm

I've returned safely from a wonderful trip. I'm weary, still operating on New York time, but I just want to share one photo, before I head off to an early bed:


This is the view coming back around to Fifth street, after viewing 'Cleopatra's Needle'...

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