Monday, April 11, 2011

More thoughts on the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston

On day three of my trip to Boston we rented a car and drove up to Cape Anne.  We decided to skip the freeway and took the old highway anticipating a nice coastal drive.

Turns out the old highway just wanders through these old rust belt working class neighbourhoods.  Combined with the cold wet rain it was a rather depressing drive up to Salem.  In Salem we checked out the historic  homes on Chestnut Street.

The entire street is a national historic site and the homes are protected by a series of covenants.  The street is lined with stately old maples and oaks and must be a thing of amazing beauty when the leaves turn in the fall.

After Salem we finally reached the coast and leisurely wove our way through Rockport, Marblehead and Cape Anne.  The estate homes of the burgers or commerce, trade, shipping, and forestry from 200 years ago form a rather startling contrast to the working class towns closer to Boston.  The gap between the ultra rich and even ordinary middle class Americans is very large indeed.

Clearly though the highlight for me was Marblehead.  As the road inches closer to the sea just below a low bank the Atlantic was pounding its way through a series of off shore rocks.  Wonderful rock gardens just off shore, an on shore wind, and a rising tide.  If only I'd had a kayak.

So while my wife looked at the mansions to the left I watched the sea to the right and plotted how I could seal launch off some nabobs front lawn.

We managed to get in a fast second visit to the MFA before heading off to the airport for one of those nothing goes right flights home.

I'm a bit of a nut for landscapes and while reveling in the American and European wing I came across a Winslow Homer that reminded me of the Atlantic up at Marblehead.

I had a great time disrupting an art lecture in the Dutch masters gallery.  A young art professor was introducing his troupe of college students to the brilliance of Rembrandt.  But when he referred the old master as a "brand." I think he called him the first recognized brand name;  I thought this is a bit much.

He went on and to  make his point he asked the students how many had actually heard of Rembrandt. Most put up their hands.  Then he asked how many could name three of his paintings.  He paused and no hands went up.  So just as he was about to continue I struck.

"Belshazzar's Feast, A Turk, Man in a Black Hat, Rembrandt as a Young Man in a Black Hat, and of course his master piece The Night Watch, I'd go on but I have a lunch date but do carry on."  As the stuffed shirt glared back at me I slipped through the door smiling. What fun.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

he he he drove past my house...i could have lent you a boat to play with! What did you think out our water up here??

I know that my wife and I had a blast in your neck of the woods in October on our trip (paddling, hiking, kite flying, eating, drinking, carousing, et al)

Good winds
(Beverly Farms, Mass)