An afternoon at the MFA

May 8, 2011

Just the thing to get me writing again.

I had been thinking of going to sniff lilacs at the Arboretum along with the hordes of Mother’s Day traffic, but the weather wasn’t entirely to my taste so I decided to settle instead for Dale Chihuly‘s glasswork (including flowers, but not as fragrant)… Turns out the MFA was packed too; when I got there the non-members’ line for the Chihuly was so long that people arriving had no realistic chance of getting in before the exhibit closed. A group ahead of me at the entrance was trying to decide to pay the $110 it would take to get them all on the members’ line (a dual membership with the others as guests). Luckily I was a member already, and just cruised ahead… The rest of the museum wasn’t nearly as bad though. All the traffic went to the Chihuly.

We’d had a small display of Chihuly glass flowers at the church I belonged to in NYC in the 90’s, so that’s the sort of thing I was expecting; I had no idea he did so many really big pieces. I was  amazed by the profusion of shapes and colors. One room had a number of chandeliers – the first one my eye fell upon looked at first like an octopus, hanging from the ceiling almost at eye level; then I counted the “tentacles” and there were at least twice the usual number… another was more like an 8²opus, and another perhaps an 8!opus (octofactorialopus?) I got the impression of a man intoxicated by his technique, irrepressibly delighting in what he has learned to do and what he can still learn. In one of the quotes on the wall he says he doesn’t care whether you call it art or craft or whatever, he just loves making them and having people come see them. And his exuberance is catching! I’ve got to go back when it’s less crowded and take a closer, longer look…

After that I went to the Garden Cafeteria for a light supper (and a chat with a friend who works in the gift shop); and finally just before closing I went through one of my favorite areas, the Japanese galleries. Nice new display of ukiyo-e prints illustrating the four seasons and their celebrations, and a whole gallery full of things related to the tea ceremony. And “Heaven and Hell in Japanese Art” was still up even though it was listed as being only through 5/1; so I lucked out on that one.

OK, I’m tired. Enough for now.

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