Review: ‘The Club: Johnson, Boswell, And The Friends Who Shaped An Age


What began as an admirable effort to show the wide ranging influence of an eighteenth century London club whose members included Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, David Garrick, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Joshua Reynolds, and Edward Gibbon rapidly devolved into an unsatisfying biography of Boswell and Johnson.

On the other hand, I learned that the classic nursery rhyme, ‘Do you know the muffin man,’ likely has salacious organization and I was inspired to do some googling and found that you can rent Boswell’s ancestral Scottish manse for your holiday.

Good Day – Book Art & Contemporary Political Art


I went into the office on a Sunday because I simply couldn’t believe that over the course of four and a half day holiday weekend I hadn’t received any work emails (I hadn’t but then again, our systems were being spotty and people claimed to have tried to send me documents).

Upon discovering that my fears were groundless and having already found parking downtown, I decided to spend a little flaneur time.

First, the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

The museum was not only free that day but featured a Book Art Festival, which is a fancy way of saying that young, creative types set up tables with their zines and chapbooks and letterpress creations.

Naturally, I bought five books. One of those books was a book of art reproductions created in the wake of Trump’s election which leads to my next fortuitous encounter.

While walking to Chinatown in search of noodles, I passed by a sign that pointed through a door and up some stairs to the Center for Contemporary Political Art.

Tintoretto


After much effort, my daughter agreed that we could see the Tintoretto exhibit if we also saw the giant blue rooster.

While I didn’t get to spend as much time admiring the erotic paintings as I might have liked, because I had my little one with me, I loved this strange Last Supper.

Rather than a melancholy Passover feast, it looks more like a raucous meeting of philosophers from one of Plato’s more debauched dialogues.

And here’s the rooster.

The Phillips Collection


We visited the Phillips Collection the other day because, as it turns out, Tuesdays Through Fridays during the day, it’s free to visit the permanent collection (though not the special/temporary exhibits). While the little fragments we got to see of the exhibit of works by the Cuban artist, Zilia Sánchez, seemed very exciting, the permanent collection also seemed quite enough for the little one.

Like another favorite private museum in DC, the Kreeger, the Phillips Collection has some truly fantastic pieces, including a monumental Renoir that you probably saw in your  college art history text book. I used to go once a year because I used to have a subscription to the Folger’s poetry series and one reading per season would take place there.

While I have my favorite painting there (a smallish de Kooning), there were the little one’s. And the Richard Serra (you can guess which one that is) is fantastic, as is the Rothko room which also functions a secular chapel, a la… the Rothko Chapel in Texas.

Corot: Women


Even if the National Gallery of Art were not closed due a government shutdown (thank you, Trump), you couldn’t see this exhibition because it closed just before the shutdown. So you can feel… better about it?

Anyway, here are some cool pics from Corot: Women

Women Reading in the Country

The Repose

Reading, Interrupted

Acid Rain


We went to the National Museum if Women in the Arts the other day. I won’t lie. I picked the day because it’s free on the first Sunday of the month.

The little one was mostly unimpressed and distracted until she saw Acid Rain. She responded to it immediately. Her first reaction was to believe it was made of bones, which also feels like an emotional reaction rather than strictly perception. We spoke about it later and she told me it made her feel sad. Which, in one way, is bad, but she was having a reaction to contemporary art, which is more than most people ever have.