Friday, September 10, 2010

Paintings at the PMA, and Prisons Too!

Mum had specifically requested that we pay a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. So we did. Though I insisted that we walk from my neighborhood up to the PMA, along the portion of the Schukyll River Trail that runs through Center City Philadelphia, along the eastern bank of the Schukyll River.

This was the last weekend for the big summer blockbuster 'Late Renoir' show. We had no interested in seeing the show. I knew the lines would be awful (observe below) and as Mum said, "Surely they'll still have one up in the regular galleries. They wouldn't have put all of them in the show." We were both right.

Downtown form the Art Museum steps. Check out that line! That's for general admission! Thank heavens we got there early - no wait for us!

After the usual PMA stuff, we headed over to the new Perelman Building annex to check out the special exhibit on the recent conservation of Thomas Eakin's "The Gross Clinic." The photo below was taken by NY Times staff, and features the painting, the senior paintings conservator, and the current Mellon Fellow. (fyi that paintings conservator is kind of a genius - he gave us a tour/lecture as part of our paintings block at school. Genius.) I'm kind of apathetic about the Times, but they did a nice article on the story behind the Gross Clinic project. Really though, come to Philly, see the painting and the excellent video about the project, and then we'll get cheesesteaks.

Then I made poor Mum go with me to the Eastern State Penitentiary. The Penitentiary was opened in 1829, abandoned in 1971, and reopened to tours in 1993. It is kept in a ruined state, with work being done to ensure that further destruction does not occur, not to bring it back to its original appearance.

The Penitentiary does what I understand to be a fantastic haunted house each fall. Doubting this would be something that Mum and I would like and figuring that it would probably be creepy enough in Ordinary Time, this seemed a good opportunity to check out it's peeling paint and crumbling plaster without having creepy costumed people leap out at us.

1 comment:

Mum said...

The PMA was a crazy place with so many visitors. Let's go back another time when it might not be so busy. I agree the prison was creepy enough in the daylight. I certainly don't want to go there around Halloween.