Sunday, October 08, 2006

Where do you get collection affliction?

I think it's hard wired into your DNA and there's nothing you can do except monitor your own behavior and continually update your collection, of course. Of course! One of the real benefits of Collection Affliction is an overall abiding affection for museums, because of course, they house....collections. You know it. So museums it is for me. I have to say I like 'em all, regardless of size, location or curation. I LOVE museums. For instance, I love the Museum of the Rockies on Round Butte Road outside of Ronan, Montana. Killer farming equipment collection. Stunning, in fact. Then there's the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Freaking phenomenal building housing martime and whaling artifacts and antiques. Splendid.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County with the dinosauer exhibit is my first recollection of a museum. I loves it still. Deep in my heart. I love the face jars at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum in London. In Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is an exquisite afternoon (this woman like me, had serious collection affliction) and the Maryhill Museum on the Columbia River Gorge is an absolute do not miss. Blue Boy's there. The High Museum in Atlanta for folk art and the Warhols at the Hirschborn in the D of C are two sterling museum experiences. The Art Institute of Chicago for the pointillist oils is,well, barely describable it's so magnificent. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is where the foremost collection of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art is held. It, too, is magnificent.

The University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology has the world's best collection of totems and dug out canoes. Unbelieveable these things are. And they let you walk among their storage racks. I have a very soft spot in my heart for the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the planetarium there and the massive hall off the front door as well as the Museum of the City of New York down the street on Central Park West. The Bishop Museum in Honolulu has many of the Hawai'ian Royal Family possessions with the feathers still intact and absolutely fascinating pen and ink drawings of religious ceremonies the natives observed.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's collection of eye glasses and hair haunts me still although I saw it fully 15 years ago. Musee d'Orsay in Paris is a rehabbed train station and is brilliant with light, the Louvre in Paris held one of my favorite all time exhibits, the Hermes handbag exhibit; one must not neglect the Galleria dell'Accadamia in Florence of course for Davide, The Uffizi in Florence for so many incredible, beautiful things including the da Vinci exhibit and Botticelli, oh and my favorite, the Duke and Duchess of Urbino. The Vatican Museum in Rome has a marvelous collection of maps and one of my very favorite museums, in Florence again, the Museo de Storia della Scienza has a exquisite collection of world globes and some of Gallileo's telescopes.

Probably the museum that I am most fascinated with currently is in a little tiny Tuscan hill town, Volterra. Volterra sits high on a hill, as it's an Etruscan city. The Museo Guarnacci has the most incredible collection of Etruscan cinerary urns which is extraordinarily curated. Lotta adjectives and adverbs there but it's true. This is a place where time stands dead still. The museum itself is an old villa; it not only holds scores and scores and scores of the urns the Etruscans used for cremation-- alabaster, terra cotta, carved stone, you name it-- but they show them in their natural habitat in the Tuscan hillside. You experience what it was like for the archeologists to discover them. It's jaw dropping. Gives you perfect insight in the cultural and artistic heritage the Italians received from the indigeneous people, the Etruscans. You see where their exquisite design sense comes from. If I could go to only one museum in the world, I'd go here.

The one museum that's escaped me is Museo Archeologico Nazaional in Naples. It's here that the artifacts from Pompeii reside. I have always wanted to go there but literally can't find a travel agent to book me because...Naples is too dangerous. But I am going at New Year's. Yup. Gonna rent a car and drive down there because those collections have been together for too long without me. The Museum of the City of London is good as is the Museum of the City of Paris. Viking museums, too. I'd really like to see those... And American folk art museums, the world does not ever have too many....

(And Greenwich, outside of London; you take the boat up the Thames and get off in Greenwich and walk to the museum on time. FAScinating!)

JBelle
Bellemaison
The 'Kan EWA

22 comments:

curtcon said...

I just love museums too. The Isabella Stewart Gardner was just 2 blocks from my old apartment in the Fens. Spent many an afternoon there. Have a pretty good story on the chief suspect in the Vermeer theft from that museum...Another time.

Did you know that Isabella was a rabid Red Sox fan?

jb3ll3 said...

Curt, Anybody with a decent modicum of discretion, grace, and intelligence is a member of the Bosox Nation. And that freaking Damon got what he deserved, didn't he?

toadman said...

I'm a museum lover also. All types. I used to work in a museum, but you didn't mention it. I worked at the Kimbel Art Museum in Fort Worth, TX. I highly recommend it, not only for the artwork, but for the building itself. It was designed by Louis Kahn and is a piece of art in itself. I worked in it for two years. Great experience.

Since I've moved up here, they've finished the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art across the street, the building designed by one of Kahn's students, Tadao Ando. It's amazing also. I plan on cheking out the Modern on our trip to Texas in November.

Somday, I'd love to see the museum in Naples you mentioned. What a cool place!

Oh, here's a link to the Kimbel and the Modern in Fort Worth:
The Kimbel - http://www.kimbellart.org/
The Modern - http://www.themodern.org/

jb3ll3 said...

Don't know the Kimbel! Never been to Ft. Worth. hmmmm.....(off to check the airline schedules)(Thanks for the link! cooool)

BX_boy said...

Your fancy museums are nice and all but I've got one that trumps all. Besides the collection of reflectors in Ellensburg, WA (outdoor museum one could argue), one museum that's at the top of my list is the Spam Museum. I will make it to Austin, MN before I die.

P.S. How many straight division championships? Oh yeah. Dominance.

jb3ll3 said...

That place in Ellensburg is surely of the preemininent folk art exhibits in the country! What's it called? Dick and Jane's Spot? And nuts!!! I was going to put the Spam museum in, because I LOVE it, love it to death, but thinking about those Etruscan funeraries, I just lost my head.

the psycho therapist said...

/adding pocketchange

I {{{puffy heart}}} museums but grow weary if they lack sufficient mental stimulation.

I am not one of those people who are compelled to stop and read every-single-nuance-of-printed-material-on-every-displayed-item-in-the-house.
I follow what attracts, allures. If an exhibit doesn't "hold" and captivate, I move on.

It's hell being a Gemini, Mercury-girl.
;)

jb3ll3 said...

You one big Puffy Heart! Ever been to the Spam museum? Wanna meet me there?

curtcon said...

I remember when Damon signed a lot of my Red Sox friends were slinging around the "turncoat" epithet...I kept on saying "52 million for 4 years...How do you say no?"...They kept on saying "but it's the Yankees"

for 52 million I'd play for Al Quaida..lolol

OK, one of my favorite museum adventures of all time was the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The Crown Jewels made the Brit Crown Jewels looks like cheap crap from Cracker Jack boxes and omg the porcelains. A true treasure house.

http://www.wam.umd.edu/~dilli/
pics/topkapi.jpg

tivish said...

Les jardins du Musée Rodin à Paris? De grands oeuvres en plein air et un petit restaurant aussi...c'est merveilleux.
http://www.musee-rodin.fr/
Et n'oublie pas le Musée Marmottan où on peut voir la collection famiale de Monet...tableaux de tous les Impressionistes! C'est un peu difficile à trouver dans le XVIème, mais ça vaut la peine!
http://www.marmottan.com/uk/ (in English)
Giverney? Un musée vivant.
http://giverny.org/gardens/fcm/visitgb.htm
Allons-y!

jb3ll3 said...

Rodin's Garden. yes. pardon. oui. One very hot July afternoon. Then, Tivish, I lost you. But the City of Paris museum in the Marais is a jewel, probably...here it comes, my favorite in Paris. And:::: I've never been to Giverny. Know an old friend who'd go with me??? NB: BETTER than d'Orsay?

jb3ll3 said...

Istanbul. There's another place that I can't get to. People tell me it's too dangerous to travel there alone. What do you think? My thinking is this: if there's a good collection there...I better update my will and book some time off.

And let me just say this: I wouldn't play for the Yankees for 54 million American nor lunch with Thomas Aquinas, William Shakespeare and/or Bill Gates!

brur brur said...

If you like travelling and museums, you should try going to Koh Samui, Thailand. They have a small but beautiful seashell museum... marvellous collection of sea creatures...

sorry to butt in to your blog though, but i think you have a great blog...

Mommy Dearest said...

At one time I considered opening a polyester tie museum. I have about 300 of the gaudiest ties imaginable from my days as a grocery clerk when I had to wear a tie. I had fun with it.
Jbelle, I can't believe you left the Spragpole in Murray off your list of museums. Not only it home to the world's longest chain carved from a single piece of wood, but there's also an amazing collection of Avon PU-fume bottles.

jb3ll3 said...

what?!


I have never been to the Spragpole! do they have winter hours?!

DO NOT let go of that tie collection, T. I would love to see it sometime.

PDXPup said...

Okay, I got the goods from signor picarelli and he said to stay in Gaeta, and take the train to Napoli...he said if you rent a car to go down there, when you park it chances are it won't be there when you come back to it. He said stay in Gaeta and take the train down there--there are better places to stay on the beach and the food is better in Gaeta.

jb3ll3 said...

so we're going south after Christmas?

PDXPup said...

i guess so...i kind of want to see this archipalago museum in napoli and the ruins in pompeii. i mean the etruscans are alluring, but this is a whole city buried in ash! that is freaking cool. i mean, tragic...but cool.

jb3ll3 said...

Pompeii is wicked cool, girl. Besides, with this loop we'll go to the Amalfi coast. It will be warm. :) sigh

jb3ll3 said...

brur brur! I missed your post! Only now when I was looking for another one did I see you and read the great information on the seashell/seacreature museum in Thailand. It sounds marvelous. Currently, seashells are a big problem. Started about a year ago with shells for the bathroom; now--yeah. well. there's alot. I have to do something with some of them. Shells utterly fascinate me.

jb3ll3 said...

and brur brur, we've never had a vampire visit here. Just let me say: we're quite honored. The Chows said that they wouldn't think of barking.

brur brur said...

tell the chows that they are adorable, and i will never lay my teeth on them... *chuckle*