Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The British Museum: "Cradle to Grave" by Pharmacopoeia

This exhibit is amazing.  It uses fabric to encase all of the pills taken by two human beings - male and female - over their life-time.  Here is a blurb from the British Museum's website:

"Cradle to Grave explores our approach to health in Britain today. The piece incorporates a lifetime supply of prescribed drugs knitted into two lengths of fabric, illustrating the medical stories of one woman and one man.
Each length contains over 14,000 drugs, the estimated average prescribed to every person in Britain in their lifetime. This does not include pills we might buy over the counter, which would require about 40,000 pills each.
Some of the treatments are common to both: each starts at birth with an injection of vitamin K and immunizations, and both take antibiotics and painkillers at various times. Other treatments are more specific. The woman takes contraceptive pills, and hormone replacement therapy in middle age. The man has asthma and hay fever when young, but enjoys good health until his fifties. He finally stops smoking after a bad chest infection when he is seventy. He is treated for high blood pressure for the last ten years of his life and has a heart attack and dies of a stroke in his seventies. He takes as many pills in the last ten years of his life as in the first sixty-six.
Cradle to Grave also contains family photographs and other personal objects and documents. The captions, written by the owners, trace typical events in people's lives. These show that maintaining a sense of well-being is more complex than just treating episodes of illness.
Pharmacopoeia are Susie Freeman, Dr Liz Lee and David Critchley."

Monet again.

Monet, "Water-lilies, setting sun" (1907)

This is an addendum to my previous post about the St. Louis Art Museum's exhibition on Monet this Fall.  I think this might be my favorite of the water lilies series.  The reflection on the water and the colors are incredible.

The Grand Inquisitor

Gerrit van Honthorst "Christ before the High Priest"
This past summer I unintentionally spent two months in Italy and had a lot of free time on my hands.  I have been wanting to read The Brothers Karamazov since college, when one of my favorite pastors said it was his favorite book.  

I struggled through it, to be frank.  But I finished it.  Hopefully I'll give it another read in my lifetime.  

However, my absolute favorite section in the book blew my mind.  It is called "The Grand Inquisitor" and you can get it for free for a Kindle (or Kindle app) on Amazon - here.  It's quite short and well worth the read.  The painting above reminds me of it.

Laurent de la Hyre Allegories of the Seven Liberal Arts

Allegory of Rhetoric (sorry I can't find a better copy)
Allegory of Astronomy
Allegory of Music
Allegory of Grammar
Allegory of Arithmetic 
Allegory of Geometry
I am missing Logic.  Anybody want to do me a favor and find it?
Find out more about Laurent de la Hyre.

How exciting that J and I get to curate our kids' childhood images!

Unknown Flemish Artist "Cognoscenti in a room hung with pictures" (1620) "cognoscenti" = connoisseurs
Aelbert Cuyp "Ubbergen Castle" - Adventure!
Valentin de Boulogne "The Four Ages of Man" (1629)

For the Kitchen and Living Spaces

Peder Balke "The Tempest" - What it doesn't show here is that in the gallery the frame doubles the size of the painting which is about four inches square!
Van Gogh "Long Grass with Butterflies"
Cezanne "The Avenue at the Jas de Bouffan".  This reminds me of  Virginia Water Park, south west of London, where Jono took me the day after I arrived back in London.  
Gauguin - "A Vase of Flowers" 1896

From a visit to the National Gallery with Mondo and friends

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Love (III)

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
               Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
               From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
               If I lack'd any thing.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
               Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, ungrateful? ah my dear,
               I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
               "Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
               Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
               "My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
               So I did sit and eat.

I just finished Tim Keller's The Meaning of Marriage (which rocked) and he mentioned this poem in the book.  

New Goal in Life: to go to the Jardin Des Tuileries in Paris

...It's where all the photos of the fashionable people with the white chalky powder on their shoes come from.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

God Knows by Minnie Louise Haskins
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.
God knows. His will Is best. 
The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.
Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

Monday, November 21, 2011

And the government has given me a number to simplify my birth and life and death
And still my woman thinks I'm awful important
Like moon and sun and sea and sky and breath

Roger Miller - Where Have All The Average People Gone by Roger Miller on Grooveshark

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Paradox of Thrift

I'm a huge fan of NPR's Planet Money and today I was learning about John Maynard Keynes (who, according to Nicholas Wapshott, the author of Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics, was the most colorful Brit of the 20th Century besides Winston Churchill).  Keynes had a theory that was called The Paradox of Thrift: (according to wikipedia) "The paradox states that if everyone tries to save more money during times of recession, then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population because of the decrease in consumption and economic growth. The paradox is, narrowly speaking, that total savings may fall even when individual savings attempt to rise, and, broadly speaking, that increases in savings may be harmful to an economy"

In other words, if we all save our money, we all get poorer.  Fascinating.  I wonder what economic theory would have everyone being wise with their money and having good character?

Monday, November 7, 2011

A great social success is a pretty girl who plays her 
cards as carefully as if she were plain.

F. Scott Fitzgerald 

(from: Musings in Femininity)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

From the Saint Louis Art Museum exhibit on Monet:

Monet in his studio by Henri Manuel - 1923 (from the book 

 By Heide Michels, Guy Bouchet)

"Water Lilies 1916" (source)