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18 May 2009 @ 12:35 pm
Boston: Sunday, May 17th  

I forgot to mention - late last night (Saturday) my Mom sent me a text message for the first time.  It's fairly significant that she's finally learning how to use her phone, since she bought one of the models with a full keyboard so that she could send text messges, but never bothered to figure out how before.  Bad news is that she did this so she could let me know that our grandmother had taken a bad fall and was in the hospital.  She's ninety-three years old, so y'know, that's not good.  Mom didn't want me to call back, though, so I didn't.  She didn't tell Kendrick anything, either, so I told him what was going on once I eventually realized he had no clue.

Sunday was the day I had set aside to hit the Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA).  I thought I'd go to the MFA first, since it opened at ten, so Kendrick went on the train with me to make sure I ended up at the right place.  The museum was having a special exhibition of Venetian masters, focusing on Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese, and I was eager to see it since I planned to write about it for my art history class.  (We had just been studying those artists a few weeks before my trip.)  I was able to get the exhibition ticket for the first time slot, so I was excited about it...until I realized that the MFA is a freakin' maze and it took me AGES to find the entrance to the special gallery.
(Also, in an amazing fit of stupid, I completely neglected to bring a writing implement, so I had to beg one of the ladies at the gift shop to lend me a pen because they didn't have any for sale!  Yeesh.)  But it was all worth it, because Tintoretto and Veronese are freakin' awesome.  (Strangely, I don't dig Titian at all.  I don't think my teacher does either; she completely blew him off in our class.)
The paintings were grouped by subject matter, so that you could see how each artist tackled the same subject - say, Christ and the Supper at Emmaus or Venus and her Mirror - what they would borrow from each other, or what they'd change.  Knowing how difficult it would be to see most of these paintings - they came from collections all over Europe and America - made it especially cool to be able to see them all together like this.
One painting really stood out to me.  Lamentation of the Dead Christ  had been restored just before the exhibition started, and the colors were so marvelous that I had to get a picture of it.  Of course, the minute I busted my camera out one of the security team came over and told me photos weren't allowed (turns out you can take pictures in the regular galleries but not the special exhibition ones) so all I got was a quick blurry one.  But I'm comparing it with the traditional image so you can see the difference a good restoration makes:


Regular image found on the Internet.  Tintoretto's work, BTW.


My sneaky camera.  STUNNING!
 
After having a blast in that gallery, taking notes and pretending the security team wasn't still following me around, I explored the rest of the museum.  I didn't see everything, even though I was there from the time the museum opened til nearly 4 in the afternoon, because it's massive.  I did take a couple of photos of pieces I liked:
 

Caravaggio-esque painting.  I didn't see the name of the artist anywhere.


I almost missed this cute little work.  It's by Donatello and it rather surprised me because the only other work of his that I have seen with a female was his Mary Magdalene statue, and...well, she ain't delicate and pretty, to say the least.  The folds of the fabric are superb.


Speaking of Grandmaster Donatello's Mary Magdalene, it had quite an influence over this unknown artist. 
 
Regrettably, my camera was running out of batteries so I didn't get any photos of anything else.

Kendrick had suggested meeting for lunch at 2:30, so I had not eaten while at the MFA save for a small cup of fruit.  By the time two o'clock rolled around, I was ravenous.  But Kendrick wasn't prepared to actually meet me at 2:30, that was when he was scheduled to leave work.  He called and told me he'd be at work a few minutes past that, but he didn't end up leaving until nearly three.  I was hungry.  To add yet another delay, he went back to the house before heading down toward to the MFA.  Thus why I was there so late.  By the time he showed up I could have eaten a horse.

I was ready to get back on the subway that had brought me to the MFA, but Kendrick suddenly spotted a bus and hurried off in that direction.  I followed, but I had no idea where we were going.  It wasn't until we were a few stops down on the bus that Kendrick got around to telling me that we were going to Jamaica Plain, which was where his play rehearsals were.  That was great for him, but inconvenient for me, since nothing I had wanted to see was in that area, and by the time I got back into Boston proper stuff would be closing because it was a Sunday.  But whatever!  We had lunch/dinner at a pizza-burger-fatty-American-food joint, which was excellent in a vein-clogging way, and then I rode back into the main area of Boston trying to think of something to do.

I couldn't really think of anything else that would be open (I wasn't in the mood to check out bars by myself) so I retreated to another night in Kendrick's apartment.  I had not seen much of his roommates previously because they worked during the day and tended to go out at night, but a couple of them were home when I arrived.  I said hello to dead silence, and my  one feeble attempt at conversation went unanswered, so I retreated to Kendrick's room and worked on postcards and read.
Awkward.
 
I was totally bummed that I didn't make it to the Gardner Museum, especially after I realized that it was closed on Monday, my last day in Boston.  D'OH!!