I had a bad day at work yesterday and decided to have a great day to compensate.
I started with a very nice breakfast while I listen to the NPR webstream of the Newport Jazz Festival. It was recorded but they played the sets unaltered from the original playing of the set. I got to hear Jean Baptiste, a young pianist from Louisiana, who I had heard and met at the Detroit Jazz Festival a few years ago. It is so exciting to see a young performer with talent grow. One of the numbers he played was “St. James Infirmary” which was one of my first musical loves.
The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of my favorite places in Detroit. It is a place where I can get lost for days. With Detroit in bankruptcy, the creditor banks who were loony enough and bereft of due diligence and lent Detroit money now want to loot the DIA. The collection may disappear into the homes of billionaires. At the same time, our nutty state governor, Rick Snyder, wants the citizens of Detroit to pay for a new stadium. Did I mention that it will not benefit Detroit but will benefit one of our local billionaires? So, I am planning on spending a lot of my time there and take it all in again and again.
Today, I passed one of my landmark sculptures on the way from the parking lot to the door.
It was a beautiful day for a picture and the museum closes at 5:00 p.m. so there would still a lot of day left. I walked in and up the back stairs to what was my son’s favorite room. It is at the front entrance and is a room full of suit of armor and medieval weaponry. Today there were easels set up for the Sunday program where the museum sets up sketch easels so anyone can try to make some art.
I walked through the armor gallery and into the Diego Rivera murals on all four walls and up to the ceiling. As a side note, his wife was Frida Kahlo. Diego did the murals in the 1930s and was an alleged communist. Some of his work was destroyed because of his politics. In the 1950s, there were signs in the room to defend the artistic merit of the mural named “Detroit Industry”. There are many music programs in the room and I have had the pleasure of looking at it for so many years.
This is a picture of the south wall. There is so much symbolism here. The very large stamping machine depicted on the wall is reminiscent of a native Mexican goddess. The two large figures at the top are symbolic representations of Caucasians and Asians. One the opposite wall the figures are Negro and Native American. There is so much to see.
I moved on to my favorite galleries. The impressionist galleries are where I can relax and breathe deeply. I was in the mood for Van Gogh today. There are three hanging in the museum. One is a self portrait painted in 1887. I like the way I can walk up to it and be only inches away so I can look at each brush stroke. Then, step back and see how the dabs form the picture.
And then to the next gallery to visit Whistler. I grew up on the iconic ” Whistler’s Mother” or “Study in Black and Grey” so when I saw “Nocturne in Black and Gold: Falling Rocket”, it was not what I expected.
I went on to the Kresge Court to have some chips and listen to Biddy Budson play some jazz on the piano. Some of the tables have iPads firmly attached so you can get a bit of art history or just surf the Internet. My doctor was there and came up to talk to me approaching from behind. She said she wasn’t sure it was me since she usually sees me with my clothes off. We talked for a few minutes and it was time for the museum to close and for me to go home and listen to the rest of the Newport Jazz Festival.