I slept well last night–and am now ready to tell you about our Saturday adventure!
Bonaparte was really excited about an exhibition that is currently on display at the Barnes Foundation in Philly. The exhibit, “Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography-1890 to 1950″ is a showcase of various French photographers from a private collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg. He was excited because the exhibit includes some of his grandfather’s, Jacques-Henri Lartigue’s, photographs.
We purchased this Book at the foundation’s gift shop! It is a great insight into the wealthy (opposite of my) life of Bonaparte’s grandfather and family!
I was excited too, both happy and unhappy. I was thrilled with the photographs but pissed off that The Barnes Foundation misspelled Bonaparte’s grandfather’s name. Check out the link and you’ll see the error: Barnes Foundation Exhibition Page!
Anyway, Saturday morning we woke up to gray and rainy skies—and I liked that. I thought it was appropriate for venturing into Center City to see an exhibit of black and white photography.
A rainy day in Philly –check out the guy on the bike to the right…..
Look at his two dogs in the basket! You just never know what fun sights you will see when in a city!
Since Saturday is also errand day, we got everything out of the way before ten in the morning. That meant I got dressed and did my hair and makeup in record time.
Yes. Mr. Bonaparte, Hair Consultant was very happy with this look of bio and hair extensions! I am to please my Frenchman!
If you’ve never been to Philadelphia, might I suggest a visit to The Barnes Foundation when you make it to the City of Brotherly Love? While it isn’t my favorite museum, the collection of art that Dr. Barnes amassed over the years is mind boggling! Renoir, Van Gogh, Courbet, Manet—just to name a few. It’s envious!
It doesn’t even look like Fall yet. It looks more like summer, but this is the outside of The Barnes Foundation.
A long pathway leads to….
…the entrance. The grounds remind me, in an odd way, of Fondation Maeght in France. It’s very peacful and calming.
And there is a reason it isn’t my favorite museum. The layout is a carbon copy of Dr. Barnes home—and he had small rooms. And all the works of art were displayed in the walls in the small rooms. On a weekend, those rooms get really really crowded. Photographing the paintings is forbidden. I’m a sucker for beautiful art and I was too much of a wimp to even attempt to snap a pic with my phone.
Put 25 to 30 people in this room and it is like a subway car. See the borders on the floor? You can’t step over them. But look at those Renoirs. It is astounding! BTW, I did NOT take this pic–it’s from the Barnes Foundation’s site!
In addition, there are “borders” on the floor of the rooms. These borders serve as boundaries that you must not step over or you will be reprimanded for going too close to the art. And, as I am one inch away from having Chippy attend seeing-eye dog classes, it was a challenge for me to get a closer view of many of the paintings I so admire!
But-those issues aren’t deal breakers because the paintings and other objet d’arts are worth going to see. It is that spectacular.
A lovely surprise in the entry way of the building…
…and to tell you the truth, this isn’t a bad little gift shop to get some early Christmas shopping done!
Luckily, we were able to take pictures of the pictures at the exhibition! And what an exhibit it was! Let’s take a look–shall we?
I love this photograph by Man Ray–and how the two sets of lips meeting compose another set of lips!
One of my favorite Lartigue photos. She gets around, this Anna–I have her on a wall at home!
Jean Cocteau–and he’s always smoking!
These two guys look like a barrel of fun. But look at how they are dressed! Top hats and morning suits–to ride in a balloon. Times have changed!
Another Man Ray photo. Isn’t it timeless?
Bonaparte is carefully studying his family photos. I decided to snap him in black and white! It was more fun that way. I wish I could have “seen” in black and white. Would’t it be great to shut off the ability to see in color every now and then and see the world through black and white? Not all the time though.
Bonaparte’s cousin. She lived dangerously sliding down that banister in a long skirt! It would have been wrapped around my neck if I tried that!
Another cousin in the old-timey equivalent of an all-terrain vehicle! Who said the French are too serious?
You know, I go through a lot of emotions looking at these old photos. First off, I love black and white photography because there is a touch of mystery. It’s fun trying to imagine the skin tones and the colors of the hair of the people in the photos. It’s a good workout of the mind trying to visualize the colors of the clothing, buildings, countryside and everything else. And there are so many hues and shades of blacks, grays, whites, creams, sepias.
I just about screamed with delight when I found out Picasso had a place on the same street as Daniele!
It’s also quite enchanting and eerie at the same time. Let’s face it—people look so serious that it’s downright scary at times! But it is sweet to see the beauty and how people lived in lost times!
Prostitutes in Mexico. The brows on the one on the left are frightening. I would say the working gal on the right is the more classically-trained one!
I’m also a fan of this pic of a group of working girls. Their well-rounded bodies should come back in style!
What I find fascinating about this lady of the evening is that she’s dressed in all natural fabric. No polyester or blends years back–and this isn’t that far back!
Old photos are a visual history lesson.
I LOVED this photograph–just everything about it. The Dubonnet ads in the back make it so much more interesting.
I also love this corset shop photo. Those waists are so tiny. Maybe I need one of those as part of my weight loss journey!
This is a self portrait of the photographer Brassai, who took most of the photos in this exhibition, in Eze. That was another fun aspect about this exhibition. It’s great to be familiar with many of the areas photographed!
Jean-Paul Sartre on the Pont des Arts..
…and a lone body getting ready for the climb up steps in Montmartre ..I wish I had photographed the entire exhibition!
It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours—and it was fun to imagine what Bonaparte’s family was like before losing their fortune to the Russians. Yeah. That’s right—the Russians! Bonaparte’s great grandfather was a financier who owned a bank. He, along with many wealthy Europeans, invested in a railroad that was to be built by the Russians. Sounds good. Right? Well, what they weren’t expecting was the Russian Revolution. And we all know the outcome of that! Great-grandpa Lartigue and many others lost their fortunes.
I could have gotten a lot of shoes with that railroad money!!
The rest of the day was spent running more errands and then coming home to a wonderful French dinner of Rognons à la Moutarde-Kidneys in a Mustard Cognac Cream Sauce that I made especially for Bonaparte!
And what better way to end a post about photographs? “Pictures At An Exhibition, Movements 1 and 2”. And composed by the Russian talent, Mussorgsky! XOXOXO