Friday, March 10, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

When I look out my window, I notice that the morning's big floppy snow flakes have now yielded to very fine snow.  The sky is brightening, too.

Thank you all for your kind response to my previous post.  I am pleased to report that I am steadily recovering from my fall.

Yesterday was sunny and unseasonal in its warmth.  A friend and I had plans to visit the Morgan Library.  It was to be my first such day out for pleasure, not merely accomplishing a required errand.

As I was having my oatmeal and tea breakfast, I followed my routine of listening to BBC Radio London via the laptop.  It's fun to have this vicarious London visit at the beginning of my day.  However, yesterday's news of the death of a favorite artist, Howard Hodgkin, at age 84, definitely saddened me.  As a small remembrance, I took this photo of a postcard I bought at London's National Portrait Gallery many years ago.  The postcard is placed on top of the cover of the current issue of The New Yorker magazine that features a scene from an art gallery opening.


I now understand that the NPG will be exhibiting a Howard Hodgkin retrospective this spring.  I would like to see that show, as well as quite a few others that are on a late winter/early spring schedule.

However, yesterday I went to see the marvelous Emily Dickinson exhibit at the Morgan.  I admit to not being as familiar with ED's work as I would now with to be.  My introduction to her genius has arrived via the beautifully poetic blog post Merisi's Vienna for Beginners.  I definitely recommend this site to you all.

The current exhibit is in a medium-sized gallery space on the second floor. reached by a glass-walled elevator.  Entering the door to the gallery takes one into Dickinson's 1800s era in New England.


I took a few photographs to give you an idea of the quiet, yet thrilling atmosphere of the exhibit.  The above photo is in Dickinson's mature handwriting, and the following photo of the adjacent label tells of her interest in another poet.  Please forgive my not quite centering the photo of the label...I'll blame my bandaged finger.


Another section of the exhibit features a digital slide show of the poet's herbarium, which clearly indicates her close observation and desired connection to nature.


Here is a photo of just one page from the slide show.  In a protective glass case next to the slide show device is the precious herbarium itself, open to one page.  I decided to rely on the digital pictures for my own photographs. 

I would recommend this exhibit to any of you all who love poetry.


I would also recommend settling into the sunlit atrium cafe on the Morgan Library's main floor.  My friend Elizabeth and I decided to each order the extravagance of the Morgan Tea.  It was delicious!


The "new" extension to the Morgan is a well-designed three-story space.  Through a doorway, one may also enter the original Library building which is also a must see.  


Mr Morgan's actual library is quite luxurious.  Even the huge carpet is beautiful.  In this current age of billionaires who do not always practice philanthropy, it's interesting to contemplate how it is that we mere ticket holders can visit what was once one man's library.


Quite a hearth and quite a tapestry.  Morgan's office also contains some precious paintings.  The link to the Library's site that I have provided above will give those interested much more information.


It was a great pleasure to join a good friend for such a day of cultural treats.  It was easy for me to reach the Morgan via the subway...just two stops away, plus a very short walk.

I'm looking forward to being able to share more city views with you all very soon.  There is so much to see!

36 comments:

  1. Frances, what a very interesting visit. You always manage to show us somewhere exciting, and the Emily Dickinson exhibition must have been fascinating. I had no idea that her talents extended to Botany. The Cafe looks good too!

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    1. Back in the last century, I used to keep a membership at the Morgan, but eventually let it lapse. It's a place that always seems to have very interesting special exhibits to complement the permanent collection. Oh yes, the cafe is quite nice, too. xo

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  2. Glad you enjoy BBC! I learn so much listening to Radio 4.

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    1. Radio 4 Extra is also a great source of programming that is good to listen to while knitting. I learned that long ago from a comment I heard from the famed knitter Kaffe Fassett. Thanks for visiting, Trish. xo

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  3. Oh Frances, what a thrill to go out and about with snow. The Morgan looks wonderful. So happy you are healing. I think you must be looking down more when walking. Interesting things down there too. I have a recipe somewhere for a cake (I think coconut) from ED. I used to listen to NPR 24/7 and still love Ira Glass. Haven't tried the BBC. Are your fingers moving the right way and head good too? I was worried about you.

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    1. Thanks so much, Donna. I think that you would have enjoyed visiting the Morgan with us yesterday.
      Since that fall, I have been more conscious about watching where I am going, and perhaps as a result not walking so quickly...pausing to take a look if something above street level seems interesting .
      It's very interesting to listen to the Beeb from this side of the Atlantic, and to get a wider view of our world.
      My right hand has sort of figured out a way to compensate for that bandaged ring finger, so that I can just about touch type. Knitting is still waiting off stage. My noggin is better, but the ice pack routine will still be in play for awhile.
      (I started noticing those spot on my hands a couple of years ago...they don't really bother me...I do use sunscreen all the time (except on my face during the current situation when I've been mainly indoors.) I loved your recents blog posts. xo

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  4. So pleased to hear you had such a lovely day out with your friend... And lovely that you have shared it with us.

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    1. Gina, it was so good to have the sun also join in the pleasure of that day! Did you notice the scones on the tea stand? Surely not as delicious as yours, but definitely freshly baked. xo

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  5. Yes, altogether a splendid visit - with so much to discover! Even the secret staircases!
    And as for the lunch time ‘tea’ - your photo captures it exactly!

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    1. Aren't we lucky, Elizabeth, to have so many gems like the Morgan to visit in our city? I am even more lucky to have friends like you. See you soon..stay warm during this weekend chill. xo

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  6. Howard Hodgkin lived near me and one day I handed him an invitation to one of H.I.'s exhibitions. He did not attend... He had a huge collection of Indian miniature and other paintings, and desperately wanted one which belonged to a friend of mine, who was a friend of his. My freind refused to sell it at any price (he is/was wealthy enough to resist even the offer of ANY painting by Hodgkin which was offered) and Howard refused to speak to him ever after. He was an obsessive collector!

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    1. Thanks Tom, for this HH story. I knew about his collection of Indian miniatures, and remember that the titles of several paintings in that 2016 NYC Gagosian Gallery exhibit had Indian references.
      An instagram pal has told me that HH taught her mom at art college and is going to try to get her mom to tell some of her remembrances so that they might be passed along to me. It is a small world.

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  7. I am so glad you had a lovely day with your friend, and that you are feeling better. The Emily Dickinson exhibition really interests me, and I enjoyed your words and pictures of it. Your afternoon tea looks delicious, something else I would enjoy! Take care Frances.
    Helen xox

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    1. Dear Helen, the Morgan is one of NYC's smaller museums, and always worth a visit, but particularly when the special exhibit features a literary figure of interest to me.
      Glad to be feeling much better! xo

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  8. Dear Frances, Good to hear that your health is improving. Thank you for sharing your outing with us. I love the photos you have included. For those of us who are so far from New York, seeing such lovely photographs is a treat.

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    1. Thanks Gina...I definitely wanted to be able to share some of the flavor of what was such an enjoyable day. I really enjoy letting you all see these city views! xo

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  9. Enjoyable reading
    Glad I found your blog via blog, Weaver of Grass

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    1. Thank you so very much. I love the Weaver's posts! xo

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  10. I'm happy to hear you are slowly recovering from your fall, Frances, and back on your pleasure walks again.
    The Morgan library with it's arched painted ceiling, mural paintings, carpet and fireplace is a real beauty!
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. I am little by little recovering and it's such a pleasure to be able to be spending more time beyond the walls of my apartment.
      I think that you would love the Morgan...when one is in the original building, it's difficult to believe that 2017 NYC is just outside the windows! xo

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  11. Interesting post Frances. I have previously thought of Emily Dickinson as a recluse and not thought much more about her but this collection you have shown here makes me think I got that completely wrong! I am always interested in people who are prolific writers and jot things down on scraps of paper.

    Hodgkin I have learned more about since reading tributes following his death. Many things I did not know. He was not an artist ever talked about when I was a student which is a failing of art schools here in that tutors rarely refer British artists unless they are on the very latest contemporary art scene, cutting edge, as they call it. Great gaps exist in art education!

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    1. Rachel, I am quite a beginner with regard to Emily Dickinson. Something that struck me from the exhibit was learning about although she was raised in a well to do, education-oriented family, and forged many connections with others through correspondence, only about 10 of her poems were published during her life. She was still a woman, and an experimental writer.

      The exhibit includes some pages from newspapers that did publish her work, hidden on very large broadsheets, filled with multiple columns set in very fine type.

      Somehow, she remained true to her craft.

      I smiled as I read your words about art education. I learned very little about art while in school...but did get to meet Georgia O'Keeffe and have her praise what art I was working on.

      It wasn't until I moved to NY that I truly began to learn a bit and stretch my art appreciation and practice.

      I could let this comment get a lot longer...fun to trade comments with you. xo

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  12. What a lovely day! Interesting post and pictures. Monday again, let´s have a great week now :)
    Love from Titti

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    1. Thanks for those Monday wishes, Titti!

      I am happy to report that the stitches were removed from my injured finger this morning...so now I am encouraged to once again move my entire right hand. xo

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  13. I am so pleased to hear that you are improving and I am very envious about your visit to the Emily Dickinson Exhibition. I became acquainted with her work when I illustrated several of her poems. I particularly love the one about exhalation. " exhaltation is the going if an inland soul to sea, past the houses, past the headlands into deep eternity" or something along those lines. I think her poetry was very avantgarde.

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    1. Thank you Val. It would have been great to have had you join Elizabeth and me at the Morgan last week. I love the ED quote you have shared here. I'm looking forward to reading much more of her poetry. xo

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  14. Im so glad to hear you are recovering nicely and feeling better and got to enjoy this fun outing! The Emily exhibition looks wonderful- thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I appreciate your comment so much! It's so good to be feeling better and better. Visiting this exhibit was a wonderful tonic. xo

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  15. HH will be much missed. He was a stalwart of the British painting scene. We never met, but his influence lives on.

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    1. I am fortunate to have seen many of his exhibits, both in London and over here in New York. Seeing the actual paintings and prints was so much better than relying on reproductions in books. Those colors!

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  16. Hello Frances,

    So sorry fir not commenting on your recent fall, it certainly looked like you took an awful tumble but glad you are recovering slowly and those nice men were near to help you. I had major heart surgery 7 weeks ago and have really found out who my friends are. I have been very lucky in finding my craft group friends are so kind and will take me to various group activities whereas my church family of over 15 years have made no contact. I hope you are improving each day like myself which I know is going to take me awhile.
    Tender hugs,
    Hazel c uk

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    1. My goodness, Hazel, thank you for letting me know about your heart surgery. I am so glad that you are making a steady recovery. It's grand to hear about how helpful your craft group have been.
      You can well imagine what a pleasure it was to be able to visit the Dickinson exhibit and have that elegant tea with a good friend.
      I have learned a lot about being patient! Lots of love to you. xo

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  17. How wonderful to see her poems as she wrote them. Merisi has added greatly to my appreciation of ED's poetry. And what a beautiful library!

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    1. Dear Vicki, if it were not for visiting Merisi's posts, I doubt that I would have visited this amazing exhibit.
      It is so good that the immensely wealthy J.P Morgan decided to share some of his riches with the City of New York.
      I'm yearning for our chilly weather to warm up, to encourage me to do some more exploring. However...I actually stayed indoors yesterday, giving this year's St. Patrick's Day parade a miss. Surely, next year's 3/17 will be balmy! xo

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  18. Hello, dear Frances! So much interesting information in this post. It's a real pleasure to follow you in your "cultural treats"!
    I adore Emily Dickinson's poetry. I read it in English and in Bulgarian and must say the translations, although made by several people, are just wonderful!
    Some years ago I bought a very interesting book with a collection of Dickinson's handwritings! Just in case you are interested, here's a link - https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Nothings-Emily-Dickinsons-Envelope/dp/081122175X
    I'm glad you are better now, hope the newborn Spring will be the best cure for you.:)xx

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    1. Dear Rossichka, it is so good to hear from you as we officially enter Spring! It's grand to learn about Emily Dickinson's poetry being successfully translated, so that you might read her works in several languages.
      I will definitely have a peek at that link about her "evolving" handwriting.
      Yes...getting better every day. xo

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