My last “Quick Takes” was posted before last Friday, which I spent in The City (shut up!) with Ann Engelhart. We had a great time. Took the train in from Long Island, where she lives, and headed for the Morgan, but not before dawdling in some of her favorite notions shops (she being a Creative and all) – lie M & J Trimming. I loved it. Even bought some stuff. Have no idea what I’ll do with it, but who knows?!
We spent a lot of time at the Pierpont Morgan library. It had been closed for renovations the last time I was there, but this time had the added attraction of a special exhibit on the Eucharist. Illuminating Faith: The Eucharist in Medieval Faith and Art. It was small, but wonderful
Now, I had read a mildly critical review of this show at First Things, and now having seen it myself, I must respectfully disagree with Maureen Mullarkey. She takes the exhibit to task (again, mildly) for placing the Eucharistic devotion expressed in the astonishing and beautiful books on display in the past, as if it were an ancient, lost belief. I don’t agree. First of all, the exhibit is explicitly historical. It’s about the Medieval period, so it’s quite appropriate to retain that context. Secondly, both Ann and I were impressed with the respectful and objective descriptions given of Eucharistic faith. the displays were straightforward and unencumbered by any diversions into Comparative Religions territory. This is what people believed, and this is how they expressed and honored that belief. Period.
Oh, and the work on display? Gorgeous. Intriguing. Humbling.
Almost as absorbing was the other special exhibit: Old Masters, Newly Aquired – a gathering of drawings from various collectors. I love going to exhibits with Ann – I can ask her all the dumb questions (“So…how do they make it so you can’t see the brushstrokes?”) and not quite so dumb ones, too (“What is a wash, exactly?”)
We then made our way to Eataly, at my request. I really enjoyed it, although it also irritated me the same way having to pay 4 bucks for a baguette that would cost me 1 Euro in France irritates me. This is normal, everyday food in Italy. Why is it so exotic here and why must I pay a premium for it?
That out of the way, it was really good, and what I enjoyed most were the condiments – the fig preserves with a dash of chili? Yes.
And no, I did not kill Ann’s dog, although I was afraid I had when it was determined that he had found and consumed an entire bag of (not chocolate) candies I’d purchased and the fact that the candies were in the shape of raspberries was the reason there was red in his vomit, not that there was blood and he was dying because my candy had killed him was a big relief.
School! Has Started! Slowly. But it’s happening. Some curricula, some unschooling, which means we came back from the library loaded down with a couple of dozen books on pre-Columban cultures (still an obsession) and the history of (American) football.
And we spent a day at a local state park because people are just not tired enough at night, and by heavens, we’re going to change that…..
(I have a bunch of copies now. I have a speaking engagement next week, and if I have any left, I’ll put ‘em up for sale.)
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