I highly recommend watching The Art of The Steal (available on Netflix Instant) and visiting the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. This astonishing new museum houses the collection of one man, Albert Barnes, and the documentary covers how his will, which stipulated that the collection should never leave his house or be displayed in a public museum, was unraveled. In addition the to hundreds of masterful paintings by Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, and other artists, each room replicates a scene in Barnes’ original collection, so you can ponder why he placed certain pieces together and find the connections between them.
Jan Steen, As The Old Sing, So Twitter the Young (1668)
One of the fantastic paintings on loan from the Hague for The Frick’s exhibition of Dutch masters, “Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals.” Everyone’s queued up to see Vermeer’s Girl With A Pear Earring, but there are other wonders, like Carl Fabritius’ The Goldfinch, (the real painting at the center of Donna Tartt’s new novel, which led me to the show). It’s a fascinating period in art: less baby Jesus and lords, more of a photographic eye on cities, spatial depth, ordinary life and emotional complexity. At times you can imagine the people in the paintings speaking.
Come on snow!
No two snowflakes are alike, they say. And yet: We rarely get proof of that. Our eyes perceive snow not as individual, idiosyncratic crystals … but rather as uniformly fluffy flakes. And! When we try to get a better look at the true intricacy of snow by capturing one of the flakes … the thing melts. Snow is a cold and fickle thing.