Day By Day

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Artsy Stuff

Baltimore's culture season is in full swing and we are taking advantage of it. Last week we attended a concert by the Belcea String Quartet at Shriver Hall. Quite good they are. Here's a sample of their work.

They are enormously versatile and the program we heard showed it. They started with Hayden, followed by Shostakovich, and finished with Beethoven. Dmitri's by no means my favorite composer [to say the least], but they made even him sound pretty good.

This week was devoted to the visual arts. We started with lunch at the Lebanese Taverna then on to the Walters Gallery where my brother and I spent some time studying their small, but interesting, collection of Middle Eastern art and armor. He was more interested in the art, but I spent more time with the weaponry on display. Stuff like this:

We then toured a new exhibit on Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece and watched a short amateur dance recital, neither of which I found particularly interesting.

Then we headed up to the BMA for a preview party for an exhibit of Matisse prints. The Cone Collection has long boasted a major holding of Matisse's work. Recently that was augmented by a contribution from the artist's children, and yesterday highlights of the combined collection of more than 600 works were on display.

What fascinated me was that the sheer number of works allowed us to see Matisse refining his style, developing ideas over time, and transferring images from one medium to another over the course of the career. The suspicion remains, though, that the high proportion of female nudes among the prints represent a convenient way of getting the wives and girlfriends of his friends and colleagues to take their clothes off for him.

Then it was home after a long day and evening. Fortunately today was Sunday and we could sleep in.