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August 04, 2005



There's just so much Degas around; will I see anything that I haven't, in some way or another, seen before?

I may have to arrange a special trip up there - to kick your ass. The last time we had a Degas in Miami may have been the early nineties.

You almost have to draw at a Degas show. If you run through it, you say to yourself, Yeah, ballerinas. Close study reveals fascinating, almost proto-cubist maneuvers in the course of rendering form. Go hit it and think of us benighted souls in the provinces.


I may have to arrange a special trip up there - to kick your ass.

I know, I know - we're spoiled in some ways. The Fogg always has a number of Degas on view, as does the MFA, and several other museums. I was thinking in particular of the Degas rooms at the Met, actually, which can feel like overkill. Too much in too small a space to be able to focus on anything.

He is a tricky one, though, so I may have to go. I have to say that I'm still more excited by the Kingdom of Siam show in Salem, though. That's got to be amazing.


Fine, rub it in, why don't you?

That Proust quote on the PEM site is one of my favorites.


I don't mean to rub it in, really, but I went to the Peabody Essex today and saw the show, and . . . well, you'd like it. A lot. Perhaps not as exquisite as the Falconry exhibit you caught at the MFA a while back, though it's much larger and has other pleasures. I'll be writing about it in more detail, I'm sure, but one thing I have to say is how strange so much of the work felt. I don't mean that in a bad way. But the mix of familar subject matter and some stylistic continuities with other Asian art would lull one into complacency, only to be startled by striking differences from those traditions.

Lots of cool stuff, though. At a moment when so many museums are criticized for the content of their exhibits, the Peabody Essex and the organizers, the Asian Art Museum of San Franscisco, can feel proud of this one.

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