Monday, January 9, 2012


The Duchess, in need of a change of scenery and to take advantage of the annual thaw of January, decided to enlist one of her longtime conspirators for a trip to Oberlin, hotbed of abolitionism, rich art kids, and the kind of place that gets literary and musical luminaries to show up on a regular basis (deeply regretting missing the chance to hear Salman Rushdie, but the Duties of the Peonage take precedence.

Such trips are usually made to acquire printing blocks from Silk Road environs, organic smoothies with delicious taste and dubious ingredients named after pop starlets, and to observe undergrad males in green sequinned tutus riding unicycles through the park.

While none of these events occurred in this adventure, good tunes were rocked out to, fossil fuels were burned, and we debated whether the junk in a front yard was a pack rat's manifestation or a conceptual art piece based on the death of the farming and manufacturing industries in the Rust Belt. As yours truly's camera was in the trunk, no documentation of this sojourn exists with the exception of this post.

The Allen Memorial Art Museum was last visited over a decade ago, in dumber, more punkassed years in which we wrote unfunny teenage comments on the visitors cards and the intricacy of Central Asian textiles was lost on our juvenile brains, though we did return to a friend's house to record thrashy two minute punk songs about the Sparkle Market and junior high boys with a bongo drum, an electric guitar with a bad pickup, on a motivational tape with the holes taped over in dilapidated Sony boombox.

This time, however, my companion and I were geeky over shards of Turkish ceramic, illuminated manuscripts illustrating Mongol hordes, and this piece, a response to the Sino-Japanese War that moved me in ways that most contemporary art does not.

Some lovely old Florentine sculpture
Swanky dragon sculpture

And this lovely piece by Rouault

Seeing Durer's work, which isn't on the museum's site was also much welcome who imagines an affinity with the artist due to his tendency towards depression, curiosity, and spiritual pondering.

Someday, I'll get to see these for real, inshallah.

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