Sunday, May 3, 2020

4/29/20: A Special Treat

APRIL 29, 2020: A Special Treat



Left, a newly flowering cactus on my deck. At least I think that's what these pointy pink protuberances are. This little darlin' is four inches tall. An amazing piece of work by evolution, don't you agree?

I have gotten some very interesting responses to my incendiary blog of yesterday. Many disagree with me. I want to continue this discussion, but I'm feeling very overwhelmed with the world and also my desk, see below:
So I need a little rest today, but still the Blogmistress must feed the Blog-gelinis, lest they get restless and go on a rampage. So here's a special treat I've been saving up.

I go to New York City whenever I can. As in, whenever I have a reason to go there or whenever I'm somewhere on the East Coast. I like to go there because it's New York City and because I have very close exes and friends there. (Actually, I have only one very close ex in NYC. But doesn't "very closes exes" sound great?) Carolyn also loves NYC and we're often there together. Whenever we are there, we have a tradition of brunch with Jessica at the Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie, which is just across the park from Jessica's flat, where we usually stay. She's my close ex. The Neue Galerie is very German Expressionist and the Cafe is very Viennese.
We love the Cafe Zabarsky. All dark wood and waiters in black vests and kaffee mit schlag and newspapers on those bamboo thingies. We stay a long time and read the papers. Many cities have great cafes, but the cafes in Vienna are the greatest I've ever experienced.

So. We walk across Central Park for our traditional brunch on a weekday and what do we see outside the Neue Galerie? A VERY LONG LINE! And I'm not talking a socially distanced line. I'm talking people crammed together anxious to get in.

Because the most famous work of art in the Neue Galerie is "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" by Gustav Klimt, also known as "Woman in Gold." And the MOVIE, "Woman in Gold" starring Helen Mirren had just opened, so everyone wanted to see the actual painting that the movie was about.


WE didn't want to see the painting. We'd already SEEN the painting. It had been there a while. Not to mention that we weren't interested
in the museum at all. We just wanted to go to the cafe. I bypassed the long line to enter the lobby of the Galerie to see if we could still get into the cafe. I discovered that almost no one was in the cafe. Great! Then I went to the basement to use the bathroom, and that's when I saw all of the pictures below.

You see, "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" is now the most famous painting in the Neue Galerie. But not so long ago, it was the most famous painting in the Galerie Belvedere, in Austria. The portrait was commissioned by the sitter's husband, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a Jewish banker and sugar producer. The painting was stolen by the Nazis in 1941 and displayed at the Galerie Belvedere. In 2006, following eight years of effort by the Bloch-Bauer heirs, the painting was returned to the family. The film "Woman in Gold" is about those eight years of struggle. Ronald Lauder, who founded the Neue Galerie, bought the painting for $135 million, at the time a record price for a painting. (Info from Wikipedia) I think that was probably a very wise investment he made with the $135 million he had lying around. The Austrian nation grieved for the loss of a beloved and renowned artwork that they had fought so hard to keep from its rightful owners. (Boo-hoo!)

Before Adele left Austria, students from a public school in Vienna, ages 10 to 14, were given a school assignment: Visit the Belvedere Museum, look at the portrait, and imagine Adele in America. (Of course these children were in no way responsible for the despicable acts of their elders.) The resulting drawings were presented to the Neue Galerie as a gift. And in the basement, next to the Women’s bathroom, a selection of those works were displayed.
And to conclude, I'd like to show you my very own version of Woman in Gold, which hangs above my bed.
It's a very large silk tapestry from India. I'm certain the artist was inspired by the "Portrait of Adele."

All for now, Bloggelinis. Don't say I never showed you nuthin' special, okay?

And tomorrow is LINK DAY! I've got some dynamite links fer ya, so don't miss it. Chills and thrills.

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