Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Museum Field Trip

Well now that the Anniversary festivities are over and the 4 dozen cupcakes for the Jr. High Bake Sale are delivered, I can tell you about our little Sunday adventure. We went to the Dallas Museum of Art to see the From the Ashes of Vesuvius exhibit. I have to say that I was very disappointed that they had removed several key pieces from the travelling exhibit to send back to Italy. Most of the exhibit just looked like leftover scraps. Those frescoes that they used in the promotional materials? Not there. I was very impressed however with the entire dining room that they had re-assembled just as it was on site. Very cool.

The scale and variety of the other collections is surprising. After a couple of hours the boys wanted to keep on going but Bunnie and I had just hit overload. We simply weren't able to take it all in. Truly it was overwhelming. I am a museum snob but the Dallas Museum of Art is wonderful, especially it's world collections. It's a shame that the admission is so high and there is no free admission or discount night like the Smithsonian and Boston MFA have. I would love to haunt it if I could afford to bring the children more often.

One of my favorite games to play when I'm in a new gallery is the "catch 'em in a mistake game". The funniest was a collection of Wedgwood jasper ware and basalt at a museum I visited in another city that shall remain nameless. It was graciously donated by a woman who had obviously spent a fortune on fakes. Not the curator's area of expertise, so there it was; an entire room filled with replicas.

I looked and looked for something "off" at the Dallas MoA. The attributions were astoundingly accurate. Then hidden away in the Decorative Arts American furniture exhibit I thought I'd finally found something. There was a fab colonial armchair that screamed Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I checked the label. It said Massachusetts. Yes! Gotcha! Then I read on and in the fine print it said, "possibly seacoast New Hampshire". Rats for me, but good for them. And that is why I will fork over the full admission and go back again soon.

An academically sound museum with real sensory excitement is worth the price of admission.