Monday, March 3

The Garden Path

This is the last day of my monthly three day weekend. I charged out of the office so fast on Friday I left an Amber-shaped hole in the wall as I left. Earlier this week, on Wednesday, we had two gallery teachers out sick on the same day. There are only four of us, so that meant half of our force was decimated. So, it was a crazy morning, but it also turned out to be one of the most beautiful sunny days we’ve had here in awhile. After lunch, I asked one of the other teachers if she’d like to go for a walk in the gardens to take advantage of the weather, and she thought it was a great idea. We ended up playing hookie for a good hour and a half, wandering through the gardens, chatting about nothing in particular, and soaking up the sun. It was a relaxing diversion after the craziness of the morning. The Villa's gardens are awesome. I can't believe rich people get something like that all to themselves.

These days aside from the usual teaching I'm also simultaneously preparing for a staff ed. session on Greco-Roman Egypt, teaching the UCLA ancient Egyptian religion class, and trying to study for the exhibit opening next week called Color of Life. These changing exhibits are fun to have at the museum, but it's a little stressful when they first arrive and you have only a short amount of time to learn enough about it to teach and discuss it intelligently with the public. This new exhibit features polychrome (multi-colored) sculpture from the ancient world through contemporary art. The academic premise of the show isn't very sound, but I think the public will like it.
Now that I have the exhibition catalogue for this show, I've been reading through it. Looking at some of the objects, I'm really wondering how we're going to handle any school groups we might bring into those galleries. Nudity is one thing--I can handle that--but one object, the Anatomical Venus , is quite another. It looks like a serial killer has carefully and dramatically exposed her innards--and she's pregnant. Disturbing. She was a wax model originally created in the 18th century CE to be a scientific, anatomically correct model for doctors to study. As such, she can be opened and closed. Her face is truly jarring--she looks dead or drugged or both. Even though the Venus is the stuff of nightmares, I prefer dealing with that wax model compared to contemporary art because at least the Anatomical Venus has an historical context. For the most part I loathe contemporary art, but it appears sometime soon I'm going to have to find something good and/or interesting to say about it because this show contains contemporary sculpture too.
I just realized yesterday that the 28th of February, came and went and I didn’t even think about the fact that it marked five years since Eric and I have been together. Of course we’ve only been married a year, but if we’re counting time served (and I do) it’s been five. With a little luck and careful application of the right drugs, I think we just might go another five.

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