Saturday, May 21, 2011

So Long to Salem ... For Awhile At Least

It's rather sad to think that I have probably made my last trip up to Salem, Massachusetts for quite some time but that may just be the case now that Amanda is home from her freshman year at the Montserrat College of Art. I'm still trying to figure out just where the last 8-9 months got off to for her to be home already but she and the rest of her worldly possessions arrived home around 11:30 this morning courtesy of my good friend Andrew and the amazing help and assistance that he gives to me.  Thanks, Drew!!

Yesterday my cousin Amy and I drove up to the North Shore so that I could attend Amanda's second semester review (which went very well) and while we were up that way we stopped in at the Hawthorne Hotel for lunch in the Tavern and to say 'hi' to Juli.  Lunch was delicious - of course - and then we had just enough time to walk down to the Peabody-Essex Museum and take a quick look at their current exhibit that runs through June 17th called Golden: Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection.  Juli highly recommended it as well as provided us the way in (thanks, Juli!) and I'm very glad she did as the exhibit is totally amazing.

"Golden" Exhibit Poster

According to the PEM's website:
"The Van Otterloo collection is virtually unrivaled for its masterworks by the leading Dutch and Flemish artists of the 1600s: Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Aelbert Cuyp and many others. At PEM, over 20 examples of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish furniture and decorative arts, also from the Van Otterloo collection, are shown in the company of these glorious portraits, still lifes, landscapes and interiors."
They are not kidding either, the paintings in the Golden exhibit are exquisite - not a word that I use very often when it comes to art but definitely applicable in this case!  The detail defies description and some of the paintings were so clear and life-like that they looked more like a photographic portrait rather than a painted one. The beautiful pictures sure didn't look to be anywhere near as old as they were either and it was hard to believe that we were looking at paintings that had been done in the 1600's. I was very impressed and would loved to have had more time to spend looking at the paintings but I wanted to give Amy at least a little time to look at some of the other exhibits the PEM has to offer before we had to go.

Windows of the East Marine Hall

We made a quick walk through the upper floor of the East India Marine Hall where the girls and I had seen FreePort by Charles Sandison back in December - remember the exhibit with all of the script that flowed like sea currents?  There was no current exhibit going on and it looked like there would be some sort of private function going on shortly as there were tables set up around the room but it did give us a chance to look at some of the figureheads that adorned the walls of the room - figureheads that were downright difficult to see when FreePort was running as the room was quite dark.

Figurehead Amy remarked that the figureheads of the women were none too flattering - like this blonde-haired lady pictured here - but I told her that I doubted that anyone would look all that great propped up on the bow of a ship and sailing through rough seas!  She agreed but said that she thought the male figureheads were much better looking. Maybe it was easier to carve males than it was females?  Either way I have always found figureheads to be fascinating but then again, I've come to the conclusion that I had some sort of connection to the sea in a previous life as I find most things about the sea fascinating.

Heading to the lower floor of the East India Marine Hall we looked at a few more nautical/marine exhibits before we decided we needed to wrap it up in Salem if we were going to get over to Beverly in time for Amanda's review. Before we did, though, I took Amy for a quick drive past the Friendship, the Custom House, and the House of the Seven Gables being that yesterday's trip was apparently her very first to Salem.  Had I known that beforehand I'd have made sure we left earlier in the day and had more time so I could have played tour-guide and shown her a few more of my favorite places in the area! Truth be told, I wish I lived up there and could play tour-guide all the time but alas ...

Anyhow ... even though it's nice to have Amanda home (or at least I hope it's going to be nice to have Amanda home!) I'm going to rather miss having an "excuse" to go the North Shore until she hopefully goes back to Montserrat in the fall. Until then I guess it's so long to Salem for now - rats!


  1. Hello! Hello! (waving from across the state) I've never been to Salem. Take me!!

    Anyhow, I also am fascinated by figureheads and widow's walks and such.

    My great-great-great grandfather was a sea captain. That must explain it. ;-)

  2. You know, nothing says you can't just drive up to the north shore any old time!

    I heard that you're meeting Patti, Ralph and Allegra today. Lots of hugs from me are to be shared please!


  3. Another great adventured documented:) And another one beginning with Amanada home. Enjoy!

    Big hugs, honey...

  4. I love the shot of the windows, sitting pretty in a row
    and all that lovely light and shadow
    it's wonderful when the museum itself is art

  5. Salem will be expecting you back in the fall

  6. Gosh that's gone quickly, it doesn't seem two minutes since Amanda was starting college! Shame you won't get to Salem for a while but I'm sure you'll find other places to visit that will interest us. :)

    I'm hoping to get the first post up about our recent travels this week. :)

  7. You know you're going to enjoy having Amanda home. Let's just hope Jamie is too. Just saying.

    Have a terrific day Linda. Big hug. :)

  8. Anonymous6:48 PM EDT

    I love dutch and flemish art. Sounded like a good exhibit.

  9. You can take the girl out of Salem, but never Salem from the girl...


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