The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Originally uploaded by Mantooth.
Well we didn't get to see the Wyeth exhibition, but we did manage to get in the Duchamp room, a bunch of the early modernist stuff I wanted to see, Grace Kelly's wedding dress, and the arms and armor rooms. All knights, in the boy's nomenclature system, fall under the category "bad guys." The mystical watercolor of William Blake, on the other hand, fell under the category "monsters." I suppose that's perceptive: the title of the illustration is "The Number of the Beast is 666."

Huge gratitude to the staff of the Rosenbach Museum. The museum itself is this amazing repository of such things as the first book published in what became the U.S. and the manuscript of Joyce's ULYSSES. I came in there with a soggy toddler who looks like he could do some serious damage to this well-preserved row house with period furnishings (oh, and Marianne Moore's living room, transported upstairs), and they were nothing but accommodating and sweet. They even lent the boy one of the stuffed Max dolls (from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE) from the gift shop. He chewed on Max's face through the docent tour, so we bought one. There is a Sendak room, as well. It's a strange yet appealing place, much like the Harry Ransom Center in the oddity of its collection and in its devotion to Joyce. The NEW YORK TIMES recently had an article about the place, which reminded me that I wanted to go there.

He was a real trooper today: three museums (the Rosenbach, the Phila Museum of Art, and the Franklin Institute, where he saw the bizarre and amazing "plastinated" flayed human bodies), and only an hour of dedicated running-around time. Of course, it rained hard all damn day, so he really only got to run around near the art museum and later, at the H&M at the Cherry Hill mall where his mother was shopping for stylish maternity clothing and where he discovered that hiding in the middle of circular display racks RULES.


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