Night At The Museum

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Friday night started with me leaving work right on time, which was a treat.  I didn’t feel like doing anything around the house, so I suggested to my favorite boy toy that he clean up and we go back to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art for the evening.  They’re open two nights a week – Thursday and Friday nights – and there are often less crowds, but we often just don’t make it there after work.

What we didn’t know is that the third Friday of each month is for tango dancing.  It was fun watching the tango dancers in the lobby of the museum.  There were dancers there who were very good (I don’t know if they were professionals or just very passionate hobbyists).  They danced with each other and with the audience.  I loved the red dresses and red shoes as they twirled around, the guys in their suits and ties.  The music was loud and very bouncy.

It was fascinating to watch them dancing the tango!

We ate in the cafeteria, which also serves wine and beer.  A number of people were there hanging out with friends and family, having drinks and just visiting.  It was crowded, and between the dancers, music, and conversations, it was a high energy place to be.  We relaxed, enjoyed our dinner and visiting, then went exploring the museum.

We decided to wander in the Baroque and Renaissance wings and stumbled into several rooms of religous icons that we’d not seen before.  I’d think by now we’ve seen everything that’s there and certainly we’d seen the front two rooms.  I’m not that into the statues or medallions; while I loved stained glass, this was not what I’d call pretty.  It’s main purpose was to tell a story, not glow in the sun.

But the curators did a good job of explaining its historical significance, what it meant, and placing it in history.  Most of the museum is like that.  Whether I particularly like something or not doesn’t really count.  It’s been made interesting by telling me the story of what I’m looking at and why it was important once upon a time.

From there we wandered into the gold and silver exhibits.  The lighting and polish really show off all the cups, platters, candlesticks, and other pieces in the collection.  It’s not something I’d particularly go looking for, but it was pretty and it had been a while since we checked it out.

The detail is incredible.

There’s so much to see that I’m never sure if I forgot seeing it, overlooked it, or if it’s newly rotated into the displays.  This lovely portrait is newly displayed in 2012.  I saw it a few months ago for the first time and couldn’t wait to look at it again.  Between her lovely peaches-and-cream complexion and that delicate, wispy dress, it’s a feast for the eyes.

So delicate! The artist must have had incredible patience (or a lot of assistants).

There’s an exhibit on the Maharaja’s of India that we saw last time we went to the museum.  I didn’t realize that the reason Britain took over India (big surprise here) was to protect British trade there.  Doesn’t that sound like some of today’s oil issues?  The in-fighting among the different sections of India had gotten so bad, it threatened to destabilize the country.  The exhibit went through the 1970’s and it was a bit sad to see how westernized India became before the last maharaja.

The television footage of the parades and the ornate seats on top of the elephants were awesome.  Those little seats really sway as the elephants walk.  I would not have wanted to be up there swaying back and forth like that nor did I think it looked particularly safe.

The Maharaja’s silver carriage is in the lobby; it too is ornate in its design.  I was not able to take a picture of it, but you can see it here in the background of the top picture in the museum’s blog post.

This post started out as telling you how I spent my weekend.  I had so much fun telling you about our night out that I’ll have to do that later.

My favorite boy toy and I had a wonderful time.  I think we’ll start doing it more often.  It was so relaxing to do something like this to start off the weekend.  There was no Friday night couch potato, no being tired and unproductive until it was time for bed.  We went out, enjoyed each other’s company, enjoyed the energy of the museum at night, and got to see some different things.

I’m glad I suggested doing this.  It made for a wonderful and relaxing start to our weekend.  We woke up Saturday in a good mood, ready to get some stuff down around the house.  It was great!

Here’s a gratuitous sunflower shot for you to enjoy.  Remember to look for the unexpected to bring pleasure to your day (or evening).

I had fun with the Topaz filters!