i woke up after a restless night's sleep (my body aching all over) for some breakfast of corn pops cereal before i received eliza's obligatory phone call letting me know she'd be late for our museum appointment. the reason: she locked herself out of the house and her sleeping roommate didn't bother to answer the door. when she did eventually show up, we walked to the fogg art museum, making a quick stop at the oxford spa so eliza could get a cup of hot tea. we took turns gleefully cracking ice puddles with our feet as we passed them along the way. who said freezing temperature can't be fun?

on saturday mornings before noon admission to the harvard art museums are free. i also signed a permission slip so i could get a photography permit: eliza was impressed with my knowledge of museum protocols. the last time i came to the fogg art museum was almost 2 years ago: they were renovating at the time and a whole wing of famous paintings was closed to the public. since that time everything's opened back up again. we started downstairs and worked our way to the 3rd then 2nd floor.

i always assumed that pomegranates were native to california, but they were actually known to the ancient world and grown throughout the mediterranean. i figured that out today when pomegranates kept appearing in various paintings. apparently the "bursting" pomegranate is a christian symbol for the resurrection. one of my favorite christian paintings is "man of sorrows" by roberto oderisi (italian): christ is shown with the events leading to and the objects used in his crucifixion, kind of like his final thoughts. i like to think of my own "man of sorrows" and the images of regret that'd be representative of my own life.

baby jesus holding pomegranate (detail)

"man of sorrows" by roberto oderisi (c.1354)

more pomegranates! (dutch)

up on the 3rd floor eliza had the bright idea of running to the other side of the building for a photo moment. when she came back, we critiqued the walls of children drawings from local elementary schools. inspired by jumanji, kids were given the assignment of making a photo collage depicting a house filled with wild animals, then they had to redraw the collage. anyone who enjoys children drawings should see the exhibit. our favorite one was that of a surprised chimpanzee stealing out of the house with an armful of bananas with a little girl watching in the background. the subsequent drawing depicted something that looked like a scary edward munch version of sasquatch.

the 2nd floor contained all the artwork that were missing from my last visit, including a whole series of ingres, one of favorite painters with his neoclassical near-photorealistic style. i saw the "odalisque" which was the one painting i came here to see, showing the life of a sultan's harem girl. the sargent portrait of a venetian woman in a scarlet shawl (1880) had a very modern look to it. we wandered into the nearby busch-reisinger museum, home of harvard's modern art collection, but only did a cursory tour before leaving.

ingres' nude study

ingres' "odalisque"

angel statue

celestial sphere

"gigia viani" by john singer sargent

"wounded amazon" by franz von stuck

we went to the sackler museum, which eliza had never been to before. we were on our final leg of museum touring and went through the 3 floors of asian art rather quickly, starting on the first floor with the special calligraphy exhibit. the 2nd floor had asian paintings, where i found an ancient japanese scroll depicting two girls rolling a gigantic snowball and a pair of mandarin ducks sitting nearby. i like it when i find little funny details in artworks.

we walked back to my place, where eliza went home to go kitten shopping with her roommate, and i went to the cafe for some lunch (rice noodles). once my mother got off from work we drove back to belmont to return some hand soaps at the arsenal mall. we ordered some pizza when we returned home (sausage and garlic), and i got a ride back to my place after dinner.

[update: it's 4am and i can't sleep. insomnia strikes again, too many things on my mind]