Tag Archive | art history

Dorsay

Saturday May 27th, 2017

We got to Musée d’Orsay (which again, I will be calling Dorsay because one I’m lazy but two it sounds more like an appropriate and affectionate pet name) around 9:30 am. Paris was quiet and cool, and we got to cross and see the river and streets before they grew wild with travelers and pedestrians like ourselves. Because we were so early, and such a large group, we were miraculously allowed inside the museum before they actually officially opened.

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As a result, we got to explore the quiet old railroad station, unencumbered by the crowd. And it was magical. You know that scene from Pride and Prejudice where Lizzy (Keira Knightley) slowly wanders around all those beautiful white marble statues while piano music plays? This was the closest I’ve ever gotten to that.

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We got lost for a while, wandering in and out of and between the various statues and paintings and rooms. We went upstairs, downstairs, back again.

At one point, we found an old ballroom full of chandeliers and mirrors where we twirled and twirled for a bit, pretending that we were princesses and that this was where we lived. It wouldn’t have been a bad arrangement.Then we finally kept going up, and up, and up, to what inexplicably felt like the main event on the fifth floor. It was the Impressionist exhibit.

I have always loved Impressionism. It’s my favorite painting style and movement, I think. When we learned about it in art class, I always got so excited. We got to do timed Van Gogh drawings and recreate Monet paintings.

I even loved the cheesy movies we watched on those awful rolling television carts in middle school, movies about Degas painting the ballerinas and sculpting the Little Dancer, about Renoir and his fierce competitive streak. The acting was terrible, no question. But they made the artists and their subjects real, alive. Also, Mr. Cooper, my amazing art teacher, was always so enthusiastic about them and how bad but good they were, and I think that kind of fervor catches on.

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The fact that I knew something about the artists, perhaps, made seeing their works even more special. Learning about things, having a context and background to them, always does that. Or maybe I was just so happy and into this exhibit because the paintings are so lovely. I love the style and mood of Impressionism, as I said. I love seeing the light, the paint and brushstrokes, the airiness.

Or maybe it was also because literally every painting was more famous and familiar than the last. Literally every single one. The poppy field? Waterlillies? The freaking Renoir girl that Lorelai Gilmore dresses up as in the Stars Hollow Festival of Living Art? The Degas ballerinas and practice statues? I was freaking out. It is, in fact, also possible to fangirl over paintings.

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Regardless, I was in awe and in love.

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After spending an eternity amongst the Impressionists, I wandered back downstairs to find my friends. In doing so, I also found Van Gogh, the Surrealists, and a handful of other abstract and brilliant masters.

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And then, after another little bit, it was time to leave.

I got a tote bag because I was tired of carrying my water bottle and brochures everywhere. I bought postcards and continued to fangirl over the wonderful place I had just visited.

Even when we all boarded the train that would whisk us away to Versailles, my mind and heart were still focused on the little train station-turned art museum. This had been my favorite art museum of the trip yet, maybe one of my favorites ever. And that is the pillar upon which it would and has remained. I loved, and will love, Dorsay and all that we saw and did there.

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Summer Plans

FullSizeRender (1)This summer I am…drumroll please…STUDYING ABROAD! I’m taking part in Georgia Tech’s Summer Oxford Program. For the first six weeks, we will be traveling all around Europe studying Art History and European Composers. We’re going to visit Paris, Venice, Rome, Florence, Munich, Vienna, Prague, and Bruges, each for about three or four days. We’ll be traveling by plane, train, and…yeah, automobile, I had to say it. There are fifty-five people in my travel group, and we’re all packing into a bus, so we’ll be great friends by the end of the thing. There are three travel groups, and we all travel to different countries for six weeks before meeting back up in Oxford for our second set of classes.

It will be fast, but we are going to be able to see all sorts of museums, culture, shops, foods, landscapes, art, architecture, concerts… It will be an exciting whirlwind of art and audreymusic and history, which I absolutely adore.

For the second six weeks of the twelve week program, we will be taking classes on Oxford University’s campus in Oxford, England. Oxford. (Repeating Oxford like a million times because I still can’t believe it.) We will have Georgia Tech professors teaching us in Westminster College (one of the dozens of colleges). I’m going to be taking Computational Media (CS 1315) and History of Medieval England. Every Georgia Tech student has to take some sort of Computer Science elective, so I get to learn how to code, which is kind of cool! It should be better than calculus, anyway. And I’m really looking forward to learning even more European history in the place that it, ya know, actually happened.

So far, we have had a week of sort-of preparatory classes for Art History and Music, complete with midterms and an impromptu jazz concert by music professors from across Atlanta. We’ve studied the Renaissance, learned about Michelangelo and FullSizeRenderBramante and how much they hated and loved the Pope. We’ve discussed the symbolism is Bosch’s crazy triptych and what exactly is so “off” about the Van Eyck altarpiece.

In Music, we’ve learned how symphonies are set up, how instruments interact to create both pleasant and unpleasant music. We have learned how to compare different compositions, how to identify genres, and how to hear and feel musical tension. I’m obviously way more into art, and am skeptical of Music classes due to years of forced elementary school classes. But as long as I don’t have to listen to the same classical piece seven times in a row, I’m learning to appreciate the technical and compositional aspects of music a little more too.

I’m leaving for Paris on Tuesday, and I can’t believe that either! People have asked repeatedly if I’m nervous, but I’m not. (Should I be? Yikes.) I’ve been to some of these cities before, and I’m excited about getting to know them better. Other places I will see for the first time, and I tumblr_olldx89SLW1uzjdm6o3_500can’t wait to get to know them, the people, the sights, and the food there better as well. I know it’s also a long trip, and I’m going to miss my family and friends so, so much. But I’m not going to be completely disconnected or anything! My goal is to blog every single day, and share the photos that I take in each place. I’ll have free texting even when I don’t have data, too. So, sketchy wifi aside, I’m leaving, but I’ll definitely still be around ~