Thursday, August 21, 2014

Trip to the museum

We had a very exciting trip to the museum today. The museum is becoming our fallback, "It's raining!" "It's hot!" "Mom can't think of something to do!" tripe, but it's always good, and today I got the kids to agree to go to the Ancient Civilizations floor before hitting the Natural History section, and we got lots of good pictures. And after, I actually got to the COSTUME HISTORY floor, which was unprecedented.
Waiting to go to the subway station

It worked out really well. I whisked the kids up to the Byzantine section and countered the numerous, ongoing protests by telling them about some of the things we were seeing, tying it in to things we've read about and talked about. I tried to tie the Mithras panel below to a book on Roman solders that we have.

Nat and the glowing screen

I love the glowing, opalescent ancient glass. I can't remember if that's a patina caused by time, or intentional on the part of the glassblowers, but so pretty.

Melanie asked me if that's a Byzantine representation of Artemis, and I didn't check but I will next visit. It certainly looks like it. Byzantine eyes are so distinctive. I just re-read Sailing to Sarantium, so I told the kids a little about Justinian, who made a slave girl his Empress.

Blurry Ancient Crete. Bull dancers and the goddess of bull dancers

I kept staring at this, trying to decide if it was extant 18 century or a Victorian impression, or maybe a modern suit. It's in amazing shape, and most clothes that old are crumbling. There was no writing about it. I'm going to go back and take some more closeup pictures.

This was extant
Man's velvet suit, embroidered. So pretty and cuddly-looking.

Nineteenth century riding habit, cut so the shirt would fall sidesaddle. Hard to take a picture, the lighting wsa very low and the flash caused light bursts. There's a pair of pants made for wearing under it. They're beautifully tailored.

 According to the above, textiles woven with Arabic phrases in the border were much sought after in Medieval Europe. The Madonna below has them on the edge of her mantle. I didn't know about these at all. Fascinating.

Neat tunic with interesting design. I can't remember what century but I'm thinking Middle Eastern and 14th century or later. 

 Coptic child's baptism tunic. That's the Virgin and Child in the middle, and an angel and St. Macarius, who is, I think, one of the Desert Fathers, although there might be another one I don't know. The embroidery is beautiful.

We also spent a lot of time in the kids' section, where all of them found new friends and the boys played the totally logical game Dinosaurs Attack the Toy Castle, which happens every time we go. The girls, like little gender stereotypes, gathered up dolls and mothered them, and did puzzles quietly, and had tea parties.

A really good trip.


Melanie Bettinelli said...

Sailing to Sarantium! Yay!

lissla lissar said...

It was a lovely trip. I promise I'll go back and take more extensive pictures. I hope you and the girls get a chance to look at the ROM images- they're quite wonderful.