Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Day 4—a day spent with Marsden, Chris, and Georgia

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

After a good night’s sleep in my palatial accommodations, I got up, ate breakfast and trotted over to the O’Keeffe Museum. The current exhibition is on Marsden Hartley, and I toured that as well as the selections from their permanent collection of O’Keeffes. I overheard the docent say that that of the 2029 known works by Georgia O’Keeffe, the Museum now owns 1141, so, there are always new pieces on exhibit.

Chris Reed showed up at noon, and we walked over to his favorite new restaurant, a tiny French hole in the wall where I had some excellent quiche. We had a really delightful and I think companionable lunch. He has left his job as chair of an art history department in Chicago and joined the English Department at Penn State, where he will be a Professor of “Visual Culture,” a term which he invented to describe the mix of art and intellectual history he’s developing. He has grown tired of the tight disciplinary boundaries of the Art History world, where he was being pigeon-holed as a specialist in “20thC British decorative arts” which is not at all what he is doing.

Anyway, I think we had a real meeting of minds. He has been working on Japanisme—American reactions to Japanese culture, and has also been organizing a large exhibition on American collectors of Bloomsbury art, which happily opens at Duke next winter.

I spent the rest of the day at the O'Keeffe Research Center, making lists of things I wanted photographed and checking references.
Tomorrow both the Museum and the Research Center are closed, so I will be reading and writing in my room--with a bit of wandering about town before going to Chris's lecture.

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