The difference between how we see things when we're home and when we're away: an aloof problem of knowledge (Days at the Museum #4)

If you know where the Spy Museum is, I encourage you to read "Days at the Museum #4: International Week" over at McSweeney's. If you don't know where the Spy Museum is, well, help me help you find out.


Albert Bierstadt, Among the Sierra Nevada, California,1868 (from the Smithsonian website)

Some other things you may find in this column: Italian food in Chinatown; Japanese tourists; Albert Bierstadt in Rome and California; a French fellow; green denim on Germans; the serenity of a virtuous public space; and Obama's "Hope" poster.

It's part four of Days at the Museum. Part I was noted here; it was about macaroni, and France, and tourists. Part 2 was noted here; it was about elevators, more or less. Have a time with them. Part 3 was noted here; let's say it was about the affront of askew art and outdated introductory videos.

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That's my favorite painting at the National Portrait Gallery.

We have a large Bierstadt here in Seattle Art Museum ("Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast"). Very impressive. But don't make the mistake of thinking his photo-realism portrays reality. He has a wonderful imagination to go with his skill, is what. Yes, he later did visit these places, but at least these two were painted from imagination for commission. Close up examination of ours revealed that he had our NW native Americans wearing coolie hats, for example.

It still captivated my attention for some time.

By Gray Gaffer (not verified) on 01 Oct 2009 #permalink