Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Today is absolutely gorgeous. It is the warmest, brightest and least windy day of the year so far in Amsterdam.

As the weather is so nice, I was thrilled when my Art History professor announced we would not stay cooped up in the classroom for three hours; rather, we were going to bike over to the Jewish Historical Museum to look at a few pieces by Marc Chagall and other artists.

Professor and student leading the group

It was utterly sublime to bike in a group of about twenty merry students in the sunny, cool air. We followed our spunky old woman of a professor as she alternately pointed out historic gems of the city and made fun of students in the group.

The museum is actually a refurbished amalgam of three old synagogues. We did not spend time in the actual historic exhibits at the museum. Instead, we viewed the art work which had been originally commissioned by Willem Wolff Beffie. Two pieces stood out to me. The first was Marc Chagall's "The Violinist."

When I saw it, I was immediately inspired to direct a production of Fiddler on the Roof in which the set would be entirely inspired by this painting. Not just inspired, but duplicated. Each set piece would be a whimsical 3-dimensional rendering of the painting and the fiddler himself, that enigmatic character, would be costumed exactly like the violinist in the painting, right down to the green skin and blue hair.

The second painting that caught my attention was a work of Mondrian. In his early career, Piet Mondrian painted spiritual works that, in my opinion, are very beautiful. He soon, however, turned to the abstract with his famous geometric paintings.

While I've learned to appreciate the technique involved, I still don't really enjoy these paintings. None the less, I was very excited to finally see an abstract Mondrian in real life for the sole purpose of re-living this episode of Arthur:

The painting makes its appearance at 2:31

I knew the blue skies could turn to gray any minute. So, I took a few photos of the radiant city while biking home. The forecast does not look good for St. Patrick's Day, but at least I have these photos to remember the good weather by.


Anonymous said...

and by "old" (professor) you mean...actually, I'm guessing I don't even want to know, but this sounds like a lot of fun...now, as to whether blond shiksas from Texas should be directing Fiddler....

lorax said...

"old" as in older than you by far....i'll be director of set and costume design...you're right, no goys allowed in the director's spot.

Kate said...

This is the first time I've seen that Arthur episode since, maybe, third grade, and it occurred to me that there are a lot of things I didn't catch the first time around... like "Maybe you should make like a cowskin and hide" Why were kids' shows back in our day so GOOD?