Tour of ‘Philly” –a retrospective

Before I forget all the great moments of this trip, I’m going to briefly recount at least some of them. I arrived at midnight the night before the trip began ( better than the following morning).

Our first excursion was a brief walking tour in the afternoon, seeing some great outdoor art on the way to the Philadelphia Art Academy: the most interesting was actuallly inside the Comcast lobby: by the use of technology, figures danced on a blank wall—you could swear they were real— a couple other features to the lobby complimented it: figures walking across beams ( this time resin or plastic figures on metal beams ).a unique experience I would not have noticed
alone. Did I mention there we 12 of us with one tour guide, Jeff Michner, who is an art historian from Chicago. He’s also a fast walker and almost non-stop talker, altho loudly and clearly enough no one had trouble hearing him.

Then we spent a few hours in the art gallery,( a variety of paintings) and again walked back in the on/off drizzle seeing the majestic ‘clothespin’ structure, and several other sculptures. That evening we had a fabulous dinner at a private “Union” club, begun in the period of Abraham Lincoln, thius Union referrring to the effort to creat America as one Union. Like all private clubs, they had a dress code, which I found amusing, as it was tougher than we have here at my residential seniors complex.

We had breakfast continental style while Jeff lectured about what we would see at the Rodin museum and the Barnes Collection ( conveniently right next to each other.) My big ‘eye opener’ was a better understanding of Mr Barnes concept of duing each wall as an ‘ensemble’ including arts and crafts items, especially door hinges. Jeff let us wander freely about the 13 room museum, newly designed and now in the center of the city. We had special lunch int he museum dining area, and both I and the lady at my table were crushed to learn the lime cheescake was not available.!!! My only other criticism of the museum was that the voice guide
included in admission was missing some important features, some parts included discussion of an intire wall, others did not. Even spending most of the day at the Barnes, I surely did not see everything; The Rodin was easier to cover, as I was familiar with most of the sculptures from
here at Stanford where they have many of the same castings.

Thr next day was the trip to Philadelphia museum of art, preceded by historical walking tour of the buildings near city hall. We also saw the history room at the private club from the recent evening. The following day was the tour to Wyeth Museum, and painting of the three Wyeth
generations…guess what? Andrew Wyeth did not title his paintings, his wife did. Some titles were changed later, and some paintings just called ‘untitled’….we had lunch at the museum, after seeing Andrew’s workshop, which is kept in essentially the same state it was when used.

Then on to Longwood Gardens, and the weather held out..their tulip beds were fabulous! We had a guided tour of the grounds from one of the Docents, I did not make it all the way thru the large arborietum, and was too tired to spend much time in their large gift shop.

I didn’t do any restaurant hopping, altho many were within easy reach. Adequate food was available at the hotel. One of the hazards of being solo, it takes more energy to go out; and Ifound the daily schedules quite taxing, plus I had email to work thru every night.

all in all, it was an enjoyable trip and I liked Jeff very much, hope to do another tour with him sometime.

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