Wednesday Miscellany: Mom in Town, Lou Donaldson, Spring on the Way?

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On Monday it seemed like winter was going to last for another month. Snow was piled on the stairs, on the sidewalk and on the streets. It was over sixty degrees on Saturday, the snow has melted and it feels like spring is on the way.

My mom is flying out to visit. We are both really looking forward to going to the Met for this:

Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C.

This exhibition focuses on the extraordinary art created as a result of a sophisticated network of interaction that developed among kings, diplomats, merchants, and others in the Near East during the second millennium B.C. Approximately 350 objects of the highest artistry from royal palaces, temples, and tombs—as well as from a unique shipwreck—provide the visitor with an overview of artistic exchange and international connections throughout the period.

From Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt in the south to Thrace, Anatolia, and the Caucasus in the north, and from regions as far west as mainland Greece all the way east to Iran, the great royal houses forged intense international relationships through the exchange of traded raw materials and goods as well as letters and diplomatic gifts. This unprecedented movement of precious materials, luxury goods, and people resulted in a total transformation of the visual arts throughout a vast territory that spanned the ancient Near East and the eastern Mediterranean.

She also wants to visit the Neue Galerie to see Brücke: The Birth of Expressionism in Dresden and Berlin, 1905-1913. From the website:

This exhibition features more than 100 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by the pioneering artists’ group known as Brücke. With their emphasis on vivid color and emotional directness, the Brücke artists gave birth to German Expressionism. The exhibition is organized by Reinhold Heller, an internationally recognized scholar in the field. It is on view at the Neue Galerie from February 26 through June 29, 2009. It is the first major museum exhibition devoted to these artists ever held in the United States.

The group was founded in 1905 by four architecture students in Dresden: Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Living and working communally, they shared a fervent faith in a utopian future. The name Brücke, which means “bridge” in German, was chosen to represent their intention of linking the art of the past with that of the future.

Besides that, my wife and I have a night on the town planned for the three of us. Tapas at Tia Pol and Lou Donaldson at the Village Vanguard. We heard him play there a few years ago with Lonnie Smith and it was excellent. Mom has never been to the Vanguard but she probably heard Lou play on the west coast back in late 50s or early 60s. It seems like she has seen all the greats (Coltrane, Miles, etc.) at least once.

Since I will be away for most of the next few days, have a look at these posts from some of my regular reads:

Kellie (Airforce Amazons) asks are we nearing “an end to signals and noise on withdrawal from Iraq?

Bob from Brockley: Red Rosa Versus Red-Pink Nadine

Elder of Ziyon: Iran Unmasks the Elders

Flesh is Grass: Jewish Establishment, Diversity and Rebellion

Martin in the Margins: Lessons in terror

Sultan Knish: Who is the Real Threat to Israel?

ZioNation: Battle for hearts and minds–why it is important

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