Friday, November 18, 2016

News and a Morning In Detroit

I've been busy but we took the morning off to see the new exhibit Bitter/Sweet at the Detroit Institute of Art. Coffee, tea, and chocolate had a huge impact on Europe in the 1600s, and the wealthy folk liked pretty, expensive ways of serving these exotic drinks. On display are coffee and tea sets and art and prints showing the imbibing these drinks. They are presented in a historical perspective--plus we had samples of hot chocolate! See photos at
Bitter/Sweet exhibit: Pineapple coffee pot
Wednesday we went to TWO book clubs! Our local library club read Black River by S. M. Hulse, which I loved when I read the galley in late 2014. The author also Skyped and joined us for a brief question and answer time. We had a great discussion.
Blair Library Afternoon Book Club talking to S. M. Hulse
That evening we attended another local book club to discuss A Man Called Ove. I won't comment....I didn't finish the book. But 90% gave it 5 stars.

We are nearly finished redecorating our bathroom! Nothing major: paint, new shower curtain, new hardware. But the change is amazing.
The White Lake Lighthouse, Montague MI
Our newly decorated bath
And more books are coming my way. I won Bridget Jones's Baby by Helen Fielding. I enjoyed Bridget Jones's Diary and love the movie, so I hope this will be a great read to lift the spirits. I also got Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and started it right away.

Today we went to the Detroit Institute of Art to see the member preview of their new exhibit Bitter/Sweet: Coffee, Tea and Chocolate. I forgot my camera....but you can see photos of the exhibit at these websites:
The back of the DIA from the parking lot. Yes, it is downtown!
I finally realized it is the 21st c and my cellphone had a camera! So I did get a few photos.

I had not seen this great African Adinkra cloth before. It is made of cotton, vegetable dyes and colored thread. The design symbols have special meaning. Adinkra cloth is worn at funerals.
Adinkra cloth detail. DIA collection

Adinkra cloth, DIA collection
Adinkra cloth detail, DIA collection
I was glad to return to the American collection to see some of the artists discussed in the book Of Arms and Artists by Paul Staiti. (see my review at
John Singleton Copley's portrait of Colonel John Montresor
Several school classes were at the museum. I saw three teenage boys looking at Copely's painting Watson and the Shark and could not help but share the story behind the painting as told by Staiti in his book!

We had to visit the American landscape art to see Frederick Church's Cotopaxi. He painted this vast landscape of an erupting volcano which dwarfs a human figure in the foreground. The grandeur of nature and our puny part of it is a major theme of American 19thc landscape artists.
Another Church painting caught my eye. It shows the ruins of many civilizations, representing the temporal nature of human works against nature's eternal sun.

Stephen Hawking just warned that because of climate change and threat of nuclear war humans have about 1000 years left before we die out or find a new place to inhabit. Perhaps the cockroaches will inherit the earth...
Downtown Detroit was lovely, with roses still blooming. I shed my jacket!
We lunched at Traffic Jam & Snug. It is a cool Midtown place that grows and makes much of its food including cheese, ice cream, beer, and baked goods. I had their home grown, home made Strawberry Lemon Basil tea and a braised beef brisket panini and sweet potato fries. (Too much! I brought half home!)
Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving this weekl!

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