It’s been a while since I took a spin around the galleries at Toronto’s ROM and as I’d been given a “golden ticket” to view the Treasures of a Desert Kingdom: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India (selected photos at end of blog) exhibition, I decided to capitalize on the all-access pass and take in some of my favourite displays, in particular the Etruscans (from whom I believe I am descended), the ancient Romans & Greeks, followed by the European 15th – 20th centuries for good measure. There were some exquisite jewellery displays of Etruscan baubles I’d never previously viewed – now I know from where I get my passion for carnelians & garnets…Moving thru the various centuries of ancient civilization, so many great photo opps presented themselves….The Athena Parthenos (above) is recreated here with a model worshiper (bottom right) to show the original scale of this magnificent Greek goddess statue. And I loved the Cypriot busts (below) – the laurel crowned fellow on the right looks like he’s just been told an off-colour joke!Through a set of doors and around a corner, I spied the “In the Age of Rembrandt” exhibition so I flashed my VIP pass and in I went…Such beauty and elegance…several Dutch masters painting during the same era as Rembrandt are featured and as you pass thru the exit of this gallery, you’re bade farewell by a pair of Rembrandt’s stunning portraits…I then proceeded into more recent centuries and viewed the room-scapes set up so visitors can get a taste of furnishings and lifestyles from the Tudors to the mid-20th century.Don’t you just love these mid-century modern chairs (above)? And haven’t we all had our bums in some of these seats, too?
Now back to the Indian exhibit – it closes Sept. 2nd and it’s well worth the museum entry fee just to see it. Stunning artworks, furnishings, royal jewellery & costumes…so much to admire and wonder at.Check out the Royal Ontario Museum’s website for hours & directions: www.rom.on.ca/en
Saturday April 6th dawned bright and early for me…the sun streamed in my bedroom window (pictured below) by 6:30am and the birds were in full chorus! Today was the day AJ was taking me shopping in Old Town, Scottsdale’s touristy section with all the souvenir shops and boutiques complete with wild west themed exteriors. Our first stop was the weekly farmers’ market – not your usual ramshackle clutch of stalls and tents, but a well laid out, clean and welcoming market with free samples, deelish healthy breakfast treats and tons of local produce. Everywhere you looked, there were flowers and happy smiling shoppers. After indulging in a home-made quiche with honey drizzled over it (wow, so yummy) and downing cups of hot local coffee, we headed off to stroll the Old Town streets. There’s a fabulous art gallery, home decor/accessories and artifacts called Bischoff’sGallery that AJ wanted to show me so off we went, passing several stunning western sculptures…I found so many wonderful treasures inside Bischoff’s including this painted deerskin plus numerous kachina dolls…and I picked up a couple of modestly priced carved wooden figurines – a coyote in full howl and a bunny rabbit, plus a string of tiny red glass chili peppers that are now hanging on my front door. www.bischoffsgallery.com
More wanderings in and out of souvenir stores, picking up fridge magnets for friends as requested.We came upon a stunning fountain with several galloping horses…It was getting just a wee bit hot so we ducked into the fab Berdena’s cafe where the staff prepared fresh squeezed orange juice for me and a tea for AJ. Friendly & welcoming staff made for a pleasant visit. www.berdenas.comMore schlepping around the streets before heading to the incredible Museum of the West where I was to find treasures from cowboy history, native American culture and some samples of the great western artist, Charles Russell. I’ll let the photos do the talking…This next one is AJ’s favourite, as if you couldn’t tell!And these are two of mine….They’re also heavy into pot…clay pots, that is…Lots of wild west memorabilia was on display… I was particularly drawn to the Charles Russell exhibition of his paintings and stories about the women in his life…And there were so many amazing bronzes of native Americans…just look at these regal warriors:And of course I found my very own buffalo…Dances with Glenda!The museum has an outdoor courtyard filled with sculptures… …then back inside I discovered a tribute to John Wayne by his artist friend Harry Jackson near the gift shop:The museum also had a “secret garden” of sculptures around back – look what I found there…Big thank you to Jeffrey in the gift store who pointed out some great western books to bring home as well as some cool cowboy fridge magnets (these ones are for me!). Learn more about Scottsdale’s Museum of the West by visiting their website: www.scottsdalemuseumwest.org
More Arizona Adventure stories coming from this lone ranger so stay tuned!