Friday, November 6, 2009


Image of the Madonna courtesy of

The problem with paring down is, of course, where to put everything. This is an especial problem for the inveterate collector, that is: me. I collect everything. When we go on holidays I keep train tickets, boarding passes, amusing wrappings off chocolate bars, serviettes at restaurants, newspaper clippings. And then I don't want to throw anything out because it reminds me of being there. "That wrapper was from those chocolates we bought in Tokyo!", "That was the train ticket from the day we went out to Versailles!" etc., etc. So it came as no surprise when sorting through my study yesterday to find a manila folder marked rather grandly: 'Ephemera'. I thought it might be fun for the next couple of days to sort through it and see just what this human bower bird picks up and drags back to her nest...

First up then are bits and pieces from our visit to the Museum of Russian Art at Minneapolis ( So beautiful but you could overlook it if you weren't making your way around 'the Twin Cities' reasonably carefully. Housed in what looked to be an old, Spanish-mission style church, it was showing an exhibition of sacred art when we were there last October. I am undecided on questions of faith but I find enormous peace in looking at Russian Orthodox icon paintings. Perhaps it's the colours used, or the expressions on those holy faces, I'm not sure. The little icon I bought did not photograph too well for some unknown reason so instead I post two other lovely ones above (the detail of the Archangel Gabriel painted by Semion Fedorovitch Ouchakov is from a print I have at home and photographed myself).
There were also other, more recent examples of Russian art at the Museum and I love that the women depicted in Konstantin G. Doroknov's "September" (above) are sorting through the cabbages. No reclining in salons for these ladies. Perhaps there's a little bit of Soviet Realism at work but I love those everyday details - the cabbages, their aprons, the kitchen. I have included two details from the painting which I photographed myself, since I couldn't find Dorokhov online.
Are you a collector on holiday?


Stardust said...

Not that much.. I'm into small stuff that's easy to keep..

The paintings are sure exquisite. ;)

Health Psych said...
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Wurst Semmel said...

I'm with you. I keep everything...years later, when I find a crumpled up tram ticket from Vienna or am old theatre ticket, I'm magically transported back in time

Bodecea said...

I always take some small notebook with me and write some kind of holiday diary. Sometimes I add some tickets etc, but most of this stuff wanders around some years in my drawers and was thrown away one day; but I keep the small notebooks between my other diaries (I have a large chest full of them).

Pina said...

I also keep almost everything.

Feronia said...

To Stardust -
Just keeping the small things - yes, that's far more sensible!

To Wurst Semmel -
Magically transported back in time - yes! that's exactly what all these bits & pieces do.

To Bodecea -
I always try to keep a holiday diary and I always give up after about two days!

To Pina -
I think there's a few of us bower birds around!