Sunday, September 20, 2009

Les Journées du Patrimone

This was a great weekend to have as my first weekend in Paris because it was les Journée du Patrimonie. It's a weekend where many many buildings all over France that are usually not open to the public are open, and for free too! It's usually military, government or justice buildings that have too much security to be open year round. Often there are very long lines to get into them but I ended up waiting maybe an hour for the building I chose to visit which was L'Assemblée Nationale, the home of the French equivalent of our House of Representatives.

What was great was that the French were really taking advantage of this opportunity! While waiting in line, I noticed that almost all of the people in line were French, not tourists. There was a special pamphlet for the event and a television with a welcome message from the President of the Assemblée.

The building is the old Palais Bourbon, built by the Bourbon kings in the 1700s. One of my favorite things in the building was the Salle Delacroix, with murals painted by Delacroix.

There also was a very beautiful library which includes in it's collection a transcription of the trial of Joan of Arc! Some of Rousseau's documents are also housed there. Of course the entire building was surrounded by beautiful gardens that were impecably groomed. It was also very interesting to see where the Assemblée sits. There was a very large tapistry depicting the "School of Athens" by Raphael which is in the Vatican Museums. I thought it a nice choice.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


After a very long wait, I have finally arrived in Paris. I've been here since Sunday. I stayed in the Latin Quarter in a very charming hotel with my parents until yesterday. Yesterday I moved to the FIAP in the 14eme to start my program with APA. We are staying at the FIAP (Foyer International d'Acceuil Paris) basically a nice hostel until tomorrow when we will be given our homestay assignments, something everyone in the program is anxiously awaiting.

The Latin Quarter was a great place to spend my first few days in Paris because it's close to where I'm going to be taking classes. La Sorbonne is at the heart of the 5eme. I also got to explore the Saint-Germain des Prés area. While searching for a place to eat one night, my father remembered a great meal he had had on the Rue Dauphine so we walked up and down it trying to find the gem of a restaurant. (It turned out to be under new managment but my father assured me that the pate was as good as he remembered.) While walking around, we began to see lots of signs for Arts Saint-Germain. The area just north of la Boulevard Saint-Germain and south of the Quai de Conti was filled with little roads covered in galleries. It was late Monday night when we were there so nothing was open, but we were still able to look into the windows and see all of the furniture and such displayed in the galleries.

I was able to look it up online and it looks like there's an association of art galleries in that area! I'm really excited to return and take my time looking at the individual galleries. I took a picture of this chair because it reminded me of a design that we had in the Erno exhibit at Evergreen! Gotta love European Modernism.

I also was walking along and saw a building with the name Flammarion on it. Flammarion is a French publishing company that I heard a lot about at Godine Publisher over the summer. I believe we've done books with them before. It was really cool to know what the name was, because the building was very nondescript.

And that's about all for now. Internet is very spotty and limited. Hopefully the next time I am able to write I will be settled in my home!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So Long, JHU!

So, I'm sitting outside MSE enjoying my last hour at JHU before I leave for a year! I've been visiting for a week just to see people and tie up loose ends before I take off. It was a great time! I got to see so many people and reconnect before I depart. 

I also really enjoyed my visit to the Evergreen Museum & Library to see the Modernism at Evergreen: Erno Fabry exhibit that was the product of our Musuems & Societies class this part spring. It was amazing to see the fruits of our labors. The show was spectacular. The labels were particularly well done. I took lots of pictures so that I can always remember the first show I "curated"! Sadly, I won't be in Baltimore for the symposium on September 26th, but I look forward to hearing about it! 

I also stopped by and saw everyone at the Homewood House Museum. Another exciting visit was the one I made to the Walters Art Musuem where I got to see the installation of Jean-Baptiste Nini medallions that I helped organize. The fourth floor re-installation looks fabulous as well! Things flow very well and the mini-monographs about the Barbizon artists worked out very well indeed.

I spent a good amount of time just enjoying the beauty of campus and my friends. I sat on the Beach yesterday for a solid 4 hours just soaking in the sun.

It's been a mixture of sadness at leaving JHU which has been so much fun and my home for two years and total excitement about what's to come! I can't even begin to imagine how much I will be doing starting in TEN DAYS when I get to Paris. It's been really interesting to communicate with friends who are already abroad and hear what amazing times they are having. Makes me itch to get over there! I think the next week and a half will fly by as I try to cram my entire life into two suitcases. Can't wait to find out what part of Paris I'll be able to call my own.

That's all for now. Next time I write, hopefully I'll have a new address and a new home in PARIS.