Journal of a long pleasant day

Palazzo delle Esposizioni - Rome
The weather forecast had announced a cool, cloudy, rainy spring day. Having planned to be out in Rome all day with students and colleagues first  and with friends once off service, I had chosen to wear my woolen grey picot, my jeans and my boots and made sure to remember my umbrella. So? It was an incredibly hot sunny day instead, almost summer! Quite the wrong start, wasn't it? Wrong clothes, at least. 
However, sweating a bit all the way around the three exhibitions we had in our schedule, I enjoyed what I saw and what I heard all the the same until my quick lunch with my three nice colleagues. Our students were free to choose where to have lunch by themselves, wherever they wished, but nearby. MacDonald's? Yes, of course.
We met them again at 3.30 in the afternoon when the temperatures was even hotter and when our time together was almost over. Once they were all in the coach,  I left for the rest of my Roman adventure ... well... not exactly an adventure, but more a longed-for break in  my usual routine. 
Before going on with my journal, some news from the official site about the exhibitions we visited in the morning at Palazzo delle Esposizioni. 

Guggenheim Collection: The American Avant-Garde 1945–1980 

This exhibition examines major developments in American art during a transformative period in the USA’s history, one marked by economic prosperity, political upheaval, and international conflict, as well as vibrant growth in the cultural sphere.

The exhibition begins with the years following World War II, when the United States emerged as a global center for modern art and the rise of Abstract Expressionism drew international attention to a circle of artists working in New York. From this time forward, the postwar era witnessed a rich proliferation of varied aesthetic practices by American artists: from Pop art’s irreverent embrace of vernacular imagery to the intellectual meditations on meaning that characterized 1960s Conceptualism; from the spare aesthetic of Minimalism to the lush visuals of Photorealism in the 1970s. Though resulting in widely divergent artworks, these movements all shared a fundamental commitment to interrogating the nature, purpose, and meaning of art.

As it examines this critical moment in the history of American art, Guggenheim Collection: The American Avant-Garde 1945–1980 also reflects on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s role in shaping these developments through its long-standing support of emerging artists. Drawn primarily from the museum’s permanent collection in New York, the paintings, sculptures, photographs, and installations on view all embody the specific interests of individual curators, collectors, and scholars who championed the contemporary art of their day and left their stamp on the institution over time. Evident, too, is the Guggenheim’s evolution from its roots as a distinctive showcase for European abstract painting into an international venue for modern and contemporary art, underscored by the important selections of works by Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and Robert Rauschenberg’s Barge (1962–63) from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Homo Sapiens - 
The great history of human diversity

"Each village is a microcosm that tends to reproduce the macrocosm of all mankind, albeit a bit different in proportions" (Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza)

Two hundred thousand years ago Homo sapiens began the journey from a small valley in what is today's Ethiopia that led him to colonize the entire planet and to live with other human species, forming the great variety of peoples and cultures that we know. For the first time, an international group of scientists from different disciplines and coordinated by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, has reconstructed the roots and routes of human settlement. Geneticists, linguists, anthropologists and paleo-anthropologists have combined the results of their research into a wonderful fresco of the history of human evolution. The result is Homo sapiens. La grande storia della diversit√† umana(Homo sapiens. The great history of human diversity), an international interactive and multimedia exhibition made up of six sections telling the stories of the adventures and extraordinary travels, largely unknown, which generated the mosaic of human diversity.

National Geographic - The Meaning of Life

My favourite photo - Can you hear the sound of silence?
National Geographic Italia returns to Rome's Palazzo delle Esposizioni with a new international photographic exhibition. Following on from "Water, Air, Fire and Earth", "Mother Earth", "Our World" and "Colors of the World", "The Meaning of Life" runs at the Via Nazionale exhibition space between 9 March and 13 May 2012. Photographs by the Society's finest photographers take us on a voyage to the key values shared by billions of human (and not just human) beings. This entrancing photographic journey offers four "stopovers": Love, Work, Peace and Health.

Love, work, peace and health captured by the camera are feelings and values that can intensely captivate viewers' attention. With great professionalism, in their work National Geographic photographers are expressing their own emotions. It is impossible not to be affected by the passion evident in the photographs on show. Once again, the result is an exhibition of splendid images which plumb in directly to our heads and hearts.

The four sections of the exhibition, together, encompass "the meaning of life". They also share the common thread that unites National Geographic Italia's photographic exhibitions, and which is the Society's central mission: to preserve the planet and ensure the survival of all living species.

Spooks or The Vicar of Dibley?

Going back to my journal, I'll be brief and to the point. I've got very special friends in Rome about whom I've already written and told you about. You may have noticed K/V's wit,  since she is often present on Fly High as an active commenter, the others are her - and now also my - friends. We gathered together at K/V's for a Spooks night + pre-Easter dinner. Well, they usually have a Spooks night every  Wednesday  and the plan was to finish (re)watching series 8 last night. I don't know exactly who proposed the change and why we ended up watching The Vicar of Dibley Christmas Special - The Handsome Stranger for the umpteenth time . 

As you must have guessed, we share many interests, from books to journeys and everything British  but , last but not least, we all share a certain inclination for a certain tall, dark, handsome, blue-eyed, with a velvet voice and a northern accent English gentleman. That's why , lovely Richard Armitage as Harry Jasper Kennedy and amazing Vicar Geraldine Granger were the perfect conclusion of a  pleasant day and even better night. Can you believe we laughed heartily and to tears though we had seen that episode so many times to be able to deliver most of  the lines,, word by word, , while watching? That was an irresistibly funny and therapeutic watching.  We could also re-lived the incredible emotions we felt when we were in Turville together, that is in Dibley,  in November 2010 (my post and picture HERE). 

I stayed in Rome for the night and came back few hours ago. I still have some days off for this Easter week before me. The start of this short holiday period has been promising. Fingers crossed it goes on, if not better, at least as a relaxing break. 


Phylly3 said...

That sounds like a perfectly lovely day! 3 exhibitions though! You were very busy!
I wish I could visit art galleries and museums more often but they are much farther away for me! My husband would especially appreciate the Nat. Geo. photography exhibit as he is an enthusiastic amateur photographer.
The end of your day sounded like so much fun! How nice to share your ARmitAgemania with a friend! I am so jealous! :)
Have a perfectly wonderful and joyous Easter holiday!

Maria Grazia said...

Thanks a lot, P. Visiting exhibitions with students may be less relaxing than by oneself, anyhow, it was an enriching experience.
The end of the day was superb. We were 7 and we all appreciate Mr Armitage's talent and charm :D
Happy Easter time to you too! And thanks for visiting. MG

Trudy said...

What a lovely day! I would have been hard pressed to stay inside to look at exhibits if I had been in Rome (never been there)! How can a group viewing of Harry Kennedy be anything but great fun. :)

Maria Grazia said...

Ciao, T.! You're right, it was such a lovely warm day that strolling along Rome streets would have been wonderful as well. But my task was to be with my students at Palazzo delle Esposizioni. Fortunately, I love Art, exhibitions, photography and I'll have many other occasions to roam around Rome centre. By the way, when are you going to come here? Start planning a trip :-)
Happy Easter Time!

Melanie said...

Oh, this sounds like such a lovely day! It makes me want to jump on a plane.

Maria Grazia said...

Well, Melanie, just do it. You'll be welcome!:-)

Vava, A country dreaming mum said...

Oh, I know that table, and I know that special friends you are talking about. I hope to be one of the party in the future. Spooks, Vicar of Dibley, North & South, you choose, it's all the same to me as long as there's a tall, dark stranger with greenish-blue sparkling eyes in it ... :-)

Maria Grazia said...

Really, Vava? It would be really nice to meet you next time!