Fun Museum Finds

Summer’s winding down, but I can’t bear to think about long sleeves yet. It’s been too much fun hanging out in the sunshine and taking road trips to new museums. Before we pack away the sundresses and sandals for good, here are some fun images of outdoor festivity that I’ve seen recently.
To start off, here are two paintings from the series Apollo and the Muses at the Cleveland Museum of Art. (Its new app and digital interactive displays are well worth a visit, by the way.)

Erato, the muse of Lyric Poetry on the left, is basically Taylor Swift’s spirit animal. She’s all billows and curls, sitting in a romantic grove with Cupid while she literally writes with one of his arrows. I imagine this is also how Swift composed her Wall Street Journal article about the value of art. “[People] are buying only the [albums] that hit them like an arrow through the heart … and I’d also want a nice garden.”

Meanwhile, check out the epic side eye from Clio, the muse of History. “Are you serious girl? I’m over here writing about wars and plagues and fallen empires, and you’re sitting under a billowing canopy? I hope the Persians hit you with a spear.” The two paintings really are displayed like this, with Apollo between them.

I’m not exactly sure what the artist Charles Meynier meant here. Clio’s expression is pretty hilarious – but hey wait, is he saying female scholars are all ice cold? Does he think history is just dust and monuments? I do like the suggestion that maxi dresses and serious business can go together, though.

Speaking of summer fashions, lest you think flower crowns are a new trend, check out this etching from the print collection of Washington’s Headquarters in Morristown, NJ. George Washington is entering Trenton victorious after  crossing the Delaware River to defeat the British. The city’s daughters have turned out for the parade in their best music festival apparel.

George Washington also spent some time in Brooklyn, although he wasn’t as successful there. NYC wasn’t quite as built up back in the 1770s, as you can see in this 18th century map from Morristown. I love the little soldiers marching along the palisades.

See Charles Meynier, even military history isn’t completely humorless.

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