September 14, 2009
Travelling in Holland is easy, in part, because everyone speaks English. Also, Dutch words often look like misspelled English words. Can you guess what the following Dutch words mean; koffie, melk, centraal, Portugees? Twee means two.
In June, Ann, Pat and I enjoyed hamming it up with Vincent Van Gogh's self portrait in the Art Institute of Chicago. On this date, Allyson and I made it to the Van Gogh Museum, which contains some 200 works that no one wanted to buy in his lifetime. They fell to brother Teo, who died six months after Vincent shot himself in the chest. So Vincent's sister-in-law had all of these paintaings, and she started to promote them.
She released letters between the brothers. As with John J. Audubon, it is the writings that illuminate the life and works that help create the interest and increase the value. The paintains stayed in the family until 1962,
It's a pleasure to see the arc of the painter's work. The audioguide and the arrangement of the art in the museum permits a person to see Van Gogh's evolution, and how what her learned from one phase influenced a later phase.
For most of the rest of the day, we walked the lovely neighborhoods on a gorgeous early-fall day. Brisk and clean, the air was refreshing. We poked our heads into several boutiques and had the obligatory pancake and walk through hookerville.
Again, it is amazing that such a big city has such limited auto traffic, at least where we walked.
European cities and their museums are history lessons for us Americans.
For dinner, we found the place where they used to give free meals to the poor, Now, it provides cheap meals to locals, cafeteria style: a plate full of potatoes and either sausage or meatball.