three dogs and a house

The story of a house in Clinton.

The American Academy in Rome

Last night we attended the opening of the Cinque Mostre 2015, the annual art show at the American Academy in Rome.  We walked for about 20 minutes from our house up a series of stairway passages in Trastevere to the top of the Janiculum where the AAR is located.  After admiring the sweeping view of the city below, we turned onto what felt like a quiet suburban street to find the magnificent McKim, Mead and White palazzo that is the home of the AAR.  The event took place throughout many areas of the property, with drinks served in the cortile (arcade) surrounding the central garden.  From a fantastical chemistry project-like work in the building’s cryptoporticus (a white brick-walled semi-basement with a curved ceiling) to a performance piece in the library featuring 2 live falcons, the range of work was wide and extremely intriguing.  But exploring the building itself was half the fun: the grand palazzo is minimally furnished, with consistent light fixtures throughout and simple furniture that seem to have elegantly aged with the structure itself.  Some large art works can be found on the walls of the public spaces, such as a black and white Chuck Close piece over the mantle of the living room, but largely the space is magnificent in its restrained decor.  With its outdoor spaces expertly lit for this evening function, the Academy was dazzling.  Finding the Academy bar with its sketches of previous Rome Prize winners was an added delight.

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Photo Addendum: Capitoline Museums

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Capitoline Museums

I spent a few wonderful hours at the Capitoline Museums today. It was a sunny, warm day, and I think that might have been the reason why I was one of only a small handful of visitors. I did get to enjoy some of the weather while there as both museums have wonderful sculptures in their courtyards. Seeing this magnificent art in person defies description, while thinking about how old it is is just mind boggling. Here are my highlights:

Photo addendum: Skull and Bones

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Skulls and Bones

One of my favorite iconographic images is a skull and bones. It’s Don’t-Mess-With-Me badass, universal and definitely not girly. Here in Rome I was surprised to find so many of these images (and real life skulls and bones) in the context of churches and religious orders. Seems like reminders of mortality are everywhere in the Eternal City.

School bus

Now that the kids are riding the bus to school, we have a short 3 minute walk to the pick up area near our house. And as this is Rome, on that quick walk we happen to walk by some ruins. Only these aren’t just any ruins: they are among the oldest temples discovered in Rome, dating back to the Republican era. The oldest of the four temples dates to early 3rd century BC. These columns have become part of the scenery, and then the kids hop on this funny white bus with a driver and a bus attendant. To hear them tell it, it’s a boisterous comedy between these two all the way to school.

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Gelato

We explored the very trendy neighborhood of Monti yesterday. Although my map reading skills got us there over a very circuitous route, we loved what we found in this lovely neighborhood a bit reminiscent of Boston’s South End. Here, too, boutiques stock many clothes made on site, and the numbers of great cafés, restaurants and home goods shops was incredible. We stopped for a highly recommended coffee at Er Baretto (fantastic) and highly recommended gelati (icy and thin).

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Landscaping

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All the rain this Spring and Summer has helped the new plants grow.

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