My pal Mix was in mental turmoil and ran away from home this weekend and stayed with us. I have done so much yoga in the past three days that even my toe knuckles ache.
In the belief that great art and inspiration can cure almost any mental anguish we went straight from San Francisco International to the Stanford Museum. In the restorative mosey (post-lunch) we discovered a wing I had overlooked before with American Indian and Asia collections. There was a marvelous wooden Fudo which I will need to go back and revisit. I just love Fudo. Or any great demon for that matter. Except for Thatcher and Cheney.
I had never seen the ancient world collection. In the front of the room was a Greek marble male torso, sans limbs and head. In museums you never really get opportunity to meander all the way around most pieces and it wasn't until the reverse of Mr. Headless* did I get the full effect of the beautifully subtle back. Nothing outrageous, just the nuance of ilian crest and enough serratus anterior was enough to make one reevaluate one's relationship to art. (Again, I had to restrain myself from licking the damn thing. You really can't take me anywhere.)
In the same room: a lovely collection of common roman ceramic oil lamps, each perfect and unique. It's like seeing a collection of buttons or door knockers across a couple thousand years. Any museum who can include the common object is perfectly swell.
*Why so much headless statuary and so many busts? Those touristas or collectors not wanting to cart a full body statue back to their home country would take a shovel or something heavy and attempt to bat the most expressive part -usually the head- of the piece off to carry away. Should you feel the need to take up this kind of hobby and have the opportunity, kindly send me all the backs. And maybe the occasional well-turned female shoulder. I hate to think of parts unloved.