I think I'm ill.
That can surely be the only reason for another visit to the Folkwang Museum within the month can't it? I've never, in all my (cough) 45 years (ouch, that hurt) been so 'cultural' as I have this year...what with trips to the theatre back in the early summer (note that; trips, plural) and now I've racked up my 4th (or is it 5th?) visit to the same art museum and come mid November there's another exhibition I'd like to go see.
This trip was a case of '2 birds, 1 stone' - in that it was an exhibition that has just started and I really wanted to see it, and we have the outlaws here at the moment and I thought they'd enjoy it (being the theatre going, arty, cultured types - although MIL did confess that if/when the same exhibition gets to Blighty she probably wouldn't have made the effort to go see because it probably would only get as far as London (another benefit of living here, like everything else they do, the Germans take their culture seriously & so there's lots of it).
I'd warned everyone we needed to leave at 9.40am (Simon was arm twisted into coming too, I failed to get Ben to come along (to be honest it would have been a waste of good money) he gave me that look that teenagers down the ages have perfected, that look that says;
'perrlease, do I look like a loser? Trailing around with the parentals? Looking at pictures? By dead guys? Duuuuhhhhh'
It's amazing how vocal a single raised eyebrow can be isn't it?
Anyway, the museum gets mad busy, full of blue rinses (except this being Germany they're all cherry red rinses) elbowing you out of their way so that they can better appreciate the art (what with their failing eyesight and all) and get round quicker before heading off to the café to baggsy all the good cake & comfy seating, so it's a good idea to be there as the museum opens.
The current exhibition is of the impressionists in Paris and there were over '80 masterpieces of the most famous impressionists' on display as well as over 100 photographs taken during the period (around 1870-1890) and very good it was too, Renoir, Monet, Manet, Pisarro and even a Munch (I didn't know he'd been into impressionism - although judging by the painting on display I think he was a bit bored by the whole thing - trust me when I say that it made no difference no matter how you changed the distance between you and the painting). My favourites were right at the very end, 3 in a row, all by different artists but all in a similar style and all depicting Paris evenings, a Pisarro, a Luce, and a Maufra (which is odd as when I try to find it online all he seems to have done is seascapes - they're great seascapes but they're not Paris).
After we'd managed to find all 5 of us again (no mean feat seeing as the outlaws had opted for the English audio tour which guided them around and filled them full of use(less)full information while we 3 locals decided to wing it and wandered around pointing and sniggering*, we found MIL who had 'just 2 pictures to go' (on her audio tour) and tried to find FIL, then had to re-find MIL, this time without letting go of FIL, then and only then could we try to find the café and hope the wrinklies had left some cake for the more able and more appreciative.
There was one funny moment, 4 of us (we lost MIL at a very early point) stood admiring a painting of some Parisiennes promenading in a park at dusk, FIL was pointing out the pretty reflections on an ornamental pond to Jas, who responded by wanting to show something to us that she'd spotted.
Have you ever noticed how children seem to think 'show' = 'touch'?
Now I doubt that Jas meant to try and actually touch the old master, worth 1000's and 1000's of euro, but the guard who was (of course) only 2 metres away, had never moved so quick all morning (afterall the wrinklies all know the rules in galleries, 'look but don't touch') we all had a laugh about it afterwards...partly to try to deflect Jas from bursting into hysterical tears!
* friends of mine who've had the misfortune to visit art galleries with me will attest to my irreligious manner, I'm more than happy to declare what I view as crap and what my children could easily do but also what I appreciate and admire.