Hello everyone, I‘m back. I wasn’t very active in the last time, but i have diligently lead diary and want to publish an article for each place I’ve been to. And I promise I’m gonna be more active in the future. I‘m excited to tell you about all the places I‘ve been to. But today I wanna share my Boston experience with you, especially my encounters with all those stunning and beautiful art museums which are gathered around here. The inspired me to two little poems which I publish in the end of this article. I would love to here your impressions about them! Boston is also full of historic places which shaped probably our whole world. I love this! Small tip, take your student ID or a picture of it with you, in most museums you get a discount.
The Freedom Trail is a walkable path through the totality of all major historic places in Boston. If you want to enjoy it you need one day, and I did exactly that. I started at the state capitol, striking through its golden dome. In a forty-five minute tour I learned a lot about Massachusetts history and his past as well as recent political situation. This learning continued in the Old South Meeting House, from where the Boston Tea Party started and the Old State House, which played a central role during the colony and the starting Independence war. Later the Declaration of Independence was first read publicly here. In both Museums were guides who you could ask questions. I seized the opportunity and had a long, informative and detailed discussion about the long way to American independence. It is often forgotten how long this way was. It took nearly 25 years: from the starting resistance against British with the Stamp Act 1765 to the first democratically elected president George Washington in 1789.
After all this historic places we ate a bit at Quincy Market and then walked through the North End were some of the oldest churches are located.. The trail ended with the Bunker Hill Monument, which we sadly couldn‘t climb and the U.S.S Constitution the oldest ship in the world still afloat. P.S. I climbed Bunker Hill yesterday, isn‘t as spectacular as presented but it was a nice workout.
Museum of Fine Arts
Last Sunday my aunt and I then went to the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts). Luckily, at this very time they had an exhibition about Hokusai and Japanese art. I didn‘t know about Hokusai before, but my aunt dragged me in. It was magnificent. They compared Hokusai and his students with his contemporary rivals as well as art of today which draws its inspiration from him. Hokusai was no painter in the classical view. Quote: „If god gave me five more years, I could have become a real painter.“ He was drawing illustrations and designs for prints. Prints were popular and widespread to this time, thanks to their cheapness. Still, the detail and vigor of these paintings are incredible.
By far the most impressive room and also the most popular was the wave room. Hokusai‘s „The Great Wave off Kanagawa“ is considered the most popular Japanese painting in the world. It was a mini Mona Lisa moment, because people were lining up to take pictures and marvel at it. Nevertheless, I was more struck by the homages. The one wave who looks like a black and white picture is my absolute favourite. It contains actually only of horizontal lines whose thickness varies, thus creating the pictures of a wave. I was just stunned. They were loads of other pictures and sculptures inspired by the wave, I attached my favourites.
After we finished the Hokusai-Exhibition we hadn‘t had so much time left, and decided to stroll around the European branch a bit. But since time was running out we only explored really a lot of still lifes, that were undoubtedly beautiful. And made me hungry. We then took a short look through dutch art and then got something to eat. I definitely will return. There‘s so much more to see.
Salem & Peabody Essex Museum
On the very next day, we were on our way to Salem, the witch city. We visited the obligatory Salem Witch Trials Museum. The first part was a bit sappy and exaggerated. Nevertheless it was quite informative and the second part even more. It was a tour about perceptions of witches and ended with a very important messages which we seem to have forgotten these days. The lessons of stigmatisation and the horrible impacts it had on our societies. These stigmas created hatred against mostly innocent people on false premises and facts. The Salem witchcraft trials led in only a few months to the execution of 20 people. In the aftermath the accusers admitted that they were „misguided“. Other famous examples of stigmatisation are the camps in the USA for Japanese and German immigrants during World War II, the communist oppression in the USA through McCarty or the discrimination against the queer community during the outbreak of AIDS. All those animus campaigns have something in common: the attack on a culturally different group, on prejudice which divided societies and led to totalitarian ideas among the government, backed by the majority. They paved the ground for centralisation of power and oppression of opposition. Short example about CSU and the war against AIDS: https://www.sueddeutsche.de/bayern/massnahmenkatalog-gegen-hiv-als-die-csu-in-den-krieg-gegen-aids-zog-1.1292107
So now enough of politics and back to arts. After a short visit of the witch trial memorial, and good Turkish lunch right next to it and we headed to the PEM (Peabody Essex Museum).
PEM is another fascinating Museum with a a lot of Asian art. Salem used to be a important trade port to China thus there are stronger connections between them. Firstly, we visited the exhibition „Spirits“. It covers the art of an Tibetan who moved to California, his beginning struggle with western societies and how is guardian spirits adapted to that. His pictures are colourful and celebrate life, however is also critical of our way of life. His Spirits evolved on the way and went from overwhelmed and shy to powerfully and vibrantly mastering our world, sticking out. The other work exhibited is of a British artists who went in a midlife-crisis to Nepeal and learned there the traditional way of drawing holy elements and symbols of Tibetan religion. His approach is more classical thus mathematical; perfectly constructed drawings. I was stunned of his accuracy and sacred beauty as well as deeply moved by the struggle of the spirits, eventually emerging stronger than ever.
In the 90s the PEM relocated a house 200 year old house „Yin Yu Tang“, from China to Salem in an act of intercultural exchange. We walked through this house with an audioguide, learning more about the history, symbolism and every day life of Chinese in the 20th century and before. It’s a bit surreal walking through this house with all original walls and furniture, once standing in rural China filled with life and now on the other side of the world filled with tourists. In the end of the day we learned more about Asia, than about Salmes witches.
Harvard Art Museum
On Tuesday, I was strolling through Cambridge and decided to visit the Harvard Art Museum. I spent nearly two hours there, in only three rooms of the Fogg-Museums-Part. I think that speaks for itself. Giants like Picasso, Monet, van Gogh, so close together and without any glass protection. I could literally see every brushstroke. It was ineffable beautiful and peaceful. The impressionistic paintings had a calming effect on me. Thus I sat down and tried to write poems, tried to let me inspire. I wrote two, in German and will publish them in German too with the respective pictures.
In Gold gehalten,
ruht es hier
die Ruhe kommt auch zu dir
lass deine Augen walten!
Die himmlische Sicht,
was ein tummeliger Ausblick
— berührt Sie von der Reling
Blauer wird’s nicht!
Es segelt der Schiffsverkehr,
fehlt nur die scharfe Meeresluft
Wind pustet stattdessen Gräserduft
in der Ferne: das Häusermeer.
All das will ich spüren;
atme tief ein
mein Brustkorb wird rein
goldenes Licht erfüllt mich
‘s wird mein Herz küren!
Meilen ergibt sich hin das Grün,
das Parks Ende, verlaufen in Ewigkeit,
Träge schleppt der Fluss an ihm vorbei.
In sich ruhend der Junge sich gibt,
Sein Blick auf den Wellen liegt
— nicht endender Kreislauf, Wellen sich bilden,
nur um gleich zu entschwinden —
Das Buch liegt neben ihm.
wartend auf Langeweile
Denn der schönste Mann bleibt
immer noch der mit Hemd und
Briefkuvert im Sonnenschein
schreibt - „Mein Herzblatt,“
Nur um ihr zu schildern:
Dass selbst die Vögel
Ihren Namen kennen und
in höchsten Tönen benennen,
Der Fluss ihre Mühlen antreibt
und am Sie am Waschtag passioniert bewacht
Die Bäume nur steh‘n, um ihr Schatten zu geb‘n
und Er ist hier an Ihrer Seit, für Freude, Abenteuer
nichts ist ihm zu ungeheuer, für Freiheit und die Lieb
er gern sein Leben hingibt!
All dies schreibt er,
als das Wasser sich rotgolden färbt,
jeden nach Hause schickt,
ihm eine Botschaft mitgibt:
Wenn der Brief versagt,
dem Leben nicht entsag!
Wenn die Liebe sich aufreibt
der Frieden hier dir immer bleibt!
Thank for reading. I‘m planning on publishing weekly updates. I hope you all have a wonderful day.