Sunday, October 11, 2009

Woodrow Wilson and King Charles' Head

Remember in that Dickens novel the confused character, is it Mr. Dick? who gets King Charles' head into every sentence. He's treated with gentleness in the novel, but is a bit of a comic character all the same.

I realized yesterday that Woodrow Wilson had temporarily become my King Charles' head, when I was out walking on the Princeton U. campus, and stopped by Prospect Gardens, which I love in all seasons, took pix of the gardens and Prospect House which is where WW lived when he was president of Princeton, before he became the other sort of president.

Then on the way out of the campus stopped at the, hm, guess what, Woodrow Wilson school, because of the Pei architecture and fountain and took pix there, too, all without realizing the thread of connection there. The Woodrow Wilson motif. He being a man of few words, would probably have said "Oh."

I had been at a wonderful exhibit at the Art Museum, which though small, is powerful, great exhibits and the whole place small enough and close enough that you can go and look at a few items and leave before you're worn out.

This time it was an amazing display, lent from all over the world, of Inuit art and artifacts from the Alaskan arctic. Tiny needles from bird bones, used to stitch clothing using sinews, cut with slate bladed knives, with horn and ivory handles. A complete kayak frame, real one, pictures from the 19th century of whaling hunters showing how the kayak and harpoon worked together.

All the artwork, and there was a lot, reflected huge understanding of the sea creatures the Inuit lived with and hunted and respected and thanked, and even the simplest tools were made into artworks as well as functional objects.

Not allowed pix in the museum, so I can't show you any of it, but you can go to the Princeton Art Museum website where they show you one, single, solitary image! it's a nice one, but I wish there were more for you to see.

However, I can show you some other nice stuff I enjoyed on my Saturday afternoon vacation while HS took care of HP.

Here's Prospect House, WW's old stomping ground, which is used nowadays for receptions and lunch for the well-in people with connections. I don't have connections, but I have a number of times been invited to lunch there and assured that this is a huge treat for me, since it's so very very difficult to get an invitation....the food's okay, and the awning you see is at the side of the dining room, overlooking the garden views that follow here.

Here's the Woodrow Wilson building, center for government studies, whence they send pundits to talk on PBS....I managed to catch a rainbow in the fountain without knowing it. I think the architect of the building is Pei, don't know the creator of the fountain, sorry, but no doubt some keen blogster will know and tell us!

And between the Art Museum and Prospect Gardens, I caught this ancient and awesome tree, which the Inuit would probably have approved.

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