The dragon's eyes

Here’s a confession: most of the time when I go to the Museum of Fine Arts, I wander without reading the placards that identify and explain each work. Instead, I eschew the edification of curatorial commentary and let my uneducated eyes lead me. What I’m looking for on these museum-rambles isn’t an art history lesson but something far more primal: I’m looking to feed my dreams.

Dragon and Clouds

I’m not a particularly imaginative person. Most of my waking hours are spent dealing with the-way-things-are, not envisioning the way-things-might-be. By night, I seldom dream anything memorable…and when I do remember my dreams, they tend to be filled with boring, mundane details, like yesterday’s laundry or tomorrow’s groceries. I’m the last person on the planet, in other words, who would dream of dragons: most of the time, I’m mired too deep in the daily drudgery.

Dragon and Clouds

A museum, however, is a stockpile of the strange. If your own imagination is starved, you can go to a museum and glut yourself on the fantasies of others. I’ve never dreamed of dragons, but Soga Shōhaku clearly has, his version of the legendary creature sprawling over eight painted panels that span some 35 feet. Shōhaku died in 1781, but the dragon of his dreams lives on, mesmerizing people like me who could never imagine such a creature on our own.

If you want to see Soga Shōhaku’s “Dragon and Clouds” yourself, it will remain on display at the Museum of Fine Arts until July 6th.

Quilts and Color

This weekend, I met Leslee and A (not her real initial) at the Museum of Fine Arts, where we saw “Quilts and Color,” an eye-popping exhibition of handmade quilts I’d been looking forward to all semester. What better way to celebrate the end of a long academic year than by admiring beautiful pieces of prolonged and meticulous handiwork?

Quilts and Color

Although I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to quilts and quilting, I’m definitely a fan. In 2009, A and I had seen an exhibit of quilts by the late Radka Donnell at the New England Quilt Museum, which I wrote about here, and before that, Leslee, A, and I had seen a juried exhibit of contemporary quilts at the American Textile History Museum, which I (unfortunately) never blogged.

Quilts and Color

When you look at a finished quilt, you see a Big Picture that was painstakingly assembled from bits and pieces. The contemporary art quilts Leslee, A, and I had previously seen featured irregular shapes, odd abstractions, and jarring color juxtapositions: all the aspects of modern painting, but on quilts. The pieces on display at the MFA, on the other hand, are more traditional in terms of composition, following block designs popularized by Amish, Mennonite, and other folk artisans, but they stun the senses with vibrant color combinations that at times seemed to vibrate with an almost hallucinogenic intensity.

Quilts and Color

Sewing a quilt is like running a marathon: it’s an accomplishment I admire with awe from afar. I know how to put one foot in front of the other, but I can’t imagine having the stamina to train for and then run a 26.2 mile race. Similarly, I know how to stitch two pieces of cloth together, but I can’t imaging having the patience to design, piece together, and then stitch the kind of intricate designs on exhibit at the MFA.

Quilts and Color

When I was younger, I enjoyed doing cross-stitch and other small sewing projects: there’s something soothing about the repetitive ritual of placing stitch after stitch. Because of this, I admire quilts as much for their meditative discipline as I do for their technical complexity. Making a quilt is a lot like writing a dissertation: you start with a blank canvas, then you fill things in gradually, one word or one stitch at a time. The end result seems impossible, but each step is doable.

Quilts and Color

Recently the Internet has been abuzz over a graduation speech given by Naval Admiral and former Navy SEAL William McRaven, who encouraged graduates from the University of Texas at Austin to make a habit of making their beds:

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

Quilts and Color

I might not have the patience or the diligence to complete a quilt, but I do manage to make my bed every morning. Instead of a quilt, J and I have a rust-colored bedspread that complements the light brown furniture in our bedroom and brings a pop of color to the room. And just as Admiral McRaven suggests, it gives me a small sense of accomplishment to start the day with a smoothly made bed.

Quilts and Color

Someday, it would be nice to have enough time to sew a quilt, or at least to try. In the meantime, I’ll content myself with the knowledge that I share the world with a Naval admiral who believes success starts with a neatly made bed and countless quilters who have made the world more beautiful, one stitch (and one bed) at a time.

Click here for more photos from “Quilts and Color,” which will remain on view at the Museum of Fine Arts through July 27th. Enjoy!

Endlessly repeating, with legs

I did indeed go to the Museum of Fine Arts on my birthday, as planned, and I took the requisite shot of my legs reflected in the shiny base of Josiah McElheny’s “Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism,” a cube-shaped case containing rows of mirrored-glass bottles whose reflections repeat toward infinity. Given an endlessly repeating reflection, the temptation toward reflective photography is equally infinite, so it seems somehow fitting that I’ve revisited (and re-photographed) this same piece over and over and over.

Ad infinitum

Birthdays are a natural time for reflecting on the repetitive nature of our (sadly) finite lives: none of us, after all, is getting any younger. We might revisit (and re-photograph) the same artwork time and again, but we can’t step into the same proverbial river twice. The “me” who photographed this piece in 2014 is different—older, wider, but not necessarily wiser—than those earlier incarnations who photographed this piece in 2010, 2009, and 2008. Looking at those pictures, now, I can date them primarily by what I’m wearing: I no longer carry that purse; I still wear that skirt and boots; I no longer fit into those jeans; and I literally wore out those sandals, which the manufacturer sadly doesn’t make any more. “Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism” is part of the museum’s permanent collection, but everything around it (myself included) has done nothing but change since it was acquired.

Endlessly repeating, with legs

The illusion of McElheny’s piece, in other words, is that of objects endlessly repeating without changing: something that never happens outside the artificial realm of art. We humans repeat ourselves for a time, returning to the same scenes to do, think, and say roughly the same things over and over again…but our current selves don’t perfectly mirror our previous selves. Artworks, on the other hand, don’t have birthdays: they don’t gain weight, wrinkles, or gray hair, instead freeze-framing a particular moment in time that we changing and aging humans can never return to. Only in novels do portraits age instead of their subjects, Dorian Gray’s peculiar predicament being one that none of the rest of us share.

Bottled

I recently finished Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, which tells the curious and convoluted story of Ursula Todd, a woman with endlessly repeating lives. Ursula has a seemingly infinite number of chances to live the life she was destined to lead: whenever her life takes a turn down a less-than-promising avenue, darkness falls and she is born again. Like the protagonist in the romantic comedy Groundhog Day, Ursula Todd has (and apparently needs) multiple chances to make the right choices in her life; the rest of us, it seems, are fated to botch and bungle our way without hope for an infinite number of re-tries.

Self-portrait with endless reflections

It might be tempting to wish for endlessly repeating lives, but perhaps we should be careful what we wish for. A few days before Henry David Thoreau died, he was asked by a family friend what he thought about the afterlife, and Thoreau famously replied “One world at a time.” Even without the hope or threat of endlessly repeating lives, our days repeat themselves with startling regularity: another day, another dollar; another year, another birthday. Some mornings when I’m taking the dogs to and from our backyard dog pen, I marvel at the cyclic redundancy of such mundane chores: surely in a past life I was a farmer tending livestock, my entire world revolving around the in-goes and out-goes of animal care. We might not have infinite lifetimes to attain our destiny, but we do have a lengthy repetition of days. What is a life, after all, but a collection of moments, “yesterday,” “today,” and “tomorrow” repeating themselves, one after another, for a certain spell, a finite resource not to be wasted.

Like a Styrofoam storm cloud

I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing these past few weeks, trying to take full advantage of the time I have off from teaching. During the academic year, I keep busy juggling my face-to-face and online teaching obligations; during the academic year, there’s always something to do. My online classes started last week, and my face-to-face classes start next week, so soon enough, I’ll be neck-deep in paper-grading and other teaching tasks. But at the moment, I can let my brain lie fallow, a season of rest before the business of a full semester resumes.

Like a Styrofoam storm cloud

Initially, I felt a bit guilty for this year’s lazy lack of productivity. Most of the time, I feel obligated to get something done during academic breaks: this is, after all, a prime opportunity to focus on my own writing rather than my “day job.” But this year, I’ve felt the need to step away from the niggling urge to be perpetually productive. Sometimes you just have to leave your mind alone, and that’s largely what I’ve been doing these past few weeks. I’ve continued to write in my journal, and I’ve been reading a lot, but I haven’t been blogging or taking many pictures. (These images of Tara Donovan’s untitled installation of Styrofoam cups at the Museum of Fine Arts are a significant exception.) In time, my enthusiasm for writing and photography will return, I’m sure, but for the moment, I’ve been enjoying the rare (to me) luxury of being lazy.

Like a Styrofoam storm cloud

Farmers allow their fields to lie fallow for a season to restore soil fertility: even though Walt Whitman famously declared that “the earth never tires,” sometimes her creative energies become depleted. A fallow field is a blank page that quietly whispers “not yet” rather than “no.” A fallow field isn’t permanently retired: she hasn’t been put out to pasture like a swaybacked nag. Instead, a fallow field is simply resting, incubating in her earthy gut the promising seeds of future fecundity.

Like a Styrofoam storm cloud

After several days of unseasonably mild temperatures, we’ve lost most of our snow cover, leaving the rain-soaked earth as bare and muddy as in spring. Right now the grass in our backyard is a sickly shade of yellow-brown: fallow. Instead of mourning our lawn as dead, however, I know it’s merely dormant, marshaling its energies for an inevitable spring.

The birthday girl

It’s been a few years since I’ve kept my tradition of going to the Museum of Fine Arts on or around my birthday. (I took the above photo in 2010, when I celebrated my 41th birthday.) Today, though, is a perfect museum-going day. While much of the nation is in a deep-freeze, it’s unseasonably warm, rainy, and soupy-humid in Boston, with swirling wisps of snow-melt fog. What better day to celebrate one’s birthday inside where it’s warm and dry?

Giant baby head in snow

So today I have an afternoon date with John Singer Sargent, whose watercolors are on display at the MFA through January 20th. Water in the form of winter rains can leave you damp and shivering, or water in the form of watercolors can transport you to another time. On a gray and rainy January day, any influx of light and color is welcome.

Jeppe Hein's "Please..."

Yesterday I had a meeting at Northeastern University, so instead of taking the T straight to either the Northeastern or Ruggles stops, I got off at Fenway, walked along the Muddy River, then cut through the Museum of Fine Arts on my way to campus. I had time to look at just one exhibit–“New Blue and White,” a collection of contemporary works inspired by traditional cobalt-and-white ceramics—so I circled through that exhibit several times, looking at the pieces and taking pictures before I continued on to Northeastern, which is virtually across the street from the Museum.

Blue and White

This is what I like best about having a Museum membership: the ability to pop into the MFA on my way to something else, quickly checking out a single exhibit or simply enjoying an air-conditioned, beauty-rich reprieve on my way from Point A to Point B. When you spend an entire day at a Museum, you run the risk of museum-fatigue, your achy feet and glazed-over eyes feeling the effects of trying to cram too much culture into a single outing. But when you explore one tiny corner of a museum, there is little risk of fatigue. Instead of trying to swallow an entire smorgasbord, you can sip and savor just a small spoonful.

Blue and White

Museums work best, I’ve found, in small, frequent doses, not marathon cram sessions. When I was a graduate student at Northeastern in the 1990s, the University had an arrangement with the MFA where students and faculty got into the Museum free simply by showing their ID, and I took full advantage of this, going to the Museum whenever I had a break between classes and wanted a quick reprieve from the demands of juggling doctoral studies and teaching.

Blue and White

In retrospect, that habit of taking short trips to the MFA—either on my own or with my students, whom I’d give an assignment requiring them to find a work of art they liked, then write about it—was perhaps the most valuable thing I took from my years at Northeastern. For me, trying to “cover” an entire Museum in a single trip is too much like work: there’s too much to see, and there’s more than a bit of anxiety or guilt involved, as if it were a moral failing if you miss or improperly absorb something. It feels like a kind of failure—a stress-inducing thing—to try to cram an entire art education into a single session as if there were going to be a test afterward that you have to pass, or else.

Shooting blue

When you establish the habit of visiting a world-class art museum both frequently and casually, dropping in now and again, as you’re able, you come to see art itself not as an abstract or elite thing saved for special occasions when you’re feeling particularly cerebral. Instead, you come to see art fondly and even affectionately: an expression of natural creativity that belongs to the entire human family. Familiar, oft-visited pieces become dear to you, like extended family members you enjoy seeing again and again.

The works in “New Blue and White” reminded me of John Singer Sargent’s “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit,” which stands flanked by the blue-and-white Japanese porcelain vases that appear in it.

The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, by John Singer Sargent

Sargent’s “Daughters” is a painting that frankly makes me happy whenever I see it, and I’ve visited it more times than I care to count, first in the old wing, then in the new. Only when you’ve been to a single museum many times can you enjoy that kind of relationship with particular artworks, seeing someone else’s daughters (and the décor they posed against) as being part of your extended family.

Blue and White

“New Blue and White” is a temporary exhibit on view through Saturday, so I saw it just in time: the next time I drop by the Museum of Fine Arts, something else will be on display in its place. That is, of course, yet another reason to visit a museum early and often: in addition to the longtime friends you’ll see repeatedly, you’ll also meet works that, like you, are just passing through.

Click here to see more images from “New Blue and White.” The title of today’s post comes from Jeppe Hein’s sculpture featuring neon tubes spelling out the best way to enjoy a museum:

“Please enjoy relax steal dance touch flirt smoke wonder feel muse eat sing listen talk ask touch neon look communicate touch each other use camera flash.”

Michelangelo's Cleopatra

Last weekend, J and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts to see an exhibit of Michelangelo’s drawings and to wander the museum’s Art of the Americas wing. As we passed from the “old” to “new” wings of the MFA, we passed through the Shapiro Family Courtyard, where we saw hundreds of hand-sewn flags made by quilters around the world in response to the Boston Marathon bombings: a cheery installation aptly named “To Boston With Love.”

Shapiro Family Courtyard with quilt squares

It’s funny how the Shapiro Family Courtyard has evolved over the years since the “new” wing of the MFA opened in 2010. At first, the courtyard seemed like a looming and cold expanse–an empty and impersonal space to be endured as you passed from one half of the museum to the other–but then the addition of Dale Chihuly’s “Lime Green Icicle Tower” in 2011 gave the space both focus and warmth, like planting a big, towering tree in your backyard to liven up the space.

Lime Green Icicle Tower with quilt squares

The Shapiro Courtyard has come to feel like a backyard–Boston’s backyard–with a constant stream of patrons dining at the New American Cafe and an ever-shifting array of temporary exhibits brightening it. The hand-sewn squares of “To Boston With Love” underscore this homey feel, looking like laundry hung to dry between high-rise tenement apartments or colorful Tibetan prayer flags flapping in a lively Himalayan village.

To Boston with Love

Although I would have never dreamed of crisscrossing the Shapiro Family Courtyard with either laundry or prayer flags, the result is aesthetically delightful, creating a simultaneously cozy and cosmopolitan space where both neighbors and nations can congregate and find community.

Shapiro Family Courtyard

In addition to the handiwork of “To Boston With Love,” J and I saw three visiting masterpieces from New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Northeaster” by Winslow Homer; “Lachrymae” by Frederic, Lord Leighton; and “The Monet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil” by Edouard Manet.

Visiting masterpieces:  Homer, Leighton, Manet

Like the humble, hand-sewn flags of “To Boston With Love,” these three paintings were send to the MFA as a goodwill offering in the aftermath of the Marathon bombings. A tribute from the people of New York to the people of Boston, these three paintings were handpicked to either complement Boston’s permanent collection (Homer, Manet) or speak to the mood of grief that hung over the city in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy (Leighton).

Homer and Leighton

Visiting a museum is one way of figuring out your place in the world: given the creative endeavors of the ages, what contribution might you add, here and now? When quilters and museum curators heard of the Boston Marathon bombings, they had the automatic human response, wondering “What can I do to help,” and the automatic answer to this question, it turns out, is “Send what’s close to hand.”

The Monet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil, by Edouard Manet

Museums are a great civic asset: not merely receptacles of tangible treasures, but places to see and be seen as you mingle with other museum-goers from near and far. Individually, few of us can afford to own a priceless masterpiece; collectively, though, we share a space where that wealth is openly enjoyed.

Admiring Michelangelo

Both the Metropolitan Museum and quilters from around the world shared their treasures with Boston during her darkest hour, and I for one would like to return the compliment by sending warm greetings and gratitude from Boston, with love.

Quilt squares for Boston

The drawings of Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane will be on exhibit through June 30, and both “To Boston With Love” and the three visiting masterpieces from the Met will remain on view through July 7. If you can’t make it to Boston, click here to view my photos from last weekend’s visit to the MFA: enjoy!

Samurai

Yesterday J and I took the T into Boston to go to the Museum of Fine Arts, where we saw Paul Cezanne’s “The Large Bathers,” which is currently on loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as an exhibit of samurai armor. Although I don’t know much about Cezanne or the samurai, I was enchanted by both exhibits, albeit in entirely different ways.

Admiring Cezanne

Cezanne’s “Bathers” are calmly monumental with their bold, blurry pastels. Although the painting is in oil, Cezanne creates a watercolor-like effect that is simultaneously provocative and mesmerizing: the kind of painting you could study for an eternity, drawn into the depths of its soothing pastoral vision.

Side by side

Displayed alongside Paul Gauguin’s equally evocative “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going,” Cezanne’s “Bathers” represents a turn away from the classical nude, which seems almost too-perfect in its idealized timelessness, and toward a more embodied Modernist vision. The bodies Cezanne and Gauguin depict look like actual, earthly bodies at rest, and it seems natural to rest a while in their presence.

Cezanne and Gauguin

The pieces of samurai armor currently on display at the MFA, on the other hand, are almost cartoonishly quirky, and I immediately fell in love with them. After walking through several galleries containing glass-case examples of helmets, breastplates, shin-guards, and other armature, J and I entered a room with two life-size free-standing displays: on one side, a trio of fully-bedecked warriors galloping on heavily-armored steeds…

Samurai

…and on the other, a gang of walking warriors, their ornate armature letting enemies know in an instant that these guys mean business.

Samurai

When you look like a bad-ass space alien and carry a big sword, you can let your appearance do the talking.

Samurai

This is the last week of the semester at Framingham State, which means I’ll be swamped with paper-grading for the next two weeks. It felt good to take a virtual vacation at the MFA yesterday, traveling first to France to lounge with Cezanne and then to imperial Japan to stand with samurai. I’ve set the photo at the top of this post as my desktop background: a silent reminder to stay samurai strong over the next few, tiring weeks.

Click here to see my complete photo-set from yesterday’s MFA outing. Enjoy!

Persian Ceiling

Long-time readers of “Hoarded Ordinaries” might remember the entry I posted after seeing the glass flowers at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in March, 2006. Crafted by 19th century glass artisans Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka, these botanical specimens amazed me with their life-like detail. “Hearing the phrase ‘glass flowers,'” I wrote, “I imagined the objects on exhibit would look like glass first and flowers second: pretty, colorful, and entirely artificial looking, more art than science.” What I’d expected when I went to see the Blaschkas’ glass flowers, in other words, was something like the work of Dale Chihuly.

Clustered

The countless flower-like forms in “Through the Looking Glass,” the exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts through August 8th, are exactly what the Blaschkas’ flowers aren’t. Commissioned by a botany professor in 1886, the Blaschkas’ glass flowers are realistic specimens that capture plant anatomy in painstaking detail. Dale Chihuly’s flowering forms, on the other hand, suggest the color and shape of flowers as seen in a dream. The Blaschkas captured the anatomical details of plants as they are, and Dale Chihuly captures the contours and colors of flowers as they could be. “These are flowers,” you might say in response to the Blaschkas’ handiwork; of Chihuly’s specimens, “these are flowers on drugs.” Any questions?

Piled platters

“It’s like standing inside a kaleidoscope,” one museum-goer observed. “It’s like something out of Willy Wonka,” another woman noted. Stepping into Dale Chihuly’s fertile, flowering world, you’re forced to resort to metaphor, the forms before you not quite matching anything you’ve seen before. “It kind of looks like a cactus,” one visitor said in reference to Chihuly’s “Lime Green Icicle Tower,” and I overheard other onlookers comparing various pieces to fruit, candy, and an entire menagerie of exotic, sinuous creatures.

Turning the corner to consider the room-length wilderness of “Mille Fiori,” for instance, you might as well leave language at the door, the forms before you suggesting a hybrid riot of animal, vegetable, and miracle.

Mille Fiori

“Oh, my!” was how one child described it, and she stole the words right out of my mouth. Is this a marsh filled with reedy tangles or an exploded candy-factory offering a wealth of candy canes and rainbow-hued jawbreakers?

Mille Fiori

Time and again, I heard parents quizzing their wide-eyed youngsters: “Which one is your favorite?” And time and again, I heard children resorting to fanciful descriptions: “The pink snaky one!” “The one that looks like licorice!” “The peppermint!” Adults, too, pointed, gesticulated, and struggled to categorize what they saw. A debate arose, for instance, around a huddle of pointy-ended black blobs: were they tubers, snails, seals, or shrews? Unlike the Blaschkas’ glass flowers, which are politely labeled with genus and species, the creations in Chiluly-Land defy categorization, blurring the boundary between plant and animal, actual and imaginary. This ain’t your Grandma’s flower garden, but a psychedelic romp through a land of light and color.

Persian Ceiling

As if the thousand flowers of “Mille Fiori” weren’t mind-boggling enough, the glowing expanse of Chihuly’s “Persian Ceiling” evokes an other-worldly, aquatic realm. Are these underwater flowers, terrestrial jellyfish, or translucent denizens of a yet-to-be-discovered planet?

Persian Ceiling

The Blaschkas themselves made glass invertebrates–“jellyfish, anemones, planarians (flat worms), polychaetes (tube-dwelling worms), sponges, radiolarians and assorted molluscs”–that reside in Dublin’s Natural History Museum, which I visited in February, 2006…but again, the Blaschkas’ crystal jellies are worlds apart from Chihuly’s aquatic creatures. The Blaschkas captured the weird colors and stunning shapes of creatures that actually exist: their work mesmerizes because it suggests things you might see if you traveled the world with open eyes. Chihuly’s work, on the other hand, offers a fantastic glimpse into a world that never was: the muscae volitantes of imagination’s eye.

Persian Ceiling

Click here for more photos of Dale Chihuly’s “Mille Fiori,” or click here for more images of his “Persian Ceiling.” Click here to see a complete photo-set from Chihuly’s exhibit at the MFA. Enjoy!

Bird's eye view

Yesterday I went to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to see “Through the Looking Glass,” an exhibit of Dale Chihuly glass sculptures on view through August 8th. By far the largest of the sculptures on display is the 42-foot-tall “Lime Green Icicle Tower,” which looms in the enclosed Shapiro Family Courtyard between the MFA’s old and new wings: a spiky spire of neon-green goodness.

Baseline

Before seeing the “Lime Green Icicle Tower” in person, I’d read about the MFA’s campaign to purchase the piece, which costs more than a million dollars. “Through the Looking Glass” has been an inordinately popular show, with weekend crowds queuing for hours for a turn inside the exhibit’s riotously colorful galleries. Now that so many museum-goers have seen Chiluly’s work–and now that so many museum-goers have seen how the “Lime Green Icicle Tower” perfectly decorates the Shapiro Family Courtyard’s otherwise bland, empty expanse–it’s only natural to ask those appreciative crowds to chip-in for the sculpture’s purchase.

Stairway photo op

Having snapped a handful of pictures of ol’ Limey when I first arrived at the MFA yesterday, I found myself photographing him again and again from every angle and seemingly at every turn. The “Lime Green Icicle Tower” is one of those monumental pieces that seems so at-home in its present location, I can’t imagine the space without it.

From below

On the MFA website, there’s a short, time-lapse video of the installation of the “Lime Green Icicle Tower”: like an artificial Christmas tree, “Lime Green” was assembled branch by branch, starting at the base and working upward. Now that “Through the Looking Glass” is entering its final week, I hate to imagine crews tearing down ol’ Limey branch by branch, sending his pieces packing. Like a neon-green tree or spiky glass cactus, the “Lime Green Icicle Tower” has set down roots here in Boston, and I for one want him to stay.

Base reflection

Am I willing to put my money where my mouth is on that point? You bet your lime green icicle tower. Although the MFA has a page online where you can donate toward the sculpture’s purchase, and although cell-phone users can donate $10 by texting the word TOWER to 50555, I chose to make my contribution the old-fashioned way by dropping some cold green cash into one of the courtyard’s donation boxes.

Like individual branches assembled to form a towering green spire, your donation plus my donation plus every other museum-goers’ donation adds up to something enormous.

Click here to view my complete photo-set of Dale Chihuly’s “Lime Green Icicle Tower.” I’ll share the rest of my photos from “Through the Looking Glass” over the next week, as I’m able to sort through them. In the meantime, this is my contribution to today’s Photo Friday theme, Enormous.

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