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At the Fogg

Today we went to the Fogg Museum (at Harvard) with David and Oscar, some friends from the UK. I haven't been there in a long time. The museum has expanded since it absorbed the Busch-Reisinger➀ Museum which used to be a couple of blocks away and has a new building housing the Sackler Museum➁ that is across the street. We were originally going to go to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum but I thought since we were in Harvard square this might be a good choice and save a T trip. Both David and Oscar had been to the Gardner before and it turns out that David never had been to the Fogg. I also discovered that if you have a Cambridge Public Library card you can get in free - a nice feature. We should more frequently than every 20 years.

It's a nice museum - with a wide range of paintings and sculpture running from medieval to 2000. A few people have bequeathed some really nice collections to this museum.

In the modern art section there was an interesting display of work by William Untermohlen, an artist that was diagnosed with Alzeimer's disease who continued painting as he got progressively worse. There were a series of self portraits done over time and it was interesting to see the effect of the progress of the disease on his images of himself. I don't know how much was due to what he saw and felt or the effect on his motor skills as well. They had a card about the Harvard Center for Neurodegeneration and Repair which is a research center working on this and other related diseases such as Parkinson's.

I was most amused (and somewhat humorously obsessed) by the following guideline:
Bags are subject to inspection upon entering and exiting. Security rules require that any bag exceeding 11 x 14 inches be checked in the coatroom. I was wondering if they actually expected 2 dimensional objects to be checked.
Would this rule apply to a box - it only specifies bag?
How about a 10 - 15 bag - it exceeds one of the dimensions but not the other and its area is less?
If you had a 4 x 6 x 30 bag could you argue that it was a 4 x 6 bag as opposed to a 6 x 30 bag?
To help justify the bag is a bag interpretation, you could site another guideline that says Please use the coatroom to check in umbrellas, briefcases, backpacks, and rigid baby carriers. It just says please, and doesn't say is required. The sign in the coatroom says parcel, not bag so that's a bit clearer....

➀ I am most familiar with the Busch from my Quadrivium days when we used to give concerts there - it was cool doing medieval and renaissance music amidst the art works.
➁ Harvard tried to build a bridge across Broadway that connected the buildings but ran into lots neighbor opposition that resulted in a firm NO. There is a tremendous amount of anti-Harvardism in some of the active Cambridge residents. You can see the spot on the new building that was supposed to have the entrance from the bridge. More recently, Harvard wanted to build a tunnel under Cambridge Street to connect two buildings and also got shot down - part of the opposition was due to the tremendous disruption which would be caused during a long construction phase,


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We never made it there (in fact, I never made it to Maine, but that's a different story). Sounds delightful, though.

The Anti-Harvardness reminds me of what Porfirio Diaz said about Mexico, "Poor Mexico. So far from God, so close to the United States."

How about a 10 - 15 bag - it exceeds one of the dimensions but not the other and its area is less?
If you had a 4 x 6 x 30 bag could you argue that it was a 4 x 6 bag as opposed to a 6 x 30 bag?


You're Thinking About This Too Much. That is, you're thinking about it at all, and whoever wrote the signs probably more or less wasn't.

There is a tremendous amount of anti-Harvardism in some of the active Cambridge residents.

I gather that it's a more general thing than that. For example, some of NYU's neighbors are... rather not best pleased with it, either, and in particular when construction projects are involved.

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