Ernie and I had a golden little getaway. We snuck away to St. Louis to see an exhibition, Self-Taught Genius, organized by the American Museum of Folk Art. It closes next weekend and I really wanted to see it so even though we shouldn't have gone, because money is for some reason particularly tight this month...we said, "CREDIT CARDS" and away we went. We got the boys off to school and I cooked a few things to have in the refrigerator for them and we took off mid morning. The day was gorgeous, sunny and cool and well, golden. We drove down listening to our current in-repeats of Bap Kennedy and Bob Woodruff and watched the fields go by. It felt so good.
I poked around online and found that Friday was the museum's free day for the exhibit so snobbily decided I'd rather go the next day since it would be less crowded. We bought a couple of tickets online and then realized we had absolutely nothing planned. It felt delightful. It was so beautiful that as we swung by the Arch I googled 'restaurant patios in St. Louis' and we ended up at the Royale. We sat next to a fountain, nibbled a bit and had a drink. Then we meandered over to Forest Park so we'd know where we were going the next day. We haven't been there in about a million years. The last time we were there was for a glass exhibition that Lowell Innes had organized...and hell, he died in the mid 80's. Wow. That's kind of shocking. Anyway...we'd scored a cheapish room at a hotel that is normally far beyond our budget using the Hotel Tonight app so we checked in early and collapsed from a general state of well being and the feeling of not being worried about anything. Crazy. I'd picked a restaurant or two that I wanted to go to but we didn't feel like getting back in our car so we just walked a block or so down and had a drink at a nondescript but ok place. Then we went back to the hotel and sat outside at a restaurant next to the pool and watched people. We thought about getting in touch with St. Louis friends but it just felt so damn nice to have no plans.
The hotel's windows even opened...so nice. We were on the seventh floor and it was lovely to hear city noises.
The next morning I wasn't in the mood to spend $14 on an omelet so we skipped breakfast and headed over to the museum early. We wandered a bit...I love old City parks...and were waiting when the museum doors opened at 10 am. We trotted over to folk art exhibit and oh good god in heaven it was so freaking wonderful. I know I should be more articulate but I just can't. It's highlights from the collection of the Folk Art Museum, much of it from a relatively recent gift from the Esmerian Collection (interesting side note here). The works ranged from the 19th century items that I grew up on, as well as more contemporary. It was absolutely stunning. I'm usually a pretty quick viewer...not one to linger but we spent a good hour and a half there. Just amazing...and it was so wonderful to be there with Ernie so we barely had to have words.
I must admit that I am drawn the most to the 19th century classics but there were some great contemporary pieces I loved as well.
I felt like I was going to burst when I saw the Ammi Phillips of the Girl in the Red Dress.
The sculptural works always speak to me too, and for someone who abhors snakes, I do seem to like sculptures of them.
Of course, at heart I'm a decorative arts girl, so I think my very favorite piece....well a tie between two pieces...the incredible grain painted chest and the box of grain painting samples!!!!!
There's more but I've inundated you with enough...if you made it through all I commend you. We had planned to see a few other things at the museum but our eyes were full, and we were hungry so we headed over to Frazer's and had an utterly delightful lunch. Lovely, comfortable place.
We headed home, driving on small highways part of the way.
All iphone pics...should have brought my camera...but it was fun to catch a few things along the way. And then, suddenly, we were home.
I don't take the opportunity for little trips like this lightly. I remember once, years ago, asking a colleague what she was doing for some holiday or the other, and she casually said, Oh, we might do this...or maybe that.... And the casual acceptance that she could just do whatever they liked made me almost want to cry. At the time the boys were little and my parents not in good shape and I couldn't imagine every being able to casually take off again. And then...suddenly, you can...and you miss the reasons you couldn't.
This little weekend-ette though, just golden.