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Peabody-Essex Museum

Monday, March 19, 2012

Alton, my neighbor Lorraine and I finally went on our long-planned day trip to this interesting museum in Salem Mass We needed to go before the end of April because A is interested in Native American history and art, and the NA exhibit "Shapeshifting" was scheduled to end then. Complicating things was the fact that Lorraine works some Saturdays. We had finally settled on Sat
March 17, then at the last minute changed to Sunday. Lucky choice, the weather on Sat was drizzly and felt colder than it actually was. Sunday was beautiful, sunny with temps in the upper 60's with a little breeze. Another bonus, on Sundays you don't need to feed the parking meters We got there about 10:30, spent a couple of hours looking at the Native American work. the oldest piece I remembered had an estimated date of 700 BC to 1000 CE. The newest were from the last 10 years. There were a great variety of media, painting, sculpture,masks, weaving, basketry, pottery, clothing, beadwork. All beautiful. Some of the recent exhibits were video performance pieces, which gave you an idea of who the artist is and the place they live. After a couple of hours there, Lorraine chose the next area to explore, Maritime Art. This museum began with items donated for exhibit in the 1800's by captains and crew members and owners of the sailing vessels that sailed out of Salem. This area had portraits, furniture, silver, ceramics, but the things that most interested me were models and paintings of ships. The most impressive model was of the Queen Elizabeth I. The card said it was commissioned by the Cunard Line to display in the lobby of their main office. It is about 14 feet long and three feet high. The description said it was meant to impress visitors to Cunard, it sure impressed me! In old movies you see scenes of people boarding trans-Atlantic ships from bustling cavernous buildings at the docks. About 10 years ago I went to NY took a bus to the Statue of Liberty boat. The bus ran along the waterfront, almost no buildings on the water side of the street, but at one point I saw an archway with nothing beyond it. The cracked and peeling paint showed the ghost of the word Cunard.

After those two exhibits we were ready for lunch. Set off walking , turning where something interesting beckoned. Ended up at a seafood place, what else! We tried for an outdoor table to enjoy the sunshine, but they were all taken. I split a fried seafood platter with Lorraine, Alton, more disciplined had a salmon on ciabatta sandwich. I saw they offered hard cider, a favorite of mine. I chose the brand because of its intriguing name "Original Sin" delicious.
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