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Sunday, June 20, 2004

Wow.

The Wonders exhibit in Memphis was awesome. I highly recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in the area this summer. If possible, go on a weekday to avoid the crowds, and allow 2-3 hours to view everything.

Many of the pieces, while still very impressive, were just Medici family portraits. Quite a few of them, though, were fairly well known. Iconic, even. I stared at one page in an illuminated manuscript for several minutes trying to place where I'd seen it before. It was a really weird feeling realizing that it was the picture from the cover of my high school history book. Just wow.

All the Ninja Turtles were represented, of course, and Leonardo's Dama Scapigliata was especially beautiful, although surprisingly small. Heather Marie and I also traveled to Memphis to see Ancestors of the Incas (complete with creepily preserved mummy girl!) and Eternal Egypt (ironically mummy-free), and as impressive as those were, this one somehow seemed more human. I suppose maybe it's the proximity we have to the Renaissance, both culturally and temporally, or maybe just that the dawn of humanism in that period really did start to make artwork more personal and accessible. Or something. I over-analyze.

On a related note, Dan and I went on a 5th grade field trip to see the Ramesses the Great exhibit in Memphis long, long ago. All I really remember is the big, giant statue of Ramesses, running amok all across Mud Island, and the bus trip. Good times....

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