Sunday, January 26, 2020

Artnotes: Testing the Water

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Paris Windows  LFP  Acrylic/canvas 18 x 12"   45 x 30cm

Pot of Posies  LFP  Acrylic/paper  17 x 25"  43 x 61cm

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Baah baah baah   LFP  Acrylic/cnvas  12 z 18"  30 x 45cm

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Teeny picture of teeny peppers  LFP  Acrylic/canvas  7 x 7"  18x18cm

“When she’s ready, just place a piece of paper under her.”   Hah.  So I was able to obtain a urine sample from Harika, and entertain the neighbors.   With some stiff paper, strategically cut, I was able to fill the glass tube provided by the veterinarian.

Harika has had some health issues since just before Christmas.  They became really obvious over the last ten days.  So, when we had to get her heart medicine prescription at the vet, he made an appointment to get her blood tested.  In fact, she had nothing too serious, but a urine sample might make things more clear.  It didn’t.  So then I put on my thinking cap.

What had changed to make her so thirsty?  We got a new large bag of her regular dog food in December, and within a week this insane drinking manifested.  After the usual jokes, like, everyone drinks more during the holidays, and is she taking after her mother? it was more serious.  So, I took a look at the bag of dry dogfood – pretty much the same, but a former minor ingredient, ash, had suddenly jumped to the top of the list:  10.5% ash.  This filler should only make up 2 percent of the ingredients, but 10+?

This is the second time we’ve had a problem like this, with top quality dog food products.  I am really sensitive about ingredients after a friend who worked for a major timber firm in the Northwestern USA pointed out that “natural fiber” in dogfood (and in humans’, too) is really sawdust (a major profit center for the logging company).  Companies get away with putting tons of filler, wood or ash, in dogfood, because dogs don’t talk, don’tcha know?

After several sleepless nights (she’s been up drinking at 1 AM.  Slurp, slurp) and menu modification, things are improving.  I make most of Harika’s food, anyway, and just use the dry stuff to clean her teeth.   So, now I am making a larger casserole of meat and peas and rice…  I am adding garlic next time, and maybe a carrot or two. 

I have been enjoying cooking, not just for Harika, since the start of the year. There seems to be a move toward more vegetables – a plethora of which grow in Italy.   I am instituting some new dishes in my repertoire:  curried mussels, butternut squash parmigiana, mushroom pot pie, pasta alla vodka , and beans, sausage and gorgonzola (in a nod to Italy).  Buon appetito. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Artnotes: Accentuate the Positive








“What song are you listening to now?” she asked me.  “Accentuate the Positive” I replied.  A 10-year-old friend, with the same kind of chattering brain as me, would want to know what was going through my mind.  She would then tell me what she was hearing, or thinking.   She was completely unabashed about this phenomenon.  I had always tried to hide it; but she could see through me.

My brain is constantly active.  I’ve tried to meditate a hundred times, but inevitably my imagination breaks through.  The only time I am not thinking is when I am painting, and sometimes cooking.  Reading helps, but it has to be a thoroughly compelling story.  God willing, I fall asleep at night, but I suspect the conveyer belt is still on, because I often get a jam early in the morning and have to unclog it.  With luck, I go back to sleep.

This morning, Harika needed water at 4:18.  She couldn’t make it back to the bedroom, because it was too dark.  Turning on the light, I was immediately wide awake.  I started thinking about artnotes, and why Harika needs water at 4AM, and well, Accentuate the Positive, with Jiminy Cricket.
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z45EB4TiYz4 ). 

Hundreds of thought nuggets pass me at once.  Most of them fall of the line, but occasionally a piece of gold appears.  Hopefully, I snatch it and register it for future use.    People wonder why I don’t listen to music while I am painting.  I don’t have to; I already have it.  Although, sometimes I’d like to change the station.

Another friend of mine wakes up in the middle of the night.  He refers to it as “intermission”, and uses the time to study, write and correspond.
I accentuate the positive. I think about the best bits of life.  I have been enjoying our open studio in Stimigliano.  Yesterday I had four people come in and talk about art.  I am surprised how many people say, “I used to paint”. 




Monday, January 13, 2020

Artnotes: A Putti Toe


The Big Teacup  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas  (flat, unstretched)   7 x 6.5" 17 x  16.5cm   


Romagna Broccoli   Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas 7 x 9.5" 18 x 24cm   130.00


Winter Carrots: Collevechio   Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas  612 x 10"  30  x 25 cm  195.00 
when we're not visiting basilicas, we're buying vegies to paint....

Blair and Harika at Lake Bracciano   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 11"  40 x 27cm  250.00

Harika, Waiting at Home   Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas  24 x 32"  61 x 81cm  435.00


A Day at St. Peter's  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 10"  30 x 25cm   195.00



Enrico Bruschini gave us his book, In the Footsteps of the Popes, a guide to the Vatican, a few weeks ago.  Since then, we’ve been itching to put his recommendations to work.   So on a particularly slow morning, we decided to drive to Rome and see St. Peter’s.  We’d both seen in in the 1970s, but not been there since.  Classic buildings never change, but this time we were armed with more knowledge. 

The line was only 15 minutes long, a great appeal since we’ve seen it fill nearly half the piazza at times.  We stood in line with people from all countries, of whom, none seemed to be American.   Our embassy here has sent out a “yellow” alert regarding travel – maybe people are taking it to heart, although I could see no reason for attacking St. Peters.  To give in to fear shows the enemy has won. 

As soon as we stepped our foot into the portico, it was clear this was no ordinary basilica.   Entering the door, one feels overwhelmed by the 15 story open interior.  The scale is well, humbling.   The Putti, those little angel-like-child sculptures who populate Baroque art, hanging from every frame, are much larger than me.   Marble figures of the saints and popes wouldn’t fit in my living room.  Am I just an ant, subject to the power of God?  No, this is a display of the potency of the Popes and the Catholic Church; an expression of its time through architecture.  I felt no different than when I saw Hagia Sophia, or Notre Dame Cathedral -- gobsmacked.   There are markers in the nave indicating the size of those very churches:  Notre Dame, St. Patricks…one could fit those churches inside here, and have room to spare.   

The Pieta, despite her almost normal size, commands our attention, and that of many other people.  This is Michelangelo’s best work, in my view, and the marble glows, despite the fact it is a good distance from the crowd.   It is amazing that this relatively small work of art can compete with the world’s largest basilica, which, in the end, Michelangelo designed.  

The interiors really belong to Bernini, with his magnificent baroque style.  His Baldichino, and window, and many of the statues are testimony to his greatness.  His colleague and contemporary, Borromini, a great sculptor/architect himself, was responsible for much of the engineering which keeps this behemoth and its decoration, upright.

We left after an hour, before seeing everything – both of us have a limit for input.  We walked around the neighborhood, looking for an antique store we liked.   I have been seeking a shelf for my gondola night light.  And, miraculously, we found one; shelves are often left behind when people move.    “Don’t you think it’s a little big?” Blair asked (he’s an architect).  “Oh, no,” I replied of the Baroque ceramic (fake marble) piece.  It wasn’t even the size of a Putti’s toe. 

The proprietor of the store threw in two enormous teacups (one of which I was admiring) to go with it.  When we got home, the shelf seemed enormous and the two teacups consume a full pot of tea. 
I can’t wait to visit St. Peter’s again, maybe with you?



Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Artnotes: Epiphany

Institute de France  Blair Pessemier    Pencil/paper   12 x 16"  30 x 40cm   75.00
from our France notebooks
Leave it to the Italians to string out Christmas at least as long as Americans.  The season officially starts on the 8 December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, when we hang up our Christmas decorations.  It continues through today, 6 January, the day the kings arrived at the manger, the Epiphany.   Here, Befana, the witch, arrives, bearing yet more candy for the children.
Christmas Lights, Rue de Rennes  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/wood 13 x 7"  33 x 18cm   100.00
And it’s not really a “buying” season here, its all about families getting together.  If you don’t have a family, or a very small one like Blair, Harika and I you make do.  But typically families sit at tables set for 22 or so.  There was a time my family was that big (actually bigger), but nowadays we’re stripped down.   It is a different age, what I think of as an evolved age.
In the News  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas    9.5 x 6"  25 x 15cm   100.00
We’re evolving all the time, and that comes in the form, at least to me, of Epiphanies.  I have had several in my life, when that lightning bolt of intelligence hits me right between the eyes.  And then, somehow this revelation just becomes part of everyday life, making thing clearer, more easy to navigate.
Montalbano (MO)  Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas   12 x 18"  30 x 45cm   175.00
As an example, my first memorable big epiphany came when I was in MBA school.  I got in my car, angry and frustrated with those creeps in my class, when I realized, not everyone thinks like I do.  Once I got that piece of information under my belt, life became much easier. It was probably a more valuable thing than my MBA, which I eventually abandoned.
Flower Headboard   Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas    16 x 20"   40 x 50cm   275.00
a friend called it a "bed you could die in"  (since sold)

 
People have epiphanies all the time, but they go by unnoticed.  I actually encourage these flashes of insight, by waking up at 4 or 5 every morning and thinking about things I need an answer to.  When Blair and Harika rise closer to 7, I am chockful of bright thoughts, some not surviving the light of day.
New Shoes  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/wood  16 x 7.5"  100.00
My girlfriend gave me a “form” to fill out regarding my New Years goals.  What were my greatest accomplishments last year? What do I hope to accomplish this year?  My initial reaction was that I need to make so much money per month, hone my website and then, I thought, No.  This year I am going to live my life according to my own rules.
The form goes on.  What will be your mantra?  Romance.  I am going to lead 2020 as a year of beauty, and inspiration and joy:  a Romantic life.   Why not?  Everyone else will win the money race, the achievement race, but I can do something that matters to me.
In Villefranche sur Mer  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  35 x 28"  89 x 71 cm  650.00
 
I know you are all laughing, but honestly...  What would you rather do?  Paint your bedroom wall magenta or apply for a higher paying job?  Buy candles for the table or a pair of tight fitting shoes?  Well, some people might disagree.

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.    (Rilke)
Oh, Harika   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/wood  10 x 20"  25 x 50cm   100.00

These are pictures from our archives, because we are painting three custom portraits right now.  Would you like one?  Contact me directly at lfpessemier@gmail.com.
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Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Artnotes: Big

Reflection:  Comacchio  28 December     Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas   12 x 16"  30 x 40cm    225.00
We’ve nearly made it through another holiday season; another year; another decade!
It hard to think of the decade, but for us it’s been a truly great ten years:  we moved back to Paris in 2010 after a two year hiatus in America; we ran our Paris Painting Workshop for 5 years; we had a gallery in Paris on rue Servandoni; we moved to Italy halfway through the decade, into a giant house where we entertain a lot; we bought a little apartment outside of Rome, our favorite city.  Harika spent this entire decade with us, traveling across the Atlantic numerous times.  She is enjoying her retirement home and yard here in Rocca Malatina.  We are eating healthy, getting plenty of exercise, and I can breathe.
 
Orchids on a Blue Background  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas  14 x 10"  35 x 25 cm   175.00
 
Of course, there were sad or difficult bits  (those are the ones we learn from).  If the earth isn’t destroyed by the activities of the giant corporations, we will hopefully celebrate another decade.  
Orchids in a Top Hat Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/paper  17 x 25"  41 x 63cm   160.00
I love the New Year, with its bright clean slate.   I have visions of new paintings, and writings.  I will open my house in the afternoon like a gallery; paint and work in the mornings.  Despite hating the computer (my own fault, minimal self control), it is an important part of my life, and I will continue to keep in touch with my 65 years worth of friends.  Oh, yes, I crested that watershed birthday this week.  I had stopped smoking at least 25 years ago, with the idea that I could start again when I turned 65 (I would be so old by then it wouldn’t matter).  In fact, I made it through that day without a cigarette or cigar, so I might delay until 70, when I’ll possibly quit for good.  Frankly, I am a bit surprised cigarettes are still available, but I feel that way about fossil fuel cars, as well. 
In the Bleak Midwinter  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas   12 x 12"  30 x 30cm   175.00
I have a million books still left to read, and flowers to plant.  Children played a role in our Holidays this year.  We had a 3 month old and a six year old at our table, as well as a teenager.  I was delighted to meet them all.   We’re thinking of putting (reading) our 25 children’s books onto Youtube, but that’s a big job.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Artnotes: The Beach: Already?




On Tuesday this week Blair and I went to the beach.  I love the beach in winter.  Of course, one doesn’t swim – I am not sure about the water temperature, but the air is cold and the wind ferocious.   This week went to Ladispoli, an old Etruscan, and eventually Roman site north of the Rome, well south of Civitavecchia. 

There is a ruin of a tower at the very edge of the water, which dates to Roman, then medieval times.   It is very picturesque.  But the most interesting thing to me is that this beachside is a small nature preserve, to help children understand what goes on where the land, river, water meets the sea.

There are huge fields of sea grass, dotted with marshes.  We saw a small group of flamingoes, white (no shrimp in these waters), feeding and standing in that way they can.  Other, smaller, less dramatic shorebirds proliferate.  There were a group of children being led around to see the details of the marsh, which are off limits to us.

We battled what seemed like gale force winds, and huge puddles, to reach the actual shore.   It is a fairly pristine beach, with shifting dunes.   There are deposits of plastics, which are impossible to avoid anywhere, these days.   We picked up what seemed like the worst of the plastic, and added it to a large pile in a protected area, as other conscientious visitors had.

We are the only visitors to the beach today, and I listen for voices from the edge.  No news.  The sand blasts my face and glasses.  The water is brownish from rain, close in, but the horizon is blue and brilliant.  I hate to leave, and try to make a distance from Blair so he can’t suggest it.  I could stay all day.

On the way back to the car, we see a taupe-colored furry beast, munching grass:  a Nutria.  He (or she) is calm and happy, living by the seaside.

We buy a fish on the way home, and I cook it up for lunch.  Our friend Margarita, joins us:  “You went to the beach today? Already?”   

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Artnotes: How the Universe Works

Olive Trees with Painted White Trunks (near Farfa)  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/paper  17 x 25"  41 x 63cm   160.00



House Portrait 2  Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas  6.5 x 9.5"  17 x 24 cm   Commission (one of four small portraits)


Apples on a Plaid Cloth   Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas   12 x 16"  30 x 40cm    225.00

House Portrait 4  Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas  6.5 x 9.5"  17 x 24 cm   Commission (one of four small portraits)

Shopping at Terni    Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  20 x 14"  50 x 35cm   275.00


As if on cue, our studio here in Stimigliano became our gallery.  Last week, I waxed on the idea of a gallery connected to my home, in a chic little town in France.  Paint in the morning, do some internet marketing, sit in the gallery in the afternoon. 

We came back to Italy early because we were invited to show at a local caffe this weekend.  It turned out to be a bomb, for a variety of reasons.  So we rolled the production down to our studio, at the Piazza Roma in the Borgo of Stimigliano.

Blair had just finished up our lighting project in the cantina/studio.  The biggest (and heaviest) possible car battery powers my chandelier and lamp.  Between the two, it’s a warm, romantic light, boosted by a hideous “emergency” light, I recharge, along with the battery, in the house.  I kind of feel like I’m “off the grid”, certainly glad I didn’t have to pay the electrician 700 Euros to extend the cord across the street, or pay 30 euros a month for new service.   It’s not bad; good even.

I turned the gas heater onto high, flipped on the lights (actually they turn on slowly, like you can see the electricity edging up the cord), and I was in business.  Immediately, a new guy, Marco, who actually grew up in the house across the street, appeared at the door.  It was my library that initially attracted him, along with the giant butterfly painted on my door.  This is wonderful, he went on.  He told his wife, and mother, who were preparing for a luncheon party.  “Can I bring my guests over this afternoon?” he asked.

A half dozen doctors and their wives appeared, oohing, aahing and taking cards.  An Italian man, speaking English, was the leading expert on the Sistine Chapel.  He’d toured the Clintons and other dignitaries through the Vatican, and brought us his book on the subject, which he signed to friends Laurie and Blair.


The party wrapped up as darkness fell, everyone pleasantly surprised by how the universe works.  When you wish for something, you should look around.  Maybe it is already there.   


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Artnotes: Handmade



Bosca   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   20 x 30"    50 x 70cm   325.00

Fall Leaves and Crysanthemum  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/paper   25 x 17"  63 x 41cm   175.00 (also available as print  90.00)

The Chest with Oranges     Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/paper   17 x 25"  41 x 63cm   175.00 (as a print, 90)

 Oak Leaves  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/paper  25 x  17"  63 x 41cm   175.00 (print 90)



Blair tripped on the top step of six risers.    Why is that so funny?  Laughing, I did the same thing.  Maybe not as funny; clearly that top step was a half and inch taller. Then the fellow in the booth of the gated community had the last laugh.  “Villa 52 is to the right.”  

A woman with long ash blonde hair, greeted us as we pulled up in our car.  “This way,” she motioned and we entered her house.  It was a house straight out of La Dolca Vita.  One walked down a half dozen (even) steps to an enormous living room with a sweeping view.  There were two nine foot long sideboards in the room, and they didn’t seem oversized; there were three huge sofas, and at least six easy chairs.  The room was a mess, as she and her family were packing to leave.  They’d been there since the 1950s.

We went to see a small chest, Mughal (Indian) style, for Blair’s room in Stimigliano.  After two years we finally removed the hideous particle board/plastic cupboards and now he needed storage space.  This chest, which looked the size of a jewelry box in comparison to everything else, was perfect.  It practically leapt from the floor into my arms.   We negotiated a very small discount.   “Are you planning to live here a long time?” the woman asked.  “Will you keep the chest for yourselves?”  It was like we were buying a puppy, and it was clear she had the same fondness for the chest that I did.

She went on to tell us that she had the chest a long time; her husband was a parliamentary journalist.  They had other pieces from their travels – African chairs that were also interesting to us, but we’re on a budget.   She didn’t seem much older than me, and was strong enough to pick up an end of the heavy chest with Blair.  She relinquished it with an odd sadness.  We shook hands.

There is something about a handmade piece of furniture that evokes that special feeling.    I think of all the furniture we’ve had like that:  the “pasha” chairs in Paris, the decoupage headboard, the handmade olive wood table here in Stimigliano.  It is as though there is a magic in these pieces which was placed there by the hand of the maker.

As artists, Blair and I thrive on the experience we get from buying the item, as well as the beauty of the piece itself.  We’re getting ready for a trip to Southern France for Thanksgiving and look forward to the trip to and from and around, as much as the turkey itself.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!



Monday, November 11, 2019

Artnotes: Rainy Day


From "The Magic Fleece" , a story of the Flying Carpet   Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/paper   5.5 x  4"  book 25.00



From "Silverware:  An After Dinner Story"  by Laurie   Blair Pessemier  Pen/paper  5.5 x 8.5   book 25.00




A Day in Rome   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas panel 12 x 8"  30 x 20cm  175.00


From "Harika Rules"  a book by Laurie and Blair Pessemier   Blair Pessemier  ink/paper  5.5 x 4"  book 20.00


Drinking to the Center of the Universe  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/carton  14 x 10"  100.00

Rain rain and more rain.  That’s been the situation here in sunny Italy.   We’ve retreated from the hills up North, where one might soon say snow, snow and more snow, to the Rome area, where it is just rain.  Before we left, we spent last Sunday with friends in Modena.

We’d never been to the Galerie Estense, the art museum of Modena, so we made a point of taking advantage of the “free Sunday”.  The four of us visited the collection, with works from the 13th to 18th century, beautifully curated.   I am a great fan of the medieval to early Renaissance period, which is well represented.   After the artwork, we visited the less sophisticated, but equally interesting Civic Museum, in the same complex.  We saw fabrics, which Modena was famous for, and dresses by famous Modena designers.  There were tools, and car bits and all sorts of this-n-thats. 

This Sunday we went to a completely different museum, the Ara Pacis (of Augustus) in Rome.  The Ara Pacis was an altar build to the goddess of Peace by Augustus in 9 BCE.  It is more than an altar (which is inside); it i a structure without a roof, that one would walk into and ponder, or make a sacrifice, or whatever one would do back then. It was commissioned in 13 BC and finished in January four years later.  It is a remarkable example of flora and fauna carving of that period.  Parts are original; much is reconstructed. The building was built too close to the Tiber, and was silted over in floods throughout the centuries.  Eventually it was found again in 1536 (based on drawings of a frieze at that time), but not officially unearthed until 1936.  Recently Richard Meier designed a wonderful  building to enclose it, and provide additional exhibition space.

In this exhibition space today we saw a show:  Aquileia 2200, commemorating this Roman city, founded 2200 years ago.   Aquileia was periodically the center of the Universe from the Middle Ages, clear up until the 18th century.  There were objects from the 2nd century until much later.  I was unaware of this bit of history, and Blair and I are thinking of going to see it (well, its remains) in person in the Friulia Venezia Giulia region.

Museums are the perfect solution for a rainy day, along with books.  As you might know, Blair and I have written and published 24 “children’s” books over the years.  I have resurrected three recent ones for sale this Christmas.  They make up some of the pictures in today’s artnotes.  








Sunday, November 03, 2019

Artnotes: Maintaining the Light

Cycling By Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 13 x 18" 33 x 45 cm 275.00

Palermo (a welcoming city until 1491) Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 12 x 12" 30 x 30cm 250.00

 Hat on Chair/Paris Apartment (moving) Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 14 x 20 37 x 50 cm 275.00

 Together in the Park Winter Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 12 x 12" 30 x 30cm 225.00

Pont Royale Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 13 x 16" 33 x 41 cm 225.00


Let's Go Fly a Kite Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/wood 10.5 x 5" 26 x 13cm 120.00


It is wonderfully foggy here:  so foggy one can’t see across the street.  Great billowing clouds of fog swirl beneath the streetlights.  It’s dark very early, and when I take Harika for her evening walk the grocery store is still illuminated.  When the door opens, a bank of fog poofs in our direction.

Its ok, this weather, for the moment; provocative, even.  I am keen to drive down to Stimigliano, but Blair has doctor appointments that make it impossible.  Harika is (perhaps unwisely) getting her hair trimmed on Tuesday.   Our house here in Roccamalatina is cold – going outside somehow makes me feel warmer.

Saturday we went to Ferrara to the Italian Jewish Museum.  I saw an article on it in the New York Times, from a while back, and so we drove there.  It was a little difficult for me, because the Jewish people have had such difficulties, and I am always a Pollyanna.  I see the bright side.   In fact, difficulties for the Jewish people were less in Italy than in other parts of Europe, but life wasn’t a bowl of cherries. 

The museum has only been open since 2017, and is in a state of development.  It is in the former Ferrara Prison.  New additions will increase the exhibition space, which currently has mostly interactive exhibits.  Ferrara and the Duke d’Este welcomed the Jews and encouraged them to settle in the Ferrara area, when they were driven from Sicily.  Livorno, Ferrara and Venice had fairly large Jewish populations.  But the ascendency of the Catholic Church kiboshed that.

A large extended family was touring the museum with us.  They surrounded us at the movie, which elaborated on topics I never really thought about:  how Jews kept themselves separate and felt that their particular way of life had something special to offer others.   I learned that in losing all their belongings, even their temples, they maintained the essence of the Jewish way of life inside of them.  And that made sense about how there were few actual items in the museum.

We are headed to a more traditional museum today.  I love to look at things, to see the physical manifestations of an individual.  But now I have a greater appreciation for maintaining the light inside.