Camino and the Kumano, Dual Pilgrimages

Hiking and History. The Camino in Spain. The Kumano Kodo in Japan. These are the only two pilgrimages in the world that have been named “World Heritage Sites.” http://dual-pilgrim.spiritual-pilgrimages.com/?page_id=2

If you have done the Camino in Spain, why not try the Kumano Kodo in Japan? You must be fit, and you should enjoy hiking uphill for about three hours at a time, and then downhill for three hours, and enjoy spending at least 6 hours every day hiking. You do? Come to Japan with us October 12-21, 2017.http://www.mountainhikingholidays.com/kumano_kodo_pilgrimage_hike_japan.htm

The Art of Travel

Travel is an art. With experience, one can develop skills that enhance the experience.

If you are interested, here are some of my frequently used resources for crafting an enhanced travel experience:

1. Time and Date

When is sunset, or full moon at my destination?

How many hours time difference is there? When is a good time to call?

All these questions and more can be answered with a look at http://www.timeanddate.com/

2. Flight Stats
When making a connection, how often has your flight number been delayed in the past?
Is the plane coming into my connecting city running on time?
When meeting a flight, is the flight due to arrive on time?
Take a look at http://www.flightstats.com/go/Home/home.do

3. Skype Out
When out of the US and staying somewhere with wifi, one inexpensive
option for making international phone calls is Skype Out.
Sign up for Skype.
Then purchase $10 of Skype credit.
Works great.

4. Train schedules:
In Europe, look at German Rail
http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query2.exe/en?rt=1&

In Japan, look at Jorudan
http://www.jorudan.co.jp/english/

Send me an email with any feedback on these ideas! Happy travels, Amy

New York Frick expansion

Enjoy this about the expansion of the Frick in the Wall Street Journal this week! Thanks Betsy for sharing.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/in-defense-of-the-frick-1418773593

Objects as entrees to other places and times

Re-reading this post, I realize that it serves as the foundation for all the art tours I offer through Art Tours by Amy.

Happy Reading! It would be an honor to travel with you to Paris or Spain in 2015. Amy

Amy’s Winterthur story
BY AMY BOYCE OSAKI, ON JANUARY 18TH, 2013
Why Winterthur? Perhaps you are wondering why I am leading an art tour to Winterthur Museum, Delaware, and the Brandywine River Valley in May? Quite simply this is a spectacular time of year to visit this spot on planet earth. The gardens are in their full glory, and the way that the du Ponts “painted” with plants at Winterthur, Longwood, Nemours, and Hagley is quite spectacular.

Secondly, it was at Winterthur that I had the honor to be immersed in material culture. For two years, I studied at the museum as a Winterthur Fellow. My undergraduate degree, from Sweet Briar College, is in American Studies (History, Literature, and Art History), and I also studied at the Louvre in Paris. It was at Winterthur that my interdisciplinary study, largely based in documents, received a deeper emphasis on objects. James Deetz’s book, In Small Things Forgotten, serves as a foundation for the study of material culture. The important emphasis is on initiating your inquiry of the past through an object, or objects. Archaeology is rooted in the object, and with pre-historic peoples, there are no accompanying historical documents to flesh out your understanding of the object at hand. As Deetz writes, objects “carry messages from their makers and users.” We can “decode those messages and apply them to our understanding of the human experience.”

At Winterthur, I studied furniture, silver, ceramics, textiles, glass, paintings and more. I recall one Sunday morning, before the museum opened, studying a Paul Revere tankard in the DuPont dining room, holding the tankard with white gloves and closely examining it, a powerful entree to the world of 18th century Boston. For my thesis, I read every letter written by Eleuthera du Pont (1806-1876) starting with her earliest, at about the age of 10, until her marriage to Thomas Mackie Smith, and kept an index of all of the objects she mentioned in her letters. I wanted her to tell me what objects were most important to her. She wrote most frequently about her needlework, and that is what I selected for my master’s thesis. With her 4,000 letters, the embroidery patterns, and finished embroidery all preserved at Hagley Museum which also includes her family home, Eleutherian Mills, I was immersed in her early 19th century world for nearly two years. My thesis was published by Winterthur Portfolio (volume 23, number 4, winter 1988) with the University of Chicago Press.

Fast forward several decades, and I now travel the globe, introducing small groups to amazing objects, and helping them to gain insight into the past. Powerful moments include Lascaux cave in France, Tiwanaku on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, Koyasan in Japan, and the Duomo in Florence. An object, such a Brunnelleschi’s dome on the Duomo, serves as an entree to a moment in time, in this case Renaissance Italy. Thus my graduate work at Winterthur infuses my current career as a travel professional, and provides the intellectual framework for the tours offered here as Art Tours by Amy.

Paris, New York, Boston: recommended reading

Here is a great book! With chapters on Louisine Havemeyer, JP Morgan, and Isabella Stewart Gardner, and more, this books provides a rich background for understanding the art of collecting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Full of detail, drama, gossip, and real research, this book is a lively look into the private world of the super rich and the race to acquire masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and more! Enjoy!

Old Masters, New World: America’s Raid on Europe’s Great Pictures by Cynthia Saltzman

http://www.amazon.com/Old-Masters-New-World-Americas/dp/0143115316

reviews:

Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/chi-cynthia-saltzman-16aug16-story.html#page=1

Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704875604575280781089152248

Harvard Magazine http://harvardmagazine.com/2008/11/art-as-chattel.html

 

Japan Shikoku on TV Tuesday December 16, 2014

The architecture and traditions of Japanese Buddhism figure prominently in our mountain hiking trip to Japan. In April 2013, a film crew from WGBH Boston accompanied our group. The resulting six-part
series, Sacred Journeys, airs nationwide beginning on Tuesday December 16, 2014. The Shikoku episode is scheduled for 9pm and appears on the Oregon Public Broadcasting schedule! Enjoy! http://www.opb.org/schedules/tvhd/2014-12-16/

London new British Museum Viking exhibit

Read all about it. The current issue of Smithsonian Magazine has a feature article on the new Viking exhibition which will be at the British Museum in London when our Art Tour is there in May. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/The-Vikings-Bad-Boy-Reputation-Is-Back-With-a-Vengeance-180949814/?no-ist

Happy Reading! Amy

Reading List for Winterthur Museum and Brandywine Valley

For more in-depth information on Winterthur Museum and the many museums of the Brandywine River Valley (in Delaware and Pennsylvania), I suggest the following books and article:

Bibliography

Andrew Wyeth, The New York Times

Cantor, Jay E. Winterthur. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1997.

Cooper, Wendy A. An American Vision: Henry Francis du Pont’s Winterthur Museum. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art and Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 2002. Order online.

Eversmann, Pauline. The Winterthur Guide to Recognizing Styles: American Decorative Arts from the 17th to the 19th Centuries. Winterthur, Del.: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 2001.

Fennimore, Donald L., et al. Eye for Excellence: Masterworks from Winterthur. Winterthur, Del.: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1994.

Krill, Rosemary Troy, and Pauline K. Eversman. Early American Decorative Arts, 1620-1860: A Handbook for Interpreters Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2000. (Winterthur Museum, and American Association for State and Local History).

Lord, Ruth. Henry F duPont and Winterthur: A Daughter’s Portrait. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.

Sweeney, John A. Winterthur Illustrated. New York: Chanticleer Press, 1963.

Wamsley, James S. The Brandywine Valley: An Introduction to its Cultural Treasures, New York: Harry N Abrams, 1992.

Winterthur Fellows, graduate school without debt!

Winterthur Fellows are the graduate students in the Winterthur Program. In two years, Fellows earn a master’s degree, and emerge without debt. This was my experience in 1986 when I was one of the lucky 10 people selected for a Winterthur Fellowship. I completed my MA degree in Early American Culture in 1988, and was awarded the degree by Winterthur Museum and the University of Delaware.
Fast forward to 2013 and you can see what the current fellows are doing. Check out their awesome blog at
http://wpamc.tumblr.com/
Fellows have hands-on access to the extraordinary collections at Winterthur Museum. They study, in-depth, furniture, silver, ceramics, textiles and more. With their sister program at Winterthur in object conservation, Fellows gain rich experiences with the Conservation Department at Winterthur and with the Conservation Fellows.
Field trips to local craftspeople and historic sites expand and deepen the experience.
My thesis advisor, J. Ritchie Garrison, is the current Director of the program. Ritchie is amazing.
If you know of a talented and academically gifted college graduate with a passion for museums and objects and archaeology and history, suggest that they look into this extraordinary graduate school experience. Details about the current Winterthur Program in American Material Culture are found online at:
Winterthur Museum website at http://www.winterthur.org/?p=641
University of Delaware website at http://www.udel.edu/winterthurprogram/

Amy's Winterthur story

Why Winterthur? Perhaps you are wondering why I am leading an art tour to Winterthur Museum, Delaware, and the Brandywine River Valley in May? Quite simply this is a spectacular time of year to visit this spot on planet earth. The gardens are in their full glory, and the way that the du Ponts “painted” with plants at Winterthur, Longwood, Nemours, and Hagley is quite spectacular.

Secondly, it was at Winterthur that I had the honor to be immersed in material culture. For two years, I studied at the museum as a Winterthur Fellow. My undergraduate degree, from Sweet Briar College, is in American Studies (History, Literature, and Art History), and I also studied at the Louvre in Paris. It was at Winterthur that my interdisciplinary study, largely based in documents, received a deeper emphasis on objects. James Deetz’s book, In Small Things Forgotten, serves as a foundation for the study of material culture. The important emphasis is on initiating your inquiry of the past through an object, or objects. Archaeology is rooted in the object, and with pre-historic peoples, there are no accompanying historical documents to flesh out your understanding of the object at hand. As Deetz writes, objects “carry messages from their makers and users.” We can “decode those messages and apply them to our understanding of the human experience.”

At Winterthur, I studied furniture, silver, ceramics, textiles, glass, paintings and more. I recall one Sunday morning, before the museum opened, studying a Paul Revere tankard in the DuPont dining room, holding the tankard with white gloves and closely examining it, a powerful entree to the world of 18th century Boston. For my thesis, I read every letter written by Eleuthera du Pont (1806-1876) starting with her earliest, at about the age of 10, until her marriage to Thomas Mackie Smith, and kept an index of all of the objects she mentioned in her letters. I wanted her to tell me what objects were most important to her. She wrote most frequently about her needlework, and that is what I selected for my master’s thesis. With her 4,000 letters, the embroidery patterns, and finished embroidery all preserved at Hagley Museum which also includes her family home, Eleutherian Mills, I was immersed in her early 19th century world for nearly two years. My thesis was published by Winterthur Portfolio (volume 23, number 4, winter 1988) with the University of Chicago Press.

Fast forward several decades, and I now travel the globe, introducing small groups to amazing objects, and helping them to gain insight into the past. Powerful moments include Lascaux cave in France, Tiwanaku on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, Koyasan in Japan, and the Duomo in Florence. An object, such a Brunnelleschi’s dome on the Duomo, serves as an entree to a moment in time, in this case Renaissance Italy. Thus my graduate work at Winterthur infuses my current career as a travel professional, and provides the intellectual framework for the tours offered here as Art Tours by Amy.