Sunday, April 17, 2011

Girl at the Frick Collection

Downstairs where the kitchens once were I suppose, the Frick has put together an exhibition of drawings and etchings by Rembrandt. I loved the self portraits. They were a little difficult to see on Saturday because many are only inches big and people like to step close to examine them thoroughly and you have to wait your turn.

Upstairs we looked at the Rembrandt paintings. As dark as some are, made more so by the low lighting, they held us. Richard Avedon adored the youth on the old nag (The Polish Rider) trotting off to find his fortune. It inspired him as a young man going out into the world.

Admiring it and other old masters was a girl strolling between one painting and another with her audio tour pressed to her ear. She stopped by her mother or father and spoke for a moment before skipping to the next painting. It was her father who first lowered his hand set long enough for me to introduce myself. I asked him if I could photograph his daughter. He agreed and so did she and they obligingly interrupted their viewing of the paintings.

We crossed 70th Street. I asked the girl to stand under the awning of an apartment building. As I was thinking that I liked the clip in her hair, her mother stretched out an arm and removed it. "You don't want this clip, do you? I have a photograph that I like of her at home where she is wearing it. The clip has always irritated me." This was not the moment to argue I thought.

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