Tuesday, October 02, 2012

O comme l'Obssession

 Macaron box, 9" x 11'
Do you collect whatever you obsess about?
 Yesterday was press day at the Met so off I went to see the refurbished arms and armor collection initially donated by Dr. Bashford Dean (1867–1928).
 Not necessarily my cup of tea you might think...
 Though very grand indeed.
 It was the obsession factor that grabed me. Bashford's father gave him a book on armor at age 10 and the dye was cast.
 His obsession became life long, though his training was in zoology with a focus on fish. Here Bashford is decked out in Japanese warrior armor acquired during his time in Japan.
FYI: this looked heavy to me but the collection's curator, Donald LaRocca kindly explained, the 50 pounds would be evenly distributed over the body and not at all the hardship one imagines. So feel free to give in to your delusions of knighthood.
 Dr. Dean's helmet collection was displayed thusly at the Met early days. Dean went on to become honorary curator, every summer high-tailing it to Europe by boat  to look for rare finds for the Met (now one of the best armor collections in the US and up there with many European collections thanks to Dean).
 Naturally I was given to think of my own copious collection of Paris macaron cookie boxes...
 And way too many pastry bags gathering dust on the shelf.
Would/could the Met be interested?
 There are still macaron remnents calling out siren-like from the fridge. It's a daily exercise in French delaying skills not to wolf them.
 Paris Macaron boxes, 9" x 11"
The one deterrent that keeps me from eating them, stale as they are since purchase in July of this year is the thought I could use them in a watercolor still life peut-etre?
Why ever does one hang on to these things?
 Admittedly, taking a giant leap of faith, can you imagine your collections.
Gracing the great halls of the Metropolitan Museum like Bashford Dean's?
I can...


  1. Sounds like a fun visit--and your paintings are fun as well. I can't believe you have macarons still in the fridge!

  2. I can't believe it either Sue!
    Truly it's shocking, especially when eating very stale macarons doesn't bother me a bit
    Who knew?

  3. Oh yes, Carol, you make macarons out of armour, if the need arises!
    Seriously, greatly entertaining stuff, who'd have thunk?

    Your paintings are as glorious as ever!

    My French delaying exercises are greatly helped by the fact that the one box of L macarons - daughter brought them from Geneva, anno 2010 - is in the freezer. ;-)

    That's the best ever!
    Of course you have GREAT delaying skills.
    Bine sur!

  5. I just love how macarons always manage to creep into your posts,n'est-ce pas !
    Always great paintings.

    1. that's why they call it an obsession Barbara :)

  6. I collect ugly lamps, owl pendants, sugar bowls, and formica end tables which will be bequeathed to MOMA as testament to the fact that the 1970s was The Era of Bad Taste.

    By the way, I've seen your collect of patisserie bags and I can vouch that it is museum quality, and Dr. Dean quantity. I look forward to the eventual exhibit and especially the accompanying catalog, which will surely become a collector's item in its own right.

    1. I hope the Met will be vying for your divine feather collection as well!

  7. Pray tell, why do we save those bags? I love the Japanese samurai armor.

  8. IT makes sense if you are French since they reuse pastry bags like crazy.
    But why ever do we drag them back home.
    I have yet to ever use one in New York - the thought never occured to me.
    I do use my pastry 'freezer' bag all the time though. It's black, waterproof and somewhat elegant.

  9. I absolutely adore your paintings! They are so beautiful and inspiring.

  10. I claim NOT to be a collector, but a cursory tour through my house give that claim the lie. Books, books on gardening, books on cooking, books on watercolor, books on altered books, books on sketching, books on journalling, books on knitting, books on sewing, books on needlepointing, books on oilpainting...I could go on. Then there are the "found objects", the eggshells, feathers, pods, seed heads, twigs, lichen, pretty bags, etc. But the most unusual thing I've amassed is something I recently tossed in a fit of cleaning: dryer lint. Yes! It comes in SUCH lovely colors and requires no French delaying tactics at all. THAT's my kind of collectible.

  11. Can you perhaps knit with it?
    Winter is coming...

  12. Many thanks for this exciting post on armor!
    I really enjoyed reading it, you are a brilliant writer.
    I actually added your blog to my favorites and will look forward to more.

  13. OMG I so want a macaron right now!!! I think I'm going through withdrawals!!

    x Milsters


  14. I love the watercolors!
    I didn't know that macarons lasted so long - or still tasted good even if stale :)
    I have nothing against armor, but I don't think I'd find an exhibit of it interesting....oh well!

  15. I definitely prefer your collection!

  16. I love your paintings. And the macaroons looks delicious. No doubt about it. I almost finish reading your whole blog cause I'm enjoying it. Nice one. God bless.

    bean bag

  17. No knights in armor for me. But I share your obsession with chocolate and macaron boxes. I don't have a use for a majority of them, but I can't help bringing them home with me. Oh well, better than stray pups or needy men, I suppose!

  18. Ah ha!
    There IS a connection after all...
    The macarons become brittle as armor after several months in the fridge Nikon

    Milsters - amazing the power of boxes and paper bags to activate our desires

    Sweet Freak you're too funny!

  19. Thanks for including the exhibition in our galleries on your blog.
    I’m glad you found some inspiration there.

  20. Jean Grey12:15 AM

    The colors are so vivid. It's so stunning and amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Anonymous7:10 AM

    Great post! We just came back from Paris and in my suit case was the Pierre Herme bag and box (empty;). I thought, "I need to save this and collect others." What is it about fancy shopping bags and boxes?

  22. The Macaron Exhibit! I really can see it.

    I love medieval armor. But imagine how loud it must have been, with all those guys clanking around.

  23. I think I collect everything--well, maybe not amour...but I'm not discriminatory. Love the watercolors, Carol!

  24. armour, not "amour." ;))

  25. Large collections of anything can be interesting can't they. Impressive keeping macarons for so long! I don't know that I could do that.

  26. Obsessions make the world go round...and obsessive collectors! Intensity & depth...


Love hearing from you