Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Welcome to Birmingham, Leonardo!



It's not every day that you go to the Bimingham Museum of Art and bump into the master himself!  Several weeks ago the museum threw a Family Day and look who showed up?  Leonardo da Vinci schmoozed with the kids and greeted visitors as they came in the front door!  Everyone in town is excited about this special collection of his drawings that have never before traveled as a collection from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin.  The works include one of his most celebrated notebooks, the Codex on the Flight of Birds and 11 other important drawings.  The exhibit is unusual in many respects.   Because the drawings are small and detailed ( you can actually see each and every stroke of his stylus) , the viewer is allowed to get extremely close with a magnifying glass.  This invites a very personal experience between the observer and the artist.   The room is kept darkened somewhat with a chilly temperature of 62 degrees F.  To highlight the theme of the flight of birds and some of his horse drawings, the museum invited the Birmingham Zoo to bring birds which everyone enjoyed seeing in the Sculpture Garden and horses from the Birmingham Police Department were a favorite in front of the museum.  In addtion, art activities were provided in the main lobby area for the kids.  What a great way to introduce children to the wonders of art and make them feel comfortable visiting our museum.  

Tomorrow,  I will be a volunteer inside the exhibit for the first time.  It will be a very chilly 3 and a half hours, but getting to view the drawings as much as I'd like is a good trade off I think!

Postscript: Grazie to my friend Fabrizio, who taught me that he is referred to as Leonardo, not da Vinci. He explained that "da Vinci" merely means that he is Leonardo of Vinci.  
BELOW: Art Birds!


The Tune du Jour is " Per Te" by Josh Groban

PARIS COUNTDOWN.....18 DAYS!

Merci beaucoup to my friend D.C. Confidential for sharing the BFF AWARD!  You have raised the bar for me in so many, many ways,  and I thank you for that.  You are talented, articulate and passionate about what you believe in. I hope to follow your example my friend.


Discover Josh Groban!

39 comments:

Judy - So California said...

Oh I HOPE - I HOPE - I HOPE - I am the first to wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! and Many, Many More. Have fun enjoying Leonardo. Will you be able to share any of it with us? Do they allow photos? Hope so.

Eki Akhwan said...

V, my dear friend, it's your birthday today, isn't it?

So, first thing first: A hearty Many Happy Returns of the Day to you! May health, happiness, and prosperity be with you for many, many years to come!

Leonardo looks very much younger in your photo despite the white beard! ^_^

Will you be allowed to take photos of the exhibits? Would love to see those, please. Leonardo Da Vinci is one of my favorite artists and inventors. He's a genious!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

My warm wishes on your Birthday!

I'm sure this has been a wonderful treat for you!

Do enjoy your volunteering session! I'm hoping to see some of those exhibits in the coming posts!

Cheers

Rakesh

Blognote said...

Yes, we refer to him in a familiar way simply as "Leonardo", who came from the Tuscan village called Vinci. For those who visit beautiful Tuscany, it is interesintg to visit the museum in Vinci to see Leonardo's projects!!

Olivier said...

retour dans le passé, avec un petit 'et sobre' sépia. j'aime ce type de portrait

return to the past, with a small 'sand ober' sepia. I like this kind of portrait

Webradio said...

Happy Birthday...

Nice post.
The birds are beautiful !

Abraham Lincoln said...

Nice photographs.

Bibi said...

Love Leonardo. He visited here too, in the form of one of those "statues" on the street that move when you drop a coin in their hat! Have a photo somewhere... Is your one little bird a Finchi da Vinci Oh, that's baaaad.

Come view my moth today!

Z said...

Happy birthday and many happy returns!

The museum exhibit sounds wonderful. I would surely visit if it were convenient.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my Villigen blog. Sorry it took me so long to come and say hello to you.

JM said...

Happy birthday, Virginia! Wish you have a fantastic day!
Very cool Leonardo's picture! Nice to meet him at last! :-)
The birds photos are awesome, great shots! As to the wedding cakes, well, I would try a piece... of each, right now!
Many happy returns!

PJ said...

I keep telling myself to make it up there before the exhibit closes. Glad you mentioned the cold temp. I would be very distraught to arrive and spend all my time shivering. Brrrr. Is there hot chocolat in the restaurant?

Ming the Merciless said...

So are you making plans to meet up with Eric, Peter and Olivier when you're in Paris?

Ming the Merciless said...

ps: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Kathleen said...

Happy Birthday Ms. Virginia!!!

alice said...

Happy Birthday, Virginia! I'm sure you'll spend a great day to the museum tomorrow. Will we see some photos?

Virginia said...

WEll I just got up and have already had a wonderful birthday just reading your warm wishes!! Merci!

NO photos allowed even outsidet the exhibit. Oh that I could. The drawings are small so they would probably be hard to photograph anyway. You will have to take my word for it I'm afraid. The pages of the Codex are just amazing. He wrote backwards because he was left handed. We have computers (3) that have the Codex software. Very cool!

Ming, Olivier has not said he is coming in to Paris but we would love to see him. Peter is our gracious tour guide and we are thrilled!! Eric????? Oh sure. You know that's not going to happen. However, Marie Reed and Alice will be coming and we'll spend a good bit of time with them. Want to join us?

Virginia said...

WEll I just got up and have already had a wonderful birthday just reading your warm wishes!! Merci!

NO photos allowed even outsidet the exhibit. Oh that I could. The drawings are small so they would probably be hard to photograph anyway. You will have to take my word for it I'm afraid. The pages of the Codex are just amazing. He wrote backwards because he was left handed. We have computers (3) that have the Codex software. Very cool!

Ming, Olivier has not said he is coming in to Paris but we would love to see him. Peter is our gracious tour guide and we are thrilled!! Eric????? Oh sure. You know that's not going to happen. However, Marie Reed and Alice will be coming and we'll spend a good bit of time with them. Want to join us?

Ming the Merciless said...

How fun! I wish I could go to Paris with you guys and meet Peter, Alice, Marie, etc.

When you come to NYC, we will throw you a parade down 5th Avenue.

Marie-Noyale said...

Happy Birthday Virginia.
What a treat it's gonna be tomorrow to mingle with those chefs d'oeuvre!!
Bring a nice warm scarf and gloves!!!

Halcyon said...

Leo looks pretty cool. Hope you have fun volunteering and we expect a detailed story of how it goes!

The Life and Times of a Southern Foody said...

Leo has never looked so youthful!

The parrot pic is wonderful.

Mary said...

Ms. Virg...I hope that you have one of the VERY BEST birthdays ever!
You have so much to look forward to what with your trip to Paris and meeting MOI in just 12 days ;-)
Rest up darling...I'm going to run your artsy self all over town so that I can see all of this in person - especially the CEMETERY!!!
Bonne anniversaire mon amie!!!!!!!
xx,
M

Saretta said...

What fun! Don't catch a chill!

Virginia said...

Mary, I have a list a mile long to show you my friend. I can hardly wait. Will we sleep at all???? Oh and there's food to be enjoyed and wine to be sipped as well. I knew the cemetery thing was coming. OK ok ok. Hurry up!

Foody, Glad to have you stop by. We were almost neighbors at one time. Small world isn't it. Please come back.

Judy, I celebrated a birthday lunch with Michael today and I got a private concert of "The One I Waited For" at the studio. I am feeling like a very special birthday "girl" now!

ANYONE???? What happened to the trashcan where you can delete comments? I need to dump one of mine up there and can't figure it out. Help somebody!!

Peter said...

Happy Birthday!! Let's celelbrate it with some champagne on your arrival in Paris!

Leonardo, a fascinating man. I visited the house where he was (supposed to be) born in Vinci (hardly worth the visit), the house where he died (Clos Lucé) and his (supposed) grave at Amboise. Just to read his biography and follow his life and read his biography is something!

Kelly said...

Happy Birthday!

Great post! I wish I could be there for this!

ken mac said...

You're only getting better! (as your always wonderful photos attest)

Eeyore said...

Happy Birthday!

jill said...

Happy birthday blessings, Virginia.

Virginia said...

Peter,
Mais oui! What more could I ask for than champagne at Tuileries?! Merci beaucoup mon ami!

KM, I only wish I were getting better! HA

Valerie said...

Virginia -- my 14-year old daughter suggests you attend the Day of the Dead celebration at the BareHands Museum on Sunday, November 2. One of her teacher's mentioned it in class and she'd love to see your take on it. We love your blog!

Virginia said...

Valerie,
It's on my calendar thanks to you. My daughter and friends went last year and had a ball. Thank you so much for the heads up on this. Glad you like my blog. Keep coming by and leaving ideas for me.
V

babooshka said...

Deja vu. Happy birdthday again. Can I please have that sweet little birdy in the bottom shot. I am so jealous of all the people you are to meet in Paris. No Fair! My blog is now nutter/spammer/ grovelling free. Normal service has been resumed.

Virginia said...

OH B. To have you meet us in Paris would be the best. Peter might have his hands full, however.! Glad your blog is up to snuff nowl

Mame said...

Happy Birthday!! And I love that blue bird!

Hope you had a glorious day and many more glorious days to follow.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Leonardo Da Vinci is such an interesting historic figure. I sort of rank him as the artistic equivalent of Ben Franklin in US Political History. Both were so influential, but not in the normal way ... they are hard to categorize.

Tash said...

Sounds like a fun time even if a bit chilly. Hope your birthday was the best!

Fabrizio - ikol22 said...

Virginia, I'm so sorry to be twice late. First of all I am the last one here that is going to wish you a Happy (belated) Birthday. I really hope you had a great day !!!

Then I am late also to thank you about this wonderful tribute to Leonardo and, in some way, to me.

Last but not the least, I am very honoured you wrote "my friend" talking about me.

D.C. Confidential said...

I'm sorry I missed your birthday, my friend! Many good wishes to you for a happy year and many additional years of health, happiness, and love! Your enthusiasm and encouragement are a gift and have made me a better, more creative photographer. Thank you!