Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 2 August 2008

A Four-Museum Day

Boston, Massachusetts

Museum: A place to muse? Archaic. to gaze meditatively or wonderingly.

 We take the train in to Boston and buy day passes on the subway. Our first stop is the Harvard campus to visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum. I later surprise Mrs. Phred with a stop at the Semitic Museum in the Divinity School.

We've been told that the "glass flowers" collection in Natural History is unique. Perhaps it is, but to me they look just like regular flowers so I leave Mrs. Phred to muse there and move on to look at the insects, minerals and old bones. She later informs me that that is exactly the point; the precision and attention to detail is amazing. I still liked the bugs better.

The Peabody has a definite "Indiana Jones" flavor. There are things here from expeditions to remote places in South America and the Middle East back in the 1930s. The Semitic Museum has exhibits of Ancient Cyprus, Nuzi and the Hurrians and The Houses of Ancient Israel during the Iron Age as well as other small collections.

We have lunch and get back on the subway to visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

The library building is impressive. It's on the Boston Harbor on the flight path for incoming aircraft to Boston International. It's on the campus of the University of Massachusetts.

We've been collecting Presidential Libraries over the past several years, so this visit is mandatory. I like the sailboat display. The sailboat was given to JFK on his 15th birthday by his father, Joe Kennedy, Ambassador to Great Britain. JFK sailed this little boat as long as he lived. JFK visited Berlin, Moscow and London in 1938-39. They have a movie, as you enter the museum, about his life. It's interesting to see him with his eight siblings, smacking a tennis ball at age 20, driving a PT boat in the Solomon Islands or running for his first elected office. He reminds you of Obama in some ways (aside from being born rich and white).

We didn't have time to see the MIT Museum and Campus or the Boston Museum of Fine Arts....Maybe next time.

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