26 April 2016

back and forth ... and finally on my way

It was probably a year ago when I first heard about the major retrospective exhibition of works by Hieronymus Bosch at the Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch in celebration of the 500th anniversary of his death. This is also a centennial year for Shakespeare and Cervantes, both died in 1616. A recent article in the Times about the two authors did not mention that it was also Bosch's year.

I decided that I just HAD to go to see the exhibition. Then I started reading about it and the anticipated crowds and I thought "no way, I hate retrospectives." I saw a list of paintings and realized that I'd seen all of them at least once in their respective collections except for one in Lisbon and I want to go there. So I thought I didn't need to go though I still wish I'd been to the Ottonian show in Hamburg many years ago. Then I read about the restoration of many of the paintings, partly funded by the Getty, and that a number of diptychs, triptychs, and altarpieces would be on view together though they are held in different collections. So I was back on for the show and got a flight late in March.

Then this spring didn't work out the way I expected because of Mohs surgery and reconstruction which meant I couldn't go in late March. I was able to get a new flight and accommodations reservations for late April without losing too much money though it took more frequent-flyer miles on American.

So now it's April 26th. I'm at the Rochester airport waiting for my flight to Boston. There, I'll transfer to a British Airways flight to Heathrow. Then, take the Tube and Docklands Light Rail to London City Airport for the flight to Amsterdam. By the time I could order an exhibition ticket, only late evening tickets (10 pm and 11 pm) were available. Most of the hotels in Den Bosch were full on May 1st but I did find a 3rd-floor room at the Hotel Terminus, near the train station. Since my viewing will be on May 1st, I plan on working on some Marxist interpretations of the Bosch paintings. No, not really.

With the London airport switcheroo, the late ticket for the show, and trouble finding a room in Den Bosch, I have been pretty anxious about this trip (and I'm probably still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the surgery and treatment which meant missing the ARLIS/NA-VRA conference for the first time since 1973). But now, here I am, at the airport, and the adrenalin is starting to kick in. I'm hoping it doesn't keep me up overnight since London will need attention. And, on top, it is King's Day tomorrow in the Netherlands so I have to do a workaround to get to the apartment where I'm staying in Amsterdam. The Central Station is closed for the holiday and public transit will not be running in the center of town. I'm thankful to the fellow whose apartment I'm staying at for letting me know and how to work around via South Station and a different bus.

(picture from "Jheronimus Bosch 2016" About page; the file is named vrijstandd1.jpg - "free-standing")