The Brooklyn Museum Part II: Djuna Barnes, Romaine Brooks and so much more

I had a magnificent time at the Brooklyn Museum last Saturday afternoon. The Hide/Seek exhibit collected some really amazing art from many people I recognized like Mapplethorpe, Berenice Abbot, Catherine Opie, Georgia O’Keefe, Romaine Brooks (never saw her self-portrait in person before!) and Warhol but lots who I hadn’t encountered before.

So, the art got me jazzed and thinking about how we reveal what’s private in public ways but I was also—in an uncharacteristic twist because I hate being jostled–excited to see the rooms filled. Yep, lots of queers but also lots of non-queers, if you no what I mean.

It you can swing it before the 14th, I’d encourage you to go and bring a friend.

The Djuna Barnes exhibit was modest but fascinating both as a window into her but also newspapers in the nineteen teens. What an astounding difference in page layout, writing style, and subject matter from today’s newspapers.  So, if you’re a media geek like me, you’ll get a kick out of these faded tabloids filled with line drawings—and personality.

And because love is much, much more than roses and chocolates, I give you an excerpt from a novel by the late Taiwanese novelist Qiu Miaojin:

“Towards the end of class, someone passed a note from behind: Hey, can I talk to you after class? Shui-Ling. She had sought me out. I knew it would happen. Even if I had switched to a different section, she would have sought me out all the same. She, who hid in the crowd, who didn’t want anyone to see her behind her veil of averted eyes and aloofness. When I stepped forward, she came out, too. And she pointed and said, revealing a child’s wanton smile: “That’s the one I want.” And like a potted sunflower that had just been sold to a customer, I was taken away. There was no way to refuse. This, from a beautiful girl that I was already deeply, viscerally attracted to. Things were getting good. There she was, standing before me. She brushed the waves of her hair away from her face with a charm that was instantly etched across my heart like a tattoo in one painful scorch. Her feminine radiance was overpowering. I was about to get knocked out of the ring. It was clear that from that moment on, things would never be equal between us.”

To read more….

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One Response to The Brooklyn Museum Part II: Djuna Barnes, Romaine Brooks and so much more

  1. Pingback: Link Round Up « The Lesbrary

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