Today in Art History we talked about Hogarth and also about neo-classicism. For the afternoon we went to the Foundling Museum. The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital which was basically the first orphanage. Thomas Coram saw all the poverty in London and had an official charter to start the Foundling, along with Hogarth who was a big benefactor. He donated a lot of works to the museum, and encourages his artist friends to do the same. The museum has one of the best examples of an English Rococo room. Also while it is not at the original location of the Foundling Hospital they kept a lot of the same interiors including the banister.
The teacher I have had this week for art history is a man who has been an art dealer for Christie’s and Sotheby’s. He is what I would picture a British beatnik to be. He wears thick framed glasses and a turtleneck and also maroon pants. His teaching style is to ask a lot of questions, so instead of putting up a slide with the title and date and artist, he asks us what we think the title should be, or if we can date it or name and artist or country of origin. I know it is great practice for my slide tests I will have in a couple of weeks but by the end of the day, racking my brain is tiring! Especially when a lot of it is brand new material and we haven’t covered the art in that time period yet. But it is a great way to think outside the box and learn.
After the Foundling I realized we were right next to St Pancras and Kings Cross Station, and decided to go visit Platform 9 and three quarters. For any Harry Potter fans you know how great this is to see. They actually have a queue and stanchions and official guys taking pictures, though you could take your own as well. They also had props! Scarves from each different house in Hogwarts, and also the Harry glasses. Pretty crazy!
At night I went with Elizabeth and Anna to meet up with my new friend Ellie. Ellie is a ballet dancer for the English National Ballet, and while I have found everyone in London very nice…she is the nicest person I have ever met. It is good to meet and go out with non-Americans. While I don’t always understand everything they say, the British accent doesn’t phase me anymore, though I do love hearing slang actually said out loud. I heard someone say something about the blooming bus (reminded me of My Fair Lady) and also crikey…that is a good one. Though I don’t think I’ll adopt that language, I do like how they say lovely and brilliant a lot. It is nice to have your thoughts or ideas called brilliant from time to time.