One night in 1908, at the age of 64, Henri Rousseau, the toll booth operator turned self-taught painter, found himself at the epicenter of the Parisian avant-garde, or at the center of an elaborate joke, or perhaps a little of both.
In the art world, it seems 2015 was the year of the underdog. In and among the blockbusters and biennials, there were a great number of retrospectives devoted to artists who have long been under-rated, under-valued, and under-recognized for their achievements.
When my wife Kathy and I set out for a week in Paris with our grand-daughter we wanted to do something really special for her. Who would have thought traveling with a 7-year-old would prove so much fun for us, too?
The Musee D'Orsay and Jeu de Paume in Paris have many masterpieces of impressionism on their walls. Claude Monet's gardens in Giverny, just outside Paris have his masterpieces growing and living year round. This is why I travel.
I see Le Lit as an expression of desire -- for the security of a partner, snug under the covers, who would gaze at him with affection, would look deeply, unflinchingly, with love and acceptance, into his eyes. "I want this," I remember saying to myself.
It is 10am. The private coach is waiting exactly where it's supposed to be, in front of the grand main entrance of the Musée d'Orsay. I climb inside and claim a seat alongside my fellow American travelers, of which there are fourteen.
I love sitting in studio classes, experiencing that unique relationship between a master teacher and a student. It always feels like a privilege to hear and see the trust that has been generated and to feel the intensity of the learning and teaching model.
There is a little known story about the controversy surrounding the original architectural drawings of the Statue of Liberty. The first two versions were deemed too voluptuous and sexy for American tastes.
Is taking the kids along all it's cracked up to be? Despite frequent complaints, for many adults the answer must be yes. Families are like roaming packs these days, and kids are now included on more than just the traditional car trips.