Late last week, PJ and I drove up to Rochester, Michigan. I gave a paper at the International Conference on Romanticism, which seemed to go well. I certainly accomplished what I had hoped to accomplish with the paper. And I’m looking forward to completing work on the article-length version of the paper and submitting it for publication soon. Since PJ lived up there during the year before he joined me in Ohio, he was also interested in seeing his former home and colleagues.

While we were there, we also visited the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is a great museum in downtown Detroit near the Wayne State University campus. The first thing we saw at the museum was the Monet to Dali special exhibit. It took PJ only a few minutes to recognize that the works in this collection seemed familiar and why: they are from the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has loaned out the exhibit while it completes its remodelling.

Despite our having already seen this collection, we nevertheless enjoyed seeing them again. I especially like Édouard Vuillard‘s painting “Cafe Wepler:”

I can especially relate to this painting now that I’ve been to Paris. This work reminds me of the lazy hustle and bustle (if that’s not too paradoxical a concept) of a Parisian cafe in the late afternoon. I also love the color contrasts in this painting, the golden yellows of the walls and ceiling with the reds, whites, and blacks, of the interior and floor. It probably goes without saying, though I’ll say it anyway, but the painting looks even more alive and vibrant in person.