It’s the final countdown to the AFMO’s AVANT Garde J’Adore THATd’Or … which means it’s time to unveil tomorrow night’s theme! You may have already guessed this mystery theme from the serene Mondrian painting on the invitation? My original goal had been to make the hunt exclusively about trains + motion. What could be more suitable than to tip one’s treasure-hunt hat to the history of this gorgeous building? As I’m sure you all know, the Musée d’Orsay was originally a train station, built in only 2 years and unveiled on 14 July 1900 for the Exposition Universelle. Until 1939 the Gare d’Orsay covered the southwestern French lines (thereafter it served the suburbs as the length of the building (138 meters) was too short for the longer trains which appeared during the electrification of trains). During the war it was where prisoners’ mail was dispatched. And before Mitterand unveiled it as a museum in 1986, it was the temporary home to auctioneers (while Druout was being built) as well as being the set for Kafka’s The Trial, by Orson Welles (1962). It’s clearly had several lives, but the Musée d’Orsay celebrates its train station roots beautifully and seemlessly.
But alas, I wasn’t able to focus exclusively on Trains in art, as the museum keeps things fresh and rotates their collections every two weeks. This is a joy and gift to its visitors (to make sure their collection in storage doesn’t gather dust), but it also keeps treasure hunt makers on their toes! So tomorrow night’s theme will be Motion + Movement. What subjects might this touch on? Well, a lot: wild waters, divine dancers, prancing putti and of course any locomotive you can think of. As the museum’s collections pertain to art from 1848 – 1914 there is certainly a fascination with trains, yes, but also an appreciation for industry and workers, think of Zola’s human machine or mechanical man, say. And of course the twists and turns of agonizing lovers is never old when it comes to art, be it songs, poems or bronze reliefs by Rodin (oops, did that slip out?).
So before giving up too much of the hunt, I’ll leave you with just one more thought:
Why is this photo of Auguste Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty just so wrong?
Because it’s a photo of a sign saying NO photography! There are a handful of “No”s that are included in tomorrow night’s event – all of which are listed in the photo caption. Photography’s permitted in designated areas, and there is a chance that one or two bonus questions will request fun photos of your team in those areas – but to be completely clear, any of your photos must have the below clock in the background (which is where the museum’s appointed photo-area is, with a view of one of the Gare d’Orsay’s clocks). Coincidentally, the below is this blog’s banner photo — what’s more germane to THAT than time distorted and looming over a museum?
Ok, enough out of me. Tomorrow I’ll post a brief outline of the night’s events. In the meantime, have fun and look forward to our Night Hunt!
And as I’ll hopefully remember to mention after the hunt, if you have fun I beseech you to leave a quick “had fun” review on Trip Advisor. For a budget-less new business (I started last spring) these reviews have been invaluable.
* Last PS/ If you’d like to read more about how the American Friends of the Musee d’Orsay (AFMO, the hosts of tomorrow night’s event) moved Bartholdi(1834-1904)’s Liberty Enlightening the World from the Luxembourg Gardens for a cleaning and indoors to welcome guests to the Musée d’Orsay, see their site here.