Friday, February 24, 2012

Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870–1930

Princeton Landing's Johanna G. Seasonwein, an art historian specializing in the Middle Ages, is curator of a new exhibition at the Princeton University Art Museum. Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870–1930 opens February 25 and continues through June 24, 2012.

The exhibition of 40 works of art, many on view for the first time, explores America's changing attitudes toward the art and architecture of the Middle Ages around the turn of the 20th century. It also investigates the adoption of the Gothic Revival as a style for American universities, as seen through Princeton University's campus and collections.

A reception for Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870–1930 begins at 5:30 pm on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Art Museum, followed by a concert in the University Chapel at 7 pm. Both events are free and open to the public.

For the first time, the Museum will offer a mobile application enabling visitors to experience the exhibition while touring the campus. The app will use images and commentary to highlight nine University buildings featured in the exhibition and catalogue.

The Princeton University Art Museum is located on the campus. Admission is free. Click here to visit the Museum's website for additional information.

Dr. Seasonwein is the Museum's Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Academic Programs. She has also written the catalogue for the show, which provides an overview of Princeton's Gothic Revival architecture and examines three stained-glass commissions on campus. Jody lives in Parcel 5 with her husband Davis Ozdogan, son Ari and twin daughters Noa and Lia.

Image (Proposed exterior of chapel) Courtesy the University Archives, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Granny Carts—If Only We Could Use Them

Click here to read "There's a Younger Hand on the Granny Cart" by Helen Stapinski in The New York Times. It's a funny piece that ponders the appropriate age to start using a granny cart. Would that we could actually walk to stores from Princeton Landing and use them!

Wild Swans

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over.
And what did I see I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more;
Nothing to match the flight of wild birds flying.
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans, come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!

Today is the birthday of Edna St. Vincent Millay—born on February 22, 1892.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Downton Abbey Paper Dolls

Have you seen these Downton Abbey paper dolls? New York magazine's Vulture blog has posted a set of printable paper dolls by the illustrator Kyle Hilton. Downton overload, you say? Maybe, but we just might need something fun to keep us occupied for the next eleven months while we wait for Season 3.

Click here to print out Matthew and Mary.

Click here to print out the Dowager Countess.

Click here to print out Thomas and O'Brien.

Click here to print out Sybil.

Illustrations by Kyle Hilton

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Best Maggie Moments

You know how we feel about Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Dame Maggie Smith. Here's a priceless video of some of her best Downton Abbey moments.

Watch Downton Abbey: The Best Maggie Moments on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

Goodbye for Now, Downton Abbey

How much fun was Episode 7! Despite contrived plots and odd pacing in Season 2, the finale didn't disappoint. It opened on Christmas 1919 at Downton with the family giving gifts to the servants and Isobel presenting Violet with a nutcracker. We learned that Sybil was married to Branson in Ireland with her sisters in attendance but not her parents; later she would send word she was pregnant with what Cora called "a Fenian grandchild."

Bates was found guilty at trial, but his sentence was later commuted from hanging to life in prison. Not only did Anna stay strong for her husband, but she saved Lady Rosamund from a fortune-hunting suitor and her scheming maid. Interestingly, a Ouija board became the newest character downstairs. In addition to a Shooting Party, there was a Servants' Ball, just before which Matthew croaked an amusing little "Crikey!" when he learned he was to dance with O'Brien.

Mary told Matthew about Mr. Pamuk and broke off with Sir Richard. (Cora told Robert about Pamuk as well.) In a poignant scene, William's father asked Daisy to let him look after her as a father. (In a previous touching scene, Violet tried to help Daisy see her feelings for William.) And on a picture-perfect snowy night, Matthew proposed to Mary. And so our long wait for Season 3 begins . . . .

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Downton Abbey Episode 7—The Finale—Tonight

Tonight is the finale of Season 2. We'll miss our friends at Downton Abbey. It's going to be another long year waiting for Season 3.

Episode 6 found Matthew walking again (indeed, the tingling was in his legs), Lavinia succumbing to the Spanish flu (with Cora and Carson surviving it), and Thomas uncharacteristically behaving well (for the moment anyway). In romantic news, Mr. Bates and Anna tied the knot and gave us another Downton love scene (which we might have done without really), Robert and the housemaid Jane shared some awkward kisses (which we definitely could have done without—but she's leaving Downton in any case), and Lady Sybil and Branson shared plans for their departure to Ireland. In meanness news, Ethel and Charlie met his grandparents and grandpa was not amused, and we thought Lady Mary was way harsh badmouthing Carson when he decided he couldn't work for Sir Richard. At the end of the episode, Bates was arrested for the murder of his ex-wife Vera.

As usual, the Dowager Countess brought a level of sanity and the best lines. "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class."

It's Christmas at Downton 1919. Here's a preview of tonight's episode.

Watch Downton Abbey Season 2 Episode 7 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Today Anne Akiko Meyers, one of the world's premiere concert violinists, releases her latest album, AIR: The Bach Album, with the English Chamber Orchestra; Steven Mercurio, conductor. It's available here and here.

The Air album features Bach's A minor and E major concerti as well as the Concerto for Two Violins in D minor—better known as Bach's Double Concerto. The Double Concerto has been recorded by many duos of great violinists, but on this new recording Meyers performs both solo parts, one on each of her two prized Stradivarius violins. Also on the disc are "Air" from the Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, the Bach-Gounod "Ave Maria" and "Largo."

Here she talks about making the album.

Anne Akiko Meyers was introduced to me by my brother Peter and became one of our favorite musicians. Perhaps she's one of yours, too. If not yet, maybe she will be. Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Lorraine and Mike

Photo: Wally Gobetz

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Downton Abbey Episode 6 Tonight

Downton Abbey worries us. You know how I felt about that singing in Episode 3, and Episode 4 was just plain sad. Well, Episode 5 brought more contrived plot twists and the subsequent fallout—lots of people to worry about. First, a character comes back from the dead, or did he? Is he cousin Patrick Crawley or imposter Patrick Gordon? Whoever he may be, poor Edith had been in love with Patrick Crawley since he was engaged to Mary and now she's despondent. Then, there's desperate Ethel and her hungry baby in that dirty room, Bates and his ill-timed meeting with Vera, and Matthew and the mysterious feeling in his legs (we think it's his legs—he didn't actually say). And speaking of feelings, Robert is feeling neglected by Cora, with the new housemaid Jane ominously standing by. Thank goodness Sir Richard Carlisle made Carson an offer he couldn't refuse. We'll need Mr. Carson watching over Lady Mary when she goes to Haxby Park. We're worried about her, too.

Here's a preview of tonight's episode.

Watch Downton Abbey Season 2: Episode 6 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Downton Abbey Episode 5 Tonight

Perhaps it's the way I was feeling, but did anyone else think Episode 4 should have come with a warning? Something like: Not for the sad, depressed or melancholy—this episode will break your heart. Matthew and WIlliam came back from the war, with Mary caring for the wounded Matthew and Daisy marrying William in a poignant bedside ceremony. And of course the Dowager Countess did not disappoint with one of the best lines of the series so far, "Dr. Clarkson, I am no Jacobean revolutionary, nor do I seek to overthrow the civilized world. We just need one bed for a young man from this village."

P.S. No doubt you've heard the latest DA news.

Here's a preview of tonight's episode.

Watch Downton Abbey Season 2 Episode 5 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


by William Wordsworth

This is the spot:—how mildly does the sun
Shine in between the fading leaves! the air
In the habitual silence of this wood
Is more than silent: and this bed of heath,
Where shall we find so sweet a resting-place?
Come!—let me see thee sink into a dream
Of quiet thoughts,—protracted till thine eye
Be calm as water when the winds are gone
And no one can tell whither,—my sweet friend!
We two have had such happy hours together
That my heart melts in me to think of it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Recycling Dates

The recycling dates in Princeton Landing for February are the 13th and the 27th. There is also a link to these dates in the right-hand column under Popular Posts.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For Peter

Anne Akiko Meyers performs Bach-Gounod's "Ave Maria," with Reiko Uchida, piano.