The things we love as children don't always hold up over time, but when we fall in love with a place early in life that continues to enchant into adulthood it can be hard to visit with an outsider who has no history and may not understand this decades-long love affair. For me, one such spot is the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago; for my godsister Kyra, it's the Musée national Gustave Moreau in Paris.
Last summer Kyra generously (bravely?) shared her place with me, and we spent hours poking through the deliciously overstuffed rooms, barely contained messes of silk damask walls, Palissyware majolica, Greco Roman bronzes and luminous color harmonies. And that's not even taking into account the paintings, which are diaphanous to the point of insubstantiality -- they're like mist clinging to walls.
Kyra has been here countless times, and no trip to Paris is complete without a visit, to turn the massive pages of double-sided glass frames and look at sketches, or simply sit in the studio with the windows open and listen to the wind through the trees, gently stirring the heavy velvet drapes that cover light sensitive works.
I based the color of trim in my house on the color of woodwork in Moreau's dining room:
Alors! How I wish I had that Palissy majolica. And it's lovely how they still stock the house with flowers:
Go! You really must. Or don't -- there was almost no one else there when we visited, and it was great.
Pretty sure I wasn't supposed to take these photos, but mah. Look ma, no flash.