Rembrandt in Raleigh

Rembrandt in Raleigh

Last weekend Steve and I, along with hundreds of others, thronged to an event in our state that was so popular we had to park in an overflow field and wait in a long line for tickets. And it wasn’t even NASCAR. We went to Raleigh to see some of Rembrandt’s works at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Here we were privvy to a higher level of sophistication than we usually encounter in the foothills. And being a former art major, it’s an aspect of life that I need from time to time.

I can’t hear the name of my state capital, Raleigh, without picturing Barney Fife puff out his chest, put his thumbs in his belt loops, and snort as he boasted about going to Raleigh. And so the idea of going there to see the largest exhibition of Rembrandt works ever presented in  America, with the show’s only East Coast venue being Raleigh, is incongruous. But that’s exactly what we did.

To get to Raleigh, we drove through the Triad cities of the Piedmont area (Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point) on to the Research Triangle cities (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill). With barely 40 miles separating the two triangles, I think they should be combined and called a hexagon. But I digress.

The one day I spent in Amsterdam many years ago, Rembrandt’s museum was closed. As was Van Gogh’s. Just like my day in Rome. I happened along on the only day in the entire calendar year, besides Christmas Day, that St. Peter’s (and the Sistine Chapel) are closed. Who knew that August 15 is Anunciation Day (or was it Assumption Day)? Not me. So when I heard that Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was coming to my state, I jumped on it. And it was worth it. Even my country-music-and-baseball-loving husband thought so.

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