Friday, November 04, 2005

From Berry Gordy to Camille Claudel.

As part of the novitiate's annual Fellow secundi Jim Shea, Eric Styles and I marked the novitiate's annual "Detroit Day" small-group outing with an enjoyable afternoon downtown. We intended to stop first at the Motown Historical Museum, which unfortunately happened to be closed for renovation. From there we proceeded to Detroit's Greektown, which has some great restaurants and an authentic feel despite being more like an Epcot pavilion or a Potemkin village than an actual living, breathing ethnic enclave. After a quick peek at the interior of the imposing but beautiful Old St. Mary's Church, we had lunch at the venerable New Hellas Cafe followed by dessert at the Astoria Pastry Shop nearby. A few pounds heavier and a few dollars poorer, Eric, Jim and I headed next to the recently-renovated Detroit Institute of Arts to see a much-hyped exhibit entitled Camille Claudel & Rodin: Fateful Encounter. Though I've paid relatively little attention to sculpture in the past, the skill that went into the pieces on display made quite an impression on me. I also couldn't help but feel bad for Claudel, whose career peaked a bit too early and who apparently descended into a lifetime of mental illness after her lover Rodin refused to marry her. At the DIA until February, Camille Claudel & Rodin adds a lot to one of Detroit's premier attractions. It also added a lot to an excellent novitiate outing. AMDG.


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