The Feeder Feed: Indy Edition (with monkey)

For those of you who may wonder why some posts have “The Feeder Feed” in the title, this idiosyncratic practice stems from the time when I had lots of bird feeders across from the windows of my office.  I miss them, and so when I visit museums, I continue the practice of posting bird photos.

I am in Indianapolis. And because I am in Indianapolis (to talk to a Legatus chapter), I had the chance to visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art. My host knows one of the conservators (a devout Catholic) of the institute, and so we had a bit of a tour, which was a real treat.


Alas, I can’t show you the things they were working.  However, among them….wayyyy in the back, are two polychrome wood and plaster (I think) angels in need of cleaning and restoration.  The robes of the angels still show traces of the gilded patter applied when it was made: glue in a patter and then gold leaf stuck to it.  What was interesting that next to the statues was a copy of our guides Magnificat magazine that had on the cover a painting with similarly applied tracery/embroidery.  I’d show you the photo of her holding the Magnificat next to the statues, but then I would have to hunt you all down and make you sign forms or something.

In lieu of that, however, I can show you this shot of a large cart upon which they haul around big canvasses.


The conservation section is very interesting, since they “do it all” there.  They can work on painting, sculptures, paper and fabrics.  It was a truly fascinating visit and I am grateful for the opportunity.

In the gallery, however, I noticed this right away.  Here is an allegory, a Still Life with the Four Elements by Jacques Linard (+c. 1645)


Guess who gets to embody Air.


I can’t help but think that there is some holdover of the Christian in this choice for Earth.


And here is a depiction of The Sense of Taste, from the workshop of Jan Brueghel the younger.  It is a riot, a nice variation of one of those packed salon paintings, a painting of paintings.  Hard to see in this, but there is a lot going on.  At the top and center is a painting of Adam and Eve and the fatal apple, so this painting has a moral quality.


The monkey with the martini glass was my favorite bit.


It was a short visit and there was more to see, but after the monkey and the martini, and an allegory of taste, we figured it was time for lunch.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. majuscule says:

    Speaking of food, I thought the top photo was a kitchen until I read your post.

    My bad.

    Well, it is lunchtime where I am.

  2. Therese says:

    May be the kid in me, but I love ‘Where’s Waldo?” paintings of all kinds and eras. Great post, Father.

  3. NBW says:

    Thank you for sharing Fr. Ahh, to be a conservator at a Museum of Art…my dream job!!!
    It’s wonderful to see beautiful, and inspiring art that doesn’t need much explanation. Now a days you get ugly, depressing art that has to be justified by a page long description of it.

  4. Eric says:

    Welcome to Indy Father!

    Will you be in the area long? Blognic?

  5. Sandy says:

    I miss seeing the real birds at the feeders! God bless, Father.

  6. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I agree with Eric…Blognic?

    And you should visit us at Holy Rosary downtown if you’ll be in town more than today, only parish in the city with a daily EF. I bet Fr. McCarthy & Fr. Kappas would love to have a third for a spontaneous Solemn High Mass anytime you’re available…

  7. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Your art posts gladden the heart. A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit the NGA in DC. Some delightful works there, particularly of the Annunciation. Perhaps some day you might post regarding some of them?

  8. jkm210 says:

    Yes, I am sure Fr. McCarthy would love to have some help at the 7:50 am school Mass. ;-)

  9. StJude says:

    Father Z!!! Welcome to Indy!!!

  10. Adam Welp says:

    If you have time, you should swing down to New Albany. The church blocks from me has a wonderful High Altar that probably has not seen a TLM since the spirit of VII blew through town! Also, welcome to the Archdiocese!

  11. jameeka says:

    Oysters, again?

  12. Gratias says:

    Brueghel the Younger did not seem to have a taste or vegetables.

  13. incredulous says:

    Hi. R ewe having M@ LE problems? Link

    (Just kidding… Spam filter seems to be working.)

    Did the monkey eat or spit out the olive?

Comments are closed.