My View For Awhile: Whirlwind Edition

This short trip to the Windy City was a treat.

But first, off to pick up my newly framed altar cards from Silverstream Priory.  They turned out very well.


I was eager to see an exhibit at Chicago’s Art Institute which featured Van Gogh’s three famous bedroom painting, together again for the first time since, I suppose, Vincent had them.

Here they are, on one wall together.

For a time, Vincent lived in a Yellow House in the south of France.  He made three painting of an upstairs bedroom.  This is where he had intended Paul Gauguin to stay (during his disastrous visit).

Vincent thought the bedroom was about the best thing he had accomplished.

Some years ago at the Morgan Library in NYC, I saw a letter that Vincent wrote to his brother Theodore before the arrival of Gauguin in which he sketched the bedroom.

Vincent, in his short years, lived in dozens of places and tried his hand at many different fields, including preaching as a Christian minister.  At a rough spot in his life (which was mainly one big rough spot) he did paintings of nests and of boots, which suggests his concern (longing) for a place to be.

It was a great exhibit, all in all.  I was pleasantly surprised at the many additional materials they brought in, such as prints from the era, both European and Japanese, which influenced him, along with novels, and paintings by artists who influenced him.

I very much like Vincent.   I long for someone to do an exhibit of his religious paintings.

Having seen the great art, supper had to me made for my hosts.

And today we managed to fend of death by starvation.


And then there’s this guy.   I thought you would enjoy him and his spiffy hat and shoes.

This is a copper Mesopotamian figure from c 3000-1800 BC.  The Met in NYC has another that is quite similar.  They are unlike anything else found.

Someone should make hats and shoes like this.  I bet they’d sell.


If you haven’t figured it out, I travel a good bit.   Less than some, more than others.

This morning I woke up at a hotel near an airport (early flight today). I looked at the coffee set in the room.  Blech.  I tried the coffee in the lobby.  Blech.  I considered stopping at some fast-food place.  Nope.  I eventually decided for coffee at the airline club at the airport.  It was – sigh – Starbucks.

I saw something at the site of the wonderful Wyoming Carmelites who prepare …

Mystic Monk Coffee and Tea!

It’s swell!   And they have a…


  • Each set contains:
  • 17oz Bodum Water Kettle
  • 17oz Bodum French Press
  • 12oz bag of Midnight Vigils Blend
  • 12oz bag of Hermits Bold Blend
  • Rubber spatula (to clean French press)
  • Travel set of disinfectant wipes (just in case!)
  • Insulated carry case


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Thank you for posting this!

    I dragged my family for a full days drive and stay in LA for the Van Gogh exhibit in 1999 and I have a framed print of The Bedroom in my living room today. :)

    I never fail to cry when I see his work. Intense beauty moves me this way.

    It is the same with the consecration: beauty, suffering, love, being misunderstood…

  2. mike cliffson says:

    Spiffy mesopotamian footwear on 3rd milenium BC bronze
    Unless I am very much mistaken something very like these were one of the ranges of slippers produced by the national shoe company of Iraq, (one of the secularist Baath party’s in principle dottier, more amiable , and wellmeaning ventures , nationalized Industries), in the midseventies, before the war with Iran and much dire and woeful history, especially for Christians. Some had little pompons on the sharp ends, made of multicolored dyed rabbit fur from Spain.
    How well they sold I know not.

  3. JonPatrick says:

    My wife and I were in Chicago for a long weekend and we also tried to see the Van Gogh exhibit but it was extremely crowded when we went (a Saturday, probably the worst day to visit an art museum).

    The Impressionists and the American Art are also not to be missed – Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” and the iconic “American Gothic” among others less famous but equally interesting. I have to say my favorite was the Oriental art and pottery – beautiful and delicate.

    The day was finished off with oysters and steak at Remington’s on Michigan Ave. across from the park with a Cubs game in the background (of course).

  4. Skeinster says:

    Almost all the special exhibits we’ve seen here at the DMA have had wonderful supplemental materials. As an annoying fan of context, I appreciate this very much.

  5. Giuseppe says:

    That carbonara looks delicious…

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    Van Gogh is my favorite artist and will remain so. His story is so touching it makes one wish to go back in time and be his friend, he so needed one. It is stunning to realize he only sold what, one painting in his lifetime. (!) As far as he knew, his art was a flop. I can’t recall a painting of his I did not like. I saw The Bedroom in the Yale Art Museum in New Haven, at least, I thought I did. They have a lovely art museum well worth visiting.
    Forties music is also the bomb.

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    That Mesopotamian figure is intriguing. A great book on Mesopotamia is “Ancient Iraq” by Georges Roux (3rd Ed.). There is a photo section of artwork and cuneiform, and an excellent map section. The book covers the Paleolithic to the Sumerians and on to the Assyrians and Babylonians. There is a fascinating chapter on the archaeologists of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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