Friday, June 5, 2009

Blue Picasso and River Read

Last night was First Friday in Binghamton, the first Friday of each month event where many downtown Binghamton art galleries and related businesses open from 6-9pm.

One gallery featured items from various private collections, and the collection of Binghamton University.

I got to see a small Picasso painting, from his Blue period. And since I don't know a thing about art, I will just mention it was a harlequin boy, and dated from 1904. I looked on Google images, and there were quite a lot of images from Picasso's "blue" period. (yes, the pictures are mainly done in blue). I didn't find this particular image, which I understand must have been done close to the end of his blue period.

In the same gallery was a Book of Hours from 1497. A "book of hours" is a devotional book popular from the late 15th century to the early 16th century. I am not an antiquarian book expert either, but love to look at old things.

Some of the other things we did (besides going to the web site launch of my last post) included taking my spouse to RiverRead Books. This is an independent bookstore (a dying breed deserving our support) that opened several months ago in a renovated building in downtown Binghamton that (I believe) dates from 1854. The book store is very well set up, cozy, friendly and its web site is well done also. It was crowded, with people awaiting the arrival of local author Liz Rosenberg. Since neither my spouse nor I enjoy crowds, we left just as Ms. Rosenberg arrived.

I must admit I have not been doing my part to support River Read, because if I bring any more books into the house the other occupants will probably rise up with pitchforks and torches. And, with the economy, I admit to frequenting the library more than perhaps necessary.

We also visited the renovated Press Building. I will try to upload some pictures (not of the building itself but something interesting in front of it) and talk about that in my next post. If you go to this article about Binghamton, at least right now, look at the first photo on the right. In that picture, there is a tall red building on the left side of the photo - that is the Press Building. Another web site featuring pictures of this building is here.

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