Monday, February 16, 2009


I finally got down to see the revamped Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto.

It was a very grown up day with a friend, and while she is somewhat of an art expert, I am not, and I spent some of my time trying to find busts who looked like Dan Akroyd. We all make our own fun.

When I go to grown up places like this, I often visit them with a "Mom's Eye" to see if I think my kids would enjoy/be well behaved in the same place. (The list is fairly short so always trying to expand).

The Thomson Collection at the AGO is impressive, and the most spectacular in my mind was the massive Rubens painting, "The Massacre Of The Innocents". Not a bright and sunny kind of guy, this Rubens.

You might know that this painting depicts King Herod carrying out the execution of all baby boys upon the news of the birth of Jesus.

The picture is morbid and fascinating at the same time. As was the Mom who was in the room at the same time as us, trying to explain the painter's use of colour and shading (particularly evident with the blue babies), to her FOUR YEAR OLD.

Honestly - my daughter has nightmares about Jim Carrey. This little girl will be totally scarred for life. I assume Mom thought it was worth it so that night at a dinner party she could say to her young progeny, "Honey tell our guests about the Rubens you saw today."

We joked that hopefully she could find a print in the shop she could hang over the kid's bed, or at least a jaunty nightlight with a slaughtered baby glowing blue.

I did love another Mom I observed who was merrily allowing her kids to run around, point at paintings and yell "why would you put cows on a boat?" and then racing through to the next room upon spotting a naked female form. They loved it.

And they won't wake up yelling "there are dead babies in my bed!"

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