Monday, March 4, 2013
Shakespyeare: Day 62 - King Lear in Detroit
Tucked between Wayne State University, burned out mansions, and Comerica Park, the Detroit Art Institute straddles the fault lines of post-urban Detroit. The museum was built and stocked during the heyday of industrial Detroit. Now, beset by budgetary concerns, they manage to hang onto a collection of decent work while bringing in an occasional smallish international exhibit like the five Van Gogh paintings I drove the hour to see.
A feeling of unevenness hangs about the museum. I stood before paintings I'd seen in books such as Brughel's Wedding Dance then turned and walked through halls of work that was clearly not up to the scratch for a major city's art museum. Somewhere in the middle to middling range, a painting of King Lear. Though perhaps a bit overwrought, it captures the atmosphere of a line I've remembered from childhood, "this night will turn us all into fools and madmen."
These words are not meant to be read in their entirety. Skim them the way this plane skims the cloud layer, jostling sometim...