While at the deYoung, we realize (very early on) that all of the Asian Art has been removed from the deYoung. The deYoung went through a complete renovation a few years ago and now houses American Fine Arts. (Legion of Honor houses European Fine Arts.) Much controversy ensued.
I had certainly heard the controversy up here in my little town, but hadn't paid attention to the details. So I ask a docent as we're wandering through what is now a GORGEOUS building, "Where is the Asian Art Museum?"
"It's in the old Public Library which was left over when they built the New Public Library."
"Heh heh. Yeah, that makes sense. Civic Center?"
So we finish up at the deYoung, and Eldest Daughter starts bouncing on her heels.
"I love this place. I love this place. I love this place. Can we go see Korean Art?"
"Korean?" says I.
"Yeah. I don't know what it looks like. You hear a lot about Chinese and stuff, but I don't know what Korean is."
"Um, OK. But we don't have that much time to spend, you know. I think we'd have to pick one little area of the museum and only see that."
We turn to my mother. A glowering face. "We're going to Another museum?"
"Well, we don't have time to see an entire exhibit, but I did think that the Asian Art was still here."
The only way to counteract this is by grinning, "Yeah! Let's go!"
We drove the ten blocks or so, parked the car, crossed the street, paid admission, and found the Korean gallery. My mother walked into the gallery, found the bench in the center of the gallery, and then announced loudly, "My throat is so dry. I'm on these medications. I'm going down to the museum cafe. Meet me there."
Which she did. However, this caused my Dad to follow us to to every display, standing just behind us, occasionally becoming engaged by a particular piece, but for the most part murmuring, "We should go check on your mother."
She never left the museum cafe, even when it closed around her.
Eldest Daughter and I went to the museum shop to buy some art books while Dad tried to coax Her from the shuttered cafe. She hobbled across the hallway to the museum shop, bent over in her dismay that we had traveled to two museums, and one of them did not house the Titanic exhibit, and revived her spirits using retail therapy.
Once she started talking, she was filled with the urge to remind me that the Peabody-Essex Museum in Massachusetts is a highly respected Asian Art Museum. And if Eldest Daughter REALLY wants to see Asian Art, then she should come to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Or the Peabody-Essex. ("Or the Met," I said, thereby reminding her that Dear Butcher's parents live IN Manhattan. You can try pitting Boston against Frisco for cultural accouterments, but Manhattan is going to knock Boston on its ass every single time.)
On Cue, Dad picks up on Mom's discomfort and starts lauding the praises of the Peabody-Essex. "All those whaling captains brought back some fantastic items. It may not be well known in the larger art community, but at least amongst those who know Asian Collections, the Peabody-Essex is well-known."
Shouldn't have said a word, but I can't help myself. "So is the San Franciscan Asian Art Museum."
"Well, yes. Now. Ahum. Have you been to the Peabody-Essex?"
And this is where that switch flips in my head again. OH MY FUCKING GOD! I'M FIGHTING ABOUT A GODDAMN MUSEUM!! I GREW UP IN BOSTON!! I'VE BEEN TO THE MUSEUMS!! WHY IS THIS A COMPETITION??? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME THAT I'M FIGHTING ABOUT A MUSEUM?
Deep breath. I didn't say a word after that about museums, Asian Art, East Coast Museums or West Coast Museums. La la la. Mm hm mm. La la la.
Just as we get to the car, my mother says, "So we COULD have gone to the Titanic as well, right?"
Just as we got home, my mother says, "While we're at dinner, would it be all right if I just put a few things in your washing machine? There's a pair of black pants I'd like to wear to lunch tomorrow."
That makes it three days in a row. Laundry.