Hooray for museum lates! A time to corral my friends into visiting museums and galleries with me, whether its the lure of gin at Charles Dickens Museum or burlesque at Courtauld Gallery, there’s usually a good excuse for getting them to come along. And so three friends who had never been to the Courtauld Gallery before joined me last night to experience a little bit of Bohemian Paris.
As we walked up the stairs and into Room 6 with the famous ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergere’ (Manet, 1882) on the wall and a Burlesque dancer halfway through her routine one friend turned to me with a little confusion asking “So, what actually is this? Is it a show?”, but she soon got the concept of exploring the gallery with performances and talks happening in different rooms.
We managed to catch the Burlesque and the Contortionist, but didn’t quite make it to the talks we wanted to go to as the lure of cocktails got in the way (priorities?) and we struggled to get back through the cafe as it was packed full for the Absinthe talk (quite rightly!).
We didn’t neglect the paintings on display either and even managed some half-intelligent conversations about art along the way.
It was busy and fun and the kind of event that would fill me with fear if I was organising – will it work? will enough people come? will too many people come? do we need more activities? less activities? I’m stressed out just thinking about it.
But it did work, all the activities and talks were full of people, but not enough to cause problems and while I think they underestimated the number of people that would want a Moulin Rouge cocktail and I would have liked the live music of the era to go on a bit longer so my own cocktail drinking hadn’t caused me to miss most of it, if I’d been organising it I’d be breathing a huge sigh of relief at its success and be looking forward to the next one on 14 August 2014.
Courtauld Galley, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN
The second Bohemian Paris at Courtauld Gallery takes place on 14 August 2014.