Sunday, December 16, 2018

Ann Arbor Street Art

This mural, located in an alleyway leading to a parking lot (with dumpsters), is one of my favorites!
Now that I've been back home for a few weeks, it's time to post some photos of the street scenes of our rather colorful town. I have no idea if the murals and other street decorations here in Ann Arbor are unusually numerous, but they definitely make it a lot of fun to walk around, especially downtown. The murals I've included today are in the campus area near Liberty and State Street in Ann Arbor.

Between commercial buildings on Liberty Street, these walls have slowly been filled with graffiti. People are always there
taking photos -- for example, this photographer with a whole wagon-load of equipment!

Decorated window of a high-tech company. Note that this photo is also a selfie!
Many local utility boxes are creatively decorated. This one is on State Street.
Farther from home: the trash barrels at Ford Lake in Ypsilanti
are amusingly decorated with stencils of little bees.
Our bird walk at Ford Lake was a success: Len took this photo of a small falcon called a merlin that was stretching its claws.

I'll be sharing this post with Colorful World's mural collections when the blog comes back online (it’s on vacation now). Last month, I posted photos of the most famous of the Ann Arbor murals, also in the same area of town:

Five authors: Woody Allen, Edgar Allan Poe, Hermann Hesse, Franz Kafka, and Anaïs Nin. (Blog post here)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Meet Willard

New acquisition for Len's baking adventures: a starter ordered from King Arthur flour.
Len named it Willard, in honor of his maximum hero J. Willard Gibbs *
After a day of feeding the starter according to the instructions, Len
has now begun the dough for the first Willard-started loaves of bread.
We'll know more about Willard tomorrow.
* About J. Willard Gibbs (1839-1903): Albert Einstein called him "the greatest mind in American history."

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Paul Rosenberg, Art Dealer

My Grandfather's Gallery by Anne Sinclair.
Yesterday I wrote about Paris art dealer and art critic D.H.Kahnweiler (1884-1979) -- I read about him in An Artful Life by Pierre Assouline. Kanhweiler's visionary recognition and promotion of several artists before World War I helped make the cubist movement famous; his friendship with many artists, particularly Picasso, lasted throughout his long life. (Yesterday's post: D.H.Kahnweiler, Art Dealer.)

To follow up this reading, I chose a biography of one of Kahnweiler's main rivals, art dealer Paul Rosenberg (1881-1959). My Grandfather's Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War by Anne Sinclair, was published as 21 rue La Boétie in French in 2012, and in English in 2014.

Paul Rosenberg, Sinclair's grandfather, took over many of the artists that Kahnweiler had represented before going into exile from France during World War I. After the war Rosenberg's brother, Léonce Rosenberg, had wronged Kahnweiler by helping the state auction off Kahnweiler's paintings, thus pushing more artists to sign with Paul. In particular, Paul Rosenberg represented Picasso from the 1920s through World War II, after which Picasso returned to Kahnweiler.

A Picasso sketch of Paul Rosenberg, 1919. (source)
In yesterday's post, I commented that biographer Assouline spent little time describing the horrendous persecution and murder of the Jews of Nazi-occupied Paris, where both Kahnweiler and Rosenberg had their galleries. Both men were victims of German anti-Jewish policies, which were abetted by French collaborators. Assouline's text barely covered how fleeing or deported Jewish citizens had their homes, bank vaults, and businesses looted by German troops, French police, or even their neighbors. Art collections or other valuables that belonged to Jews were confiscated and sent to Germany, or sold to make money for the Nazi war effort. Above all, Assouline barely mentioned the deportation of 76,000 Jews from France to Auschwitz, including 11,000 children, of whom at most 2500 survived. (Statistics here.)

My Grandfather's Gallery is just the opposite: Sinclair's principal theme is the horror of the war and of the lethal persecution of Jews and others, and she describes how these horrors affected her grandfather, grandmother, parents, brother, and their peers. In fact, Sinclair's grandparents, her parents, and her uncle (who fought in the French Resistance) were among a small minority who escaped. They fled from Paris through rural France and through Spain and Portugal to New York, with the extraordinary help of Alfred Barr, head of the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Sinclair herself was born in New York in 1948. Her parents returned to France shortly after her birth, and thus she was brought up and educated entirely in France, and considered herself entirely French. Although she was aware of her grandfather's accomplishments as an art dealer, as a young woman Sinclair was determined to lead a life independent of her family's privilege. In fact, she achieved fame as a political journalist and the host of an extraordinarily popular and insightful French TV news and interview show called "7/7" which aired every Sunday night from 1984 until 1997. The experiences of her family simply never interested her until a few years ago, when she decided to look into their history as available to her in family archives and the existing historical record.

Like many children who didn't listen to their parents' stories, Sinclair expresses many regrets for the way she dismissed her parents' accounts of their lives. Her research and this book are an attempt to make up for her earlier neglect. Since writing it, she's also participated in art exhibits about the Paul Rosenberg collections, which are now dispersed in many museums: see this article from 2016: "Paintings That Bear the Scars of War."

In My Grandfather's Gallery, Sinclair documents how her grandfather was able to transfer artworks from his gallery to New York, to found a gallery there, and to live quite well during the war with his family. She describes her early memories of their opulent New York apartment and the art gallery, where she often visited after her family re-established residence in Paris. She details her grandfather's reputation as an art dealer and discerning collector, his large holdings of art works from the early 20th century, and the family's art donations to many great museums in Europe and in the United States.

After the defeat of the Nazis, Paul Rosenberg spent a great deal of effort to have his property restored. He knew how fortunate he had been compared to the majority of his fellow Jews and other persecuted victims of the Nazis -- in 1945, he wrote:
"We recovered some paintings looted by the Germans, or by dishonest Frenchmen. But I am not going to complain, it's as nothing when you look at the horrors that the Nazis inflicted on human beings of all races, creeds, and colors." (p. 209)
Picasso's 1918 Portrait of Madame Paul Rosenberg and her daughter; that is, the mother and
grandmother of Anne Sinclair. The Nazis stole this painting for the collection of Hermann Göring.
Paul Rosenberg recovered it after the war; later, Anne Sinclair donated it to the Musée Picasso in Paris.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

D.H.Kahnweiler, Art Dealer

"Art doesn't represent what is already visible, it makes things visible."

Picasso and the cubist movement of the early 20th century have always fascinated me. I particularly enjoyed the two Picasso and cubism exhibits I visited in Paris recently (details here). Therefore, I decided to read about the art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who recognized the genius of these artists and promoted and supported their work when they were unknown and unappreciated, as well as later when they became famous. Kahnweiler was an art lover, and a discerning critic. He wrote about art in several books and articles, as well as making visionary choices of art and artists.

An Artful Life: A Biography of D. H. Kahnweiler 1884-1979 by Pierre Assouline (published in French in 1988, translation 1990) offers a detailed portrait of this insightful and imaginative art dealer. Kahnweiler was born in Germany, and was expected to spend his life in the business world of his father, uncles, and other relatives, who had businesses in Germany, England, and South Africa. However, at the age of 23, he convinced them to give him a chance to go to Paris with enough capital to set up an art gallery: a business that he continued throughout his long life. Particularly after World War II, Kahnweiler became an authoritative and widely respected figure in the art world.

From the beginning, Kahnweiler's approach to working with artists was generous and fair. His gallery showed only the work of artists with whom he had an exclusive relationship. That is, they sold their entire artistic production through his gallery, sometimes with exceptions for illustrations for books and a few other types of work. He didn't speculate or buy and sell the works of already famous artists, but worked with young and upcoming talent. He had several partners during the many years he ran the gallery, and his long-term relationships with them also appear to have been exceptionally open and cordial.

In exchange for representing the artists in his gallery, Kahnweiler paid a set price for each painting or print they delivered, based mainly on the size of the work. Also, he paid them a stipend each month as an advance against future sales. This was extremely important to some of the artists that he recognized early in their careers, who were often living and working in extreme poverty.

Over time, some of the artists quarreled with him over the arrangement, or tried to sell to rival dealers -- who often offered more money -- in violation of the arrangement. In particular, Kahnweiler was always negotiating with Picasso until much later when Picasso was famous and successful and Kahnweiler became his truly exclusive dealer. Kahnweiler was also very honest and fair with his clients, who included many famous art collectors including Gertrude Stein and her brothers, who are famous for having recognized Picasso and his contemporaries from their start: their start with Kahnweiler.

Throughout the book we learn of the relationship between Kahnweiler and the artists as well as with other dealers, critics, and art collectors. Besides selling art in his gallery, he also published small art books containing the work of various modern poets and illustrated by his artists. Thus he was the first to publish any work of Gertrude Stein!

His standards of honesty were strict. For example:
Portrait of D.H.Kahnweiler by Picasso, 1957.
"Critics were often related by bonds of friendship, if not more, to dealers and artists. Some even turned curator to mount exhibitions, even though they might have been on the payroll of a gallery ... or simply affiliated with a movement, so that it was impossible not to think that they were all more or less subject to influence. ... The standard advice to young artists was 'To become well known in the Heaven of the Arts (by God, the art dealer, and his saints, the art critics), address your prayers to the saints rather than to God.'
"Kahnweiler was not surprised by these practices as he had no illusions about the manner in which the French made their adjustments to deontology." (p. 59-61)

Deontology -- a new word to me -- is an ethical theory that uses rules to distinguish right from wrong.

Picasso, Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, 1910

Kees van Dongen, Portrait of
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler,1907-08
Kahnweiler was important and at times influential, but still led a fairly quiet and non-public life. As a result, one of the elements of the biography that I find really interesting is Pierre Assouline's descriptions of how the huge events of his time affected him. Because the biography is in chronological order, we read these events as they happened, and thus in my view, the author enables us to live through them as if we were present in history.

Kahnweiler had a peaceful feeling before World War I; he had no idea that war was about to break out. He suffered from the impact of the war, which forced him into exile in Switzerland and almost destroyed his business. He also suffered from the vindictiveness of the French after the war. He adapted to the twenties and then to the barren times of the Depression. During the rise of the Nazis, his relatives had to flee from Germany. Kahnweiler was more prepared to protect his art assets as World War II began, but he spent the war in hiding in the French countryside, and as a Jew, was of course terribly threatened.

Assouline says surprisingly little about the fate of the rest of the Jewish population of France, though he does describe how much art was scooped up and sent to the collections of high Nazi officials. I sometimes felt as if Assouline was avoiding the thought of the treatment of Jews in occupied France, but I don't want to try to analyze this. He describes Kahnweiler's identity as a very assimilated and non-religious Jew, who seemed to have little connection to the Jewish communities of Paris.

Reading of these events as they affected one particular man offers an interesting history lesson. I felt as if it made first half of the 20th century in Paris come to life in a very interesting way. Though I have lived in quieter times, I've often read about the Depression and the wars, and this was an interesting set of very specific examples. I was especially interested in the Sunday afternoon parties that Kahnweiler and his wife held, where many famous people enjoyed their hospitality -- including Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, and many others. I was somewhat frustrated that Assouline included almost nothing about Kahnweiler's wife, except to note that he was devoted to her and devastated by her death in the 1940s.

One of the interesting features of both wars was that in Paris itself, there was still an undercurrent of normality in the art business, with artists still painting and paintings still being sold. Kahnweiler's gallery in fact was normal during World War II because he sold it to his wife's sister, who was not Jewish, and she continued to run it as he had done in the past.

After each war, Kahnweiler was challenged to restore his position in the art world. During World War I, the French government confiscated Kahnweiler's entire inventory of cubist paintings by the artists he represented: the government seized all assets of German citizens. After the war, from 1921-1923, Kahnweiler was unable to recover the work, which was put up for sale at auction, and sold at below its value. Several of his colleagues participated in the sale in ways that were viewed as unethical.

One of the most complicit and self-interested in helping with this sale was another dealer, Léonce Rosenberg, who stood to profit from his betrayal. Rosenberg once said to Kahnweiler, "All this is good publicity for the cubists. It's one compensation for your losses." 
"'I am too cast down by the misfortune that has befallen me to see it in such an objective manner,' Kahnweiler answered with is consummate sense of litotes." (p. 174)
Litotes -- a new word to me for Wordy Wednesday! -- refers to ironic understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary (e.g., you won't be sorry, meaning you'll be glad).

In order to read this book, I think it helps to be particularly interested in the Paris art world of the first half of the twentieth century, to be able to picture many of the art works that are discussed, and to some extent to know a bit about Paris geography and locales. When I read about the specific cafés and Paris neighborhoods where the various artists, critics, and others lived and worked, I could recall how these places still appear in present-day Paris. Having just been there, this was very vivid for me.

Reading this made me interested in the topic of art dealers and World War II -- tomorrow I will post about a biography of Paul Rosenberg, a rival of Kahnweiler.

Monday, December 10, 2018

An Interesting Dish of Mushrooms

A cookbook that I've rarely used... if ever.
A recipe chosen for the theme "Exotic Seaports." Here: Nice, France. I was requested to bring
a vegetable dish to the Culinary Historians' dinner. This one is vegan (I omitted butter), and looked appealing.
This image shows the last step when the mushrooms, bread crumbs, etc. are all combined.

My changes: I cooked the garlic briefly at the end of each batch of mushrooms.
I added a bit of herbs de Provençe and the lemon zest, as well as the juice of the lemon.
I sautéed the mushrooms in batches to keep them firmer.

Champignons Provençale made for the CHAA' dinner.
Good intention of the week: try more recipes from this cookbook.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Exotic Ports of the Culinary Historians

"Exotic Ports" was the theme of the winter meal of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor. Above: Kulibiaka, made from
a recipe by Anya von Bremsen -- my favorite of all the foods. Kulibiaka contains salmon, cod, kasha, and mushrooms,
baked in a crust, as you can see.  The platter, according to the contributor, was actually purchased at a flea market
in St.Petersburg, Russia, adding to the authenticity of the dish!
Amusing decorations contributed to the fun of the dinner.
My contribution: Champignons Provençale, from Provence and thus from the exotic port of Nice, France.
Other contributions came from around the world. Desserts: fruit salad from Singapore, macadamia nut pie from Hawaii, Scandinavian apple cake, and two gingerbreads representing the historic spice route ports where ginger has been traded for millennia. Fish dishes from Oman and from Sweden, and jambalaya from New Orleans. Chicken biryani and potato cakes from Bangladesh. Bankok red beef curry. A shrimp dish from a historic hotel in the port of Chicago. Spicy salad from Casablanca. And more. A few images:

Another favorite of mine: chirashi sushi from one of Japan's 104 port cities! The red is ginger, the green is seaweed.
The CHAA dinners are always fun. The flavors this time were remarkable, as everyone used a variety of spices; maybe the cooks were inspired by the word "exotic." It's amazing how some elements of cuisine appear in so many of these dishes -- for example, rice and ginger, which show up in dishes from around the world.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Good Bread

In the oven: Len's two loaves of whole-wheat bread.
Out of the oven. You can see the black sesame seeds (nigella) on the crust.
On the table, to eat with extra-sharp Tillamook cheddar, two kinds of chutney, and fruit.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Pizza for Chanukah

Len's pizza!

Happy Chanukah! We had our potato latke party on Sunday. No photos, though.

"The Idiot" by Elif Batuman

"Spiderwebs attached themselves, like long trails of agglutinative suffixes, onto our arms and faces." 
In her novel The Idiot, writer Elif Batuman loves linguistics. The sentence above, which occurs near the end of the book, is the only simile I've ever seen that uses a linguistic concept that way.  In The Idiot, a young woman, Selim, narrates the story of her first year at Harvard, and her following summer in Hungary. Quite near the beginning of the book, she describes her choice of courses for the year, especially a linguistics course:
I went to Linguistics 101, to see what linguistics was about. It was about how language was a biological faculty, hardwired into the brain— infinite, regenerative, never the same twice. The highest law, higher than Holy Scripture, was “the intuition of a native speaker,” a law you couldn’t find in any grammar book or program into any computer. Maybe that was what I wanted to learn.
As she describes her circumstances, her roommates, the people she meets, and so on, she also tells about her linguistics class, listing quite a few topics:
We learned that, because language was a universal human instinct, no human was bad at grammar— not even toddlers or black people. That’s what the book said: you might think that toddlers and black people had no grammar, but if you analyzed their utterances, they were actually following grammatical rules so sophisticated that they couldn’t be programmed into any computer.
A very important part of the class: "We learned about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which said that the language you spoke affected how you processed reality." Processing reality and using languages easily is in fact a major theme of the book. Selim constantly meets people with different native languages, and constantly deals with her own background: she was brought up in America by native speakers of Turkish, and often had visited her relatives in Turkey. In addition, she describes the varied linguistic backgrounds of the students in her Russian class.

As she proceeds through the semester, she feels she needs more:
Something basic about language had started to escape me. I thought I could fix it by taking classes. I signed up for a seminar on the philosophy of language. The point of the seminar turned out to be to come up with a theory such that, if a Martian read it, the Martian would understand what it is that we know when we know a language. To cover all the bases, I also signed up for a class on psycholinguistics.
By the following summer, Selim, who has been trying to understand something elusive about language goes to Hungary. She's supposed to teach English to villagers, but she's constantly looking for similarities between Turkish and Hungarian language usage. She also becomes somewhat fascinated by phrase books such as one that "translated between Russian, Esperanto, Hungarian, German, and English." Some of the phrases: “We would like to know more about the rest cures (sanatoriums) of your country.” “We would like to talk to the workers.” “I am a Communist (Socialist, Democrat, Liberal).” “I am an atheist (Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim).” “I would like to see this lathe more closely.”

Looking as I always do at the way authors use food in their novels was also an interesting part of reading this book, as food works throughout the book in a similar way to language -- defining reality and embedding reality. For example, a fellow student at Harvard, Svetlana, was Russian, and takes Selim to a Russian deli:
Bells rang when we opened the shop door, and then the smell of salami and smoked fish hit us in the face like a curtain. Two clerks, one fat and one thin, stood behind a glass counter.  
“Hello,” Svetlana said in Russian.  
“‘Hello,’” said the clerks, somehow making it sound ironic. 
It was interesting to see so many Russian things: hard and soft cheeses, red and black caviar, stuffed cabbage, bliny, piroshki, pickled mushrooms, pickled herrings, a muddy tank of carp that were alive, but perhaps only barely, and a barrel full of challenging-looking rectangular sweets, in wrappers printed with sentimental Cyrillic writing and pictures of squirrels. There was a whole aisle in the dry-goods section devoted to Turkish products: Koska halvah, Tat pepper paste, Tamek rose-petal jam and canned grape leaves, and Eti biscuits. 
Eti meant Hittite— there had been a commercial when I was little with children chanting, “Hittite, Hittite, Hittite.” The Hittites had been beloved by all Turkish children, because Atatürk said the Turks were descended from them and that’s why it was okay for Anatolia to be the Turkish homeland. ...
It turned out that Svetlana knew all these brands, because they had had them in Belgrade, and that the words for eggplant, bean, chickpea, and sour cherry were the same in Serbo-Croatian as in Turkish. “It stands to reason,” she said, “since the Turks occupied Serbia for practically four hundred years.” I nodded as if I knew what she was talking about.
In Hungary the following summer, Selim is constantly invited to people's houses. Her experiences are somewhat strange; frequently the topic is both food and language in one way or another. Like this:
“I brought you here because Gyula’s mother makes a very nice paprikás chicken with homemade noodles,” Margit whispered. 
Conversation at dinner circled around the ambiguous nomenclature of seasonal barleys. Gyula’s mother brought out an apple strudel and poured us all brandy. I drank the brandy because it was less trouble than explaining about not drinking it. On the way out, she pressed something warm, heavy, and yielding into my hands. It was wrapped in foil but it felt alive. It was another strudel.
I've now presented the parts of the book that I found amusing and interesting. Unfortunately, it's pretty long: maybe twice as long as it should be, and tedious in parts. I've read some pretty good articles by  Elif Batuman, who writes for the New Yorker, but I was somewhat disappointed in this novel. It was a contender for the Pulitzer Prize so I must be missing something: maybe I just don't really like books about the first year of college of a narrator (or the alter-ego of the author).

Tuesday, December 04, 2018


Marcel Proust's famous multi-volume book, À la recherche du temps perdu, is now known in English by the name In Search of Lost Time; it was originally translated as Remembrance of Things Past. After reading a book about the three Parisian women who inspired one of Proust's characters (blogged here), I decided to tackle this reading challenge -- in translation, of course. The word count for the entire work is 1,267,069 -- according to a google search, that is. Proust's prose is famously dense and difficult to read. He wrote some of the longest sentences I've ever seen. In contrast to this behemoth, for example, the entire Harry Potter series contains 1,084,170 words, and is written at a young person's reading level. 

I started with the first volume, Swann's Way, and took my time, finishing it in several days. In a few places I found it a bit tedious, but mostly I enjoyed reading it and enjoyed Proust's penetrating interest in a variety of human experiences, especially his best-known studies of how memory operates.

You may be aware of the most famous passage in the book, where Proust's narrator and alter-ego dips a madeleine in his tea, and the taste and aroma take him back to his childhood. I suspect that another 1,267,069 words have been written about this famous passage. In fact, one time when we were buying madeleines in a plastic box at Costco, the check-out clerk said something to us about Proust. (OK, Ann Arbor is a pretty intellectual place, but still...)

The fame of Proust's passage: in this recipe from Bon Appétit magazine, the
caption is: "This cookie launched a thousand memories—
and a literary masterpiece—for Marcel Proust."
One of many things that impressed me as I mentioned, is the study of sensory memory experiences in many passages throughout Swann's Way -- not just the famous one. I was fascinated by the constant explorations of memory and its relation to all of the senses, but especially taste and smell. No doubt this continues through the later volumes as well, though I have not read them recently: I did many years ago. I might continue with this reading project, but I'm not sure. 

Because so much has been written about Proust and memory, I decided to simply quote a few of the most striking passages that fascinated me as I read.
"When, before turning to leave the church, I made a genuflection before the altar, I felt suddenly, as I rose again, a bitter-sweet fragrance of almonds steal towards me from the hawthorn-blossom, and I then noticed that on the flowers themselves were little spots of a creamier colour, in which I imagined that this fragrance must lie concealed, as the taste of an almond cake lay in the burned parts, or the sweetness of Mlle. Vinteuil’s cheeks beneath their freckles. Despite the heavy, motionless silence of the hawthorns, these gusts of fragrance came to me like the murmuring of an intense vitality, with which the whole altar was quivering like a roadside hedge explored by living antennae, of which I was reminded by seeing some stamens, almost red in colour, which seemed to have kept the springtime virulence, the irritant power of stinging insects now transmuted into flowers." Marcel Proust. In Search of Lost Time (Kindle Locations 2087-2093). 
"And for my own part I set a higher value on cream cheese when it was pink, when I had been allowed to tinge it with crushed strawberries. And these flowers had chosen precisely the colour of some edible and delicious thing, or of some exquisite addition to one’s costume for a great festival, which colours, inasmuch as they make plain the reason for their superiority, are those whose beauty is most evident to the eyes of children, and for that reason must always seem more vivid and more natural than any other tints, even after the child’s mind has realised that they offer no gratification to the appetite, and have not been selected by the dressmaker." (Kindle Locations 2585-2590).
"We would sit down among the irises at the water’s edge. In the holiday sky a lazy cloud streamed out to its full length. Now and then, crushed by the burden of idleness, a carp would heave up out of the water, with an anxious gasp. It was time for us to feed. Before starting homewards we would sit for a long time there, eating fruit and bread and chocolate, on the grass, over which came to our ears, horizontal, faint, but solid still and metallic, the sound of the bells of Saint-Hilaire, which had melted not at all in the atmosphere it was so well accustomed to traverse, but, broken piecemeal by the successive palpitation of all their sonorous strokes, throbbed as it brushed the flowers at our feet."(Kindle Locations 3155-3159).
And the last lines of Swann's Way: 
"The places that we have known belong now only to the little world of space on which we map them for our own convenience. None of them was ever more than a thin slice, held between the contiguous impressions that composed our life at that time; remembrance of a particular form is but regret for a particular moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years." (Kindle Locations 7887-7890). 

Monday, December 03, 2018

The last evening in Paris

Miriam's photo of the moon in the sky next to our hotel.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

On Not Buying Stuff!

How could I resist buying Louvre Monopoly for my Mona Lisa collection? I don't know how, but I just didn't buy
any of the hundreds of Mona Lisa items I saw. I simply have too much in my collection. 

Mona Snow Globes -- super tempting!
I think my current Mona t-shirt count is 29.

I would have bought these but €6.50 is ridiculous for throw-aways!
You can see the reflection of the small pyramid in the display case here.

A glasses case with Mona's eyes? Well, maybe I should have. But I didn't.

"The Louvre in 90 Minutes."
"What's So Special about Mona Lisa?" I guess I should have bought it,
since I'd really like to know the answer.
In the flower market near Notre Dame. More tea towels. Nope.
A book of art reproductions with stick-on mustaches and other embellishments.
 Title: "Do Like Duchamp."

When I went through my photos I was totally amazed at the sheer number of Mona Lisa items I had seen in the shops of the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, and in ordinary tourist shops all over! There are many more but I've already included way too many in this post!