It makes you laugh with delight that anything so fantastic could exist on this sombre earth.
It is true that 97% of the Powerhouse collection is kept in storage. And that our storage facilities are filled to capacity, indeed to crisis levels.
Adolph Hitler threw more resources at museums, particularly art museums, than almost any other political leader in history.
Sometimes a messenger would arrive on foot from Saba, having trudged 20 miles with a basket containing two or three fine durian fruit, if it happened to be the season, or perhaps an old mask or piece of stone sculpture, for the Anak Agung (local prince) knew I collected these, although he could not possibly see why. When a thing was old you threw it out, and he could not understand any enthusiasm for a carving or ancient bronze green with age, any more than he could understand my love for the stiff, unadorned music of the mountain villages.
the "pirate scammers" as we affectionalty referred to them, turned out to be less the grave robbers of the nation's treasury of ethnographic art as the key players in its preservation. For whereas in the early days such treasures rotted in, or were pilfered from, Indonesia's neglected museums, the best of them, thanks to the scammers, had been lovingly preserved for half a century.
From my perspective, electricity turned most people into zombies and thus assasinated the era of magic and poetry that preceded it. Whereas we once bathed in a golden light that made us all look like gods, bards, and heroes, exchanging tales of adventure, dancing and singing, the ugly side of the West that we had fled was holwing at our heels.
finding locations for McDonalds is the most creatively fulfilling thing I can imagine....out of that bare piece of ground comes a store that does, say, a million dollars a year in business.
Nothing makes a man so cross as success, or so soon turns a pleasant friend into a captious acquaintance. Your successful man eats too much and his stomach troubles him; he drinks too much and his nose becomes blue. He wants pleasure and excitement, and roams about looking for satisfaction in places where no man ever found it. He frets himself with his banker's book and everything tastes amiss to him that has not on it the flavor of gold. The straw of an omnibus always stinks; the linings of the cabs are filthy. There are but three houses round London at which an eatable dinner may be obtained. And yet a few years since how delicious was that cut of roose goose to be had for a shilling at the eating house near Golden Square. Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Green , Msr.. walker and all the other mistresses , are too vapid and stupid and humdrum for endurance. The theatres are dull as Lethe, and politics have lost their salt. Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the unfortunate few that it comes early in life.
It is not the prize that can make us happy; it not even the winning of the prize, though for the one short half hour of triumph that is pleasant enough. The struggle, the long hot hour of the honest fight, the grinding work, - when the teeth are set, and the skin moist with sweat and rough with dust, when all is doubtful and sometimes desperate, when a man must trust to his own manhood know that those around him trust to it not at all, - that is the happy time of life.k There is no human bliss equal to 12 hours of work with only six to do it. and when the expected pay for that work is worse than doubtful, the inner satisfaction is so much the greater. There is nothing like it; long work, grinding weary work, work without pay, hopeless work, but work in which the worder trusts himself, believing it to be good.
Village women work hard and keep busy at all times. Even when socializing in groups outside their homes, women spin, weave, embroider, darn socks, knit or crotchet while keeping an eye on children. In contrast, men have more time on their hands; their work in the fields is seasonal and erratic, and only a few have animals to herd. Enter any village and the first site is of men sitting around in groups near or inside the tea house, socializing. The tea house is not the domain of women. Women receive substantial sums for thier carpets on a regular basis, thus the women's share of the family income has increased dramatically. In a few cases, the weaver's export bonus alone surpasses her husband's total annual income, making the woman the main provider. This represents a major shift in gender roles within the family's economic support system. However, the increased income generated by female members of the family has not altered the expenditure pattern within the family. Men customarily handle the household expenses, and most women hand over their carpet money to their husbands. The status quo remains intact, as does the male ego. However, women now have more influence on buying decisions than they did previously. Thus, the power structures within the village family has not been disrupted, as yet. But change is in the air. Whereas most village women accept their position in the family hierarchy and are not about to usurp the husband's status as head of the household, the situation could change in the near future. Ergun, a weaver from Suleymankoy village, recently admitted she does not hand over her money to her husband, and that other women are doing the same. The battle of the sexes is about to begin! The importance of family bonds was made clear to me when the California Academy of Sciences first invited village weavers to the museum in 1990. I had assumed that women who had never left their villages would be clamoring for adventure and excited at the opportunity to visit the United states. I expected some rivalry in choosing representative weavers. this was not the case. Women are reluctant to leave their families for 2 to 3 weeks. The main advantage to them is that they can buy American consumer goods to take back as gifts to their children and husbands, and there is a certain amount of social status in being the only person in the village to have traveled by airplane to a foreign country.