I adore a secret. Those hidden bits of information that is only known to a handful of folks. Between the streets of St. Paul and 32nd is a cafe disguised within the row houses that are part of the neighborhood. Carma’s is a cozy, unpretentious hangout. It’s the place that allows for moments with friends or a good book while you escape the real world for a while. Before heading to the Baltimore Museum of Art, I stepped through the doors and captured the last available table. Now, I will admit that the place is small but the food choices are all worth it. After ordering my cranberry and apple waffle, (yum) and hot mulled cider within minutes a local gentlemen sat opposite of me. Larry has been a regular 6 years out of the 7 that the cafe has been open. It is the kindness of strangers in unique places that gives life meaning. We spoke of his seven cats and the enjoyment of a good cup of coffee under 2.00.
As the winds of winter remind us of its’ presence, the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive offers light and love in the world of creativity. A special showing of embroidered treasures, textiles from Central Asia displayed works that villagers used for example, hangings or prayer mats. Various patterns show not only the importance of weaving but how one thread after another connects us to life, family and nature.
The Cheney Miniature Rooms are delicate delights that make you wish you could move right in. A few of my favorites are the New England Sea Captain’s Study (1820-1850), Georgian Silver Shop Exterior (1750-1775) and the American Bedroom in the Federal Style (1790-1810).
The best was last, The Cone Collection of modern art. Oh to live during the period of such great works by Matisse, Gauguin and Degas. In the early 20th century, Claribel and Etta Cone, sisters from Baltimore, visited the Paris studios of such Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, assembling an important art collection. According to the BMA, approximately 3,000 objects that at one time were displayed in their Baltimore apartments.
Etta Cone purchased five paintings by American Impressionist Theodore Robinson. One that caught my eye was The Watering Place, oil on canvas, 1891. There is a softness, realistic but quite beauty about this painting. The Baltimore Museum of Art is what Sunday afternoons are about.