As it turns out, Richmond also happens to be the host of one of the largest French film festival in the US every year meaning that I was able to turn a simple trip to Richmond into a nice cultural getaway! My friends Yasmine, Cecile and I escaped DC as the national marathon runners were just getting started and arrived early enough to grab a quick lunch at Coppola’s Delicatessen, explore the Carytown neighbourhood and catch the noon showing of a very forgetable Sophie Marceau film at the
decrepit historical Byrd Theater. We then headed to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for our 3PM entrance time to the exhibit. Having grown up a few blocks away from the Musée National Picasso in the lovely but old Hotel Salé in the Marais this wasn’t my first time seeing any of the works presented. The avantage of this “small,” selective exhibit was that, unlike at the Paris Museum which is quite extensive, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the number of paintings to see. With 176 works selected from the Paris museum to travel overseas, I was able to discover or rediscover paintings or even photographs and sculptures that I may have overseen before.
After the exhibit, we took a quick stroll through the museum, which is actually quite impressive for a musée de province, featuring Andy Warhol’s Elvis poster, a Goya, antiques from Egypt and Greece, the largest public Fabergé collection outside of Russia and a waterfall cascading into a pool with a Maillol sculpture. Not bad…
We then headed to Amuse, on the top floor of the Museum for a well deserved treat. We sat in oversized neon green chairs and enjoyed some “Cubist Cocktails” inspired by the modern master. Among the clever creations were a “Guernica” with house made orgeat and Pedro Ximenez Sherry over black cherry and almond milk cubes topped off with sparkling Cava or (pictured below) a “Bleu Period Martini” made with Grey Goose Vodka dirtied with cornichon brine (a nice twist!), shaken and served with blue cheese stuffed olives.