Art Appreciation

Meadows Museum

The Meadows Museum is actually a division of the SMU Meadows School of the Arts. The building is large, housing a comprehensive collection of Spanish art with works ranging from the 10th to 20th centuries. Highlights of the collection include masterpieces by Goya and Picasso, as well as beautifully large Baroque canvases, rococo oil sketches, wood sculptures, as well as works by leading artists in the region.
The floors in the building are a smooth and shiny mid-toned hardwood, the walls a creamy beige though most near the entrance are covered with banners that advertise the different exhibits and galleries that can be found through large arches and doorways down the hallways.

Staying open late for the Independence Day holiday weekend, the Meadows Museum has attracted more than its ordinary clientele of school-children, art lovers, and tourists tonight. The halls are by no means busy. Some exhibits have a few people standing and chattering with one another as they appreciate the artworks; others are piratically deserted.

Darcy has paid the price of admission, and has been wandering through the gallery corridors since sundown. The soles of his leather shoes do not echo against the hardwood floor as he walks; in fact, the man moves silently with a natural ease and grace. For the moment, he is standing before Henri Matisse's "The Woman with the Hat," an oil on canvas painting, marked with a bronze plaque reading ON LOAN FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART.

One of the few places that Connor has managed to frequent during his short time in the city is the museum. With no plans at all in sight for the holiday weekend, the man has decided to stop in to see if there are any new exhibits. Much like Darcy, the soles of Connor's leather shoes don't echo against the floor. He spends so much time at each exhibit that it's almost feasible he may well be an exhibit himself at times — perhaps a modern work of art entitled 'Nerdy Art Geek'. Eventually he spots the Matisse and meanders over, giving the faintest nod of his head in acknowledgment to Darcy. "I didn't know that we'd gotten it in. Very interesting."

"Yes, most certainly," Darcy answers. His brown eyes continue to absorb the painting, and it is only after some length of time that Darcy turns to consider the other vampire. "I do not know if I prefer this new avant-garde Parisian style. When Impressionists were all the rage, the painters had managed to capture something fleeting about mortality." He pauses for a moment before asking, "You enjoy paintings?"

Most of the humans present are blessedly unaware of Connor's vampiric state, as he lacks the typical pallor that comes with it. Despite being a creature of the night his skin is still quite tan. At least by most vampire standards. The young man folds his arms over his chest and raises a hand up, tapping a finger against his chin thoughtfully. "To be quite honest, paintings depress me a little. I prefer photography. Paintings are beautiful and they're all unique — but there's something very off-putting about the concept of still lifes to me. A touch ironic, I suppose." It does make Connor smirk, this notion that still life upsets him. But he shrugs his shoulders nonetheless and briefly smiles in Darcy's direction. "Some of the more modern artists are a little more evocative, I think. Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollack, Georgia O'Keefe… maybe even Andy Warhol, but everyone knows that he was a bottom feeder on the fringes of society."

"Andy Warhol was not so much a bottom feeder as one willing to be fed upon," Darcy answers, suggesting some intimacy with the topic. "And I do recall when the photograph was first introduced. A very silly, novel invention. Quite ingenious. I particularly enjoyed Oscar Rejlander's 'The Two Paths of Life'. His models were very tasty — mostly prostitutes, of course, as I am sure you know. Very willing to plunge into the spirit of the piece, and I did appreciate that sauce to the dish." Darcy glances back at the oil canvas as he continues to speak with the other vampire. "Is this meeting a coincidence?" he suspiciously asks the other of his kind.

Now Connor seems a little amused. He takes a step back from Darcy in order to better regard the man. "Ah, but what about what Andy did to poor Edie? I'd say he was hardly fair to her in the end. I find it ironic that most of his 'stars' ended up dead in a gutter. But don't we all?" He asks, letting out a little chuckle. Turning back to the painting that they have stopped in front of, he puts his hands in his pockets and in short order glances back toward Darcy once more. "If you remember when the photograph was invented, I daresay that you have more than a few years on me. Polaroids had already been around for a bit when I was…" He trails off there. There are still humans about. Ones he isn't terribly keen on letting know that he is in fact a vampire. "A coincidental meeting? I should hope so. I'm not a very good planner at all."

"As you say," Darcy answers Connor. "If you are younger than I, you will learn to grow suspicious with age. I should say, I think it is the one trait in which we excel as we grow older: paranoia and distrust, that is." Neither man is being very open about their nature. "Yes, they were very delicious," Darcy adds, returning to their previous topic of Andy Warhol. "A pity such bright talent had to be extinguished; but beauty does not do well to age, and they were ever so hungry to please, well, let us simply say those who were hungry." A knowing, chilling smile spreads across his mouth.

The Museum's open late, and since it's the only night of the year that this is the case he's made a point of heading by during his nightly business, he's not planning to stay long, but he's got to make at least a little time for such things. Michael moves with the inhuman grace and efficiency of movement that those who know the signs would instantly know for the walk of a vampire, his face tells yet more, giving away no sign of life, or feeling; a sure sign of age amongst vampires. He studies The Woman with the Hat. He offers the slightest inclinations of his head to each of the other vampires as he considers the piece for a moment.

Connor nods a little bit in response to Darcy's words about paranoia and distrust coming with age. The motion is so subtle that it's barely picked up on by mortal eyes. "I'll keep that in mind. Neither my maker or I are very old." He pauses and then laughs. "And I suppose that's not the brightest thing to be telling someone else, vampire or not." The younger vampire shrugs his shoulders and wraps his arms around his stomach once more before raising a brow at Darcy's comment about how delicious Warhol's stars were. He can't very well judge the man, and so his comment simply remains at: "That's, ah, hmm. Yes. Interesting." If Connor had noticed Michael, perhaps it would have provided him with enough subterfuge to distract from the thought that Darcy may have been possible for the murders of some of counterculture's most discussed names.

An aesthete who spent the majority of the twentieth-century in New York, it is likely that Darcy encountered many artists in the City. "Yes, one should keep such matters to themselves," Darcy answers Connor's comment. The vampire recognises Michael, having met him the other day, and politely returns the inclination of his own head. "Do we not make a happy threesome?" the man muses as his own eyes return upon the painting. "I am so very glad those hats went out of style," he idly comments.

Michael listens for a moment his expression turns to each of the others. "I stopped paying more than passing attention to fashion in the thirteenth century; I find it's generally looked back upon as strange and far less comfortable than it need be." He shakes his head as he studies the art. "I was hoping for some pieces from Pietro Cavallini; I haven't followed art as closely as I once did in recent years."

Connor turns to face Michael, giving him the slightest of smiles. The sudden vampire trio leaves him feeling a little strangely. "And you're sure this was coincidental?" Connor asks Darcy, mirroring his previous question before he turns back to Michael and bows his head in acknowledgment. "Perhaps you had the right idea. I think the only good thing that fashion has done for us in recent years is the invention of miniskirts. But of course we did have to endure the Farrah Fawcett flip and day glo." The fledgling vampire shrugs his shoulders a little bit before turning back toward the painting and tilting his head at it.

An elderly couple walks through the exhibit. If any of the three can still judge human age, they are somewhere in their sixties or seventies. The wrinkled skin hanging from their faces and limbs marks them as obviously being old, but they are well-dressed and smile warmly to the group as the pause to admire the painting before passing through to another gallery exhibit.

Darcy visibly stiffens as the couple approaches, and watches the pair with trepidation as anger and hostility flare in his brown eyes. It is not until they have passed that the man visibly relaxes, and the momentary rage on his pale face passes back to its typical lack of expression. "Pietro Cavallini?" Darcy comments, turning to consider Michael with interest. "That name brings back memories of a different life. Did you perchance visit his mosaics at the Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura before it was destroyed by the conflagration? I recall viewing those with very different eyes. The sunlight still illuminated colours for me." Darcy turns his cold brown eyes back to Connor. "Who is Farrah Fawcett? A clothing designer?" he asks.

Nodding Michael studies the picture for a moment longer before looking to Darcy. "Yes, I went there first in the tenth century. Although I returned again after the mosaics were completed." He shrugs a shoulder as though it's of little importance. "I had heard rumours that they had a very early recreation of one of his less well known works a personal favourite of mine." He seems to have no emotional interest in any of this at least he shows none.

The elderly couple is given a polite nod to, but the boy hardly seems feral at all. Certainly his reaction is not as strong as Darcy's. Connor scarcely pretends to notice Darcy's reaction — he fears that commenting upon it would bring quite the conflict… one which he certainly doesn't want to to deal with on such a pleasant night. He listens to the two talk about artists of yore who are long since turned to dust in the ground before looking somewhat amused at Darcy's question. "Well, not exactly. Maybe I'll show you pictures later. She was something of an icon in the seventies. ..Nineteen seventies."

"Popular culture, yes?" Darcy answers Connor. He has become quite aware that Michael is advanced in age, although remaining unsure exactly /how old./ "Some of it was amusing, I admit. But I must confess it can only go so far until it becomes tiresome." Darcy might not have said it, but he certainly seems to imply that he is not entirely in line with the past century's cultural developments. At least, not philosophically.

Nodding to each of the other vampires Michael studies them briefly in turn. "You will excuse me, I have matters to attend to." He looks at Darcy. "I would speak with you on matters another time, but for now I am occupied." He studies the painting again with a slight shake of his head. "You are right they were horrible hats." With that he turns and makes his way to the exit.

"Mmm. The kids in this generation are slaves to it. I can't say I'm much better. I find technology to be fascinating." He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair and smooth it back a little bit before turning to look at Darcy. "I'm afraid that I have to follow our friend's suit and take my leave now. Work will be starting soon and before I go, I feel it important that I get something to eat. This is a big city, but who knows. We might see each other again."

"It is a distinct possibility," Darcy answers Connor. "Should you wish to speak with me again, I would not object to the meeting." The vampire extends a bony hand toward Connor. In between the long, pale fingers a business card is clutched and offered to the other vampire. It is a simple piece of ivory-coloured paper embossed with the name DARCY, and otherwise contains only a telephone number. "Enjoy your breakfast," he offers, turning to look back at the Matisse.

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