A Surprise Around Every Corner

Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

Last week, Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party found a new home in the Music Room. The painting won’t stay in this gallery forever but will enjoy a nice respite here with the Tacks while various other installations throughout the museum are finalized over the coming weeks.

Luncheon of the Boating Party: The Reality Show

Photos from Elaine and Dick Van Blerkom's scrapbook to commemorate Dick's 1980s birthday themed after the 1880s Luncheon of the Boating Party.

Arguably one of the finest paintings at The Phillips Collection, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party portrays a lavish gathering of Renoir’s contemporaries and colleagues for a pleasant midday meal. The work is inspiring in its subject matter, its scale, and its technique, so much so that it moved Elaine and Dick Van Blerkom to recreate their own luncheon on the C&O Canal in full period costume (hear about their first encounter with the painting on a first date to the Phillips in 1963 in their “Love Stories” video below).

The Smithsonian’s Food & Think blog has these DIY tips for an idyllic Renoir-inspired luncheon.

By all means, come and study Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party at the Phillips as a guide for your next gathering, but please note, parasols will be checked at the door.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Likes our Renoir

In case you haven’t met Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, here’s a chance to get to know “the biggest small star of the comedy world on the web,” according to Brian Williams’s recent report. Marcel’s first video hit YouTube in late 2010 and since then the googly-eyed creature has had over 14 million views! This fall, a new book and a second video were released. Have a look about one minute into the second video, below, when Marcel is talking about his bed made of bread. In the background you can see a postcard of Luncheon of the Boating Party. It’s nice to know that Marcel (or his parents) have such good taste!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta9K22D0o5Q&w=600&h=335]