what makes us smile…AVAM

“It better befits a man to laugh at life than to lament it.” ~Seneca, Roman Philosopher, mid-first century A.D.

a day filled with art and quotes…blue skies and memories…

not exactly the celebration we had planned for my dear Mutti’s 80th birthday this spring weekend…

my mom left this world last month on 8 February peacefully…in her sleep…

Mr Magpie and I wanted to get out and do something to celebrate her special day…so we headed to nearby Baltimore, Maryland…also known as Charm City

we visited a museum we have enjoyed on several visits in the past…

the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM)…

known for its outsider art collections…brilliant mosaics… sculptures and overall feeling of joy and celebration…

and there is my favorite tree

the breeze creates the most magical tinkling sounds with the glass…

the sunshine reflects and dances all around…

after seeing it…I always want to go home and glue beads and mirrors to something…

so much to enjoy each time we visit…

it just so happened that the featured exhibit is  What Makes Us Smile...

we did not check ahead of time thinking whatever they were exhibiting would be enjoyable…

turned out it was a perfect reminder to SMILE and lighten up

a bench lined with self inflated whoopee cushions made everyone giggle…did you know that the sale of whoopee cushions skyrocketed after the American Great Depression…

wish we’d had this printout before we went to the museum...lucky kids that get to go on school trips to AVAM…and you can just imagine what fun they have on the Razzberry Cushion bench above…

the No Photography inside the museum had me chomping at the bit because I did think of you all and how you would appreciate the humor and art and creativity…I could have shown you photos and not have written so much here…

you just have to see the mannequin of the life size man with huge fantastic mosaic mirrored wings hanging sideways/upside down…he lowers and rises again and again from the third story to the first floor…sparkling and dazzling…and WOW…

AVAM does have a nice website with photos to click…but truly it is just one of those places you have to see in real life to try to take it all in…

Patch Adams and his incredible Gesundheit Institute and aromatherapy work were featured…and so many great quotes…

“Humor is the shock absorber of life, it helps us take the blows” ~Peggy Noonan

one artist was inspired by Washoe, the first chimpanzee to learn American Sign Language...MORE TICKLE was one of her favored signed words…as in tickle me to make me laugh…animals laugh too…

“The only cure for vanity is laughter, and the only fault that is laughable is vanity.” ~Henri Bergson

there was an artist that spoke of his devotion to his parents … he created pieces with his fathers shirt and necktie fabrics…you can have a lookhere…very powerful in person…

“The burden of self is lightened when I laugh at myself.” ~Tagore Rabindranath

wish I had written down more artist’s names … then I may have been able to locate links to them…we were busy jotting down quotes…

“Can you tell a smile from a veil?” ~Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

Gloria Garrett…the mother of makeup art has a wonderful story that puts a smile on one’s face too…

they have a great gift shop with lots of wacky stuff for sale…catering to all sorts of humor…great books and cards and more…it is always a happy place to visit…

we were on a mission to gather items to include in a box packed with snacks for our son’s childhood friend Matt who is stationed in Afghanistan…a couple of years ago we loaded up on items to send him in Iraq…

as you enter the AVAM museum there is a huge Mae West quote on the wall that reads:

“Too much of a good thing is wonderful!”

good night supermoon…Happy Spring

30 responses to “what makes us smile…AVAM

  1. What a fun trip,a place I’d love to see!
    Thank you for sharing….Hugs, Amy


  2. Kathy Kristinnson

    Wow.. that looks like a great place to visit.. someday maybe.. love that tree.. too pretty.. lovely quotes too.. thanks for sharing this.. glad your celebration made you smile..
    have a loverly day..


  3. Going to such a great whimsical museum and exhibit is a lovely tribute to your dear mum.
    I’ve been to the exhibit and found the display on laughing gas interesting…always something new and interesting to learn from that place.


  4. Great trip – TFS! I am going to send your link to a friend here who’s daughter trained with Patch Adams.
    You saw a better moon than I did………


  5. Linda Newcomb

    What a great way to celebrate your “dear Mutti”. Very touching.


  6. thank YOU for the smiles, dear patty…i have this place on my list now!


  7. Happy Birthday to Mutti. I am glad you honored her this weekend, my friend! What wonderful quotes! You know how I love them.
    We are talking to John’s Hopkins tomorrow. There is a chance we will fly from Mesa to Baltimore for a one day consultation on our way home.
    Love you, sweetie!


  8. Yes….great way to celebrate your Mutti’s day! And what a wonderful place! And JJJ took an excellent moon shot!!!! He must have a long lens……..


  9. Love your visit to the museum and a lovely day to remember your mutti. Your photo of the super moon is great – not sure how mine turned out. Glad you are out and about, let’s hope spring get’s here soon, maybe after next week. Hugs and xoxox


  10. What an amazing place. It is now tops on my want to visit list. And you had a beautiful day to go too.


  11. What a lovely post Patty ~ you have me smiling with delight over here ~ Blessings sweet friend!


  12. Wow, that looks like a Fun place to visit, loving that tree.
    A great way to celebrate your dear Mutti’s birthday.
    Your post def reminded me to smile!!! Esp. the whoopie cushion bench! My boys would love that LOL.
    Jan x


  13. Wow what a fantastic place! Your goodie pack for the solider is too cute…love the items.


  14. that looks like a wonderful place! the best museum I’ve been too is called MIM (Mirador Interactive Museum in spanish) and it was awesomesauce. It’s a museum where kids get to learn about mostly everything in a fun way. I went when I was 17… and had a blast! (I went w/ my family and then in a class trip lol)

    (and I cannot belive it’s been SEVEN years since that, ohmygosh!)


  15. What a lovely place to spend some time 🙂 I love the sparkly tree, that would make me smile! Our Moon didn’t show through the clouds, so thank you for the beautiful photo 🙂


  16. What a terrific museum! Once I can walk (and not wobble around) I want to go up there! And wouldn’t that be an awesome tree to create! Glad you enjoyed your rather sad day as a tribute to your Mutti. Love to you!


  17. Thanks for sharing this – I am very excited to put it on my list of “must sees”!
    I have never heard of it and now cant wait to go!


  18. I’m pretty much thinking that I HAVE to go to this museum once in my lifetime. Next year I am hoping to go to Art and Soul in VA, so perhaps a side trip to Maryland would be in order.

    I’m smiling Patty. BIG-time! What a wonderful way to remember Mutti. You know she’d love the whoopie cushion bench, too!

    Did you glue mirrors and beads when you got home? THANK YOU for sharing this delight!

    Love you lots,


  19. What a great post, Patty. You can always tell that you’ve put a lot of effort {and thought!} into these types of posts. I so enjoy them! I’m so happy that you found a way to celebrate and honor your dear Mutti’s birthday.

    And none of us were the least bit surprised to read that you have a magnetic attraction to that shiny tree! I would be torn between it and the whoopee cushions! {my kids always put these under the sofa cushions when we were expecting company…and they never failed to deliver peels of laughter}

    Love your moon too! Xo, Sue


  20. I hope you sent Matt a whoopee cushion. If anyone needs a laugh, it’s those guys over there.

    Patty, I know that this had to be a tough day. I’m so very glad you chose to honor it with something beautiful and something fun. From all you’ve said about your Mutti, she would love and appreciate beauty and joy, and relish you and Mr. Magpie being together on such a day. It sounds like a wonderful spot and I must google on it or click on your links to find out more. Hugs across the miles to you, my friend. May beauty, laughter and love help you through challenging times.


  21. What a wonderful trip, Patty! That was very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
    Have a wonderful week my dear!


  22. i LOVE when you take us places!
    a beautiful way to remember your mom.
    take care!


  23. That just makes me so happy!

    If my dad had been there, he’d have had a seat on the bench 🙂


  24. Pingback: Charm City Tea … | Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

  25. The museum trip looks like great fun. Thanks for sharing the pic of the whoopee cushion bench – I love it. Oh and the moon was super big here in Singapore.


  26. oh i saw that moon. i’m not sure if it looked any bigger than usual. it’s funny how the eye plays tricks when the moon is near the horizon and looks larger than when it’s up high in the sky amongst the stars. but, it was most certainly brighter. and beautiful as always.

    the museum trip sounds like a really nice time. thanks for sharing, patty!


  27. We just adore Baltimore, and MD in general. Although we live in AZ, we hail from LI, NY and PA Every summer for the past 8 (soon to be 9) years, we spend 1-2 weeks in Ocean City, MD. It gives us that “shot” of sand, sea, sun, and dear friends that rejuvies us for the year. I feel even closer to you, Patty, knowing you’re an East Coast gal!! xoxo Karen


  28. such a lovely way to spend your muttis birthday….


  29. Pingback: tea and little things… | Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

  30. Pingback: STRETCH in 2013 … | Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here...it means a lot to me and I appreciate your visit very much oxo

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s