From the Wall

Lots of sticky notes on the wall of late. Let us begin with the comments ….

-Ashlyn was here.

-House is really cool! Id live in it.

-Madeline was here.

-The Lights are beautiful.

-I loved the intricate and highly detailed art and features throughout the house. Kaylee A (me too)

-Eleanor was here.

-Awesome. Isabella O.

-That is awesome and cool. Madison

-Awesome! Alex

-Katie is the Best. (ehhhh…not so sure about that)

-This is much cooler than I thought it would be. (glad you dig it)

-Doesnt seem like every room has an info plaque – could use them. (in time….in time)

-Thank you Callie, GOOD NIGHT!

-The lights are cool. T&K

-I cant even…these lights are amazing!

-Hope was here.

Question time!

Q: Where do you get the pieces?

A: I am assuming you mean the artwork inside the museum, which was purchased by the Sloane family between 1901 and 1953. Florence had good relationships with art dealers and artists during her lifetime and they helped educate her as to what she should be collecting.

Q: Do you ever sense ghosts in the house?

A: Been here 4 years, moved the Sloane’s stuff alllll over the place. Bought objects, sold objects, wrote a book about them and none of it has made them mad enough to make an appearance.

Q: Why is there so many religious icons around the house?

A: Florence loved Jesus!….and Buddha, Krishna, Allah, Yahweh, Kannon, Quetzalcoatl and the list goes on.

Q: How dark was the house 20 years ago?

A: A little bit darker if we are talking about the light. If this is a spiritual question then the answer is much darker…we are a much cooler bunch these days.

Q: How did you do it?

A: Jack Daniels, seared tuna and a check.

Q:How are all these lights made? This is cool.

A: Bruce has an elf workshop in England where they work around the clock making lights for exhibitions all over the world. Depending on how good you are, you may get extra lights!

Q: How did the Sloane family get their money?

A: Textiles, then shipping, then banking.

Q: Why are the male brass nudes covered up?

A: 100 years ago some people struggled with seeing penises in art. Come to think of it, lots of people still have that same problem today. #itsjustawiener

Q: How old is the Buddha statue downstairs next to the dog painting?

A: I like how its not the “painting of Mrs. Sloane” but instead it is the “dog painting.” Good Stuff. That Buddha is around 1500 years old.

Q: Awesome! How do you do it?

A: team spirit?

Q: Since I am not allowed to touch, what is this made of? Where the bath room?

A: Thanks for not touching, but I am not sure what you are referring to. Also, there are lots of bathrooms here, but we dont let you use them because the plumbing would struggle with 500 flushes a night.

Q: Why is this place better then the Smithsonian and closer?

A: **ahhheemmm (clears throat, sits up straight and tightens tie)*** Well me lady, thank you for said kind words. I am glad you feel this way about us. Funny enough, we are an affiliate of the Smithsonian so I will let them know you want to start a relationship with us instead of them.

Q: When will there be an organ demonstration?

A: December, this year.

Q: How did this get made?

A: Long hours and lots of great volunteers with nimble hands.

Q: How do you do it?

A: Blair Athol, 12 year, neat.

Q: Why do we have to wait so long until the lights come on?

A: They are actually on when you arrive. The problem is there is a giant ball of plasma that puts out just a little bit more light than Bruce’s work, so it makes it hard to see when it is in the sky.

Q: Why was Jane Shore shamed?

A: She was making sweet love to Edward IV. When Eddy died Richard III wasn’t all that pumped that Jane was getting so much attention…so he called her out and paraded her around the streets in the nude.

Q: Do you know the muffin man?

A: I dont eat muffins, bro. So no.

Q: Que hora es?

A: tiempo para que usted consiga un reloj

Post Auction Depression

Pepe le Pew 2

We just got skunked, and I mean pepe le pewed, at the auction house this past weekend. I had this feeling things weren’t going to go well, but this was a swift punch to the gut. I shan’t be divulging specific numbers here, however, I can tell you that we placed a good bet only to be royally flushed by the opposition. They actually had enough ones in their bid to create a continental army.

All is fair in the art auction world. I am not devastated to the point of being truly depressed (so don’t worry my three loyal readers). I think shocked is the correct term for this situation. This wasn’t my first rodeo so I have seen some success and some failure when placing bids. This time just proved that the recession is over and all of the lame ducks complaining about money need only look at the auction houses to see how the economy is doing.

Now the person/persons who won may be lovers of this period, genre, etc. and to that I would say, ‘touche.’ With that said I am still under the greater impression that people continue to see art as currency (nothing new, I know) and this is not the way to go about things.

So long as there is money and someone in power art will continue to pass through new hands.


The Waters Edge

You know how you all looooovee to get really close to the edge of the property? Or how you enjoy watching your young child frolic on the bricks overlooking the river?

Then you get mad at me when I tell you please don’t get too close…its dangerous. Well folks, this is what awaits you should you fall over.


No diving, bro.

Questions From the Wall

For the most part you all seem to be enjoying the light show. There are a few of you who have those Grinch sized hearts that are in need of some Christmas cheer. If these inviting, fun lights cant defrost that cold heart of yours then I don’t know what to tell you…bummer, I guess.

Good news is that you all are writing on my wall. Here are some statements and questions.

-For the love (in the shape of a heart) of ART. Thank U!   (you are welcome)

-Love it. (Great)

-Awesome! Job! (I know)

-It smells nice in here Woodsy. mmmm. (that’s the smell of half a forest cut between 1907-1937, sorry earth)

-When we had questions the docents were quick to give us explanations (Happy to hear this. We have some amazing volunteers)

-Colin is great! (I was the first to write on the wall last week. I feel no shame.)


-Fun and Learning! Thank You (you are also welcome)

-The light should directly spotlight the art – especially in stairwell – hard to see dark paintings. (Ohhhh….i’ve had it backwards all this time…my bad.)

-Need more lights inside at night to read info on 1st floor (what is it with you people and needing to see things??? I do have more LED bars coming)

-This so cool. love, lauren. (love you too, girl)

-Aiden loves is (I is love too)

-Love it!

-Love the origami! Wonderful Creation (this is referring to the model of the museum made of paper. it is neat)


Q: Why do I have the only question?

A: Because some people like to leave me positive comments so I don’t hate myself when I go to sleep.

Q: How did Mrs. Sloane come to be interested in international art?

A: Nice question. She began the collection in 1901, but most of her early purchases were centered around home goods. In the 20s and 30s she realized there was very little art in Norfolk from regions like Asia and the Middle East. She got to know several prominent foreign dealers and they helped guide her into the purchases that define our collection. You could even say that as a child in NYC her time spent at the Met inspired her to collect non-American art.

Q: How did you do this?

A: Well, when a man loves a woman very much he asks her to…..ohhhhhh…..the show, right. I gave up my first born child to Bruce’s studio in return for a field of lights.

Q: Do you even lift?

A: Yes, bro…yes.

Q: Are they made out of paper (with adorable flower designs)? Allie Palmer

A: Yes my dear, the little house is made of paper. Thank you for drawing me the flowers, they are very pretty

Q: Are the houses origami? Stevie Palmer

A: Stevie, it is not reallly origami, but it kind of looks like it should be. Instead a talented artist has made some nice folds and cuts to get the shape you see.

Q: When was this?

A: I don’t know.

Shout out to The Groove Record Shop. 401 Granby Street, Suite A. Norfolk, VA 23510. Go see them, they will hook you up with fresh beats.

Keep posting things and I will continue to let you all down!

Field of Dreams (well light, really)

I have had about 45 minutes to reflect on the last month, which included the installation of Bruce Munro’s Light, so it seems only appropriate that I share my feelings, thoughts and hopes for this show while I am still numb.

“It is almost over, Colin.” This quote is in reference to nearly 50 different people (parents included) who were quick to ensure me that by finishing the install we were almost done. Brrrrrr!!! (buzzer sound?) Try 1/4 of the way through…with a staff the size of a Soho boutique we have a lot of ground to cover through January. Now, this is not to say we are dreading any of this, quite the contrary. Each member of staff (Lil, Melissa, Alanna, Yolima, Tom, Pat, Jennifer and Carrie) are so on top of their game that it is frightening. You could not ask for a more dedicated group of people to work with. They have abandoned their lives for four months to make sure there are Lights for all of Virginia to see. So the next time you talk to them, enjoy the show, the grounds, whatever, make sure you thank them for their hard work.

So what happened during install?

Short answer: beers

Long answer: Something between spontaneity, simplicity, abandonment, detachment and enlightenment.

It was one of the most amazing car accidents of friendship and self-loathing worth rubber necking to witness. Truly a brilliant thing to behold. Bruce’s install team (Mike, Maurice, Lauren, Duncan and Ben) are without question bros now. We broed down so hard that I am having bro withdraw as I type this. Professionals down to the last drop of Tecate. Should you ever have the good fortune of having Bruce’s works at your museum or home (custom orders are available) make sure you request these dudes and dudette.

We built, stemmed, lifted, balled, threaded and drilled our way to a magnificent exhibit that the city of Norfolk should be salivating over that they didn’t have to spend a dime to get here. (Drops the mic and walks away)….

(returns for mic realizing he must rap more)….It appears as though Norfolk is entering an age of enlightenment. Richmond may want to go ahead and start burning itself down again (1865 must have been fun) to make way for the port city that could. But seriously, what a refreshing emergence of culture in the state, Tidewater and Norfolk.

The entire process was like a moderately attractive caterpillar (maybe poisonous) going in its cocoon and then coming out a dragon. It is amazing to see the Hermitage transform from a place where people let their dogs poop wherever, to a garden with gorgeous art blocking those same areas where dogs relieve themselves. Metamorphosis…stunning.

My hope is that this, along with all of the other good we are doing, will help to elevate the position of the Hermitage as a serious cultural institution. Junk blogs like my own won’t change this, but hopefully curators to come will have more to work with because of the changes we are making now.

If this works I will take some credit. If it doesn’t, well….it’s Obama’s fault.

It won’t fail, we won’t fail, the Hermitage has finally opened.


Mike at the beach.


Craftsmanship, bro


Field of Lights. Courtesy of Colin Brady Photography, LLC, trademarked 2014, University College University Polytech Press (Accredited). 2014. Shot with a Samsung 3 Ver4GLTE and a beer in my hand.

Buy your tickets for Bruce Munro online now!

The title isn’t asking you. It is telling you.


In case you have yet to be informed the Hermitage will be hosting  Bruce Munro’s LIGHT this Fall. It will run from October 12th to January 10th. There are dates, times and stuff that are all important, but this isn’t the place for that, this is :


So what does this exhibition look like…glad you asked.


I added a pinkish sky to make it look like twilight. I really think it brings out the autumn colors in the trees, no? The brown line represents the horizon as it fades into a mud flat. genius.

Their PR team might actually read this so, as a precaution, I have included 100% sanctioned images of the exhibit below.


Field of Light 2


Water Towers 2


This kind of awesomeness will be all over the property! Perfect for all ages and more entertaining than anything else in Norfolk from October to January (yeah, I said it).


Questions from the Wall

Two posts in one day is hardcore for me. 

There is a nice pile of comments and questions on our wall, which means it is time to answer them with some sarcasm. Per usual we will start with the comments first.

-Organ inners are “way cool” – J. Koury

-Wonderful and beautiful collection! This place is a hidden gem :)

-I like all the flowers and benches 

-Have more hentages! (I don’t know what this means, is it bad?)

-I am getting married here today :) Danny (May 24) – Congrats! I hope you didn’t touch any of the art…cause I will find you if you did.


Q: Why does Abe (Lincoln) look SO OLD?

A: Because he is super dead. 

Q: Do you wanna build a snowman?

A: No, not at all… this last winter was enough cold for a decade.

Q: Why is the house shaped so exotically?

A: The house went under a series of transformations over the course of 30 years. Each of these modifications brought new shapes to the home’s overall design. It becomes exotic because of these changes, as well as the incorporation of various artistic styles. Mrs. Sloane liked to mix things up.

Q: Identify the trees.

A: No

Q: Why is there so many doors?

A: The Sloanes liked opening things.

Q: What are you?

A: I am a male. 

Q: Was the vault part of the original house?

A: Yes. The family did have a vault to stash all of their silver and gold objects should a situation arise.

Q: Offer a hidden doors of the Hermitage tour and show the closets, back stairs, etc.

A: The hidden doors tour would last all of ten minutes. The things that you can’t see/get in are left shut for a good reason. We use many of these locked spaces for storage and places for HVAC units…no touchy for you.