Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hearst Castle Visit

We learned a little about William Randolph Hearst on this tour, less about his architect Julia Morgan, which was unfortunate.  The tour itself was actually disappointing, a tribute to excess.  I expect that it would have disappointed Hearst and Morgan, too, for we did learn that they saw their creation as a fabulous backdrop for an art collection that they wanted to share with the public; hence the donation of the entire property to the State of California.  But in each room that we saw, we learned no history of the art, merely its age, repeated in such general terms that I began to question the accuracy of the guide.  "This is 800 years old" sounds impressive the first time, but after that's virtually the only history you get from item after item, it starts to sound too much like bragging about the quantity of "old stuff in big rooms" and less about the individual artists, their history and their contributions.

Glad that we went (I'd been twice before, both times long ago), but unless the tour improves, I'd be reluctant to go again any time soon.

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