Let’s Talk Bourbon and Tulips…

Let’s Talk Bourbon and Tulips…

Let’s talk bourbon and tulips. I popped into the Philadelphia Art Museum recently to browse an exhibition and found myself wandering the European Art wing.  One of the historically reconstructed rooms is originally from the Netherlands (built in the early 17th century), a part of a brewery compound on the River Spaarne in Haarlem. On the antique table in the middle of the room was a strange looking white, porcelain vase with blue, painted decorations.  At the bottom of the vase, in script, it says “Irrational Exuberance.” It took me a minute to realize that this was a tulip vase and the reference was to the Netherlands’ tulip mania in the 1630s. This vase is a perfect addition to this reconstructed room because Haarlem (the town where this room is from) was the...