Monday, December 31, 2018

More Art

Here is a painting Patty got me for Christmas.

It is a Pinelands scene, painted by our friend Terry and proudly hanging in our living room.

No need to go to Philly to enjoy good art.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Now, before you come to the conclusion that I'm a philistine when it comes to art, know that I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Museum and encourage you to visit should you find yourself in the area. I even enjoyed some of the works I made light of in the previous three posts.

The building itself is quite impressive.

Starting with the entrance hall.

The scale is massive. And as we wandered the galleries it seemed there was always another hall or room. Almost TARDIS like.

The size allowed for installations of actual sections of buildings (and even entire buildings in some areas), enhancing the feel of the collections. It may not be obvious, but through the center opening in the image below is a temple, showing the carved stone as it would have been, allowing one to walk through and around the artwork.

I almost want to go back just to photograph the structure.

πŸ—Ώ  πŸŽŽ  πŸ—Ώ  πŸŽŽ  πŸ—Ώ

One current exhibit, that I enjoyed much more than I had expected, was that on Victorian Dress and Dolls.

The exhibit was very well done presenting not only the fashions and toys but also the context, captured well by this quote (one of many such throughout).

A different time. Although perhaps one we aren't completely removed from.

The dolls and their accessories such as this curious fly pin* were both for play, and to teach young girls the proper ways of fashionable society.

As with Lady's dress, the dolls had items for every social occasion.

While these social norms were developed in England, they traveled across the pond to the United States. But as the US was expanding, the expectations were a bit different, as seen by this quote from a rather curiously named source.

I can certainly agree with such sentiments.

πŸ‘—  πŸ‘—  πŸ‘—

One exhibit that did not resonate with me was the Fabulous Fashion display. But I did see this item for sale in the gift shop.

Perfect for next years Winter Solstice gathering.

But don't get to close to the fire!

πŸ–Ό  πŸ–Ό  πŸ–Ό  πŸ–Ό  πŸ–Ό

A few other items that caught my eye.

My plant geek friends will appreciate these two.

Amelia Bergner, Five Botanical Specimens

Philip Taaffe, Nephrodium dicompositum

Look closely and you'll see Patty's reflection in the ferns.

And you'd expect me to like this one, no?

Crimson-Horned Pheasant, unknown Indian artist

The statue below and the pheasant above are both in the extensive Oriental art collection.

Jina Seated in Meditation, unknown Indian artist

The statue is approximately one thousand years old.

Also in this collection were several Japanese scrolls, including this one.

Nishimura Shige, Fireflies over a Stream

Behind plexiglass shields they were difficult to photograph; you can see my reflection in the image. I quite enjoy this style of work.

Noguchi Shohin, Mountains in Autumn

Here's another, showing the plexiglass shield.

I'll end with this one:

Pieter van der Heyden, The Stone Operation, or the Witch of Malleghem

Which dates from 1559. What was Mr. van der Heyden smoking?

πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅  πŸ‡«πŸ‡·  πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§  πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

While I've been to other museums in far away lands, this was my first visit to my 'local' museum. And I liked it so much it won't be my last.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

* We were joined in our outing by our friend Jenn, and and when I noted I might blog about our museum visit, she questioned how this would fit in to my "nature blog". This fly is for you Jenn! And really, a fly pin? Not the first insect that springs to mind when thinking fashionable elegance.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Now You're Just F*cking With Me


Unfortunately I did not record the name of the 'artist' for this piece.

I'm in the wrong line of work.

So are you.

πŸ–Ό  πŸŽ¨  πŸ–Ό  πŸŽ¨  πŸ–Ό  πŸŽ¨  πŸ–Ό

Patty and I had a discussion on the way home from the Museum about art. We both like works by the artist Piet Mondrian, and have one of his prints hanging in our home today. But we disagree on his "genius" as an artist. While I like his works, it is obvious that I could easily recreate them. Whereas I could not do so for Monet or Picasso. Thus those two to me are somehow 'better' artists than Mondrian. Patty disagrees and argues that Mondrian was the first to do it and thus deserves the credit. And while I get that, it seems to me that Monet and Picasso will still be looked upon as great artists centuries from now while Mondrian will be forgotten, his art too much a product of his time.

As an extreme example of this, John Cage's 'musical' composition, 4'33", will be long forgotten while Bach's Musical Offering will still be enjoyed years from now. Cage's work was too much a period piece, it's meaning depending very much on the cultural context of the times.

Or consider the subject of the prior post. Will it still be considered art worthy of one's attention a century from now?

As to the unknown artist who's work is shown above, there is a cliche about fools and money that may apply. Just sayin'.

In the Eye of the Beholder

Now that's art!

Jasper Johns, Ballentine Ale Cans. Note the old timey holes.

Yes, this is actually in a museum (more than one even!).

(If you like this, you should see my recycle bin!)

Friday, December 28, 2018

You Don't Need a Camera ...

 ... to make blurry pictures.

And I've proof.

I give you Edwin Dickinson, an American artist who lived from 1891-1978 and who currently is featured in an exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Apple Tree with Mistletoe
I'll give you a tree.

East Room
A very small room.

Cottage Porch in Reflection
Like when you don't hold the camera straight.

Sheldrake Point
Not very pointy. Nor sharp.

But it's Art!

(Maybe he just needed glasses.)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Winter Solstice Full Moon

Further enhancing the Winter Solstice Yule Log Bonfire was the full Moon, which in turn was enhanced by the passing clouds.

Alas, my tripod was inside and I had to shoot hand held.

A few good shots.

Then the clouds thickened and the Moon was seen no more.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Second Annual Winter Solstice Yule Log Bonfire Music Jam, with Shinrin-Yoku

We had our second annual Winter Solstice Yule Log Bonfire and Music Jam this past Saturday, the day after the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere. This year it was even bigger and better, not the least because of the addition of a Shinrin-Yoku, (aka "Forest Bathing"), walk to the festivities.

Some images of the evening.

The obligatory fire.

Music makers.

Perhaps raccoon hats help to become one with nature.

More fire.

And fun! Lots of fun!

Still burning.

That raccoon hat gets around.

Basking in the glow.


Raccoon hat switched again.

A bit of magic Christmas color ...

... courtesy of Becky (who curiously was drinking from a fish all night; another way to become one with nature?).

Hey, don't you have a Full Moon Night Hike to lead?

The Yule Log is in there somewhere.

There were gifts, such as Bernie's new beard.

I'm not sure what that weird glowing thing over Tom's head was. Spooky.

Eventually the fire burned down to a nice warm bed of coals.

πŸ”₯  πŸŽΈ  πŸŽ„  πŸ₯‚  πŸΊ

It takes a lot of people to throw a good Winter Solstice Yule Log Bonfire Music Jam with Shinrin-Yoku.

So many thanks to:

Russell ...

... and Tom for the music.

Roni and Paul for the Shinrin-Yoku walk.

Bernie ...

... and Mark for fire tending.

Adam, for prompting me to get out my camera (I didn't get it until well after the festivities had commenced).

You can see Adam's excellent images at his gallery: click here.

The Goddess for starting this whole Yule Log Solstice Bonfire thing (really, it was her idea). Thanks Lisa!

Image stolen from her facebook gallery and used without permission.
And all our other friends who came, brought food and drink, and made the evening a good time for all.

Of course, one of the best parts of hosting is you get to keep the leftovers!

Until next year ...