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DAILY POST WORDPRESS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – SYMMETRY

For this challenge, share an image of symmetry. Don’t limit yourself to architecture — you can bend this theme in any way you’d like. (For more information, go here!)

Vase or urn, it is still quite symmetrical!

It stands in the window of the Saint Louis Art Museum in a room that was once the Museum’s Library.

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By the way, the room that was once the library is quite symmetrical, too.SLAMArtHill

And the windows and all of the reflections are, too!

By the way, that vase and window or one of my favorite stops whenever I visit the museum.

Symmetry (noun): the quality of something that has two sides or halves that are the same or very close in size, shape, and position; the quality of having symmetrical parts.

WHAT’S NEW AT SLAM

Plug Like Claes Oldenburg’s Three-way plug currently on display in front of the Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art, this is a plug  for the museum and its fine collection of fine art.

In particular, I would like to tell you about a painting that was recently bequeathed to the museum.THANKSGIVING - Norman Rockwell

“Thanksgiving”  by Norman Rockwell

I don’t know what it is about this painting, but I’ve been back to visit this work three times since it went on display in the American Art Galleries early this year.  It is a very special work, and I encourage you to visit it. And admission to the Museum is FREE TO ALL every day.

MY SATURDAY AFTERNOON OF CULTURE

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Last Saturday, I went to the Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art for yet another visit to the Metropolitan Opera Live In HD. First I must confess that one of my musical passions is the wonderful operettas of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You don’t hear them much these days, but when I was a kid they were still quite popular. Also, my grandfather had a player piano with a lot of the music on paper rolls that I would play … as long as my legs held up. Operettas on a piano roll was some of the most beautiful music ever written. And it is even better when someone with a beautiful voice is available to sing it. And that’s what happened on Saturday. The Met created a new production of Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow starring Renee Fleming and broadcast it live to theaters around the world as part of their Live From New York season. (And yes, in case you’re wondering, that’s how my dog, Mlle. Renee, got her name.)

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The Merry Widow supplied everything needed for a fantastic and entertaining afternoon … fabulous sets, lavish costumes, low comedy, whirling waltzes, Hungarian dances, can-can dancers, marvelous singing and one of the world’s greatest orchestras in high-definition stero-surround sound.JPMERRYWIDOW1-articleLarge

If you haven’t been to one of the Met’s broadcasts, you should consider going. They’re shown LIVE on Saturday afternoons and repeated on Wednesday evenings in local theaters around the US … and also in almost all the countries around the world. And it’s almost as good as being in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. (Ok, I’ve only been there once and it was unforgettable!) For more information, go here

Here’s a sneak video clip …\

By the way, Saturday wasn’t really that cold … even though the Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill was frozen over.GrandBasinFrozenOver

And in the first photo at the top of this post did you catch the Leaping Leaper I didn’t know I had caught.JeeperCreapersLeapingLeapers

 

The French Heritage Of Saint Louis Was Showing Saturday Afternoon

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There are some times that Saint Louis looks just like a scene in a French park … or romance novel.

THE WORD PRESS DAILY POST WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: NEW

Possibility. Opportunity. Potential. As another year gets underway, let’s celebrate the new. (For more information, go here!)

My NEW photograph is one I took a week or so ago as 2014 began to dwindle away into another winter day. It was a photograph of Roxy Paine’s 56 foot tall stainless steel sculpture of a barren tree (Placebo) standing on a hillside next to the Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art. I’ve seen the work every time I’ve visited the museum and photographed it uncounted times more. But this winter afternoon as the sun was beginning to set I saw the work in a new way.New

Except for the evergreen trees that stood to either side, it was as barren as the other trees in the surrounding forest. But it stood there gleaming in the fading winter sun offering hope of warmer times to come. Like I said, I had photographed it many times before. But every time before it had always been from a different point of view that showed the work standing alone. This was the first time I had photographed it as part of the forest that shared its hillside.  It made a big difference.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT SLAM – PART 2

So, how could I start my Saturday trip back to the Art Museum without noting the special date on the front of the MetroBus.DSC00888

 

This is a date sequence that will not happen again until January 2, 2103 — 01/02/03 … a day I think I’m going to miss.

DSC00889 Anyway,  I arrived at the holiday decorated building shortly after it opened on Saturday morning because I was going to see the six-hour Live In HD broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s classic production of Wagner’s Meistersinger von Nüremberg in three acts with two 45-minute intermissions.

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As you can see from the photo is was a classic full-scale production that totally filled the Met’s stage. And it was glorious! It’s easy to watch a six-hour production when you’re sitting in the comfortable seats of the Art Museum’s Farrell Auditorium with stereo surround sound and high-definition video projection. And there’s lots of leg room between the rows of seats!DSC00902

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And I got through all three acts without dozing off!  It was a total experience of a lifetime! And as I walked out of the museum (at five o’clock) I was even able to get a photo of the Museum in its after dark illumination.

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It really is a beautiful classic building.  And so is the statue of Saint Louis himself.DSC00906

Despite what you might have heard on the national news recently, Saint Louis is a beautiful and friendly place to not only live, but also to visit.

And everyone is welcome here!

 

 

 

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT SLAM — PART ONE

Yes, I spent two … count them TWO … days at the Saint Louis Art Museum this week. On Friday, I went to look at the art. Specifically, a new exhibit of the work of Missouri artist and sculptor Nick Cave.  He is the sculptor of a series of whimsical wearable sculptures called soundsuits.  And you really have to see them.  They’re unique.DSC00863

Speak Louder

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In addition two eight-foot round works are also in the exhibit that I found totally mesmerizing.DSC00862

There is also a video of a performance featuring the soundsuits that you can watch. If you’re visiting the city between now and March 8 you MUST see this in person.

While I was in the contemporary galleries, I also checked out a few other works.DSC00859

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And this one I really didn’t understand.

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Then I had to jump back to 2500 B.C.  for this tiny figure found in Mesopotamia.DSC00867

Where else can you travel through the art work of almost 5,000 years in a single afternoon? And on a Friday afternoon, you can see everything including special exhibitions for free.

And you’ll also find a giant electrical plug on the front lawn in front of the museum.DSC00857

WORD PRESS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: CONVERGE

This week, explore the ways lines and shapes can converge in interesting ways through photography. You can take the theme in a literal or an abstract direction, as you see fit — from a photo of a byroad merging into a busy highway to an image of an airport terminal where people from all over the world form hectic, ephemeral communities. {For more information, click HERE!}SLAM

My subject for today’s photo is one of Saint Louis’ classic buildings the Saint Louis Art Museum. It was designed as the PALACE OF FINE ARTS for the 1904 World’s Fair by Architect Cass Gilbert who used the Baths of Caracalla in Rome, Italy as his inspiration. The photo shows the Grand Hall as seen from the identical center bay on the other side of the hall.  I don’t know about convergence, but there is a lot of play with the reflections in the marble floor. Feel free to click on the photo to see a more detailed view of the photo.

MONDAY … With A Few Of My Favorite Things!

I decided to start the week off with something a little different. I’m sharing photos of five of my favorite things, and I hope you enjoy them too! BlackKnight

STRIDING MAN – Rudolf Belling

A dark figure about a foot tall that I always pass in the narrow corridor when I move from the new addition of the art museum into the original museum building. I think of him as my dark knight.

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ROMAN BOY – MOSAIC FRAGMENT

I’m amazed with the eyes of the boy in this mosaic fragment. It was found in a 2300 year old Roman city between Turkey and Persia.

ManholeCoverA CEMENT MANHOLE COVER WITH A FISH

This is on a sidewalk in West Walnut Manor. When I was a kid all manhole covers were made of  heavy steel. Unfortunately people began stealing them to sell for scrap metal leaving an open hole people could fall into. Cement is cheap, and the fish is to remind people the sewer is for runoff water and not garbage.WarthogParade

THE PARADE OF THE WARTHOGS

This is one of the many animal sculptures in the parking lot of the Saint Louis Zoo. The biggest one is of an actual sized elephant seen below.

ZoofariThat’s my best friend Mr. Bill standing in front of it. Bill is also my oldest friend. He has been for over fifty years.SLAM GrandHall

THE SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM GRAND HALL

It was originally known as the Sculpture Hall and it is in one of the most historic buildings in the city. And it has been standing at the top of Art Hill for 110 years. I love to wonder through this building. It’s one of my favorite things, too.

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE

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OPTICAL DELUSIONS

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