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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

THE DAILY POST WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: DREAMY

This week, we’d like to see an image that looks dreamy to you. A photo of a place you often visit in dreams. A snapshot of your dreamy boy- or girlfriend. A scene that looks a bit out-of-this world. Take us on a flight of fancy!  For more information, click here!

Dreamy to me is when I get home from an afternoon trip to the Art Museum, and all the photos I took seem to be looking back at me.DSC00615

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Share a photo of what “relic” means to you — it could be your still-running 1979 Honda Accord Hatchback, a historic building in your town, or an old, rusted farm implement poking up through the long grass in a field.

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Apotheosis of St. Louis

Most people think this statue that stands at the top of Art Hill in front of the Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art is the same statue  of Louis IX Saint and King of France that stood at the DeBaliviere entrance of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (aka. The Saint Louis World’s Fair). It isn’t, it’s a copy. The original statue created by sculptor Charles Henry Niehaus was made of plaster, horse hair and paint like most of the exhibition buildings that had been built for the Fair. Two years after the fair grounds had been demolished except for two structures, the  Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company decided to commemorate their very successful fair with a bronze replica of the statue. Niehaus supposedly wanted too much money to cast his work in bronze, so the LPEC awarded the project to W. R. Hodges, a local artist. Until the Gateway Arch was constructed, this statue was the most photographed site in the city. I still photograph it several times each year. The photo shown here is my latest and current favorite.

 

THE WEEKEND REPORT – THE LUSTY MONTH OF MAY

Well at least for now, May has actually been acting like spring! The sun has been shining brightly, the air has warmed up and the bright yellow dandelions are fast turning into fairy puffs. FairyPuffs

And here’s how I spent my weekend!

SATURDAY …

Well, I went to my last Met Opera Live in HD of the season. Actually, it wasn’t the last broadcast of the season. The last opera is being broadcast next week Saturday, but I just saw it a couple of years ago and I’m not ready for a repeat performance yet. Anyway, I convinced  Mlle. Renee to get out of bed early so I could get up and get going. I jumped on the Metro Bus and headed for the Art Museum in Forest Park. Unfortunately, when I got to the park I discovered that my local bus was being rerouted around the park. That’s what happens on May 1. Because of the congestion caused by people going into the park with cars on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the summer season the Metro System runs the Forest Park Trolley into the park that stops at all the tourist attractions people want to see. I didn’t want to wait for the next trolley so I walked into the park to the Art Museum. UpArtHill

This meant that I had to walk up ART HILL to get there. Trust me, it is actually easier to walk down ART Hill …DownArtHill

… than it is to walk up.  But, you do get a great photo opportunity  of the  STATUE OF SAINT LOUIS on the walk up.

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I know that while the name of the sculpture is The Apotheosis of Saint Louis, his horse remains an unknown, nameless beast of burden.

The name of the opera I was seeing  was COSI FAN TUTTE by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.Cosi_fan_tutte_-_first_performance

Actual the whole title is Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti, which translates Thus Do They All, or The School for Lovers. It was an opera buffa that was written in 1790 and it has some rather out-dated views on women being fickle when it comes to matters of love and relationships. I suppose this was the comedy rage back in 1790. It really doesn’t fly these days. So while the music was fantastic and the performances by the cast were some of the best this season, the storyline was a hard sell. It’s also one of Mozart’s lesser performed works.cosi_1209-s-jpg

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It was also four hours long, and the elderly gentleman in front of me was snoring rather loudly during the second act.

After the opera I walked through the galleries trying to find a new sculpture piece that recently went on display at the museum. It was a red clay stature of the Corn Maiden by the Mississippian Native Americans  that populated this area about one to two thousand years ago. I didn’t find it.

But I did find this Pre-Columbian Mexican work.PreColumbian

And this tiny four-inch tall work from a Mesopotamian tomb from 1000 to 2000 B.C.Mesopotamian Carving 2000-1000 BC

And then there was this TORSO OF AN ATHLETE …TorsoThe sculpture was nice, but I got a big kick out of reading the descriptive blurb posted next to it.

Roman, Imperial Period
TORSO OF AN ATHLETE, 1st-2nd Century marble

Museum Purchase 6, 1937

The physique of this torso is almost too good to be true, chiseled pectoral muscles, the faint impression of washboard abdominal muscles, and an exaggerated furrow between the hip and abdomen. We see the integration of realism and the ideal in the musculature, flesh, and bone structure. For example, the furrow along the hip and abdomen leading to the genitals is an artistic interpretation of the actual anatomical structure. For the Greeks, the nude male body was one of the highest forms of beauty. For a man to achieve such a physique, he had to participate in athletics at the gymnasium, where both athletic and important civic events were held. A sculpture such as this represents not only physical, athletic, and military excellence but also desirability and possibly immortality. 

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Some curator was really impressed with that torso!

And walking back down hill, I was able to see …Metal Tree

The Aluminum Tree -

Did you know that they rub bowling ball polish around the base of the tree to keep stray dogs from watering it?

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One Duck a Swimming

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THE PIED PIPER

Honoring the American Federation Of Musicians … really?

SUNDAY … I rested. Actually, I did try to pull some weeds out of the front beds,  but it didn’t agree with my spring allergies. So I spent the rest of the day inside.

 

THURSDAY … MY DAY AT THE MUSEUM

Today, I spent the day mowing the lawns for the first time this year. And it took me a half day to do it. Thankfully, I finished up and got all the equipment put away before the rain started. And by all the current weather predictions it will rain straight through until next Thursday.

“But wait a minute … what about your day at the museum that was in the headline???”

Oh, that was last Thursday! I was going to write about it over the weekend, but Easter commitments got in the way and I had to postpone it until today. Anyway, last Thursday I took my oldest friend Bill to the Panorama Restaurant in the museum to celebrate his birthday and view the featured exhibit. Actually, Bill really isn’t my oldest friend. I have a lot of friends who are much older, but Bill has been my best friend for longer than anyone else I know. For about 43 years. Actually, last Thursday really wasn’t his birthday either … his birthday really was on Thursday the week before. But real friends are always flexible with dates. Anyway we actually dressed up and went to lunch at the Panorama in the new addition to the Saint Louis Art Museum.DSC09701

If you look close, you can see us in the second window from the throwback 1904 lamp-post. The restaurant is called Panorama because this is the view of Art Hill you see when you’re seated at one of the window tables.

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In addition to having a very fine lunch, we also went to see a fantastic special exhibition … the first in the new exhibition galleries of the new building.France2

It was a very interesting show that combined the work of painters and photographers who came to fame during the IMPRESSIONIST PERIOD in France. And it featured the work of photographic pioneers like Gustave Le Gray and Charles Marville, Barbizon School painters including Camille Corot and Théodore Rousseau, and Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Édouard Manet and Berthe Morisot. Being a special exhibit, cameras were not allowed. But, here’s an example.

aboutRightSideOr better yet here’s the museum’s video of the show.

It was interesting to see and compare the artists’ visions and the photographers’ captures of the same scenes.

After the we finished we wandered through the other galleries.

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I’m quite sure that was one of my early childhood paintings.DSC09680

And here’s France as seen by some German painter.

And remember when I promised to take a top view photo of  Andy Goldsworthy’s Stone Sea a few months ago?SLAM

Well, here it is …DSC09682

While I was on the backside of the museum building, I checked out how the new sculpture garden was coming.DSC09683

It’s a work in progress, but two Henry Moore sculpture’s are already in place.DSC09685

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And in case you’ve ever wondered what is behind the Saint Louis Art Museum …DSC09688

It’s the John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest … and it does have walking paths and rustic benches if you just want to contemplate nature in the wild.

And that was my visit to SLAM  last Thursday!

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Well, not quite. I did have to snap a couple of shots of the men’s room in the new addition.

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It’s so classy, I’d be afraid to use it.

 

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: ON TOP

In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that means On Top!

Yesterday, I made one of my regular visits to the Saint Louis Museum. It is a classic building designed by Cass Gilbert as the PALACE OF FINE ARTS for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 or as it is known around here THE SAINT LOUIS WORLD’S FAIR or The Fair Judy Garland Rode The Trolley To in Meet Me In Saint Louis.

It’s a beautiful old building supposedly inspired by the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. But I am always attracted to the six sculptures that stand ON TOP of the building. I suppose they represent the FINE ARTS, but it sure is hard to tell. They’re covered by a century worth of Saint Louis grime, soot and bird droppings. What do they really look like? But, they  still stand on top of the building that stands on top of Art Hill waiting for people to drop by and visit. If can’t visit, click on the photo for a closer view.

 

ON TOP

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