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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
And here’s how I spent my weekend!
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.
… than it is to walk up. But, you do get a great photo opportunity of the STATUE OF SAINT LOUIS on the walk up.
I know that while the name of the sculpture is The Apotheosis of Saint Louis, his horse remains an unknown, nameless beast of burden.
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.
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.
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.
PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH
Some curator was really impressed with that torso!
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?
One Duck a Swimming
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And here’s France as seen by some German painter.
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!
Well, not quite. I did have to snap a couple of shots of the men’s room in the new addition.
It’s so classy, I’d be afraid to use it.
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.
They’re not really flying! Dragonflies won’t show up until the sizzling days of summer which probably won’t show up until next October. We’re still in the middle of that cool down. But my Origami Summer Insect Program said today was the day to fold a paper dragonfly.
I thought he’d like to take a spin over the paper waterfall. I’m surprised it actually turned out looking like a dragonfly.
I also went to the Art Museum this afternoon to view the special IMPRESIONISTS FRENCH exhibit. But that will have to wait until tomorrow. Mlle. Renee is telling me it is time to go the bed. So look for it tomorrow.
How I survived leaping forward an hour, a four long Russian opera, a temp drop from 85°F to 31°F in 12 hours, and more SNOW‽
When you live in the Wicket City, you’ve always got something or other to bitch about. So, I been a bit lax in the last day or four about updating my daily status. My obvious excuse would be that nothing was happening. But, I’d have to clarify that comment to admit, that I really didn’t feel like making anything happen! OK, I was in a winter’s end slump, I can’t adapt to DST time changes anymore, and I think I’m getting older and crankier. Or maybe I was bitten by the ennui bug. I’m sure Oscar Hammerstein would have been able to knock out a ton of memorable lyrics to describe or explain my mood or condition. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m as restless as a willow in a windstorm really describes my condition or state of mind.
I did risk the possibility of winter rain storm last Saturday by heading over to the Art Museum’s Auditorium to attend a delayed showing of the MET Live in HD broadcast of Borodin’s rarely performed opera, PRINCE IGOR.
Now, Prince Igor, is an opera that almost everyone reading this post would recognize. Unfortunately, they would recognize it as KISMET, because Borodin was a real whiz at writing a catchy tune and couple of guys named Forrest and Wright “borrowed” his Russian music for some Arabian Nights lyrics they had written for a Broadway Musical. Actually, while Borodin spent over 18-years writing his opera, (He had a dual career as a chemist first and then a musical composer second or third.) and he died before it ever was performed. His friends Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov gathered all the bits and pieces and patched it together as a finished performable opera. And for the past 100 years it reappeared in a variety of versions. Saturday’s four and a half hour version was the latest. While I had quibbles with some of the director/adaptor’s choices with this production, I had none with Borodin’s original musical and storytelling creativity.
I don’t think it was goat’s milk.
followed by a Monday and Tuesday full of sun and temps in the upper 80s! Then yesterday afternoon the temp started dropping … dropping some 54 degrees! Thankfully, I survived that, too. And the overnight snow the weather wizards had been threatening us with yesterday turned out to be a lot of rain. Oh, well, that’s life in the Wicket City.