Blog Archives

HOW MUCH ARE THOSE DOGGIES IN THE DISPLAY CASE?

Probably more than I could afford in three lifetimes.Chinese Puppies

They were in a shatter-proof case in the Oriental Galleries of the Saint Louis Art Museum, and they were so cute I just had to take their pictures.  Officially they’re known as Edo period Censer in the Form of Two Puppies, which we would probable call a Wizard Air Freshener if it was in our houses. But they were still very cute puppies.

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.

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

MY WEEKEND CALENDAR – DAYS 334/335 – NOVEMBER 30/DECEMBER 1, 2013

MY WEEKEND CALENDAR FOR SATURDAY/SUNDAY, DAYS 334 AND 335 OF 2013: And when I logged on to WORLD PRESS today, I discovered I’m celebrating my third anniversary writing about my rather uneventful life here in the Wicket City. I failed to write an entry here yesterday, and I spent the day loafing around the house with Mlle. Renee in my pajamas. Mlle. Renee wasn’t wearing my PJs, I was.

Today the temps got up into the 60s and I decided that the day called for a walk in Forest Park. I planned on walking through the Kennedy Forest, but I went to the Art Museum instead. I took photos of the three bas-relief panels over the front entrance of the museum, but only the third one was fit for displaying. DSC08438

I’ll reshoot the other two another time. Still haven’t discovered when or why the panels were cut in half. Inside the museum I climbed up to the front balcony to shoot the Grand Sculpture Hall from the same position as the original 1904 photograph.

1904 - Louisiana Purchase Exposition

1904 – Louisiana Purchase Exposition – Grand Sculpture Hall

2013 - The Grand Hall - Saint Louis Museum Of Art

2013 – The Grand Hall – Saint Louis Museum Of Art

And if you’ve got a real keen eye, you should be able to see this piece of sculpture hidden in the photo from 1904.

Xenobia In Chains - Harriet Hosner  - 1859

Zenobia In Chains – Harriet Hosmer – 1859

Harriet Hosmer was one of the first female sculptors in the United States. You can read the DESCRIPTION CARD by clicking twice on the photo to enlarge it.

I also checked out my favorite cat at the Museum.

CAT - Alexander Calder

CAT – Alexander Calder

It’s a carved wood CAT by Calder who is a little more famous for his mobiles.

I also checked this work by Missouri’s own Thomas Hart Benton.  The lithograph …THB - LithoAnd the painting.

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And a couple of fighting roosters.

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Then I went home to play with Renee in the backyard.

DSC08435 SATURDAY’S AND SUNDAY’S MENSA PUZZLES:DSC08427

 

MY DAILY CALENDAR – DAY 316 – NOVEMBER 12, 2013

MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR TUESDAY, DAY 316 OF 2013: And in case no one has mentioned it to you, Day 316 just happens to be 11-12-13 in calendar shorthand. I don’t know if this calendrical coincidence is a lucky or an ill omen … but I’m not getting married today. Note: this calendrical coincidence will only happen one more time in this century on 12-13-14. I wonder how many babies born today will be named Thirteen?

Thirteen Addams

Thirteen Addams

TODAY’S AND TOMORROW’S ORIGAMI CHALLENGE – TULIP:  Yes, the calendar has yet another two-part folding project that I decided to do in a single day.DSC08217DSC08218

Which yields one completed tulip …

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BookWorm TODAY’S MENSA PUZZLE – 11-12-13: You have to be very observant and know what counts to figure this one out …DSC08221

So, what happened to the forecasted snow? While it did start coming down as flakes and flurries last night, it melted on making contact with the ground. Also in some spots the melted moisture turned into invisible black ice. One of these spots happened to be the floor boards on my deck, where I started to slip … caught myself and semi-twisted my ankle. OK, so call me a klutz …but I’m only slightly gimping around now. [NOTE: Mlle. Renee also slipped on the slick spot.]

A BLAST FROM THE PAST: The Grand Sculpture Hall Of The Palace Of Art

This is what the building, which is now the Saint Louis Museum Of Art, looked like in 1904 when it was the only permanent building constructed for the Louisiana Purchase exhibition/Saint Louis World’s Fair of 1904. Kind of cluttered, isn’t it? But that was the way art was displayed back then.

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Notice that the original floors were poured concrete and the ceiling and archways  were exposed decorative brickwork. A marble floor was laid in one of several restorations and updates and the exposed bricks covered.SLAMtoday

The Sculpture Hall today. Thankfully more people.

Dramatic Views At The Museum

One of the advantages of having more gallery space available in the Saint Louis Art Museum’s historic 1904 original building is the ability to use multi-directional lighting to dramatically illuminate the sculpture pieces.

Reclining PanThis Reclining Pan was carved in the early 16th century from a reused marble fragment that had been part of a larger relief work from the Roman Imperial period. Some of the details from the earlier artist’s work can be seen on the back of the sculpture. (Which I forgot to photograph.)

Sculpture 1This early writer has to be a saint or evangelist. I forgot to read the descriptive copy block. But I’ll bet you anything the crudely carved animal at his feet has to be a devil or demon.

Caged Balls

 

This new sculpture piece always gives me pause whenever I walk into the museum. I call it Busted Balls, but one of these times I going to have to stop and read the story behind it.

And I don’t know why, but this display of Persian and Ottoman artifacts always brings out the adventuresome little boy in me.DSC08006

 

 

THIS WEEKEND’S RANDOM POTPOURRI

pot·pour·ri  n. pl. pot·pour·ris
1. A combination of incongruous things
2. A miscellaneous anthology or collection of observations from a cranky old curmudgeon

ITEM 1:  I am convinced that I should never be allowed to wander through the stupidmarket without an armed guardian. The reason is … I am attracted by the words NEW, SPECIAL, SAVE, TRY THIS, LIMITED TIME, and JUST WHAT YOU WANTED.  On my trip to the grocery yesterday, I went through the bakery to pick up a plain loaf of seedless rye bread when I saw this sign…

TRY THE CRO-SAN-NUT!

The cross between a flakey buttery croissant …

And a luscious jelly filled doughnut!DSC07766

Being a firm believer in the premise that I have never met a jelly doughnut that I didn’t like, I bought one for my Saturday morning breakfast.

THE TASTE TEST RESULTS: Less than favorable! The fried croissant was cut in half and the raspberry jelly was spread between the two halves. This allowed the expose jelly to dry out somewhat. Unfortunately, this did not stop the jelly between the two layers from leaking out and falling on your hand, lap and kitchen floor. The croissant wasn’t flakey or buttery either. It was somewhat dry and stiffly chewy. End result … it didn’t excite my taste buds, and I had to wash my hands, lap and kitchen floor. Minus FIVE on the would I buy again scale.

ITEM 2: Mayhem and possible murder in the kitchen cupboard. While I was using my Swiffer Wetjet to clean the leaked cro-san-nut jelly off the kitchen floor … (if an 80+ year old lady can on TV, so can I) … I discovered Woody on the kitchen floor.DSC07768He had been living on the top shelf of the kitchen china cabinet. He apparently leaped or was pushed from his shelf sometime during the night. Possible suspects who share the shelf include …

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LUMPYDSCF1111

SQUEEK

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and this motley crew … known to be gremlins, demons or werewolves.

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ITEM 3Just received the last publication from the Saint Louis Art Museum …SLAM

The cover features Setting Sun Over Sacramento Valley by Japanese-American artist Cuira Obata. It is a new gift to the Museum and it will be on display with three of his other works for a special exhibition.

The Museum also announced that the Metropolitan Opera LIVE In HD satellite Broadcasts will return to the newly refurbished Museum Auditorium in October. I first started going to the opera showings there in 2008, but because of the construction work at the museum I had to switch to a local movie house for the past two years. I bought my tickets for the first half of this season last week. First opera coming up is Tchaikovsky’s romantic Eugene Onegin with a finale that takes place in a blinding snowstorm. You definitely will be hearing more on this topic.Bill's  Move2 1

ITEM 4: In case you were wondering, I was considering a second photo for Friday’s Weekly Photo Challenge. It was a photo I’ve featured in the blog before showing a colorful mural created by kids and displayed in the entrance to the Wash U Metro Station.Kid Mural

It also qualified as SATURATED.


ITEM 5: Observations From A Cranky Curmudgeon – while I am quite fond of a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea for breakfast, I today decided that iced Earl Grey tea is not my glass of tea.

POTPOURRI PROVERB OF THE DAY

THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS SHOULD BE CHANGED ON A REGULAR BASIS, LIKE A PAIR OF DIRTY SOCKS.

MY DAILY CALENDAR…DAY 247 – SEPTEMBER 5, 2013

MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR THURSDAY, DAY 247 OF 2013: Well, today happens to be my birthday. And according to my most recent calculations, I do believe it is number 41 in light years. I can’t guarantee that though, since you all know that math was never my favorite subject.

As to birthday’s … It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…but I survived. AGAIN!DSC07631Anyway, Mr. Bill, my oldest friend took me to lunch today at the Panorama Restaurant in the new addition building of the Saint Louis Art Museum. You could say, we lunched with all the ladies of a certain age who lunch and wear hats. Lunch was most elegant, and I had my first amuse bouche ever.  (It was a quarter of a radish in a smear of tarragon aeolis sprinkled with dried bread crumbs.) DSC07632

Mr. Bill really knows how to do a birthday lunch, and after we finished our curried chicken salad sandwiches and green salads (which were to die for) he ordered up a birthday dessert of apple and walnut bread pudding (with a white chocolate birthday card). It was fantastic. I’m not sure, but I think something written in gold Sanskrit lettering can be seen in the red beet coulis. The lunch really was first-rate, and my host was most generous. Thankfully, we were not as old as most of the ladies who were dining around us. The Panorama Restaurant was a very fine dining experience. Advance reservations are highly recommended.

THERE WAS THIS ORIGAMI CHALLENGE FOR THE DAY:DSC07640But I decided to exercise my birthday option of being able to skip doing an origami fold involving making a little paper box that will never serve mankind in any possible way. Please note, that I was unable to actually post this post on my birthday, because I wasted too much time trying to put that dumb box together.

I will, however, share the photograph of the first auto accident  recorded in the city of Saint Louis on September 5, 1905First Auto Accident in STL 8:5:1905

MY DAILY CALENDAR…DAY 229 – AUGUST 18, 2013

MY DAILY CALENDAR WEEKEND EDITION – SUNDAY, DAY 229 OF 2013: I am convinced that Renee is turning in a four-pawed human being. Or if not, at least thinking she’s a human being.  Today, I decided to do a single load of laundry, so that my next laundry day won’t be a multi-load overkill laundry day. She watched me load towels and washcloths into the washer and then disappeared. Next thing you know, she was standing next to me with her wash cloth in her mouth which she then dropped at my feet. I guess she wanted it washed, too. I originally gave her the gold washcloth (the only gold one I had in the house) was because she was always steal a used wash cloth out of the laundry pile and laying in on the floor to rub her face on it. With Renee, cleanliness is next to dogliness.

I had planned to sit outside and spend the afternoon reading/dozing in the shade again, but neighbors several houses up the hill decided to have a burnbecue. First they saturated the charcoal with enough lighter fluid to keep the Olympic Flame burning for a week. I sure the flashback when they  ignited the charcoal had to singe their arms and eyebrows.  And then … they put the meat on the grill right away, rather than cooking it only glowing coals. The entire neighborhood reeked of burnt meat. Hell, they were probably gnawing on charred bones before they even finished a single beer. And speaking of charred bones, it smelled like they threw them back on the fire after they finished gnawing the burnt meat from them. I do wish people who don’t know how to cook, would just order  their food from Bubba B-B-Q Delivery.

So I spent the afternoon inside with Renee, and a couple of minutes ago the A.C. went on for the first time in two weeks.  Oh, well, I knew the great weather couldn’t last forever.

FAVORITES FROM THE SLAM COLLECTION: Today’s art selections from the galleries of the St. Louis Art Museum are  studies in BLACK, WHITE and BRONZE.DSCF0869

St. John the Baptist  1878

Auguste Rodin / French, 1840–1917

Auguste Rodin depicted St. John the Baptist as a vigorous figure in motion. In fact, the sculptor requested that his model, an Italian peasant named Pignatelli, walk repeatedly about the studio so he could capture the spontaneity of the young man’s movements. Rodin’s representation of natural motion challenged conventional nineteenth century sculptural practices that conformed to an accepted canon of suitable, classical poses. For this reason, St. John became a milestone in the development of modern sculpture.

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Madame du Vaucel -1712

Antoine Coysevox /French, 1640–1720

This handsome bust of Mme Du Vaucel was originally paired with one of her husband, a counselor in the court of Louis XIV and a prosperous farmer. She is not, however, dressed in the extreme opulence so common in Louis’s court, but wears instead a dress trimmed in a single row of lace at the neckline without additional jewelry. Coysevox’s talent lay in his ability to capture lively expressions in the eyes of his sitters through the incising of the pupils, which gives focus and intensity to their gaze.

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Organic Forms (Striding Man) 1921

Rudolf Belling  / German, 1886–1972

Rudolf Belling juxtaposes curved and angled forms to represent an abstract figure in motion. Spherical masses define the man’s head and shoulders while parallel projections suggest his ribcage. Belling explored the idea of making the human body resemble a mechanized figure. The smooth, metallic surface and streamlined forms of this striding robot reflect the preoccupation with the aesthetics of modern machines in interwar Germany.

And then there was this …kink

CHI  1969

Nancy Grossman / American, 1940

Leather, metal, wood, and nails. Enough said.

MY DAILY CALENDAR…DAY 227 – AUGUST 16, 2013

MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR FRIDAY, DAY 227 OF 2013: Yesterday, I had planned to spend today  visiting the Zoo. Unfortunately, last nights the Fates decided to alter my plans by waking me up for every other hour last night. These were those usual lift your head up and open one eye to look at the clock before falling back down on the pillow wake-ups. I know it wasn’t something I ate, because I had a bowl of chicken noodle soup last night with unsalted saltines for dinner.  (I ate light because I had lunched with a friend at Bub’s Burger Bistro and I wasn’t hungry.)  And I doubt if it was because I had been  reading a book titled ZOMBIE BOYZ before retiring either, because M. Renee was restless too and she can’t read. Going on to five, Renee came into my room and asked if she could sleep in my bed with me and I roll over and let her in. We both slept until 9:30 then. (So it could have been because the temp dropped last night, and it was rather chilly.) Unfortunately, by the time I started moving around I was feeling rather blah with a headache, stuffy nose/runny nose and sneezy with a lack of appetite. So I had tea and toast for breakfast. Still no get up and go though. So I decided to pass on my trip to the Zoo.

MY ORIGAMI CALENDAR PROJECT  for today was rather dumb.

pp and folding CHATTY BIRDS from a sheet of white printer paper did not appeal to me.  Also because you can’t show how they work without a video clip, I decided to pass on this project. Maybe, I’ll try it some day when I’m feeling better.

And the Mensa Puzzle only annoyed my achey head. So, I opted for …

A FEW OF MY S.L.A.M. FAVORITE THINGS #7

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Port-en-Bessin: The Outer Harbor (Low Tide)
1888

Georges Pierre Seurat

Port-en-Bessin was painted during one of the artist’s many summer sojourns on the Normandy coast. Multiple colored dots produce a static and precise geometric depiction of the pier, sailboats, houses, beach, and clouds that comprise the coastal town. Seurat believed that a painting was created from a systematic rendering of component parts constituted by small dots or points. He named his style “Divisionism,” though it is more often called “pointillism.”
While not as impressive as his Sunday In The Park, it still is a Seurat. Only today it makes me feel like I’m seeing spots before my eyes.