Since M was so patient about looking at the religious art and the Asian art exhibits, it was only fair that I should be patient about looking at the modern art. I’m convinced I must be missing whatever it is you have to have to appreciate modern art. That’s not to say I dislike all modern art. On the contrary, there are some works/pieces that I enjoy/appreciate very much. But some of it I just don’t understand.
Perhaps that’s the point.
(No doubt there are people who feel that way about some of my photos.)
(Walking into the Modern Art exhibits. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
The name of the above piece of art on the ceiling is: On a Blue Ceiling, Eight Geometric Figures: Circle, Trapezoid, Parallelogram, Rectangle, Square, Triangle, Right Triangle, X (Wall Drawing No. 351). Made in Philadelphia, PA. 1981. Artist: Sol LeWitt, American, 1928-2007.
I found the gallery label (taken from the Philadelphia Museum of Art website) rather interesting:
LeWitt never touched this ceiling; there is nothing of his handcraft in its production. Rather, what was important to him was the idea–he was an early pioneer of conceptual art. In 1982, the Philadelphia Museum of Art purchased this wall drawing, which means simply that the Museum owns the idea and the right to execute it or to erase it and to allow others to do so, as expressed in a certificate signed by the artist. LeWitt provided the description that is the work’s title and specified directions (how many coats and what brand of paint, for example), but the execution of the wall drawing was left to the hands of others.
I wonder if there’s ever been any discussion between those in charge at the museum about erasing it. I hope not. This is one of those works of modern art that I like.
(I’m unable to find the name of this work and/or the artist. If anyone happens to know, please let me know so I can properly give credit where credit is due. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
From Modern Art we moved on to European Art (1850-1900) which includes the Impressionists and Post Impressionists.
(I’m unable to find the title of this work or the name of the artist. Once again, if you know, please let me know. Thanks!)
(Mermaid. Edvard Munch. 1896. Made in Paris, France. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
By the time we finished up with the Impressionists and Post Impressionists, it was almost closing time. We stepped out front to have a look at the fountains before we left.
(Fountain. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(View from the top of the Rocky stairs. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
I hope we have the time to go back again before we leave. It doesn’t look likely, but one can always hope.
(Dormition of the Virgin, c. 1404-1408, painted center panel of an altarpiece, Gherardo di Jacopo di Neri. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(At the entrance to the Asian art exhibits. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
There are some beautiful tiles at the Asian art exhibit entrance. I was unable to capture a decent photographic image which showed the intricacy as well as the gorgeous colors.
(Entrance to the Japanese Temple and Ceremonial Teahouse. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Small part of the Japanese Temple. Muromachi period (1392-1573). Artist/maker unknown. Wood and plaster. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Scholar’s Study. Made in Beijing China. Qing Dynasty (1644-1911); Qianlong Period (1736-1795). Artist/maker unknown. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Self portrait. Somewhere in the Asian exhibit. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Grand Salon from the Chateau de Draveil. c. 1735. Made in France. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Shot of the ceiling somewhere in the museum. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Pediment on the North Wing of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
I think I’d need at least a year or two to truly appreciate the Philadelphia Museum of Art and all that it contains. Maybe a lifetime. The building itself is beautiful, with lots of little details on the outside that it’s worth taking a walk around to see. There are also the famous Rocky Steps where you can either do the Rocky thing and run up them or watch as many others take on the stairs and do the Rocky pose when they reach the top. Some tourists don’t bother with the run up the stairs. They go straight to the pose.
(Rocky statue. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
The museum contains 200 galleries with over 225, 000 works of art. Because there’s so much to see and we only had about 4 hours to see it, M and I looked over the map and picked out some highlights (things we really wanted to see). I wish we had thought to go to the museum when we first arrived in Sabbaticalville and gotten a membership. That would have been great incentive to go back several times. At this point, with only a month left here, it’s not worth the price of joining as I don’t think we’d be able to make it back more than once, if that.
We entered through the back, Lenfest Hall (which is closer to parking and doesn’t require a run up the Rocky Stairs). Parking, by the way, is cheap ($5). Admission was, I think, $24 each.
(Small part of a mural in Lenfest Hall. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
If you enter the building through the front, you’ll be faced with the Great Stair Hall. At the top is a statue of Diana, created as a weathervane for the tower of the first Madison Square Garden in New York City by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
(Diana, 1892-1894. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(From the Great Stair Hall. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
M and I started by going to the Great Stair Hall and climbing up to the 2nd floor because I wanted to see the Ceremonial Teahouse and Japanese Temple. We worked our way over there through the European Art (1100-1500) which included a French Gothic chapel, a 15th-century Venetian bedroom, and a lot of religious art from the Medieval and early Renaissance time periods.
The lighting in the museum is designed to protect the art. My camera has limitations that make it difficult to take photographs under those lighting conditions. On the other hand, it also made for some interesting photos when light would come in through a doorway or window.
(The Crucified Christ with the Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist, and Angels with Instruments of Passion, c. 1460-90, artist/maker unknown, Flemish. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Bedroom from the Palazzo Soranzo — Van Axel, Venice, c. 1473-79 woodwork, artist/maker unknown, Italy. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Through the doorway: Christ Mocked and Presented to the People (Ecce Homo), c. 1500-1525, artist/maker unknown, French)
The day is racing away from me this morning. I’ll have to continue this tomorrow.
A little fun:
(E & A’s swimming pool. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
M and I have been pretty busy over the past few days. We spent Friday shopping for the big reunion party on Saturday. A group of folks who used to work for/with M and E (the friend and collegue who brought M here for his sabbatical) all gathered at E’s home for food, fun, and the chance to see who aged well. In my opinion, we all aged well. 🙂
I paid my first visit to Costco on Friday. E and his wife A are members. We decided it would be a good place to stock up on some of the party food as well as beer and wine. I was impressed with Costco. I’ve decided M and I should join when we return to the Bogs. I don’t think M was quite so impressed and sees Costco as just another place to spend too much money. He’s probably right.
Because people were driving in from as far away as Huntington, West Virginia (about a 7 hour trip, I think), we decided we should have plenty of food and plan on feeding people two meals since the party started at noon. For lunch we had a variety of hoagies from PrimoHoagies. The variety included the ever-popular and delicious Italian style; turkey with American cheese; and a fantastic veggie sandwich made with eggplant, broccoli rabe, and roasted red peppers. For dinner we had hamburgers and bratwurst. In addition, there were all kinds of salads (potato salad, coleslaw, pepper slaw, pasta salad), a veggie tray, a cheese tray and crackers, chips and salsa, fruits (grapes and a watermelon we never cut into), and a yummy cheesecake for dessert.
If you’re throwing a party and have a PrimoHoagies near you, I highly recommend them. Their hoagies are fantastic. They use good quality luncheon meats, the provolone is always sharp, and the rolls are freshly baked each day. The PrimoHoagies location I’m most familiar with closes when they run out of rolls and that can sometimes be fairly early in the day if they’ve had a good run of business.
After all the shopping on Friday, E thought we should try out his margarita recipe, just to be sure it was good enough for the party. We’d had one margarita by the time A arrived home from work and from there it turned into the Margarita Evening with the Tequila Gang. It was fun, silly, and resulted in the four of us feeling a little rough the next morning. I’m not sure how many recipes we tried out, but they were all pretty tasty. E makes a good margarita, that’s for sure.
The reunion was a blast. The only thing we really overindulged in was food. We had WAY too much food. However, in our defense, we started with a head count of 22-24 and last minute cancellations resulted in an actual attendance of about 13 or 14. The good news is that neither E and A nor M and I will need to do any grocery shopping for a while.
It was wonderful spending time with old friends and coworkers again. For E, it had been about 20 years since he’s seen some of those people. M and I left West Virginia about 7 years ago so it hasn’t been quite so long for us. It was agreed that we have to do this again without waiting so long the next time.
On Sunday we took one of the party guests to the Philadelphia airport to catch her flight home. M and I decided that as long as we were in Philly we might as well do something in the city. We started with a late (noontime) breakfast at Little Pete’s.
(Little Pete’s. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
Little Pete’s, I’m told, is something of an institution in Philadelphia. It’s a great place for a fast and decent breakfast that’s apparently popular with the after-party crowd. M and I both had omelets which came with home fries and toast. The food was good and plentiful without going overboard, the service was speedy, and the price was cheap (about $14 for the two of us).
(Inside Little Pete’s. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
After breakfast we strolled around the neighborhood for a few minutes, making our way back to our car.
(Somewhere on 16th Street, near Locust, in Philadelphia. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Philadelphia sights. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Philadelphia neighborhood. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
After our stroll we went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a culture-filled afternoon. I’ll post a few photos from that adventure sometime tomorrow. Right now I need to get off this computer and make myself at least semi-useful in life.
(Valley Forge National Historical Park. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
Shortly before noon yesterday M phoned and asked if I’d like to go do something. It was so nice outside after the rain moved through, and he was at a standstill at work, waiting for some supplies, so to speak.
We decided to go to Valley Forge National Historical Park. We’d both been there on school field trips as kids, but I don’t really remember much about it. I think it’s a terrible shame that all those good field trips were wasted on me during a time when I least appreciated them: Childhood. M and I have retraced a few of those school field trips since we’ve been back east and I can’t for the life of me figure out why I thought all this stuff was boring. Now I’m finding it all fascinating. I’m enjoying learning some of the history I should have learned when I was in school had I been paying attention (a little nod to Whad’Ya Know? there).
We started at the Welcome Center, always a good place to start. We picked up a map, had a quick look around at some of the exhibits, and then headed out for a 6-mile walk/hike around the park.
(Valley Forge National Historical Park. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
It was a beautiful day for a hike. Sunny, warm but not hot, with a good strong breeze that kept us relatively cool. Most of the walk went through areas that provided occasional shady spots which also helped to keep us cool. The last mile or so of the walk was the most brutal because there were no shady spots and it felt as though the sun was beating down on us. We were also getting pretty tired by that time and ready to finish the walk.
(When you’re unsure again? Redoubt, VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
I’m going to skip the history lesson. You can visit the website (link provided above) for that if you should so desire. I did find it interesting that some of what I’d learned and/or thought about the encampment at Valley Forge was more myth than fact.
Here are a few photos:
(Somewhere near the beginning of the trail. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Mount Joy. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Cabin. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
The cabins, which are scattered throughout the park, are not the original cabins built during the encampment in Valley Forge in 1777-1778. They are, of course, reproductions.
(Cabins. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Sleeping arrangements. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(National Memorial Arch. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(More cabins. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Part of Wayne’s Woods. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
One of the wonderful things about the day and the photographs is the play of light and shadow that was going on with the clouds occasionally blocking the sun. In some instances, such as the photo below, the light was perfect.
(Anthony Wayne. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Meadow. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Artillery Park. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Along the trail. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Stone schoolhouse. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
The one-room schoolhouse was built about 35 years after the Revolutionary War encampment at Valley Forge.
(Meadow. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Can you tell I enjoyed the meadows? VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
One of the things I was unable to capture with the camera was the way the wind created waves through the grass in the meadows. It was a beautiful sight.
(Count Dracula. Nah. It’s Baron Friedrich von Steuben. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(White-tailed deer. VFNHP. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
There are deer almost everywhere in the park, some of whom are not exactly shy. I read that they have a white-tailed deer management problem and that they’re currently trying to solve it. I wonder if the deer population now is higher than during the encampment? I’m guessing it probably is.
That’s probably enough of Valley Forge. I took 219 photos, most of them of the meadows. I’m sure you don’t need to see them all.
Today has turned out to be another good day for a walk. We’re off to Longwood Gardens again this afternoon to see what changes have occurred over the past couple of weeks.
(Sailboat in Havre de Grace. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
We’re going through a lull here in Sabbaticalville. Routine, everyday life. I get up, go to the gym, throw in a load of laundry (if it isn’t Monday aka Mormon Laundry Day), clean whatever needs cleaning in the apartment, go for a walk, watch a soap opera or two, read, sit on the patio and read for a while, shop if needed, pack a few things, make dinner or get ready to go out for dinner, etc., etc.
M gets up, does some yoga or tai-chi, has breakfast, checks his work email, gets ready and goes off to work for the day, comes home, has dinner, checks his work email again, etc., etc. He has a long day, trying to keep up with both his sabbatical research and the goings-on at the med school that he still has to take care of while on sabbatical.
My back and hip have been bothering me for the past few weeks. I found myself limping again last night. Not a good sign. I decided to skip the gym this morning and try a 30-minute yoga workout instead. It didn’t work miracles but it did work wonders. I think all the walking I’ve been doing is tightening up my hips. The yoga warmed, loosened, and stretched out my muscles in ways that were badly needed.
The past couple of days have been hot, hot, hot. A cool front moved through early this morning, bringing a little relief (80’s instead of 90’s for a high). I enjoyed listening to the rain and the cooler air is pleasant.
Well, I’m rambling about the weather again which means I have nothing of substance to say.
M just phoned to say he’s leaving work early. We might go out to Valley Forge and have a look around. I’m pretty sure I went to Valley Forge on a school field trip when I was a kid, but I don’t remember anything about it. It’s funny how I didn’t appreciate history or any of this stuff when I was a child. I’m glad that I have the opportunity to reexplore this area now that I’m an adult who can and does appreciate learning about the past.