Posted by: mkl325 | April 21, 2014

Fragonard and Frozen

One night, during a trip back to Washington, DC around Christmas, a friend and I gave into our love of Disney movies and went to go see Frozen. Flash forward a few months and my sister is randomly breaking into “Let it go” and “Do you want to build a snowman”. As it turns out, the two year olds that she teaches are obsessed with the movie and they calm down and sing along the minute those songs are played. Having heard the songs so many times she knows them by heart, Clare decided it was time that she finally see the movie. I was excited for her to see it because one of the greatest parts of this movie is its inclusion of different artworks, and we are both art history nerds.

M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and Zero (Tony Revolori) standing in front of Klimt's "Birch Forest I" in Wes Anderson's movie "The Grand Budapest Hotel".

M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and Zero (Tony Revolori) standing in front of Klimt’s “Birch Forest I” in Wes Anderson’s movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

Using famous art in movies is not a new concept but it is a rarity outside of an art gallery/museum scene or artist biopic because securing the rights for the work is extremely difficult and expensive. However, every now and then it happens. For example, while watching Wes Anderson’s movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, I noticed Gustave Klimt’s Birch Forest I in the background of a scene (there is also a painting that looks like it is by Egon Schiele but I have been unable to verify that it is one of his and I don’t know his work well enough to be certain).

Birch Forest I 1902 Gustave Klimt

Birch Forest I
1902
Gustave Klimt

The paintings used in Frozen are amusing for a different reason. The main character, Anna, walks into her gallery (mid song, of course) and stands in front of the paintings, acting out a part in them. Some of them are based off of famous paintings but are changed enough to avoid copyright. One painting of two Spanish dancers (which I could not from a picture of) has the same feeling as John Singer Sargent’s El Jaleo.

El Jaleo, 1882 John Singer Sargent  Oil on canvas Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston, MA, USA

El Jaleo, 1882
John Singer Sargent
Oil on canvas
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Boston, MA, USA

Then there is the moment when Anna jumps in front of a painting of a woman on a swing and mimics her position. This painting is unmistakably Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Swing. Apparently this was done on purpose as the painting was the inspiration for the feel of the movie Tangled.

The Swing 1767 Jean-Honoré Fragonard Oil on canvas Wallace Collection London, United Kingdom

The Swing
1767
Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Oil on canvas
Wallace Collection
London, United Kingdom

Here is the problem: It is a rococo (late Baroque) painting; a style that was light and playful (perfect for Disney, right?) but could also be a little scandalous. This particular painting was commissioned by the French dramatist Charles Collé, who wanted a painting of his mistress. Fragonard painted the mistress being pushed on a swing in a swirl of flowers and flowing pastel fabric. The painting is gorgeous, but when you look closer there is a whole different feeling to the painting that maybe doesn’t make it the best choice for a Disney movie.

Blissfully unaware...

Blissfully unaware…

She playfully kicks off her shoe towards the Cupid statue in front of her while keeping her back on the cherubs and her chaperone. She is making eye contact with a man watching her, while hidden in the bushes. If you follow the sight line of the man spying on her, he is looking directly up her skirt, seemingly with her encouragement as she kicks her leg up. In one of my first Art History classes, our professor pointed out that women of the time didn’t really wear underwear. Basically, this is a painting of a man at a peep show. In the movie they cut out the man in the bushes, it is a kid’s film after all.

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Posted by: mkl325 | January 21, 2014

Movement as Art

I have had a difficult relationship with performance art. I remember learning about Chris Burden at the beginning of my art history career, and couldn’t understand it. In his work “Transfixed” in April 1974, Burden had himself nailed to the top of a VW Bug and rolled out into traffic. To me it seems like a crazy frat boy prank, I can’t link his intentions to any artistic merit, (although I recognize that my inability to understand it does not mean that it is not art).

Chris Bürden  "Transfixed"  April 23, 1974 Venice, CA

Chris Bürden
“Transfixed”
April 23, 1974
Venice, CA

I am a fan of some of Burden’s later sculptural works, especially his installation “Urban Lights” in LA. This is a type of art I can connect with.

Chris Burden "Urban Light" 2008 Los Angeles County Museum of Art Los Angeles, CA

Chris Burden
“Urban Light”
2008
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA

The installation consists of 202 restored street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s. Most of them once lit the streets of Southern California.

The installation consists of 202 restored street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s. Most of them once lit the streets of Southern California.

The lights are solar powered and switched on at dusk

The lights are solar powered and switched on at dusk

As my continued my studies I have come around on some types of performance art. I am still never going to understand a lot of Burden’s early work, but I don’t automatically close off when art is performance based. In fact, I have actually come to really appreciate and love some pieces of performance art.

So when I found an article on a New Orleans based performance artist I was intrigued. Especially since her studio is located somewhere in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans, which happens to be my neighborhood. In her series “Emptied Gestures”, Heather Hansen uses her dance training to use her body to create gorgeous charcoal works of art.

She says of her work: “Emptied Gestures is an experiment in kinetic drawing. In this series I am searching for ways to download my movement directly onto paper, emptying gestures from one form to another.”

Watching film of her work, the drawing seems to be a cocoon around her, a protective bubble that she is creating for herself. The charcoal paintings that are produced are very good but it is watching Hansen work which is the most moving part of her work. The work isn’t the same without the performance element.

Heather Hansen "Emptied Gestures"

Heather Hansen
“Emptied Gestures”

The work is very connected to Hansen, and becomes a type of meditative work.

The work is very connected to Hansen, and becomes a type of meditative work.

tumblr_mt52w9I5Gb1sutckqo4_500 tumblr_mt52w9I5Gb1sutckqo3_500 tumblr_mt52w9I5Gb1sutckqo1_500 tumblr_mt52w9I5Gb1sutckqo5_500 tumblr_mzgl1fkuGl1ql3riho3_500 tumblr_mzgl1fkuGl1ql3riho1_250

One of the final products.

One of the final products.

Here is a link to a film of her working from Hansen’s website: http://www.heatherhansen.net/film/

Posted by: mkl325 | December 25, 2013

Art of the Nativity

The most popular scenes depicted from The New Testament are The Last Supper, The Crucifixion, and the Nativity. As it is Christmas today, here are some different representations of the Nativity. Merry Christmas!

"Adoration of the Magi" Sarcophagus 4th Century  Vatican

“Adoration of the Magi”
Sarcophagus
4th Century
Vatican

I love the camels in this one, as well as the fact that they are pointing at the star.

"Nativity" Encaustic Icon 7th Century Monastery of St. Catherine, Sinai, Egypt

“Nativity”
Encaustic (Hot Wax Process) Icon
7th Century
Monastery of St. Catherine, Sinai, Egypt

Giotto di Bondone "Nativity" 1305 Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy

Giotto di Bondone
“Nativity”
1305
Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy

Fra Angelico "Adoration of the Magi" 15th Century

Fra Angelico
“Adoration of the Magi”
15th Century

Bottecelli "The Mystical Nativity" 1500

Bottecelli
“The Mystical Nativity”
1500

This is referred to as “The Mystical Nativity” because it contains elements of the Book of Revelations in it.

"Cornaro Missal Nativity" Early 17th Century Illuminated Manuscript

“Cornaro Missal Nativity”
Early 17th Century
Illuminated Manuscript

The change in the architecture is an interesting element added into a lot of illuminated manuscripts.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio "Nativity" 1608 Stolen from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo in 1969. This is one of the most infamous unsolved art crimes to date.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
“Nativity”
1608

Stolen from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo in 1969. This is one of the most infamous unsolved art crimes to date.

Rembrandt "Adoration of the Magi" 1632

Rembrandt
“Adoration of the Magi”
1632

Both the Rembrandt and the Caravaggio are darker and use the light source to bring the viewer’s eye to Jesus.

Morris & Co. Sir Edward Burne-Jones "Adoration of the Magi" Tapestry 1888/1894

Morris & Co.
Sir Edward Burne-Jones
“Adoration of the Magi”
Tapestry
1888/1894

William Morris is known for his flowers and patterns. You can see the influence of his other work in this tapestry, which you can also see, although not as prevalent outside of the cloth patterns, in the Burne-Jones painting of his original design below.

Sir Edward Burne-Jones "The Star of Bethlehem" 1890

Sir Edward Burne-Jones
“The Star of Bethlehem”
1890

Antoni Gaudi "Sagrada Familia" Unfinished (Began in 1882) - Gaudi was hit by a car and killed before this work could be completed Barcelona

Antoni Gaudi
“Sagrada Familia”
Unfinished (Began in 1882)

Gaudi was hit by a car and killed before this work could be completed
Barcelona.

Gaudi Nativity of Sagrada Familia

Gaudi
Nativity of Sagrada Familia

Gaudi Sagrada Familia Holy Family Detail

Gaudi
Sagrada Familia
Holy Family Detail

Gaudi Sagrada Familia Angels Detail

Gaudi
Sagrada Familia
Angels Detail

Paul Gauguin "Nativity" 1896

Paul Gauguin
“Nativity”
1896

Gauguin’s painting is different because Mary and Jesus are isolated, there are no admirers except for the one angel. This is also the first painting where Mary looks concerned, as if she knows what difficulty lies ahead of her son, or if she is concerned about being a mother. It is a more human version of Mary.

Marc Chagall "Nativity" 1950 This one is particularly interesting as Chagall is a Jewish artist and he includes the crucifixion in with the nativity

Marc Chagall
“Nativity”
1950

This one is particularly interesting as Chagall is a Jewish artist and he includes the crucifixion in with the nativity.

Clementine Hunter "Nativity with Virgin Mary, Three Wise Men and Angels"  1940s Clementine Hunter was a Louisiana self-taught folk artist. She lived and worked on Melrose Plantation where she met the artists that worked there in the 30s and 40s, including William Spratling and Lyle Saxon. She didn't start painting until she was in her 60s. One great thing about Hunter's depiction is that all the characters involved are African-American which showed her connecting with the story by making them reflect her and her community.

Clementine Hunter
“Nativity with Virgin Mary, Three Wise Men and Angels”
1940-1960

Clementine Hunter was a Louisiana self-taught folk artist. She lived and worked on Melrose Plantation where she met the artists that worked there in the 30s and 40s, including William Spratling and Lyle Saxon. She didn’t start painting until she was in her 60s. One great thing about Hunter’s depiction is that all the characters involved are African-American which showed her connecting with the story by making them reflect her and her community.

Posted by: mkl325 | November 28, 2013

Is it possible to have a favorite piece of art?

A while ago, I asked a bunch of friends and family members to tell me their favorite artwork and, if they wanted, to explain why. While a few friends were able to answer this question, most weren’t able to settle on a favorite artwork and were only able to identify their favorite artist, a lot of which overlapped. I picked my favorite example of these artists works to display underneath. When I tried to answer the question myself, even though the majority of artists mentioned came to mind, I found that I was stuck as well. The fact is, I don’t think that it is possible to have a favorite work of art, just ones which you emotionally connect with. That connection is one of the reasons I chose to study art and is my favorite aspect of it.

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

This was by far the most chosen artist amongst those asked, in particularly The Starry Night.

Gogh-Starry-Night

“The Starry Night”, 1889
Oil on canvas
The Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Eileen – “Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh has been my favorite piece of art since I was very young and saw it while looking in an art book. The swirls of the night’s sky always transported me to a different time and place, and whenever I look at it, I still imagine being a small child staring up into a night’s sky full of stars…and trying to count them all. The first time I saw the piece in person, I stood across the room unblinking, unable to move. Then, standing closer, the majesty of the painting brought tears to my eyes.”

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)

"Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose", 1885-6 Tate Britain, London

“Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”, 1885-6
Tate Britain, London

My mom had posters of this painting up in her house for as long as I can remember.

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

"The Kiss", 1882 Marble

“The Kiss”, 1882
Marble

This was taken at the National Gallery of Scotland this past year. It is one of those works that gives you chills when you encounter it.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903)

"The Peacock Room", 1877 Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC

“The Peacock Room”, 1877
Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Having grown up in Washington DC, this was one of the best places to go see as a kid. I even had a children’s book about Whistler creating the room. Funny thing is that it was done in retaliation for the patron not appreciating his decorative painting on the expensive leather walls. It was a bit of a dick move but the results are gorgeous.

Andrew Newell Wyeth (1917 – 2009)

"Christina's World", 1948 Tempera on gessoed panel Museum of Modern Art, New York City

“Christina’s World”, 1948
Tempera on gessoed panel
Museum of Modern Art, New York City

There is something quiet and haunting about Wyeth’s work. He supposedly mixed his pigments with his own hands, which I believe has something to do with the impact his works have.

Mark Rothko (1903 – 1970)

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Morgan – “My favorite work of art. I’d have to say something by Rothko. I like the one that has some purple and red. The painting reminds me of my grandmother and her style. I like the simplistic way about the work, but the fact that they look of an abstract sunset or sunrise.” (I couldn’t find the information for the image she  sent me)

rothko-mark-blue-and-grey

“Blue and Grey”,1958

My favorite Rothko.

Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992)

"Three Studies of Lucian Freud", 1969

“Three Studies of Lucian Freud”, 1969

I am not a Francis Bacon fan, but I can see the interest some would have in his work. The triptych portrait above of fellow artist, Lucian Freud, sold for a record-breaking  $142,405,000 at Christie’s Auction House just this month. It is now the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction.

Banksy

2005 Afganistan

2005
Afganistan

Matt – “I like street art, especially stuff from Banksy. A lot of it is really in-your-face, and some of it is politically motivated. It’s really hard for me to choose favorites, but I like this series- they are all related and created around the same time (his same trip to the area, I believe).”

2005, Afganistan

2005,
Afganistan

2005,  Afganistan

2005,
Afganistan

My Favorite Artists:

Georgia Totto O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986)

"Ram's Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills", 1935

“Ram’s Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills”, 1935

There are no words to describe her work.

"The Black Iris", 1926  Oil on Canvas The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

“The Black Iris”, 1926
Oil on Canvas
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

Paul Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956)

"One: Number 31", 1950

“One: Number 31”, 1950

One of the best things about Pollock is the debate that he brings to art. There are a lot of people who think that his work is not art and state it furiously that they could throw paint onto the canvas too. As a result, those who advocate for Pollock have to really get to the core of what they think art is and how Pollock’s work fits into that. It is the best thing to come out of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Joan Miró i Ferrà (1893 – 1983)

"Dancer", 1925 Oil on canvas Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, Switzerland

“Dancer”, 1925
Oil on canvas
Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, Switzerland

Miró is wonderful at portraying emotion and movement at the same time. This painting makes me think of a friend of mine, who is indeed a dancer, but from more than just the title.

Katsushika Hokusai ( 1760 – 1849)

“Boy sitting on a tree branch playing a flute in the foreground, Mt. Fuji in the distance”, 1839

“Boy sitting on a tree branch playing a flute in the foreground, Mt. Fuji in the distance”, 1839

I love everything about this painting.

John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917)

"Miranda -The Tempest", 1916 Oil on canvas

“Miranda -The Tempest”, 1916
Oil on canvas

This is a gorgeous painting but it is also the depiction of a scene from The Tempest and, as I have a slight Shakespeare obsession, is one that I have always loved. In particular, I enjoy seeing the scene of the storm from Miranda’s point of view, who is obviously distraught over the sinking ships in front of her.

Camille Claudel (1864 – 1943)

"The Waltz", 1899-1905 Bronze Musée Rodin, Paris

“The Waltz”, 1899-1905
Bronze
Musée Rodin, Paris

Her work is very emotional and usually play off of situations that took place in her own life, making them very personal. Much more talented than Rodin, whom she was having an affair with as he mentored her, Claudel was dealt a bad hand. She spent the majority of her life in a mad house after Rodin ended their affair.

Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822)

"Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss", 1787-1793

“Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss”, 1787-1793

Favorite Artists that I know:

Margaret Boozer (1966 – present)

"Dirt Bowl", 2013 Stancill raw clay (Perryville, MD)

“Dirt Bowl”, 2013
Stancill raw clay (Perryville, MD)

Margaret’s work is fascinating. She uses materials which she has excavated herself and usually makes landscapes paintings with the clay and soil. I love this bowl, and I could not explain exactly why. I have always loved her work, but one thing that drives me crazy is that I can’t figure out what I love about it. It’s just good art – a rarity, but there it is.

Christopher Scott Brumfield

"Jesus on the Radio" Artist's Collection, New Orleans

“Jesus on the Radio”
Artist’s Collection, New Orleans

Another ceramist, Christopher’s work always has an element of cheek to it. However, behind the initial smile that his work undoubtably brings to your face is a more serious issue or concept. One of the reasons I love the piece above are the shadow patterns created by the different Jesus busts.

So there you have it. I think it isn’t possible to pick one favorite artist and the list continues to grow everyday. There are some, such as Frida Kahlo, who I considered putting on my favorite artists list and who I was surprised did not show up on anyone else’s. However, the list had gotten pretty long – so I decided to cut it down.

Posted by: mkl325 | October 20, 2013

Tibetan Wheel of Life

On October 8, Akong Tulku Rinpoche (pictured below with his brother) from Samye Ling was murdered in Chengdu China along with his nephew and another monk.

Akong Rinpoche (left) and Lama Yeshe (right). Photo courtesy of Samye Ling.

Akong Rinpoche (left) and Lama Yeshe (right). Photo courtesy of Samye Ling.

It has been a little strange how hard this hit me, as I only met Akong Rinpoche this past May. He was the man who conducted my Refuge Ceremony and gave me my name, so he was an instrumental part of my conversion, and it breaks my heart that his life ended in such a violent way. If you want to read more about the details and reactions to the case, check out Kagyu Samye Ling‘s website (http://www.samyeling.org).

As I have not posted in a while, and in honor of Akong Rinpoche, I thought I would breakdown some Tibetan art –  namely how to read the Tibetan Wheel of Life.  I am still learning so I can say that this information is correct to the best of my knowledge but there are probably some symbols and nuances that I have missed.

Here is one version of the Tibetan Wheel of Life

Tibetan Wheel of Life 1

It is also known as the Wheel of Samsara. Samsara is a Sanskrit word that translates as “continuous flow” and is used to describe the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. When one reaches enlightenment, they no longer have to take part in this cycle, however some return to the cycle to help others obtain enlightenment. The Dalai Lama, the Panchen Lama, and the Karmapa are such beings, called bodhisattvas. Akong Rinpoche was a recognized Tulku, and the reincarnation of the first Akong, Abbot of the Dolma Lhakang – where Akong Rinpoche’s body has been taken for cremation this week.

In the center of the wheel are a rooster (representing greed), a snake (representing anger), and a boar (representing ignorance). These are the forces that keep beings spinning in samsara. They are called the three poisons, as they poison the journey of anyone who harbors these emotions.

A9centerrealm

Surrounding the three poisons is a circle called the Sidpa Bardo.  On the left side the bodhisattvas are guiding beings to rebirths of higher realms, and on the right side  demons lead the beings to the lower realms of rebirth.

There are six different realms possible for rebirth. The highest realm (literally- as it is always depicted at the top) is the Realm of the Devas, or Gods.

A3godsrealm

Those born in the realm of the Devas live long lives, full of wealth, power, and happiness. While this sounds ideal, those born into this realm have no motivation to try and reach enlightenment as they are unable to recognize the suffering inherent in samsara.

On one side of the realm of the Devas, is the realm of the Asuras (the jealous gods). In the picture above it is to the right of the Devas.

A4asurarealm

Asuras are paranoid and highly competitive. Their main goal is to beat the competition (who consists of everyone they encounter) and do so through belittlement and through their ability to hide behind moral stances (a lot like politicians). While they sometimes accomplish good, it is always first and foremost for their own benefit.

They are constantly waring with the Devas, as the Asuras feel that they belong in the realm of the Devas. They constantly fight to gain entrance. Sometimes the realms are combined into one depiction on the wheel.

The next realm is that of the Pretas, or Hungry Ghosts.

A5hungryghostsrealm

This is the first of the lower realms. The ghosts have huge, empty stomachs, and thin necks. The size of their necks make it impossible for them to receive any nourishment. They are usually associated with addictions, compulsions, and obsessions. This realm is sometimes found between the realms of the Asuras and Hell but can sometime be found between the realms of Humans and Hell.

At the bottom of the wheel is the Hell Realm.

A6hellrealm

The Hell realm is on fire and frozen in ice. The beings, known as Narakas, are frozen or subjected to pain and torment. The beings in the fiery part of hell are angry, abusive, and drive away anyone who care for them. Those frozen become self destructive through isolation and their need to unfeelingly push others away.

The third, and final, of the lower realms is the Animal Realm.

A7animalrealm

Barbara O’Brien refers to the beings in this realm as having “no sense of humor”. The goal of animals, called Tiryakas, is to seek comfort and avoid the unfamiliar. The realm is therefore bound by ignorance and complacency.

The final realm is the Human Realm.

A8humanrealm

O’Brien describes it as such “The human realm is marked by questioning and curiosity. It is also a realm of passion; human beings (Manushyas) want to strive, consume, acquire, enjoy, explore. Here the Dharma is openly available, yet only a few seek it. The rest become caught up in striving, consuming, and acquiring, and miss the opportunity.”

The outer circle of the wheel is called the Paticca Samuppada, and represents the twelve links of dependent origination. These are chains of causes which lead to other causes. there is no beginning link, for everything is interconnected.

O’Brien describes the representation of these links as such: “Traditionally, the outer wheel depicts a blind man or woman (representing ignorance); potters (formation); a monkey (consciousness); two men in a boat (mind and body); a house with six windows (the senses); an embracing couple (contact); an eye pieced by an arrow (sensation); a person drinking (thirst); a man gathering fruit (grasping); a couple making love (becoming); a woman giving birth (birth); and a man carrying a corpse (death)”

On the outside of the wheel, holding it in place is the Yama, who is a wrathful deity and lord of the Hell Realm.

A2yamarealm

He represents death but is not evil, despite his gruesome appearance. Although he is meant to invoke fear, he is actually a protector of Buddhism and Buddhists. This is to show that death, while feared and inevitable, is not evil.

Outside of the wheel, in the upper right hand corner, is the Buddha.

A11buddharealm

He represents the hope of liberation of enlightenment.

This representation of the wheel shows beings traveling from the wheel to Nirvana in the upper left corner. Normally, there is a moon representing enlightenment, such as in the depiction below.

Tibetan Wheel of Life 2

 

There is a belief that everything is connected and meant to be. I feel very honored to have not only had the chance to meet Akong Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe, but that Akong Rinpoche was meant to conduct my ceremony. He will be greatly missed.

I have just finished my dissertation for my M.Litt and thought I would share the images I used. Unfortunately I cannot put the context of the paper online as it might interfere with their plagiarism check but the images are the best part anyways.

Tina Modotti,  Portrait of William Spratling,  1929 Photograph Tulane University Special Collections,  New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Tina Modotti,
Portrait of William Spratling,
1929
Photograph
Tulane University Special Collections,
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Canal Street, New Orleans, LA,  1909  Postcard Private Collection

Canal Street, New Orleans, LA,
1909
Postcard
Private Collection

French Quarter Courtyard,  1910  Postcard  Private Collection

French Quarter Courtyard,
1910
Postcard
Private Collection

William Spratling Map of Mexico, featuring Taxco  1929  Ink and Paper - Published in Little Mexico

William Spratling
Map of Mexico, featuring Taxco
1929
Ink and Paper – Published in Little Mexico

William Spratling Portrait of Don Borda 1929  Ink and Paper - Published in Little Mexico

William Spratling
Portrait of Don Borda
1929
Ink and Paper – Published in Little Mexico

Sandy Baum  Santa Prisca Cathedral  2011  Photograph Private Collection

Sandy Baum
Santa Prisca Cathedral
2011
Photograph
Private Collection

The Old French Opera House  1912  Postcard  Private Collection

The Old French Opera House
1912
Postcard
Private Collection

John Tibule Mendes  French Opera House after the fire  1919  Gelatin dry plate negative  The Historic New Orleans Collection,  New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

John Tibule Mendes
French Opera House after the fire
1919
Gelatin dry plate negative
The Historic New Orleans Collection,
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Diego Rivera  The History of Cuernavaca and Morelos 1929-1930  Fresco  Palace of Cortés, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Diego Rivera
The History of Cuernavaca and Morelos
1929-1930
Fresco
Palace of Cortés, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Diego Rivera  The History of Cuernavaca and Morelos 1929-1930  Fresco  Palace of Cortés, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Diego Rivera
The History of Cuernavaca and Morelos
1929-1930
Fresco
Palace of Cortés, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Edwin Lewis Stephens  Professor Ellsworth Woodward, Director Newcomb School of Art, painting the live oaks at Paradise Woods, near Breaux Bridge. August 1925  1925  Photograph  University of Louisiana at Lafayette Library Lafayette, LA, USA

Edwin Lewis Stephens
Professor Ellsworth Woodward, Director Newcomb School of Art, painting the live oaks at Paradise Woods, near Breaux Bridge. August 1925
1925
Photograph
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Library
Lafayette, LA, USA

Lyle Saxon at Melrose Plantation  1925  Photograph  State Library of Louisiana  Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Lyle Saxon at Melrose Plantation
1925
Photograph
State Library of Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

William Spratling  Cane River Portraits 1928  Pencil on Paper Spratling, William. “Cane River Portraits,” Scribner’s Magazine (April, 1928)

William Spratling
Cane River Portraits
1928
Pencil on Paper
Spratling, William. “Cane River Portraits,” Scribner’s Magazine (April, 1928)

William Spratling  Cane River Portraits 1928  Pencil on Paper Spratling, William. “Cane River Portraits,” Scribner’s Magazine (April, 1928)

William Spratling
Cane River Portraits
1928
Pencil on Paper
Spratling, William. “Cane River Portraits,” Scribner’s Magazine (April, 1928)

William Spratling  Frans Blom  1926 Ink and Paper Published in Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles

William Spratling
Frans Blom
1926
Ink and Paper
Published in Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles

William Spratling  Genevieve Pitot 1926 Ink and Paper Published in Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles

William Spratling
Genevieve Pitot
1926
Ink and Paper
Published in Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles

William Spratling  The Locale, which includes Mrs. Flo Field 1926 Ink and Paper Published in Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles

William Spratling
The Locale, which includes Mrs. Flo Field
1926
Ink and Paper
Published in Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles

Louis Fisher Anderson The Painted Wall (Design for the Proteus pageant: “The Romance of the Rose”) 1922  Watercolor on Paper  Tulane University Special Collections  New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Louis Fisher Anderson
The Painted Wall (Design for the Proteus pageant: “The Romance of the Rose”)
1922
Watercolor on Paper
Tulane University Special Collections
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Caroline Wogan Durieux La Classe de Dessin  1934  Lithograph on paper 25.4x20cm Louisiana State University Museum of Art,  New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Caroline Wogan Durieux
La Classe de Dessin
1934
Lithograph on paper
25.4x20cm
Louisiana State University Museum of Art,
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

William Spratling  St. Louis Cathedral  1923 Pencil on Paper From Picturesque New Orleans

William Spratling
St. Louis Cathedral
1923
Pencil on Paper
From Picturesque New Orleans

William Spratling  Orleans Avenue  1923 Pencil on Paper From Picturesque New Orleans

William Spratling
Orleans Avenue
1923
Pencil on Paper
From Picturesque New Orleans

Apprentice System at El Taller de Plateria 1934 Private Collection

Apprentice System at El Taller de Plateria
1934
Private Collection

Juan Guzmán, Héctor Aguilar, Antonio Pineda, William Spratling, and Antonio Castillo c. 1955 Photograph Private Collection

Juan Guzmán, Héctor Aguilar, Antonio Pineda, William Spratling, and Antonio Castillo
c. 1955
Photograph
Private Collection

William Spratling Nahui Ollin Cuff 1947 Silver Private Collection

William Spratling
Nahui Ollin Cuff
1947
Silver
Private Collection

Aztec Calendar Stone  Discovered 1790 Basalt Stone 3.7 x 1.2 m Mexican National Museum of Anthropology,  Mexico City, Mexico.

Aztec Calendar Stone
Discovered 1790
Basalt Stone
3.7 x 1.2 m
Mexican National Museum of Anthropology,
Mexico City, Mexico.

Aztec calendar detail

Aztec calendar detail

William Spratling Jaguar Brooch 1944 Silver and Amethyst Private Collection

William Spratling
Jaguar Brooch
1944
Silver and Amethyst Private Collection

Teotihuacán  Tripod Vase  250-600 A.D.  Earthenware with polychrome stucco 21.3 x 28.8 cm The Walters Art Museum,  Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Teotihuacán
Tripod Vase
250-600 A.D.
Earthenware with polychrome stucco
21.3 x 28.8 cm
The Walters Art Museum,
Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

William Spratling Facing Monkey Brooches  1930/1965 Silver and Tortoiseshell Private Collection

William Spratling
Facing Monkey Brooches
1930/1965
Silver and Tortoiseshell
Private Collection

Aztec Monkey Stamp 14th-early 16th century  Ceramic 5.08 x 6.35 cm The Metropolitan Museum of Art  New York City, New York, USA

Aztec
Monkey Stamp
14th-early 16th century
Ceramic
5.08 x 6.35 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, New York, USA

Tiffany and Co., NY Necklace 1930-1935 Platinum and diamonds 9x14 cm Private Collection

Tiffany and Co., NY
Necklace
1930-1935
Platinum and diamonds
9×14 cm
Private Collection

Caroline Wogan Durieux William Spratling in his studio 1934 Lithograph on paper The Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

Caroline Wogan Durieux
William Spratling in his studio
1934
Lithograph on paper
The Birmingham Museum of Art,
Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

William Spratling Hallmark, 1940 – 1944

William Spratling
Hallmark, 1940 – 1944

I am in the final days of working on my dissertation but was able to take a few hours for some day trips with my friend Helen, visiting from the states.

One place that we went (where I have been trying to get to all year) was Scone Palace. Scone is the crowning site of the Kings of Scotland and is mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Robert the Bruce was crowned at Scone in 1306 and the last coronation was of Charles II, when he accepted the Scottish crown in 1651. The place of coronation was called Caislean Credi, ‘Hill of Credulity’, which survives as the present Moot Hill.

Today it is the home of the 8th Earl of Mansfield but is open to the public on most days.

The front of the Palace

The front of the Palace

Inside image

Inside image

One of the rooms has this wallpaper designed by Pugin. I gave a presentation for my William Morris class first semester on wallpaper. I had used this particular wallpaper as an example of popular wallpapers at the time so it was really exciting to see it in use.

One of the rooms has this wallpaper designed by Pugin. I gave a presentation for my William Morris class first semester on wallpaper. I had used this particular wallpaper as an example of popular wallpapers at the time so it was really exciting to see it in use.

Highland Cows at Scone

Highland Cows at Scone

Cows and the Palace

Cows and the Palace

Baby Highland Cow

Baby Highland Cow

Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Garden

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Walking around the grounds

Walking around the grounds

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Views of the Palace

Views of the Palace

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The actual site of the coronations

The actual site of the coronations

Inside the coronation site

Inside the coronation site

We took some photos of a stuff monkey for our friend Jess who couldn't make it on the trip. Here he is sitting on a replica of the stone of Scone.

We took some photos of a stuff monkey for our friend Jess who couldn’t make it on the trip. Here he is sitting on a replica of the stone of Scone.

Moot Hill

Moot Hill

And finally... eating scones at Scone.

And finally… eating scones at Scone.

Posted by: mkl325 | August 1, 2013

Clare’s Visit Part 5: Looking for Mr. Darcy

The final leg of our trip was visiting Lyme Park and Chatsworth House –  homes used as Pemberley in film adaptations of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Lyme Park – BBC’s Pride and Prejudice (1995)

It was a little rainy and the house wasn't open but it was still pretty impressive

It was a little rainy and the house wasn’t open but it was still pretty impressive

Wildlife in Lyme Park

Wildlife in Lyme Park

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"The Cage"

“The Cage”

Green House (also used in the Forsythe Saga)

Green House (also used in the Forsythe Saga)

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Clare took dozens of pictures of roses for inspiration for her garden

Clare took dozens of pictures of roses for inspiration for her garden

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Didn't find Mr. Darcy

Didn’t find Mr. Darcy

Chatsworth House – Pride & Prejudice Feature Film (2005)

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House

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Walking around the grounds

Walking around the grounds

Rose Garden

Rose Garden

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Rose plants with strawberry plants planted at the base

Rose plants with strawberry plants planted at the base

Strawberry Plants

Strawberry Plants

Funky plants

Funky plants

Inside the house

Inside the house

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Love the wallpaper!!

Love the wallpaper!!

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It is the home of the Duke of Devonshire. The 5th Duke of Devonshire is the portrait in the middle, on the left is his mistress Elizabeth and on the right is his wife Georgiana. They all lived in the same house together and are the subject of the movie "The Duchess"

It is the home of the Duke of Devonshire. The 5th Duke of Devonshire is the portrait in the middle, on the left is his mistress Elizabeth and on the right is his wife Georgiana. They all lived in the same house together and are the subject of the movie “The Duchess”

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So many sheep!

So many sheep!

I didn't want to leave.

I didn’t want to leave.

 

After leaving the Isle of Skye, Clare and I started the long drive from the highlands to Manchester, making two stops along the way.

Loch Lomond

The Loch Lomond song is actually about death. The Low road being the one of the spirit world.

The Loch Lomond song is actually about death. The Low road being the one of the spirit world.

You take the high road and I'll take the low road.

You take the high road and I’ll take the low road.

And I'll be in Scotland afore ye.

And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye.

The bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.

The bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

Glasgow: The Willow Tea Room

Center of Glasgow

Center of Glasgow

The Willow Tea Room was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904

The Willow Tea Room was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904

Facade of the Willow Tea Room

Facade of the Willow Tea Room

He designed EVERY aspect of the tea room

He designed EVERY aspect of the tea room

Even down to the doors

Even down to the doors

It's pretty remarkable to be surrounded by his art

It’s pretty remarkable to be surrounded by his art

absolutely beautiful

absolutely beautiful

Downstairs level of the tea room

Downstairs level of the tea room

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Drawing designs

Design Drawings

More design drawings

More design drawings

Plus there is some really good tea

Plus there is some really good tea

...and cakes

…and cakes

Posted by: mkl325 | July 28, 2013

Clare’s Visit Part 3: The Isle of Skye

One of the things that Clare and I decided we HAD to do was rent a car and drive to the Isle of Skye. Our mother and sister, Maureen, had gone years ago and we had heard wonderful things about its landscape and overall beauty. It is definitely worth the visit.

 Skye is the northernmost of the large islands of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.


Skye is the northernmost of the large islands of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.

Driving up to the Bridge, the Isle of Skye appearing through the clouds. It was a bit of a Brigadoon moment.

Driving up to the Bridge, the Isle of Skye appearing through the clouds. It was a bit of a Brigadoon moment.

Portree, the largest town on Skye

Portree, the largest town on Skye

Portree Harbour

Portree Harbor

boats in Portree

boats in Portree

 

 

Walking around the town

Walking around the town

Driving to Waternish

Driving to Waternish

Waternish landscape

Waternish landscape

 

My sisters, my Mom and I are all knitters and crocheters (due to the influence of my grandmother) so Clare and I couldn't resist visiting the Skye Shilasdair Shop in Waternish.

My sisters, my Mom and I are all knitters and crocheters (due to the influence of my grandmother) so Clare and I couldn’t resist visiting the Skye Shilasdair Shop in Waternish.

They dye their yarn using local natural ingredients, including plants and bugs. This is a chart of their dyes.

They dye their yarn using local natural ingredients, including plants and bugs. This is a chart of their dyes.

Outside of the yarn shop

Outside of the yarn shop

Isle of Skye Sheep

Isle of Skye Sheep

Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle

Home of Clan MacLeod. There were a lot of Highlander jokes made.

Home of Clan MacLeod. There were a lot of Highlander jokes made.

Gardens of Dunvegan Castle

Gardens of Dunvegan Castle

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Landscape around Dunvegan

Landscape around Dunvegan

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Mealt Waterfall in north east Trotternish

Mealt Waterfall in north east Trotternish

Kilt Rock beyond Mealt Waterfall

Kilt Rock beyond Mealt Waterfall

Cliffs of Trotternish

Cliffs of Trotternish

Local wildlife

Local wildlife

Highland Cows!

Highland Cows!

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Leaving Skye

Leaving Skye

 

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This was definitely one of my favorite places in Scotland and well worth the time if you have the chance.

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