Boats and Bodies Fishing

September 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Spent the weekend in Washington DC.
It’s a museum town but I tried not to over do the tourist museum thing, I only went two. One of my favorite museums is the Renwick. It is a small museum with 19th century paintings and contemporary crafts and sculptor. Most of the collection is on the second floor of an lovely 19th century townhouse.
One of the most enjoyable paintings for me was a scene of boats and fishermen . The subtle color and masterful composition was breath taking
. It was painted by Emil Carlsen of Denmark, about 1909.





Do You Know the Artist Walter Anderson?

August 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Walter or Bob Anderson was born in New Orleans or there about. He came from an artistic family. His mother and two brothers were artist. Their style as greatly influence by the American arts and craft movement. Walter was born in 1903 and died around 1964. The Anderson family created an arts and crafts business in Oceans Springs Mississippi , that still functions today.
Walter though an eccentric and a recluse is the most famous member of this family. Here are a few of his paintings of wildlife in the Gulf region.






An Older Women?

July 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have passed this Roman statue many times at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  recently I have taken the time to look a bit more closely and to sort through some of my feelings about it. The one thing that has surfaced is the question of this being an older or old woman. If it is that, then it is also the portrait of of woman who was, and still is, graceful, and beautiful. The sign of being a “proper” member of her society are clear but just as clear to me is a natural beauty that is reluctant of leave her. I hope it never did.  This was carved around 6o or 70 AD 

A Thing of Beauty Can Get You Killed: Ovid

July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

A beautiful and disturbing retelling of an old tale.

Drinking Alone

July 9, 2012 § 4 Comments

This is one of my favorite poems.

English Translation:

Drinking Alone with the Moon (Li Bai, 701-762 AD, China)

From a wine pot amidst the flowers,
I drink alone without partners.
To invite the moon I raise my cup.
We’re three, as my shadow shows up.
Alas, the moon doesn’t drink.
My shadow follows but doesn’t think.
Still for now I have these friends,
To cheer me up until the spring ends.
I sing; the moon wanders.
I dance; the shadow scatters.
Awake, together we have fun.
Drunk, separately we’re gone.
Let’s be boon companions forever,
Pledging, in heaven, we’ll be together.

Drinking Together: The Asian Kendi

July 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

About a year ago I was in the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) and took photos of a number of items.  Usually I take a photo of the label as well.  Later as I was going though my shots a came across a lovely vessel that I used in a drawing. I discovered that I had no idea what it was or in what museum I had taken the shot. I had not even taken a photo of the label.  I assumed that I was an object some where in MIA’s Asian collection.  I have been wandering the those collections on each visit and have had not discovered it.  I began to wonder if I might be wrong and the object was at the Met in New York City.  This past week however I found the object in a part of the Asian collection at MIA that is somewhat separate from the other, which is upstairs. One the first floor there is India and Southeast Asia.

I later discovered later that the sweet little vessel is called a Kendi. It has a very long history in Asia and is also depicted in European art from time to time. I must admit that I can understand that.  There is something so appealing about its form. This is a lovely  water vessel without handles. It has a long neck that doubles as a place to fill the pot with liquid and  a place to hold, lift and manipulate it.  A spout coming out of a round and squat body. It is a great communal drinking vessel in that liquid can be poured from the vessel with out lips coming into contact with it.

More about Kendi can be found here:

When Glass Was Roman Gold

June 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

There was a tale about the emperor Tiberius Caesar Augustus (42 BCE -37 CE).  A master of glass blowing had invented a method of blowing glass in a mold. In this way, uniform glass objects could be made with greater speed.  Tiberius got the man’s assurance that no one else knew of this method. Then had him beheaded. Tiberius thought that with the use of such a method, glass which was as valuable as gold would quickly become as cheap as dirt. (Did he anticipate the industrial revolution and our modern times?)

Along those lines I would like to present to you a marvelous glass object from the Metropolitan Museum’s collection. It is a heavy bit of glassware, almost as round as a globe.  It has wonderful wide handles of pulled glass.   The container is tinted green the natural color of glass and in the interior we have remains of a cremation. The object is an urn in fact. Regardless of it’s somewhat somber role, I think this is an great example of ancient glass blowing.

The second object with metal fittings that echos the leaf-like flaring of the pulled glass. The two materials, glass and bronze seem to compliment each other in form and color. Both objects have a form the reminds me of an Ancient Greek bottle for perfumed oils called  aryballos

This is but two items can be seen at the New York Metropolitan Museum. If you go there take spend some time in the Greek and  Roman exhibit.  It has been recently reinstalled and well worth your time.


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