October 2007


Continuing on with our visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which I have posted about previously here and here, I want to show you some things that do not hang on the walls. Specifically a few photos from the Asian Art section which occupies 25 galleries.
Sometimes I don’t like to think about how so many of these items end up in museums, especially museums in the United States of America. I am sure they are acquired by legitimate purchase, or so I hope. But often I wonder why they are for sale in the first place, especially religious items.

Of course some make perfect sense. For example, the Temple of Dendur is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York because it was rescued from being buried under the water when the High Dam near Aswan, Egypt was constructed.

But how may I ask does an Indian temple get to be in a Philadelphia museum? The image below is from the online website of the museum since it was extremely dark in the gallery and below that the description from the catalogue regarding the temple which comes from Madurai, in the province of Tamil Nadu in Southern India.

At the heart of the Museum’s rich collections of Indian art stands a magnificent temple hall, the only example of South Indian stone architecture to be found in an American museum. It is made up of elements acquired by a Philadelphia family traveling in India in the early years of the twentieth century.

This evocative space is a reconstruction from the ruins of three shrines that were built in the ancient city of Madurai, in southern India. All three shrines date from about 1525–50.

Yes indeed. Acquired by a very wealthy Philadelphia family while travelling in India.

In the same gallery as the temple was this perfect 11th century bronze of Lord Rama, also from Tamil Nadu. Bronzes from this era are considered peak creations of Indian art according to the Museum catalogue.

The above were posted especially for my blog friend Vijay, a radiologist who lives in Salem in the province of Tamil Nadu.

But the Asian Galleries contain items acquired from other countries besides India. Sunkaraku, or Evanescent Joys, is the name of this beautiful Japanese ceremonial teahouse. It is very popular with visitors to the Museum and when we entered and asked what special highlights were in the Museum, since obviously we could not see them all, we were told not to miss this.

The teahouse was acquired by the Museum directly from the architect Ogi Rodo who constructed it using elements from an eighteenth-century teahouse. Rodo designed country retreats and teahouses for wealthy leaders of the political and financial world of early twentieth-century Japan. Below we have the side garden of the teahouse.

Sunkaraku sits in a large gallery lit by daylight along with a Japanese temple, which you can see in the right foreground of the photo below.

The interior of the temple which is from the Muromachi period or late 14th century to late 16th century. Rather dark I’m afraid.


This image is taken from the Museum website to give you a better idea of the interior.


Finally for this post we have an oasis of serenity, the Chinese Scholar’s study with this late eighteenth century example from Beijing. The walls are actually hinged panels with silk covered lattice work at the top and painted landscapes at the bottom. The long narrow table is designed for painting or for looking at scrolls, some of which you can see in the wood holder on the floor nearby.

The space was very dark so the photo is not brilliant but I liked the space and the items with which they had furnished it.

I think you can tell that I really liked this Museum and would have been happy to have spent much more time there. I hope you are not losing interest for there is one more post to come. Just five small galleries house the next fascinating collection, Arms and Armour. So Part IV soon, I hope.

Continuing on with our visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which I have posted about previously here and here, I want to show you some things that do not hang on the walls. Specifically a few photos from the Asian Art section which occupies 25 galleries.
Sometimes I don’t like to think about how so many of these items end up in museums, especially museums in the United States of America. I am sure they are acquired by legitimate purchase, or so I hope. But often I wonder why they are for sale in the first place, especially religious items.

Of course some make perfect sense. For example, the Temple of Dendur is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York because it was rescued from being buried under the water when the High Dam near Aswan, Egypt was constructed.

But how may I ask does an Indian temple get to be in a Philadelphia museum? The image below is from the online website of the museum since it was extremely dark in the gallery and below that the description from the catalogue regarding the temple which comes from Madurai, in the province of Tamil Nadu in Southern India.

At the heart of the Museum’s rich collections of Indian art stands a magnificent temple hall, the only example of South Indian stone architecture to be found in an American museum. It is made up of elements acquired by a Philadelphia family traveling in India in the early years of the twentieth century.

This evocative space is a reconstruction from the ruins of three shrines that were built in the ancient city of Madurai, in southern India. All three shrines date from about 1525–50.

Yes indeed. Acquired by a very wealthy Philadelphia family while travelling in India.

In the same gallery as the temple was this perfect 11th century bronze of Lord Rama, also from Tamil Nadu. Bronzes from this era are considered peak creations of Indian art according to the Museum catalogue.

The above were posted especially for my blog friend Vijay, a radiologist who lives in Salem in the province of Tamil Nadu.

But the Asian Galleries contain items acquired from other countries besides India. Sunkaraku, or Evanescent Joys, is the name of this beautiful Japanese ceremonial teahouse. It is very popular with visitors to the Museum and when we entered and asked what special highlights were in the Museum, since obviously we could not see them all, we were told not to miss this.

The teahouse was acquired by the Museum directly from the architect Ogi Rodo who constructed it using elements from an eighteenth-century teahouse. Rodo designed country retreats and teahouses for wealthy leaders of the political and financial world of early twentieth-century Japan. Below we have the side garden of the teahouse.

Sunkaraku sits in a large gallery lit by daylight along with a Japanese temple, which you can see in the right foreground of the photo below.

The interior of the temple which is from the Muromachi period or late 14th century to late 16th century. Rather dark I’m afraid.


This image is taken from the Museum website to give you a better idea of the interior.


Finally for this post we have an oasis of serenity, the Chinese Scholar’s study with this late eighteenth century example from Beijing. The walls are actually hinged panels with silk covered lattice work at the top and painted landscapes at the bottom. The long narrow table is designed for painting or for looking at scrolls, some of which you can see in the wood holder on the floor nearby.

The space was very dark so the photo is not brilliant but I liked the space and the items with which they had furnished it.

I think you can tell that I really liked this Museum and would have been happy to have spent much more time there. I hope you are not losing interest for there is one more post to come. Just five small galleries house the next fascinating collection, Arms and Armour. So Part IV soon, I hope.

Halloween was not celebrated where I grew up in Australia and I don’t have any childhood memories of the day. No doubt that has changed even there, for usually Big Business will try to make a buck any way they can and Halloween has become a very big business indeed.

In Canada, Halloween was a totally different experience with children dressing up and visiting the neighbours and doing the “Trick or Treat” song and dance with the expectation of candy being dropped into their swag bags. Mine were no different and wanted to join in this parade so I had to make costumes for them. One of us stayed home handing out treats, while the other trailed around with a group of children and other parents to see they all travelled the dark streets safely. Of course it usually rained, being Vancouver.


This was in the good old days, before the worry of weirdos inserting needles into treats or contaminating the handouts with poison, so sometimes they came home with candied apples or home made cookies. One of our neighbours, a dentist, gave out toothbrushes which were a big hit because they were so different. In later years fireworks came into the mix and several families got together to buy them so that the display was bigger and better and lasted longer. One of our dogs, Kanga, was petrified by the whole Halloween thing and hid, shivering and shaking under a bed until it was all over. Cleo, our next dog, thought all the children coming to the door was a splendid excitement, greeting every one and wanting to go with them on their travels. She even barked loudly at the fireworks, adding greatly to the noise.


Nowadays we don’t have very many children come to the door, but you never know, so we buy lots of candy, all thoroughly wrapped in some factory now, and usually end up eating most of it ourselves so I don’t buy the cheap stuff. If you are going to eat chocolate, eat good chocolate is my motto.


Another thing that has changed is decorating houses for Halloween. Mostly we just carved pumpkins and put candles inside them and put them either in the window or by the front door. But now the displays are getting a little more extensive. I first noticed it in the East, when I had been at my daughter’s house at that time of year. Many people there go in for decorating at Halloween in a big way. Slowly this is starting to happen in Vancouver in a smaller way, meaning a house here and a house there.


But one house, a couple of blocks over from us has really gone all out. So I thought I would walk over and take a few photos since it was a beautiful Fall day. This is their second year that I know of and every foot of their property is decorated. I’m told the two fellows who live in the house are in the business, whatever that means. The Special Effects business? The Costume business? The Skeleton business? The Ghoul business? Mr Google hasn’t heard about them yet so no help there.


Anyway the photos throughout this post are from this house. You enter from the streetfront and pass through a garage in total darkness except for figures lit eerily and smoking cauldrons.


Then you pass through Klown Alley along the side of the house to the back garden to see the rather horrific autopsy and the Cemetery on the back lawn.


Moving past the sundeck coffin display and along the other side of the house to the front of the house where you are greeted by a real live ghoul. A class from the nearby school was visiting the house and the children had to have their photo taken with him. The house is open from 10 am until midnight and it must be really scary at night. A donation box is by the exit with the money going to several local charities. All in all, a very scary place but the two fellows seemed to be having such a lot of fun as, dressed in costume, they went back and forth greeting the children. How they are going to top this next year I cannot imagine.

Hootin’ Anni, the den mother of the 50 plus bloggers loves Halloween and she has been handing out Halloween virtual treats to her site visitors. She gave me one after I stopped by her Photo Hunt and I was also given one by Dragonstar and JC. If you click on the treat you will be taken to Anni’s site, which is severely decorated for Halloween.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE IT

Halloween was not celebrated where I grew up in Australia and I don’t have any childhood memories of the day. No doubt that has changed even there, for usually Big Business will try to make a buck any way they can and Halloween has become a very big business indeed.

In Canada, Halloween was a totally different experience with children dressing up and visiting the neighbours and doing the “Trick or Treat” song and dance with the expectation of candy being dropped into their swag bags. Mine were no different and wanted to join in this parade so I had to make costumes for them. One of us stayed home handing out treats, while the other trailed around with a group of children and other parents to see they all travelled the dark streets safely. Of course it usually rained, being Vancouver.


This was in the good old days, before the worry of weirdos inserting needles into treats or contaminating the handouts with poison, so sometimes they came home with candied apples or home made cookies. One of our neighbours, a dentist, gave out toothbrushes which were a big hit because they were so different. In later years fireworks came into the mix and several families got together to buy them so that the display was bigger and better and lasted longer. One of our dogs, Kanga, was petrified by the whole Halloween thing and hid, shivering and shaking under a bed until it was all over. Cleo, our next dog, thought all the children coming to the door was a splendid excitement, greeting every one and wanting to go with them on their travels. She even barked loudly at the fireworks, adding greatly to the noise.


Nowadays we don’t have very many children come to the door, but you never know, so we buy lots of candy, all thoroughly wrapped in some factory now, and usually end up eating most of it ourselves so I don’t buy the cheap stuff. If you are going to eat chocolate, eat good chocolate is my motto.


Another thing that has changed is decorating houses for Halloween. Mostly we just carved pumpkins and put candles inside them and put them either in the window or by the front door. But now the displays are getting a little more extensive. I first noticed it in the East, when I had been at my daughter’s house at that time of year. Many people there go in for decorating at Halloween in a big way. Slowly this is starting to happen in Vancouver in a smaller way, meaning a house here and a house there.


But one house, a couple of blocks over from us has really gone all out. So I thought I would walk over and take a few photos since it was a beautiful Fall day. This is their second year that I know of and every foot of their property is decorated. I’m told the two fellows who live in the house are in the business, whatever that means. The Special Effects business? The Costume business? The Skeleton business? The Ghoul business? Mr Google hasn’t heard about them yet so no help there.


Anyway the photos throughout this post are from this house. You enter from the streetfront and pass through a garage in total darkness except for figures lit eerily and smoking cauldrons.


Then you pass through Klown Alley along the side of the house to the back garden to see the rather horrific autopsy and the Cemetery on the back lawn.


Moving past the sundeck coffin display and along the other side of the house to the front of the house where you are greeted by a real live ghoul. A class from the nearby school was visiting the house and the children had to have their photo taken with him. The house is open from 10 am until midnight and it must be really scary at night. A donation box is by the exit with the money going to several local charities. All in all, a very scary place but the two fellows seemed to be having such a lot of fun as, dressed in costume, they went back and forth greeting the children. How they are going to top this next year I cannot imagine.

Hootin’ Anni, the den mother of the 50 plus bloggers loves Halloween and she has been handing out Halloween virtual treats to her site visitors. She gave me one after I stopped by her Photo Hunt and I was also given one by Dragonstar and JC. If you click on the treat you will be taken to Anni’s site, which is severely decorated for Halloween.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE IT
The setting of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is quite wonderful. From the staircase, looking out, one sees this fountain in the grassy oval and beyond stretches the wide flag lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway all the way to the Philadelphia City Hall.

But let’s return to some of the treasures inside the building. The museum has a quite a few Auguste Rodin sculptures and this one, called Thought is a beautifully carved female head emerging from the rough block of marble. Her chin still embedded in the marble, the model for this sculpture was fellow sculptor, Camille Claudel, Rodin’s mistress at the time. It reminds me of the unfinished sculptures by Michelangelo at the Accademia in Florence where it seems the figures are struggling to escape from the marble. I am always in awe of someone who can stand in front of a block of marble and envision a figure within.

After exploring the galleries of European Art 1850-1900 we passed through Modern and Contemporary Art. Below is Pablo Picasso’s Head of a Woman, 1901.

As I wandered around in this museum I was very busy looking and taking photographs and if I knew the painter I would not note it down but count on finding the name of the painting later, either in the museum catalogue which I bought or in the online website. I was positive that this was a Picasso but it turns out not to be so. I notice some writing in the upper left corner but I am unable to read it. I cannot find this anywhere, so help me out if you know what it is.

I’m quite the fan of sculpture myself and I thought you might appreciate these three works of the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi. He is best known for his very modern version of The Kiss, which is in this museum but not currently on display. The beautiful marble on the left is called Three Penguins which I think is quite evocative. Click for a better glimpse.

To end this post, for my husband who is a big fan of Joseph M W Turner, I took the following photo of the only Turner in this museum. The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834.

I have to tell you that our first date was a visit to the Tate Gallery in London forty-seven years ago. Now the Tate has the largest collection of Turners in the world, with 300 Turner oil paintings and while we probably didn’t see every one that day we did see a goodly number of them. No, I’m not quite the fan of Turner that he is, however we did get married anyway.

There is more to come from this wonderful museum. Not the definitive tour, but just some things that I fancied. Part I is here if you missed it.

The setting of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is quite wonderful. From the staircase, looking out, one sees this fountain in the grassy oval and beyond stretches the wide flag lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway all the way to the Philadelphia City Hall.

But let’s return to some of the treasures inside the building. The museum has a quite a few Auguste Rodin sculptures and this one, called Thought is a beautifully carved female head emerging from the rough block of marble. Her chin still embedded in the marble, the model for this sculpture was fellow sculptor, Camille Claudel, Rodin’s mistress at the time. It reminds me of the unfinished sculptures by Michelangelo at the Accademia in Florence where it seems the figures are struggling to escape from the marble. I am always in awe of someone who can stand in front of a block of marble and envision a figure within.

After exploring the galleries of European Art 1850-1900 we passed through Modern and Contemporary Art. Below is Pablo Picasso’s Head of a Woman, 1901.

As I wandered around in this museum I was very busy looking and taking photographs and if I knew the painter I would not note it down but count on finding the name of the painting later, either in the museum catalogue which I bought or in the online website. I was positive that this was a Picasso but it turns out not to be so. I notice some writing in the upper left corner but I am unable to read it. I cannot find this anywhere, so help me out if you know what it is.

I’m quite the fan of sculpture myself and I thought you might appreciate these three works of the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi. He is best known for his very modern version of The Kiss, which is in this museum but not currently on display. The beautiful marble on the left is called Three Penguins which I think is quite evocative. Click for a better glimpse.

To end this post, for my husband who is a big fan of Joseph M W Turner, I took the following photo of the only Turner in this museum. The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834.

I have to tell you that our first date was a visit to the Tate Gallery in London forty-seven years ago. Now the Tate has the largest collection of Turners in the world, with 300 Turner oil paintings and while we probably didn’t see every one that day we did see a goodly number of them. No, I’m not quite the fan of Turner that he is, however we did get married anyway.

There is more to come from this wonderful museum. Not the definitive tour, but just some things that I fancied. Part I is here if you missed it.

PINK

If there is one colour I really hate it is pink. None of the rooms in my house have anything pink nor does my closet contain a single item of pink apparel. But, as you can see below, it is a colour loved by many little girls, well except two. One, my granddaughter, second from the right and the other one, next to her, the Birthday Girl, prefer blue which I also dislike but not so strongly. The party was held in a dance studio and the entertainment was a dance lesson. This is the lifestyle of the four year olds who live in Westchester County, New York.

My daughter thought that the party had probably cost in the region of $1000 all told. She dragged me along and said don’t worry, there will be so many people there no one will care. She was right for there were lots of parents and grandparents of the attendees and we lunched at the sandwich buffet while the young ones ate a different lunch. There were three different birthday cakes and the party favours were extraordinary. As well each child received a photo of the group in a frame to take home. One of the grandparents took care of this while the dance lesson took place. No, my daughter doesn’t spend $1000 on her daughter’s birthday party but the pressure is on for these mothers, for it seems my granddaughter attends at least 2 birthday parties a month.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

Sorry about word verification which I hate myself but I have been discovered by some spammers who are inundating my posts. Hopefully it will be temporary.

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