Central USA / Colorado / North America

“Pic of the Week”, July 14, 2017. Airport Art, Denver

10 Denver Airport

When I have some spare time between flights I often walk around airports.  In large part this is to stretch my legs and get a little exercise before the lengthy time spent in a crowded airplane seat.  I’m a fan of nicely designed and interesting airports and like to explore some of their shops, get a bite to eat, and people watch.  Airports also increasingly seem to have interesting collections of art on display.  It makes sense to have such exhibits at airports because these places are often crowded and busy, in the case of Denver, nearly 60,000,000 people traveling through it in a given year.  Admittedly many travelers won’t give something more than a glance but others, like me, …

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.All Trips / Art / Massachusetts / North America / Northeastern USA

Art, Architecture and Literature: A visit to Boston’s Public Library

06 Boston Public Library

Many people I know are fond of books, so visiting libraries during our travels is an obvious extension of this interest.  Some libraries are fairly dull, but others are far more than places where books and magazines are stored.  They are buildings of great architectural beauty.  And a few even have interesting art displays, enough to warrant their consideration as small “art museums”.  Such certainly is the case with the Boston Library, a place you can wander about for hours taking in all of its charms.  Of course, it’s all completely free.

The Boston Public Library system is the second largest in the United States and contains approximately 23 million items, including 1.7 million rare books and manuscripts.  Its annual circulation is …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 5, 2016 : Exploring Vancouver’s Waterfront

10 Vancouver Conv Center

One of my favorite cities in which to go for a long walk is Vancouver, BC.  It lends itself to walking because its setting is incredibly beautiful, its architecture interesting, and there’s a lot of fascinating street art you can enjoy.  I especially like exploring the harbor area around the new Convention Center and Canada Place.

Pixel Orca, near the Vancouver Convention Center

Pixel Orca, near the Vancouver Convention Center

Situated just outside the Convention Center are several interesting works of art, including Pixel Orca, a massive outdoor piece that definitely catches your eye, partially because it’s framed by beautiful North Vancouver.  It’s a reminder that many Orca pods live off the coast of the city (which you might see if you take a guided boat tour).

The Drop, outside the Vancouver Convention Center

The Drop, outside the Vancouver Convention Center

The Drop, outside the Vancouver Convention Center

The Drop, outside the Vancouver Convention Center

The Drop  resembles a raindrop, but is made of …

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.All Trips / Europe / Poland

Exploring Poland’s “Underground Salt Cathedral”, the Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour 10-2015 (90)

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is situated in southern Poland, in the town of Wieliczka. less than a half hour’s drive from Krakow.  It’s a historic place with salt having be excavated here since prehistoric times and the mine itself opening in the 13th century, making it one of the world’s oldest salt mines.  The mine produced table salt until 2007 when it closed (because of the low price of salt at the time and flooding of portions of the mine) and turned its attention to tourism.  It’s become a popular tourist site with over a million visitors a year.  More than 38 million visitors have seen the attractions in this mine since it opened to the public.

In 1978 the Wieliczka …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 8, 2016: A-Maze-ing Laughter

20 Vancouver laughing

When I last visited Vancouver my friend, Harry, took me for a walk around the city to include some of his favorite spots.  One of these was this fun statue called A-Maze-ing Laughter.  This is a fun bronze created by Yue Minjun in 2009; the piece was loaned to the city for its 2010 Winter Olympic celebrations. The sculpture quickly became very popular with Vancouverites and was purchased and donated to the City of Vancouver by Chip and Shannon Wilson in 2012.

The artwork is located in Morton Park along English Bay and consists of 14 separate figures, each 3 meters tall, each created in the artist’s own image while laughing.  There’s a separate concrete bench inscribed,  “May this sculpture inspire …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 11, 2015: Bernini’s Elephant and Obelisk, Rome

IMG_2086

My wife and I love to visit Rome!  While walking to the Pantheon from the Forum, we passed a curious and playful sculpture of an elephant and above it, an obelisk.  These were in a square very near the Pantheon, just outside a church.

After our visit, we did a little research and discovered this sculpture, named Elephant and Obelisk. was designed by the great artist, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, arguably the greatest sculpture since Michelangelo.  The elephant was probably executed by Bernini’s assistant, but it’s clear Bernini had a hand in its design.  The Egyptian obelisk was uncovered during nearby excavations — the ancient Romans were fond of bring obelisks back from Egypt.  The completed composite work of art was unveiled in …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 3, 2015: Polar Bears, Manitoba

bears5

Manitoba is famous for its polar bears, especially the wild ones around Hudson’s Bay.  For several weeks each fall Churchill draws the attention of animal lovers from around the world, as they flock to this small port town for their chance to see these massive animals on the shore of Hudson’s Bay, waiting for the water to freeze so they can go out and hunt seals.

These polar bears are completely benign, not man-eaters but created by man.  We came across this colorful display of polar bears behind the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg.  Beautifully and cleverly designed and executed by the artists, now presented for your enjoyment!

 

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.All Trips / Europe / France

Paris’ amazing Orsay Museum

16 Paris 05-2013.  A day at the Orsa

The Orsay Museum is one of my favorite places in Paris!  It has a great location, situated on the Seine River in the center of the city, across from the Tuileries Garden.  The museum was built as the Orsay railway station (Gare), opening in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition.   By 1939 the station’s short platforms had become unsuitable for the longer trains that were then being used and it was largely abandoned.  In 1970, permission was granted to demolish the station but it was saved with the hope that it could be converted to a hotel.   The need for an art museum to house Paris’ extensive collections of Impressionist art sparked the idea to convert the Orsay into a National …

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