Sunday, March 29, 2015

Abstract, yet human and evocative..

unlike modernistic abstract paintings of shapes and patterns, these paintings from inside the factories producing metals in the earlier years of the 20th century place human bodies in the midst of the heat, stench and racket. The middle painting shows men dragging a fiery hot ingot, turning their faces to avoid the radiated heat. No hard hats, no hearing protection, no safety glasses, no shirts!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Industrial Landscapes...the Grohmann Museum has them in abundance!

Many art museums we visit, I find industrial, railroad, factory or work-themed paintings are not common. Lots of pretty landscapes, lovely ladies, sweet children, flowers, hunt scenes, etc.; but not much to illustrate the ways and means that most people go about the task of making their living. Also, the kind of scene we see above, is very near to abstract or modernistic, if you simple look at the shapes, patterns and lines. I like to photograph scenes like this for the same reason.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Destination in Milwaukee (besides the lunch and the long walk): The Grohmann Museum

Hubsy wanted to see an exhibit of graphic art from the Milwaukee Road Railroad; photography was prohibited in that section, but otherwise, OK. The museum houses the art collection of a Wisconsin industrialist and benefactor to the local engineering college. Mosaics, stained glass and a formidable assortment of industrial landscape paintings from the middle ages to the 20th Century. There is a fun glass elevator to ride. I love glass elevators! More to come. The art in this museum is very thought provoking.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

"The Art Forger" by B. A. Shapiro

This novel started out like Dara Horn's novel "The World to Come", with a report in the a newspaper about an art heist, in this case, a theft in 1990 of several paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum including "After the Bath" by Degas. Years later, that painting (or is it a copy?) arrives in the studio of a talented (but tarnished) young lady artist in Boston who is bribed and cajoled into copying this stolen masterpiece. The idea is, according to the reputable (or is he?) art dealer, that a wealthy but unsophisticated foreign collector will end up with the copy and the Museum will get the original canvas, and everybody will get paid. The heroine, Claire Roth, makes a modest living producing perfectly legal copies of paintings for a specialty firm; now she turns her talent to copying a genuine masterpiece (which is kept in her studio/living space) for far greater gain and the hope the original will be returned to the museum. The art dealer naturally becomes her lover; she agonizes over  the ethics of her actions, but she is rather desperate for a hefty paycheck. The plot was not that strong; in reminded me of "Bridget Jones Copies a Stolen Masterpiece in Boston"--in other words, "Chick Lit".
However, I googled the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the collector herself. The book tells some interesting details about the techniques involved in making a new canvas "look old", even to experts.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Portrait of an Anonymous Reader..."

This young woman captures the spirit of those of us who love a good book so much, we can't pass up a used book store, the library in an unfamiliar city or even a box of used books at a garage sale. Who is she? I don't know; she could be a student, a budding writer? She's timeless in her search for knowledge, adventure, entertainment or information. In any case, an evocative photo-accident, found on a Saturday afternoon in a public venue in the USA. (with a small amount of editing.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Our Kinda Place...An Early Saturday Lunch at Mo's Irish Pub in Downtown Milwaukee...

Just after 11AM, before lunch crowds; we were hungry since we'd been up early, rode the train and then explored the area on foot for a couple of hours. The company that owns the restaurant will be renovating the stylish little triangular shaped office building (long empty). Interesting. I like to mention it when we have enjoyed the food and service at one of the restaurants on our route.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Milwaukee City Hall--It's Big

The municipal headquarters in Milwaukee is on a grand scale--it registers almost like a cathedral when you see it from a distance. I've never been inside--imagine the ceiling height of the rooms! I suppose it is one of the city's main landmarks. Impressive. Many older buildings in the city center were demolished and replaced by parking garages--1970's madness--glad this building was not torn down.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It was a day like this for our Adventure in Milwaukee...

The sky was crystal clear sapphire, a breeze was brisk but not unpleasant; definitely Spring about to bloom--but still the piles of melting and dirty snow; the river ice breaking up. I know this northern weather from my younger days when I lived in Madison and travelled regularly to Milwaukee. People, suffering from cabin-fever, were out in lighter clothes than you'd think. Me? I was wrapped up in a short winter jacket, hat and light gloves.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

We Needed an Airing: the First Adventure in 2015!

Saturday was the first "Spring-like" day this year; in the 40's. It felt wonderful, since our part of the planet experienced a "late", cold, snowy winter! Hubsy and I took an Amtrak train to Milwaukee for a museum exhibit, lunch and a long walk around the city. It is only about an hour on the train, then again to return in the evening. I found a new "motto", discovered some new art and took lots of photos. Fresh Blog-Fodder!

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...