Plano, Illinois – October 2017 – Farnsworth House

The Farnsworth House is an architectural icon built along the Fox River near the small town of Plano, about an hour and a half from downtown Chicago. The house was designed by Mies van der Rohe for Dr Edith Farnsworth in the late 1940s, and was completed in 1951.

As Mies stated, it is designed to be ‘almost nothing’, a basic, yet elegant design of glass and steel.

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As with many famed architects and clients, Mies and Edith battled over many features. One was that Mies said there should be no curtains, Edit won.

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Another is there is very little storage in the house, as it was designed to be a weekend retreat.

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The house has had three owners since it was built. Since the early 2000s it has been owned by a trust.

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The flooring is Italian Travertine.

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While the owners have had their own furnishing in the house, it is currently set with stunning mid century modern pieces.

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While in the house, you feel as though you are still outside.

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Our tour included a number of European architects, who were ecstatic to be in the presence of greatness.

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Simple, elegant and stunning; the Farnsworth House is an American classic.

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Delaware, Ohio – October 2017 – Can’t Be Bored at a Gourd Show

The Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio was the host for the annual Gourd Show. Apparently a lot of people like making art out of gourds. With the results it is obvious there are some skilled gourd-artist around.

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There was also entertainment. While we were there a band called the ‘Rum River Blend’ played a mix of acoustic rock, bluegrass and folk. Their fiddle player, Carl, was 95 years old (he was the 1948 Ohio Fiddle Champion)!

Let’s give it up for Carl!

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Columbus – October 2017 – Chalk Art

Easton is a very large ‘lifestyle center’ in Northeast Columbus. A lifestyle center is a shopping area built to resemble an actual town, with streets going through the shops, apartments and other less traditional mall features.

On Saturday they had a chalk art contest. We arrived early on Sunday morning before the stores (and therefore the people) arrived, giving plenty of opportunity for unobstructed views of the final work. The early morning shadows, however, proved to be tricky.

The art itself was excellent, with a variety of subjects and approaches to style.

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Cleveland – September 2017 – A Super Library

Two teenagers growing up in the Glenville neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland came up with the idea of Superman in the mid 1930s. From this humble beginning they launched the most famous superhero of all time, which the Main Cleveland Library is now celebrating.

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were friends from the neighborhood when they partnered to come up with Superman. As children of Jewish immigrants the idea of Superman coming from another land was close to their experiences, as well as their influence from the pulp fiction of the day. And the rest as they say is history….

 

Small steel statue

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Original sketches.

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Cleveland – proud true home of Superman – take that Metropolis!

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Phone booth – complete with a cape left behind.

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The 1950s Superman costume, apparently these colors filmed better in black and white than the more well known red and blue.

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Large statue – eventually headed for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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A Superman telephone.

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Cleveland – September 2017 – Lego Convention

The new downtown Cleveland Convention Center was the site of a Lego fan convention called BrickUniverse. This show featured a number of Lego artists, as well as vendors with a large collection of specialty pieces.

As we entered the hall we were greeted by Jonathan Lopes, who had a number of very large pieces. Jonathan, a San Diego resident who used to live in Brooklyn, which was featured extensively in his grouping.

 

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Nearby was Lia Chan who specialized in Air & Space.

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There were a number of ‘paintings’ made of Lego throughout the exhibit. The detail was amazing.

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A 12′ long model of the USS Missouri had thousands of small sailors, as well as the table and dignitaries that signed the surrender terms ending World War II.

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Displayed nearby was a large collection of famed military leaders.

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Eventually I pulled out the zoom to get close ups.

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The tallest building in Cleveland is the nearly 1000′ high Key Tower. For this show King Kong was on top.

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The Eiffel Tower.

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Another of Lia’s pieces up close showing the details.

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The Moulin Rouge complete with Can Can Dancers.

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Finally a close up of Jonathan’s Woolworth Building, showing the amazing detail on the cornices.

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Cleveland – September 2017 – Chess Collection

A visit to Cleveland with some extra time lead us to go into the Cleveland Public Library’s Main Building on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The sign in front advertised a Superman exhibit (detailed in another post), but on the 4th floor in the Special Collections area was an amazing collection of books and periodicals on chess, as well as a great chess board/pieces collection. This collection is the largest in the world!

John G White was born in 1845, living until 1928. As an attorney and an avid reader he donated 60,000 books to the Cleveland library upon his death. Included in those were thousands on chess. To compliment these the library has a great collection of chess boards and pieces on display.

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Tacoma, Washington – September 2017 – LeMay Auto Collection

Harold LeMay made his fortune hauling garbage in Tacoma, Washington, but his passion was cars. At his death he owned a record 3000 cars. Today the collection is split into two separate museums.

The first is housed at a formers boys school with a number of buildings.

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The gymnasium make a great setting.

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Sliding doors!

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The had cars stacked 3 high in some places.

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The second museum was in downtown Tacoma and was more formal.

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A Rambler with a Ferrari engine.

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