Washington DC, – May 2019 – Queens of Egypt Exhibition

The National Geographic Museum is located on 17th Street Northwest in Washington. The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington in 1888 by explorers and scientists, and continue to this day their effort to educate the public.

The organization’s headquarters greets you with their famed seal embossed in the floor.

In the first floor of one of the buildings is a small exhibit featuring, among other things, many of their famed magazine covers.

As well as some artifacts such as Adminral Peary’s camera he used on his Arctic explorations.

The main exhibition hall is located in a second building across the courtyard. The current feature is ‘Queens of Egypt’.

This display features seven of the famed queens including Nefertari.

Numerous small artifacts are on display.

Many have beautiful details and vivid colors.

A section called ‘The Listicle of Major Goddesses’ had much larger statues and artifacts.

The final section dealt with Death and Mummies including this funerary stela for Amun in Thebes.

A display highlighted the 6 stages of mummification including embalming, washing and waxing, extracting of the brain through the nostrils, extraction of internal organs – which were then scented and placed in canopic jars, drying, and finally the placement of the mask of pure gold over the face.

The mummy could now rest in peace for eternity.

Chicago – February 2019 – Various Scenes

With our trip to Chicago complete some interesting photos did not make the various specific topic blog postings.

Starting with the long and thin – from commuter trains to 70 floor condo buildings.

Statuary on a South Michigan Avenue building.

Nearby the neighbors outdid them with this relief (only a portion of the entire sculpture).

The Carbide and Carbon Building’s gold top on a sunny morning.


O’Hare Airport is proposing to build a new terminal and is asking for the public’s opinion with a vote. It is Chicago – vote early, vote often.

It seems most of the newer hotel rooms in the city have photos that look like this – so I took my own abstract view of modern buildings.

If not modern, at least historic and modern combined.

Every time I go by this clock I look for a good angle to take a photo, but something always seems to be in the way. This angle is unobstructed, but doesn’t do it justice.

Wandering early one morning in the theater district I decided to focus on the signs.

Even the local McDonalds got into the act.

A snowy morning in Millennium Park.

Snow was gathering on ‘the bean’, and would come off in interesting ways.

It is an interesting view from underneath.

No concert at Pritzker Pavilion today!

Art in the snow behind Aon Tower.

The Chicago Cultural Center had a display on Jazz Music in the city.

The play Chicago was also featured – including some of the real life models for Roxie Hart – Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner.

Both Beulah and Belva had been charged with murder in 1924, but were acquitted. Amazingly the first play was in 1927 and Belva attended the premier!

Indianapolis – July 2018 – The Ruins of Holliday Park

If someone blindfolded you, put you on a plane, and took you to this field before taking off the blindfold you might say ‘are we in Rome – what ruins are those?’.

Needless to say they would be very surprised to find they are in the middle of Indianapolis.

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Surrounded by columns it is an impressive sight.

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But this structure is not a thousand year old Roman ruin. It is not even from Indiana. These are the remains of what is considered New York City’s first skyscraper – the St Paul Building.

Built in 1898 at 220 Broadway by Karl Bitter, a well known architect of the day.

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The building had three large statues made of Indiana limestone. These statues were called ‘The Races of Man’ and represented African American, Asian and Caucasian laboring together to hold the skyscraper up.

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By the 1950s it was decided to tear down this building to build a new, boring, glass and steel skyscraper. The owners of the building held a competition to find a new home for the sculptures, and Indianapolis won.

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The sculptures were relocated to Indiana and included in a reproduction of the facade. Over the years there were various modifications, and eventually the ruins, somewhat ironically, fell into disrepair.

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For almost 20 years they were roped off from the public.

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Fortunately in 2015 a restoration project began.

Today they stand proud in a promenade with other pieces including these 3 large stone ones with a portion of the declaration of independence carved into them.

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Holliday Park in Indianapolis is now a beautiful place to spend some time amongst the ‘ruins’.

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Worthington, Ohio – June 2018 – Come for the Produce, Stay for the Art

The town of Worthington, Ohio was settled in 1803 by settlers from Connecticut. As a result the center of town resembles a New England town, complete with the village green. Long an affluent Columbus suburb, Worthington has a year round farmers market, with the summer season held in the village green area.

This farmers market is nice, with an interesting selection of produce (when in season), meats and a collection of hipster booths like artistic chocolate and little bags of pasta from Cleveland. Still we enjoy going down to buy local honey and other items.

This week though we had a surprise in that the annual Worthington Arts Festival was being held.

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Over 100 artists had booths set up offer a variety of mediums including ceramics, paintings, photography, fiber, glass, jewelry, metalwork, leather work, and sculptures.

A local art teacher makes Bruce the Garden Shark – whose role is in theory to be like a scarecrow. We brought one home to ward off the groundhogs and skunks.

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While the much larger Columbus Arts Festival attracts artists from all over the country this one was mostly local artists, including this one who did a mixed media sculpture.

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There were a number of wood carvers making sure we know we are in Ohio.

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A clay ceramics artist had great skill in his use of paints and approaches to his firings to make interesting pieces.

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Interested in the steam punk look?

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A husband and wife team had a wood/glass mix.

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Finally a basket of funky little characters.

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Albany, NY – May 2018 – A Governmental Stop

We had been travelling for a couple of hours when we came to Albany, New York. As the state capital there are a number of interesting buildings in the government section – including the capital itself.

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Just across a green space from the state capital is an older, art deco looking office building, the Alfred Smith Government Building – completed in 1930.

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The Department of Education Building lines another side of the park.

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This however ends any of the classic looking buildings – the rest are in the brutalist style of the 1960s and 1970s.

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The Empire State Plaza is lined with them.

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The Egg – A performing arts venue.

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One of the fountains was drained for repairs – giving it an interesting look.

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The view from the museum steps gives an interesting mix of architectures.

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The State Museum of New York.

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Whose arches frame the capital at the other end of the plaza.

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Nearby is either a) a sculpture gardenĀ  b) a workout park – not sure.

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A final view of the plaza.

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Baltimore – May 2018 – American Visual Art Museum

At the base of Federal Hill in Baltimore is the American Visual Art Museum. For those who enjoy the unusual, this is a museum for you.

Founded in 1995 by Rebecca Ann Hoffberger, the museum started out as a display of artwork from Ms. Hoffberger’s psychiatric patients who had created the art as part of a program known as People Encouraging People.


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The museum is now located in two buildings housing over 60,000 square feet of exhibit space.

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One of Ms Hoffberger’s goal was to encourage and promote artists who come from outside the academic or institutionalized learning spaces.

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As a result you get a great eclectic mix of exhibits.

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Including a life size sculpture of a man made out of small gauge wire.

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As well as interesting interpretations of the human form.

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The dress below was made on 3D printers from the original, the artists mother’s wedding dress from the 1940s. Each circle was hand created to celebrate her mothers life.

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As a finale (for us) – a Pez collection.

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New York City – May 2018 – Sights Around the City

A couple of days in the city with some highlights.


The Staten Island Ferry

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The Statue of Liberty

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Statue in front of Bowling Green (Customs House)

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Madison Square Park in bloom and Met Life Building

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St Patricks

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Relief on 50 Rockefeller Plaza

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By the end of the day I was back in Jersey City and Hoboken, both of which offer great views of Manhattan. This view shows some of the posts from an old pier in Jersey City back across to lower Manhattan. The buildings are lit up from the clouds just beginning to break when the sun was setting.

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This view of Midtown from Hoboken across a pier.

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A view of the Newport neighborhood with the Hoboken Terminal in the foreground.

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