Tag Archives: Art

Every Paris Needs An Eiffel Tower

The Logan County Courthouse stands to the left of this Eiffel Tower Mural in Paris, Arkansas.  Travels pass through town on their way to Magazine Mountain State Park to the south. I hope some stop to enjoy this Parisian view.

The Logan County Courthouse stands to the left of this Eiffel Tower Mural in Paris, Arkansas. Travelers pass through town on their way to Mount Magazine State Park to the south. I hope some stop to enjoy this Parisian view.

On our way to Mount Magazine State Park in northeastern Arkansas in May, we drove through the charming town of Paris, Arkansas. I’m glad I wanted to take a photo of the court house, or I would have missed the Eiffel Tower mural. (My husband, who was driving, has so much patience.)

There are more than 20 cities and towns in the United States named Paris. Most sites list the number as 23, but others credit Paris towns that have been re-named, such Beresford, South Dakota, which was known as Paris, Dakota Territory until 1884. The only other Paris that I’ve visited, other than Paris, France, is Paris, Texas. According to Wikipedia, there’s a 70-foot Eiffel Tower replica in the Texas Paris with a red cowboy hat on top, but I haven’t seen it in person — yet.

About Paris, Arkansas.

Here's a view of the Eiffel Tower Mural in Paris, Arkansas.  Every Paris needs an Eiffel Tower.

Here’s a view of the Eiffel Tower Mural in Paris, Arkansas. Every Paris needs an Eiffel Tower.

Click on the thumbnails to get a full-size view.

A list of Paris towns and cities in the United States.
New Paris, Indiana
New Paris, Ohio
New Paris, Pennsylvania
New Paris, Wisconsin
Paris, Arkansas
Paris, Dakota Territory
Paris, Georgia
Paris, Idaho
Paris, Illinois
Paris, Kentucky
Paris, Maine (including South Paris)
Paris, Michigan
Paris, Missouri
Paris, New York
Paris, Ohio
Paris, Pennsylvania
Paris, Tennessee
Paris, Texas
Paris, Virginia
Paris, Grant County, Wisconsin
Paris, Kenosha County, Wisconsin
Paris Township, Michigan
St. Paris, Ohio
West Paris, Maine

I took this photo on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2007, of the Eiffel Tower replica at Paris Las Vegas. I'm adding it at the request of a commenter, even though it's not in a  town named Paris.

I took this photo on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2007, of the Eiffel Tower replica at Paris Las Vegas. I’m adding it at the request of a commenter, even though it’s not in a town named Paris.

26 Comments

Filed under Photography, Travel

Please Share This Artwork

Please Share This Photo

ElephantVoices campaign: EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE
This is from a press release from ElephantVoices, which is launching a campaign against the ivory trade.  The trade of ivory is causing the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants every year. Elephant expert and Co-Founder of ElephantVoices, Dr. Joyce Poole, observes, “It is with a sense of déjà vu and deep sorrow, though little surprise, that following the torpedoing of the 1989 ban by the ‘one-off’ sales of ivory stockpiles, we find ourselves living through, and battling against, another elephant massacre.”

Each new tusk on the market means more death, trauma and destruction.

“We are asking people to help us reach out to potential buyers of ivory who don’t realize that elephants are dying in record-high numbers for trinkets and decorations. The only way to stop this wanton slaughter of elephants is to choke demand for ivory and stop the trade,” states Joyce Poole.

ElephantVoices is basing its campaign on two powerful pieces of graphic art by New York artist, Asher Jay. The artworks, with the slogans, EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; DON’T BUY IVORY and EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; STOP THE TRADE, target potential buyers and decision-makers, and are also specifically directed toward a Chinese audience. “ElephantVoices is doing something unique by making the graphic art available online in several versions, so they can be shared on social networks and be used for T-shirts, bumper-stickers, posters and banners”, says Executive Director, Petter Granli.

“We urge people to share these messages far and wide, making them go viral. The poaching is endangering elephants, jeopardizing biodiversity, and threatening tourism, people’s livelihoods and stability in elephant range states. The writing is on the wall for elephants and we must act now”, says Joyce Poole. The two pieces of art shown are avialble to download in several forms.

You Can Download the Artwork Here.

Yellow Stars Shed Light

There are too many people buying ivory in too many countries. The current demand for elephant tusks is unsustainable and is swiftly mining Africa’s elephants. The largest demand is in China and, hence, the Chinese government and her people have a special responsibility for taking a lead to end the decimation of elephants. China was permitted to buy a restricted amount of ivory from stockpiles, a decision by the international community that has caused immense harm to elephants. Ninety percent of the ivory available in China is from slaughtered elephants, illegally sourced, traded and sold. Chinese buyers deserve to know that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed to supply them with ivory. Every tusk costs a life.

China has the ability to raise public awareness and to enforce their strict laws to quickly strangle the trading, buying and poaching. China can stop her countrymen causing the destruction of Africa’s heritage and biodiversity, while concurrently protecting her enormous investments on the African continent. We urge China to take action now to end any trade in ivory – we cannot afford to lose Africa’s keystone species. 中国 Zhōngguó means China. Star power is needed to save Africa’s elephants from extermination.

Elephant Family Values

CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS TO SEE FULL-SIZE PICTURES AND IVORY SEIZURE MAP

1 Comment

March 27, 2013 · 4:08 pm

Marvelous Melbourne

People gather at Federation Square, which is a civic and cultural center in Melbourne, Australia.  About Federation Square.

People gather at Federation Square, which is a civic and cultural center in Melbourne, Australia. About Federation Square.

Four years ago (has it really been that long?) my husband and I and our long-time friends Mike and Anita visited Melbourne, Australia.  We’re enduring another snowstorm in Kansas City (it’s late March, doesn’t Mother Nature read the calendar!), so I’m looking through my photographs of warmer days and places, including Melbourne.  I’m feeling warmer already!

Melbourne is a gorgeous city of more than four million people  on Australia’s southeast coast in the state of Victoria. It’s known as the “Garden City” and Australia’s “Cultural Capital.”  Melbourne is also the home of the Australian Open. We coincidentally were there at the same time as the tournament as we made our way to Tasmania.

The Old Melbourne Gaol is now a museum. Between 1842 and its closure in 1929 the old Melbourne Gaol was the scene of 133 hangings including Australia’s most infamous citizen, the bushranger Ned Kelly, who was hanged on the gaol grounds on November 11, 1880.

Melbourne was ranked as the world’s most liveable city in ratings published by the Economist Group’s Intelligence Unit in August 2011 and in 2012. It’s no mystery why Melburnians call their city Marvelous Melbourne. People from Tasmania (it was then called Van Diemen’s Land) founded Melbourne in 1835, 47 years after the European settlement of Australia.  The 1850s gold rush in the state of Victoria transformed Melbourne into one of the world’s largest and richest cities.

We were only there for two days in January 2009, so I’m not an expert, but we did take a whirlwind tour of some of notable sights, such as the Melbourne Museum, The Melbourne Aquarium, Rod Laver Arena (from the outside), St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Royal Exhibition Building, Captain James Cook’s Cottage, and Federation Square. We visited the Old Melbourne Gaol, which held Ned Kelly, one of Australia’s most notorious bushrangers (highway robber), who was hanged there in 1880.  Heath Ledger played Ned Kelly in a 2003 movie, also starring Orlando Bloom.

Captain Cook's Cottage in a Melbourne, Australia, park.

This is the home of the parents of Captain James Cook. The cottage was built in 1755 in the English village of Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, deconstructed and and then re-built in 1934 in Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Melbourne is known for its wrought iron trim.

Melbourne is known for its cast iron trim, which adorns “Melbourne Style” Victorian terrace houses. The gold rush in 1850s triggered a building boom, enabling developers to build costly and ornate Victorian-style homes and public building.

It was a hot day on the streets of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1-21-09

It was a hot day on the streets of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, January 21, 2009.

Contemporary Aborigine Art was on display in an art gallery in Melbourne, Australia, January 2009.

Contemporary Aborigine Art was on display in an art gallery in Melbourne, Australia, January 2009. Melbourne is  Australia’s cultural capital and is home to the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s oldest and largest public art museum.

Coincidentally, we were in Melbourne during the Australian Open Tennis Tournament, held at Rod Laver Arena.  This is as close as we got. It was very hot. The following week, after we left, was even hotter, and sadly there were many bushfires near Melbourne, resulting in many people's deaths and many animals were also killed.

Coincidentally, we were in Melbourne during the Australian Open Tennis Tournament, held at Rod Laver Arena. This is as close as we got. It was very hot. The following week, after we left, was even hotter, and sadly there were many bushfires near Melbourne, resulting in the deaths of many people and animals.

On January 21, 2009, in Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia, people gather to watch a re-broadcast of Barack Obama's take the oath of office to become the President of the United States.

On January 21, 2009, in Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia, people gather to watch a re-broadcast of Barack Obama taking the oath of office to become the President of the United States.

We rode the free tourist trolley around Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne, Australia, has the largest tram network in the world. We rode the Heritage trams that operate on the free City Circle route intended for visitors.

This is the interior of St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, which is the cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia.

This is the interior of St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, which is the cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia.

The Royal Exhibition Building is a World Heritage Site-listed building in Melbourne, Australia, completed in 1880.

The Royal Exhibition Building is a World Heritage Site-listed building in Melbourne, Australia, completed in 1880.

Phar Lap (1926–1932) was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse, whose hide is on exhibit in the Melbourne Museum, which is in the Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, adjacent to the Royal Exhibition Building. About Phar Lap

Phar Lap (1926–1932) was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse, whose on exhibit in the Melbourne Museum, which is in the Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, adjacent to the Royal Exhibition Building. About Phar Lap

Click on any thumbnail to see a slide show of more photographs in full size  of Melbourne. Below the slide show are links to information about Melbourne.

About Melbourne.

About Phar Lap

About Federation Square.

About the Melbourne Aquarium.

About the Melbourne Museum.

About Captain Cook’s’ Cottage.

About the Leafy Seadragon.

Here is why is there so much cast iron lacework on buildings in Melbourne.

12 Comments

Filed under Travel

Nelson Mandela

This sculpture of Nelson Mandela is in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which is on the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain in South Africa.  Mandela is considered a national treasure and is featured in art and sculpture throughout South Africa.  Kirstenbosch, established in 1913, was the first botanic garden in the world to be devoted to a country's indigenous flora.

This sculpture of Nelson Mandela is in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which is on the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain in South Africa. Mandela is considered a national treasure and is featured in art and sculpture throughout South Africa. Kirstenbosch, established in 1913, was the first botanic garden in the world to be devoted to a country’s indigenous flora.

Nelson Mandela is celebrated in sculpture and art throughout South Africa, where he is known as the “Father of the Nation.” I photographed a few pieces of this art on a recent trip.  

Mandela was President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, the first to be elected in a fully representative, multiracial election.

This print of Nelson Mandela was for sale in an art gallery in Camps Bay, South Africa. Sorry abut the glare.

This print of Nelson Mandela was for sale in an art gallery in Camps Bay, South Africa. Sorry abut the glare.

Internationally acclaimed for his anti-colonial and anti-apartheid stance, Mandela has received more than 250 awards, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.  A political activist against apartheid,  Mandela was imprisoned for twenty-seven years, including eighteen years on Robben Island, which is just off of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront of Cape Town. Boat trips from the Nelson Mandela Gateway on the waterfront take visitors to the prison on Robben Island, which is now a museum.

About Nelson Mandela.

About Robben Island.

The Apartheid Museum.

Nobel Square in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, features statues of South Africa's four Nobel Peace Prize winners - Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela (shown left to right here.)

Nobel Square in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, features statues of South Africa’s four Nobel Peace Prize winners – Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela (shown left to right here.)

Here's a popular photo stop at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, which features statues in Nobel Square of South Africa's four Nobel Peace Prize winners - Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela. I'm not sure what the red sculpture behind is. I think it has something to do with Olympic Medals that South Africa won in 2012.   Does anyone know? I saw photos of the red sculpture under construction from 2010.  In the distance is the iconic Table Mountain.

Here’s a popular photo stop at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, which features statues in Nobel Square of South Africa’s four Nobel Peace Prize winners – Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela. I’m not sure what the red sculpture is behind the Nobel statues. I think it has something to do with Olympic Medals that South Africa won in 2012. Does anyone know? I saw photos of the red sculpture under construction from 2010, so it’s relatively new. In the distance is the iconic Table Mountain.

From Signal Hill, you can see Robben Island near the horizon, in Table Bay off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for eighteen years on Robben Island.

From Signal Hill, you can see Robben Island near the horizon, in Table Bay off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for eighteen years on Robben Island.

A sculpture of Nelson Mandela dominates the square named after him in Sandton City, an upscale shopping center in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A sculpture of Nelson Mandela dominates the square named after him in Sandton City, an upscale shopping center in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A sculpture of Nelson Mandela is a backdrop to a newscast in Nelson Mandela Square. The square anchors Sandton City, a popular upscale shopping center in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A sculpture of Nelson Mandela is a backdrop to a newscast in Nelson Mandela Square. The square anchors Sandton City, a popular upscale shopping center in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This blue cow advertises the Peacemakers Museum, which celebrates the Nobel Peace Laureates but in particular South Africa's Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.  The museum is in Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg.   http://www.peacemakersmuseum.co.za/

This blue cow advertises the Peacemakers Museum, which celebrates the Nobel Peace Laureates but in particular South Africa’s Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela. The museum is in Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg. http://www.peacemakersmuseum.co.za/

This sculpture of Nelson Mandela, created from tens of thousands of tiny beads, is popular with tourists traveling through the Johannesburg, South Africa airport.  There are often lines as people wait their turn to get their photos taken. Bead sculpture in all sizes is a popular art form in South Africa.

This sculpture of Nelson Mandela, created from tens of thousands of tiny beads, is popular with tourists traveling through the Johannesburg, South Africa airport. There are often lines as people wait their turn to get their photos taken. Bead sculpture in all sizes is a popular art form in South Africa.

7 Comments

Filed under Photography, Politics, Travel

Kansas City Street Scene

I love this view of one section of Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, juxtaposed between an unrelated mural on the left and the Denny’s sign on the right. I took this photo from my car window while stopped at a red light in June 2012. We were on our way to a wedding reception in the nearby Crossroads District of Kansas City. The Kauffman Center offers two performance venues.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, is an artwork in itself. This photo only shows the west shell (wing) of the building, but the east shell looks similar. Shell seems like the right word for the wings, because the building does have a creature-like appearance. I thought of an armadillo when I first saw it. When my husband stopped at a red light as we drove near it on our way to a wedding reception in June, I quickly took the photo. Sometimes, long red lights are a good thing! My friend Jan and I had recently driven past the Center when she visited from Los Angeles, so Jan, here’s another view!

The two wings (Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall) are designed for the needs of opera, dance and musical performances. The Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet perform in the Center.

The Kauffman Center opened in September 2011, and a month later, friends invited my husband and me to a performance of “Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis” in the glorious Kauffman Center. It’s time we went back!

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Website.

Wikipedia on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

8 Comments

Filed under Kansas City, Photography

Where in the Museum is Roy?

The Museum Guard "Roy,' a Duane Hanson sculpture, looks wistfully out a fake window in an 18th century re-created English room in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Roy has been on duty at the museum since 2007.

My daughter and I visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on a mission to find “The Museum Guard” sculpture in his current assignment. My daughter thought “Roy” might be in the English rooms on the first floor, but we decided to visit every room of the museum on our hunt before making the English rooms our last stop. Of course, to see the exhibits and art properly you’d be there for days…

My daughter’s instincts were right. Roy was in one of the last rooms on our speed-viewing list, “The King’s Lynn Room,” an 18th century Georgian drawing room, originally from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England. “Roy” is the nickname the Museum staff have named this old friend.

Roy has spent most of his time in the Museum’s Bloch Building, which opened in 2007, but recently has been assigned to different galleries. Click here to read my post about one of Roy's recent assignments and about Duane Hanson, his creator.

5 Comments

Filed under Art

Pardon Me, Ma’am, But Don’t Touch Me, I’m The Art

Duane Hanson's sculpture "The Museum Guard" has been temporarily reassigned to a new post in "The Hooper Room" in the Early American Art Galleries of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

I was disappointed today when I thought that one of my favorite art pieces was apparently “on vacation.”  Duane Hanson’s “Museum Guard” at the Nelson-Atkins Museum is like an old friend, and I wanted to say hello, but he’d been turned out of his old gallery to make room for a temporary exhibition.   I laughed when I discovered him in a new location in an Early American room. Good for him! We all need a little shake-up in our routines and locales.

A sign in his new, temporary location says:
Why is that museum guard standing in The Hooper Room?
Duane Hanson’s realist sculpture, Museum Guard, has stood faithfully at his post in Gallery L3 since the Bloch Building opened in 2007. Now that two of the contemporary galleries have been emptied to make room for the exhibition “To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America,” he requested assignment elsewhere in the museum.
“Since my arrival at the Nelson-Atkins on November 18, 1976, I’ve heard only praise for the museum. Now, I have the good fortune to see what everyone has been talking about. For the next two months, I will be in this beautiful historic American home!” he said. “Then, I will be reassigned to Gallery P24, where I will experience the elegance of 18th-century English life in the King’s Lynn Room.”

Before moving to the new Bloch building, “Museum Guard” was stationed very near to his current temporary location in the main building, which was once home to the museum’s contemporary collection before undergoing remodeling to become the Early American Art gallery.  Duane Hanson, an American artist, was born in 1925 and died in 1996. He created “Museum Guard” in 1975 out of polyester, fiberglass, oil and vinyl. To read more about Hanson click on Duane Hanson.  Some of Hanson’s realist sculptures can be seen at The Saatchi Gallery.

Duane Hanson's "Museum Guard" in his usual spot in the Bloch Building of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Life imitates art as a real museum guard stands to the right. People can't resist getting their photos taken next to the vinyl Museum Guard. I hope Museum Guard will eventually return here, but now that he's had a taste of freedom, he may be hard to track down.

Duane Hanson's "Museum Guard" is one of the most popular art pieces in the museum. He always draws a crowd.

Sign explaining Duane Hanson's "Museum Guard's" new assignment.

7 Comments

Filed under Art

Mystery of the Fountain

Mallard Pair in J.C. Nichols Fountain, Kansas City, Missouri.

People who like synchonicity and coincidences, as I do, call it the work of the “library angel” when a book or a newspaper article with answers appears (without using an internet search engine…) soon after you start pondering questions about a certain subject.  It’s a cosmic search engine.  

On Monday, I was looking through my stash of tens of thousands of digital photographs to find some for postcard designs.  I found the one above, which I originally took because I wanted photographs of bird couples. (Awww…) But on Monday, I start wondering about the origin of the fascinating sculpture behind the ducks.  On Tuesday, the following story appeared in my local newspaper.  Holy Moly!  Boy, did I get an answer to my question.

Mystery solved! Nichols fountain will get its missing dolphin back

By MATT CAMPBELL
The Kansas City Star

July 6, 2010 

The most photographed fountain in The City of Fountains has for half a century harbored a secret within its gushing waters.

The J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain near the Country Club Plaza is the backdrop for countless weddings, protests and vacation snapshots. Figures on horseback dramatically do battle with creatures below while between them children ride monstrous fishes with mouths agape.

But look closely at the fish and figures in the northeast quadrant of the fountain.

There isn’t as much detail in the scales. There’s just something different.

It’s the mystery of the “fourth dolphin.”

The particular 500-pound piece of cast bronze now in the fountain was not born along with the other figures. It is an imitation that has gone unnoticed by the public all these years. Even current parks officials were unaware.

I pushed between tables of diners on the balcony of Figlio's Restaurant to get this view of the J.C. Nichols Fountain.

Until they received a call from a man in Florida who said, “I gather I have one of your missing statues.”

And so begins the latest chapter in the disappearance and now surprising rediscovery of the fourth dolphin.

The Nichols fountain had a previous life before it appeared at 47th Street and J.C. Nichols Parkway. It was created in 1910 by French sculptor Henri Greber, who was commissioned by the first wife of Stanley Mackay, president of the Postal Telegraph Co.

The Mackays were fabulously rich, and the fountain was a centerpiece of their Harbor Hill estate in Roslyn, N.Y., on Long Island. A coffee table book about the estate has a photo of the fountain illuminated for a party for Charles Lindbergh upon his return from his famous solo Atlantic flight in 1927.

But the Depression hit, Mackay died of cancer in 1938 and the estate deteriorated. Many of the nine bronze pieces that had made up the fountain became victims of vandals or thieves.

But one piece that was undamaged caught the eye of Marjorie Singer, a fashion designer who lived with her husband, Morton, in nearby Greenvale, N.Y. It was of a fish or dolphin with a little boy on its back, a rope in his hand, and a little girl hanging on alongside them. Singer ran into Mackay’s son and asked him if the piece was for sale.

“My mother fell in love with it,” said her son, Steve Singer. “They didn’t have any money. I think she said, ‘I’ll give you $25’ and laughed.”

But a couple of days later Mackay’s son agreed.

Meanwhile, Jesse Clyde Nichols had been transforming Kansas City by creating graceful neighborhoods and boulevards in and around the Country Club District and on the Kansas side. After Nichols died in 1950 his family wanted to create a memorial to him.

Son Miller Nichols worked with an art broker in New York called French & Co., which told him about the Greber pieces from the Mackay estate. The Nichols family acquired the pieces, which were valued at $250,000 in 1957, and the Kansas City park board agreed to help pay for a fountain in Mill Creek Park.

Newspaper clippings and park records show the bronzes were missing a head here and a leg there. But the public record does not make it clear that one entire piece of the original nine sculptures was missing.

Miller Nichols hired architectural modeler Herman Frederick Simon, who had done the bronze doors for Kansas City Hall and the Jackson County Courthouse, to make models of all of the missing parts as best he could. The Bruno Bearzi foundry in Florence, Italy, was hired to cast the bronze replacements.

They were incorporated into the originals, and the fountain was dedicated in May 1960 before nearly 1,000 people.

“After the replacement was created and the whole thing was assembled and put into the fountain in 1960 it was finished and nobody really thought about it again,” said Jocelyn Ball-Edson, a landscape architect for the Kansas City park department.

Until June 2008 when Steve Singer called out of the blue.

He grew up with the fish sculpture, which had adorned the driveway or patio of his parents’ various homes over six decades. His own daughters played on it. Eventually the elder Singers retired to Delray, Fla., where they died in recent years. As Steve Singer prepared to sell his parents’ home he realized he didn’t have room for the sculpture, which is about 5 feet long and 3 feet high.

Singer found the artist’s signature near the base of the piece and Googled it. One of the first hits under Henri Greber is the J.C. Nichols fountain in Kansas City. Singer was surprised to see it because his family had always assumed the rest of the fountain pieces had been destroyed. Singer now thought it would be appropriate for his piece to be reunited with the others. So he contacted the city. Research and negotiations began.

Kay Callison, granddaughter of J.C. Nichols and daughter of Miller Nichols, located a document among the Nichols company papers in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection titled “Cost of Fourth Dolphin and Children.” It establishes that the missing piece was among those that had to be reproduced. The job cost $2,417.40 including freight and customs.

“I knew there were parts and repairs, but I never knew there was an entire sculpture itself that was not original,” Callison said.

Ball-Edson went to view the sculpture in Florida and found that it was in sound condition, other than some corrosion.

“We’d already decided that we needed to purchase it,” Ball-Edson said. “It was just such an excellent opportunity that the park department concluded it would be a shame for it to go somewhere else.”

An appraiser for Christie’s auction house had told Singer the piece might fetch $25,000 to $35,000. Parks officials agreed to buy it for $28,000, which they hope to recoup through donations. The sculpture was crated up and shipped to Kansas City in May. It now sits in a city garage. “I think it’s very exciting,” Callison said. “I’m thrilled that the park department was able to secure it.”

The replacement piece, which by now has been part of the fountain longer than the original ever was, is a fine work in its own right and will be retained by the park department. It likely will be displayed somewhere else.

Officials hope to raise funds to do some repair and cleaning work on the rest of the J.C. Nichols fountain and to celebrate the return of the “fourth dolphin” on Fountain Day next April, when the city’s fountains are turned on for the season.

Singer said he hopes to be able to attend.

“I’m glad it’s going where it’s going,” he said, “and hope people will appreciate it.”

What does the fountain mean?
No one really knows what the figures in the J.C. Nichols fountain are supposed to represent. But Laurence Sickman, a former director of the Nelson Gallery, once speculated that the 10-foot-tall horse and rider figures are meant to be an allegory of four great rivers. The Indian battling an alligator could represent the Mississippi and the figure slaying a bear could represent the Volga while the other two could signify the Seine and the Rhine. 

The children riding fish or dolphins were common fountain themes and need not represent anything, Sickman said. But Ann McFerrin, archivist for the park department, recently speculated that the boy seems to be glowering at the fish as if he is rescuing the girl.

“She doesn’t look very happy,” McFerrin said. “The fish doesn’t look very happy, either.”

Contributions toward the restoration of the Nichols fountain may be made to the J.C. Nichols Fountain Fund and sent to the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, 4600 E. 63rd St., Kansas City MO 64130.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Koestler’s “The Roots of Coincidence.”

The Meaning of Synchronicity.

5 Comments

Filed under Art, Birds, History, Kansas City, Life

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa

Artist assistants stand next to 3,604 cups of coffee which have been made into a giant Mona Lisa in Sydney, Australia . The 3,604 cups of coffee were each filled with different amounts of milk to create the different shades! Those Aussies sure do know how to have fun (as I know from personal experience.) 

Another fun-loving, art-loving, puzzle-loving person is Shouts from the Abyss (despite his grim name), who posts some of his pixel puzzles.  To find them, click on pixels in his tags on his blog (on my blogroll).  Here’s one of his puzzles. They get harder, but I thought I’d start you out easy.

 

5 Comments

Filed under Art, Australia, Humor

Dancing Words

Sandy and her daughter Hannah are both artists.  Here they are at the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City, Missouri, in September 2009. In the background, you can see a painting of a bird's nest. Coincidentally, Sandy's workshop is called "The Feathered Nest".

Sandy and her daughter Hannah are both artists. Here they are at the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City, Missouri, in September 2009. In the background, you can see a painting of a bird's nest. Coincidentally, Sandy's workshop is called "The Feathered Nest".

My friend Sandy is an artist. I always enjoy her take on her experiences at the art shows and fairs she visits in Kansas City.  Click here to read her post “Fall Back” on her blog “Dancing Words”. Be sure to check out the video of one of Sandy’s art classes from ART-felt Learning at the bottom of this post.

Plaza Art Fair 2009.

Plaza Art Fair 2009.

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Kansas City, Life, Personal