Tag Archives: Art

Royal Blue Fountains

Blue Water Fountain Cherub Postcard

Royal Blue Water Fountain Cherub.

The Kansas City Royals are in the baseball World Series for the second year in a row! The city is celebrating once again with blue water fountains.

Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains. Kansas City has more fountains than any city in the world except Rome, Italy which has more than 2,000 fountains.List of Kansas City’s fountains.

The Royals play the New York Mets in the 2015 Baseball World Series.
Who are the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets?

J. C. Nichols Fountain in Blue, Kansas City Poster

J.C. Nichols Fountain in Blue, Kansas City Country Club Plaza.

Union Station in Blue, Kansas City (19x10) Poster

Kansas City Union Station in Blue

Union Station in Blue, Kansas City, Missouri Postcard

Untion Station in Blue, Fountains, Kansas City, Missouri

Meyer Circle Mermaid Fountain, Kansas City Postcard

Meyer Circle Mermaid Fountain, Kansas City, Missouri.

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I’ve Gotta Crow!

My third-place ribbon in photography in the 2015 Visions of the Flint Hills art show at the Buttonwood Art Space in Kansas City, Missouri.

My third-place ribbon in photography in the 2015 Visions of the Flint Hills art show at the Buttonwood Art Space in Kansas City, Missouri.

I started entering art shows this year.  Got in some, shut out of others. My latest entries were for the Visions of the Flint Hills show at the Buttonwood Art Space, 3013 Main St.,  Kansas City, Missouri, which runs through November 27, 2015. This time, two of my photographs were accepted, and one earned a third-place ribbon in photography. Hurrah! The opening event was part of Kansas City’s First Fridays art walk.

But the real story isn’t about me, but the gorgeous Flint Hills of Kansas, which is the true star of the art and photography show.

For seven years Buttonwood Art Space has supported the Flint Hills area of Kansas and its unique place in our greater regional ecosystem through this annual art benefit. Visions of the Flint Hills Art Benefit and Sale is a juried exhibit featuring art of the Flint Hills. Sweeping paintings of sky and native prairie grass dominate the show, but sculpture pieces, fiber works and photos are also featured. The art is on exhibit October and November, in Buttonwood Art Space.
Proceeds from the event will benefit a non-profit organization, Friends of the Konza Prairie, a 501(c)3 organization which is involved in supporting the Konza Prairie, an 8,600 acre research and educational preserve south of Manhattan, Kansas. The Flint Hills are the continent’s largest remaining tract of Tallgrass native prairie which is also one of America’s unique places.  This unique geographic area once swept over 170 million acres of North America and was home to huge herds of buffalo and elk.  It is now a vanishing area. It harbors a wealth of adventure, beauty, and history. The region’s sweeping horizons and carpets of wildflowers captivate artists and enchant visitors.

I took these photographs at a photography workshop at the Cowboy Way Ranch near Westmoreland, Kansas, organized by Craig McCord and Jason Soden. My photographer friend Lynn told me about it and drove us there, so without these photographers, I wouldn’t have experienced this prairie burn. I am in their debt.

My photo, of a Kansas Rancher Starting a Controlled Burn, is on the left. The photo on the right shows a controlled prairie burn at night. Art patrons can choose a best of show. Voting continues!

My photo, of a Kansas Rancher Starting a Controlled Burn, is on the left. The photo on the right shows a controlled prairie burn at night. Art patrons can choose a best of show. Voting continues!

“At sunset, three riders hurry to an area to be burned in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Smoke already fills the skies and plumes rise in the valley beyond. Ranchers replicate natural fires when they burn the prairie, which preserves the grassland.” I was sitting on a flatbed trailer, bumping up a hill as the truck made its way to the next burn area, when I saw these three riders.  It was smoky, it was getting dark dark, it was hard to focus and steady my hand, but I did get this one shot.  The rider in back holds onto her hat as they race across the prairie.  The hat had flown off her head on another day, so she was taking no chances.

Photo on Visions of the Flint Hills website here:  Three Riders in the Kansas Flint Hills

“A rancher on horseback starts a controlled burn by dragging a fiery tire across the prairie in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Ranchers replicate natural fires when they burn the prairie every few years, which preserves the prairie as a grassland.”  This happened so fast that I almost missed it. Several others at the workshop captured it, too.
Photo on Visions of the Flint Hills website here: Kansas Rancher Stating a Controlled Burn

Buttonwood Art Space.

Crossroads Art District First Fridays

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The Mystery of The Amber Room

One of the sights I most wanted to see on a visit in July 2014 to St. Petersburg, Russia,  was the reconstructed Amber Room in Catherine Palace.

The original Amber Room was stolen by the Nazis in 1941, but the room was painstakingly reconstructed from black and white photographs and re-installed in 2003, with funds from German patrons.

It’s a magnificent room, and I wish I could have lingered longer.  My husband and I were on a tour, and we moved quickly through the beautiful rooms of the splendid Catherine Palace.  I had just enough time to take the above photo of a corner of The Amber Room, which shows how the pieces of amber are fitted together.

The Amber Room was on a long list of artworks that Adolph Hitler wanted looted from throughout Europe for a Third Reich Art Museum.  In 1941, the Nazis dismantled and removed  The Amber Room from Catherine Palace in the town of Tsarskoye Selo near St. Petersburg. They trashed most of what was left of the Catherine Palace, which has also been restored with some work left to be done.

Although one mosaic from the Amber Room turned up at auction and was used to help in the reconstruction, the rest of the room hasn’t been seen since. Art experts fear that the delicate pieces of the room didn’t survive. Below is a story about a man who is hot on its trail. I hope he finds the magnificent Amber Room.

Guard at Catherine Palace, Russia Post Cards
Guard at the Catherine Palace.
Welcome to Catherine Palace, Russia Poster
Military Band Greets Visitors to Catherine Palace.

 

Watch this National Geographic Video about the History of The Amber Room.

Wikipedia: About the Amber Room.

German pensioner needs drill to dig for Nazi-looted Amber Room

German Pensioner Needs Drill to Dig for Nazi-looted Amber Room

By Madeline Chambers

BERLIN (Reuters) – A pensioner has started digging in Germany’s western Ruhr region for the Amber Room, a priceless work of art looted by Nazis from the Soviet Union during World War Two and missing for 70 years, but says he needs a new drill to help him.

Dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Amber Room was an ornate chamber made of amber panels given to Czar Peter the Great by Prussia’s Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1716.

German troops stole the treasure chamber from a palace near St Petersburg in 1941 and took it to Koenigsberg, now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, before it disappeared.

Conspiracy theories abound about the whereabouts of what some say is the world’s most valuable piece of lost art. Some historians think it was destroyed in the war, others say Germans smuggled it to safety.

Now 68-year-old pensioner Karl-Heinz Kleine says he thinks the chamber is hidden under the town of Wuppertal, deep in western Germany’s industrial Ruhr area.

After analyzing the evidence, Kleine has concluded that Erich Koch, who was the Nazis’ chief administrator in East Prussia, may have secretly dispatched it to his home town.

“Wuppertal has a large number of tunnels and bunkers which have not yet been searched for the Amber Room. We have started looking in possible hiding places here,” Kleine said.

“But the search is very costly. We need helpers, special equipment and money,” Kleine told Reuters, adding that a building firm which had lent him a drill had asked for it back.

“I only have a small pension, a new machine is too expensive for me. But whoever helps will get his share of the Amber Room when we find it,” he told Reuters.

“I am optimistic. I just need the tools, then it could go quickly,” he said.

Even Communist East Germany’s loathed Stasi secret police tried and failed to find the Amber Room. Hobby treasure hunters have launched expensive searches for it across Germany, from lake bottoms to mines in the eastern Ore Mountains. But in vain.

Historians say Erich Koch, convicted of war crimes by a Polish court, amassed a hoard of looted art and had it transported west from Koenigsberg in the final months of the war as the Soviet forces drew closer.

Russian craftsmen, helped by German funds, have recreated a replica of the Amber Room at the Catherine Palace from where the original was stolen.

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Montez Gallery in Truchas, New Mexico

Rey Montez is a handsome man, but you'll have to visit his gallery in Truchas, New Mexico, to see for yourself. He doesn't like to be photographed!  His Montez Gallery showcases a variety of art, including Spanish colonial art, religious art and contemporary art.

Rey Montez is a handsome man, but you’ll have to visit his gallery in Truchas, New Mexico, to see for yourself. He doesn’t like to be photographed! His Montez Gallery showcases a variety of art, including Spanish colonial art, religious art and contemporary art.

On our recent photography tour, Lynn S. and I were heading to Taos, New Mexico, on the High Road on Easter Sunday, not thinking any galleries or shops would be open, but still hopeful.  If all doors were shut, there would always be the gorgeous mountain scenery to photograph and maybe the exterior of a church. Apple trees were in bloom.  An occasional lilac bush was a burst of purple along the road side.

The Montez Gallery occupies an old church in Truchas, New Mexico.

The Montez Gallery occupies an old church in Truchas, New Mexico.

We entered the little mountain town of Truchas, (Lynn at the wheel at the wheel of her car; I feel bad for not doing any driving…) on the lookout.  We saw a little adobe church with a tin roof and tin bell tower.   A sign said: The Montez Gallery.  The church was now a gallery. Cars were in the parking lot.  Could it be open?

The Montez Gallery celebrated its 25th year in 2014.  The gallery is in an old church in Truchas, New Mexico.

The Montez Gallery celebrated its 25th year in 2014. The gallery is in an old church in Truchas, New Mexico.

Not only was the Montez Gallery open, but there was a reception for the gallery’s 25th year. Cake, coffee, cookies!  The owner, Rey Montez, told guests about  the art featured in his gallery and the history of the people in the area.  His family has been in northern New Mexico for centuries. You can read more about him, the gallery and collectors in the links below.  Many notable people have made the same stop at the Montez Gallery.

Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Holy Rosary) Mission Church was built in 1764 in Truchas, New Mexico. It is open in June, July and August. We visited the town in April, so we weren't able to go inside to see the two large altar-screens (reredos) by the renowned santero Pedro Antonio Fresquis.

Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Holy Rosary) Mission Church was built in 1764 in Truchas, New Mexico. It is open in June, July and August.

We also found an old mission church in Truchas,  Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Holy Rosary) Mission Church, which was built in 1764. It’s open in June, July and August. We visited the town in April, so we weren’t able to go inside to see the two large altar-screens (reredos) by the renowned santero Pedro Antonio Fresquis.

Cake, coffee and cookies for 25th anniversary of The Montez Gallery.

Cake, coffee and cookies for 25th anniversary of The Montez Gallery.

Truchas was established by a Spanish Royal Land grant in 1754. The full name of the town is Río de las Truchas, which means “river of trout.”  The first settlers built irrigation ditches from the trout-filled river to bring water to the town, which is at an elevation of 8,000 feet.  Truchas is mentioned in Willa Cather’s 1927 novel “Death Comes for the Archbishop”; Book Two Chapter 2. Robert Redford’s “The Milagro Beanfield War” (1988) was filmed on location in Truchas.   Several Truchas residents had roles in the movie.

Here is a view of Truchas, New Mexico, just off of the road through the town, showing Truchas Peak.

Here is a view of Truchas, New Mexico, just off of the road through the town, showing Truchas Peak.

On a hillside, stones spell out the name of the city of Truchas.

On a hillside, stones spell out the name of the city of Truchas.

Church Bell Tower in Truchas, New Mexico Post Card
The Montez Gallery is in an old church. Here’s the church bell tower.

 

MóntezGallery Website.

About Móntez Gallery, Part One.

About Móntez Gallery, Part Two.

About High Road Artisans in Truchas.

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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