August 2011 Archives

Industrial Sunset

Sunset light on power plant and Stone Arch Bridge railing on the Mississippi River across from downtown Minneapolis.

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Roman Head

A Roman bust from the Boston MFA, with a Pompeii-like wall in the background. There's something about this scene that projects a strong sense of real personality.

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Fists

From the Babylonian and Assyrian collection at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

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Heads

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has a superb collection of ancient sculpture. If you look seriously at the heads and busts, you see real people.

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Boston Statuary

I was amused by the juxtaposition, in my collection of photos from Boston, of these two. Dark 19thC brooding with murderous intent vs. early 20th C optimism.

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(Click to enlarge) Museum of Fine Arts

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(Click to enlarge) Square near Old State House

Compressed Perspective

One of the interesting visual effects in photography (and painting) is the compression of a three-dimensional scene into two dimensions. Here are a couple of examples from Boston.

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Mississippi River

In Minneapolis near St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge. Lots of water this year; the river was extra-active.

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Creatures from the Blue Lagoon

In the Boston Aquarium

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Feeding Time at the Aquarium

Caretakers feeding the penguins at the Boston Aquarium. They seemed to know each penguin by name, and made sure that each got six fish.

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Plenitude

A couple of pictures from Saturday's Farmers' Market in St. Paul.

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Beacon Hill Windows

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Door Knockers

Beacon Hill in Boston is famous for its historic front doors, replete with well-polished door knockers. Here is an assemblage.

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Flashes of Color

A couple of bright spots along the workaday streets of Boston.

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Boston Bridge

Pedestrian bridge from the waterfront to the Harbor Islands. This used to be a vehicular bridge, I think. The geometrical complexity engages me.

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Food in Boston

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(Click to enlarge) Oyster bar at the Union Oyster House

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(Click to enlarge) North End

Boston: Granary Burial Ground

Two last photos from Boston's historic Granary Burial Ground, the resting place of Paul Revere, John Hancock, and many others less well known.

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(Click to enlarge) John Hancock's monument contrasts exceedingly with the modest headstones of the others in this cemetery. Of course, he was a very rich man, which as we've learned confers all sorts of privileges.

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(Click to enlarge) This view is more characteristic of the atmosphere of the place.


Boston: Sculptures in Parkman Plaza

Parkman Plaza, on the edge of Boston Common, has an interesting set of four sculptures depicting various human activities. I photographed three of them while waiting for our guided walk along the Freedom Trail to begin. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good background on the fourth.

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(click to enlarge) Industry

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(click to enlarge) Learning

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(click to enlarge) Religion

Historical Lineup of Boston Buildings

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(click to enlarge) Starting with the Old State House

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Old Boston

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(click to enlarge) Rotunda of Old Customs House

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(click to enlarge) Medallion on a wall

Boston Harborside

A lovely summer day...

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Boston Waterfront Archways

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Boston Colors

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(click to enlarge) Faneuil Hall Marketplace pushcart

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(click to enlarge) Washington Street

Boston Street Signs - 2

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Boston Street Signs - 1

Along Washington Street, walking between my hotel in the Theater District and the Old State House.

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Boston: Trinity Church

Trinity Church is a dominant and striking feature of Copley Square in Boston. From Wikipedia:

"The church and parish house were designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and construction took place from 1872 to 1877, when the complex was consecrated. Situated on Copley Square in Back Bay, Trinity Church is the building that established Richardson's reputation. It is the birthplace and archetype of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, characterized by a clay roof, polychromy, rough stone, heavy arches, and a massive tower. This style was soon adopted for a number of public buildings across the United States, and was the first American architectural style imitated in Europe and Canada."

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Boston: John Hancock Tower

Boston's tallest building "took the glass monolith skyscraper concept to new heights. The tower is an achievement in minimalist, modernist skyscraper design." (Wikipedia)

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Boston: Copley Square Details

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(click to enlarge) Rather fearsome lamps on the facade of the Boston Public Library, silhouetted against the John Hancock Building and a brooding sky.

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(click to enlarge) Copley Square is named for John Singleton Copley, a famous and very prolific Boston portrait painter of the late 18th century, who donated the land for the square. This is a detail of a handsome sculpture of the painter that stands in the square.

Boston: Copley Square Water Fountain

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(click to enlarge) An elaborate and very attractive water feature.

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(click to enlarge) An exuberant couple wanted us to take their picture.

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(click to enlarge) Flowers seen through the flowing water.

Boston Public Library Sculptures

On the steps of the Boston Public Library are two impressive and symbolically appropriate sculptures by August Saint-Gaudens:

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(click to enlarge) Science

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(click to enlarge) Art

Boston: Commonwealth Avenue Statuary

Commonwealth Avenue in Boston has a series of good statues of notables from American history, largely from the Boston area

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(click to enlarge) "William Lloyd Garrison (December 12, 1805 - May 24, 1879) was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United States. Garrison was also a prominent voice for the women's suffrage movement."

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(click to enlarge) "Samuel Eliot Morison, Rear Admiral, United States Naval Reserve (July 9, 1887 - May 15, 1976) was an American historian noted for works of history (especially maritime history) that were both authoritative and highly readable. A sailor as well as a scholar, Morison garnered numerous literary prizes, military honors, and national awards from both foreign countries and United States, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Some of his textbooks continue to be widely used,[citation needed] though his treatment of American slavery in early editions was criticised as minimizing its brutality."

Boston Women's Memorial

When I was in Boston recently I took a photowalk in the Back Bay area. We started in Copley Square, which I was familiar with, but ended up on Commonwealth Avenue, which I hadn't seen before. It's a parkway with a broad grassy mall, adorned with many interesting statues and sculptures. One grouping is the Boston Women's Memorial, which "celebrates three important contributors to Boston's rich history - Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phillis Wheatley. Each of these women had progressive ideas that were ahead of her time, was committed to social change, and left a legacy through her writings that had a significant impact on history." ( See web site).

Our group was on Commonwealth Avenue at the same time as a Susan G. Komen March for the Cure, which had decorated the statues with pink beads and pom-poms. Would the historic women have been amused?

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Phyllis Wheatley. According to Wikipedia: "Phillis Wheatley (1753 - December 5, 1784) was the first published African American poet and first African-American woman whose writings were published.[1] Born in Gambia, Senegal, she was made a slave at age seven. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and helped encourage her poetry.

The 1773 publication of Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral brought her fame, with figures such as George Washington praising her work. Wheatley also visited England for five weeks accompanying her master's son and was praised in a poem by fellow African American poet Jupiter Hammon. Wheatley was emancipated by her owners after both her poetic success[2] and the death of her master, and she soon married. However, when her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784, Wheatley fell into poverty and died of illness."

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(click to enlarge) Abigail Adams, who probably needs no introduction.

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