Tag Archives: photography

An afternoon of art at MIA

We love the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I follow the museum on Facebook and saw that they were open but that you needed a timed entry ticket to get in. The museum is free and during pre-pandemic days one could just go on in. I’m glad they’re taking precautions and of course masks must be worn. 

We headed up the stairs to the third floor to check out the Prairie School architecture room. The style began in 1880s Chicago by Louis Sullivan and this room contains some of his pieces as well as those of his followers, Frank Lloyd Wright among them. Note the pair elevator grills in the gallery below. They were in the Chicago Stock Exchange Building which was torn down in 1972. The building’s entrance archway and interior trading floor were salvaged and moved to the Art Institute of Chicago. And MIA has a pair of elevator grills.

There are several of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses here in the upper midwest. In the middle of this room at MIA there is a model of a house built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1914 for Frances Little. The house was  in Deephaven, a suburb on the west side of the twin cities, and overlooked Lake Minnetonka. The house had many issues and was eventually taken down with many parts of it being sold. MIA purchased a hallway from this house and installed it in the museum. I always visit this room as it’s one of my favorites. 

On our way to view the Impressionism we peeked into a couple of period rooms. One is an empty room from Europe in the 1700s where there is audio and lighting effects displaying one day from sunrise to sunset. You hear the fire crackling and horses with carriages. I only caught a little of that this time so I didn’t listen to all of the audio. The first two photos are after the sun has set and then as the sun starts to rise the next day.

Whenever we see any painting by James Ensor one of us breaks into song(see video below):  “Meet James Ensor. Belgium’s famous painter” (by They Might Be Giants). We found two of Ensor’s paintings this time. I noticed that the second one, the one of the group of people, appears in the video:

I also always visit the Impressionism rooms and this trip was no different. However, I took a few photos of sculptures this go round so first I’ll share those:

And onto the other paintings that caught my eye. Some favorites as well as others I had not seen before:

Some general museum scenes:

I don’t recall ever seeing this room before and this car fascinated me. It’s a Tatra T87 four-door sedan from 1948 designed by Hans Ledwinka and manufactured by Ringhoffer-Tatra-Werke AG. From the museum’s gallery:

From the three-piece windshield to the fin at the back, the streamlined Tatra’s every feature is an example of well-crafted form reinforcing function. Ledwinka added the distinctive rear dorsal fin to stabilize the car at high speeds. One of the fastest cars of its day, the Tatra could go 100 miles per hour thanks to its rear-mounted 75-horsepower V8 engine, air-cooled with streamlined louvers. The windshield, skirted rear wheels, and recessed door handles contributed to the car’s speed. The innovative sliding sunroof brought in light, and the front center headlight improved visibility in fog. Only two thousand cars of the 1936 T87 design were produced, and none were commercially exported to North America.

In the hallway before you see the Tatra car there is another period room and the placard describes an interesting albeit a bit sad story. It’s the story of the museum’s first curator of modern art Barton Kestle. He began his job at MIA in 1950 and in 1954 there were several discreet inquiries about him by unidentified agents. Within days of the museum’s administrators being questioned behind closed doors, Kestle was summoned by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in Washington, D.C. On March 27,1954 Kestle boarded a train for Washington, D.C. and was never heard from again. The door to his office at MIA was sealed and painted over while the museum was organizing an exhibition. It remained just as he left it until it was rediscovered in 2011 and the curator suggested that it become another period room. Similar to other period rooms, it’s like stepping back in time. Note the old furniture as well as a telephone, which I assume is an antique. I’m attaching the photo of the placard that gives a few more details than what I’ve written here.

Another delight at MIA is Chihuly’s Sunburst that greets you when you walk in and it’s the last thing you see as you leave, as long as you look up. In previous visits we had lunch at the Agra Culture restaurant on the mezzanine level. The view of Sunburst is especially wonderful while you’re eating lunch. But Agra Culture is closed until further notice due to the pandemic.

Sunburst – Chihuly

Finally, I leave you with some autumn colors that I saw as we left the museum that day in October. There are still some colors even if we’ve already had snow(at publication we’re having a heat wave so all the first snow has melted).

I always leave MIA feeling like I just barely scratched the surface. I like to visit my favorites but this time I made it a point to check out some new things. I’m going to make it a point to see something new during each subsequent visit. Because of course there will be subsequent visits. I highly recommend a couple of hours at MIA. There is something for everyone.

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autumn colors 2020

We had a bit of an adventure a few weeks ago when we decided to take a quick drive to the Missisisippi River Roads in search of autumn beauty. We intended to go down the Minneapolis side then up the St. Paul side then head home. We drove through the University of Minnesota’s east bank campus and intended to take the turn off the Washington Avenue bridge that takes you to the west bank campus but we both missed the offramp. I guess one positive of that mistake is now we know there aren’t terribly good options if you miss that offramp.  You either have to get on a freeway which we didn’t want to do, or you end up in downtown Minneapolis. All of a sudden we were driving past U.S. Bank Stadium where the Vikings normally play. Another positive: I had not seen it up close and personal so I can check that off the list. Ha!

We finally managed to make our way to the River Road near the 35W bridge collapse memorial and happily, finally headed south…..only to discover the road was closed at 2nd Street! Darn phone map didn’t show me that or I never would have headed that way. We made our way over 35W and travelled through the west bank campus and guessed at where the road blockage stopped. Finally, we made it to the East River Road! 

We stopped along the way so that I could capture the beautiful colors. In the galleries below are a mixture of photos I’ve taken throughout our brief but beautiful autumn. I hope you will enjoy.

First up, some close up photos. Starting with various colors of oak leaves, then several of maple leaves and a couple other close-ups:

And other autumn colors:

I’ve been putting this post together over the last couple of weeks and in that time we’ve had our first snowfall (on 10/20/20) so I thought it only fitting to include a snow-themed autumn scene at the end. I do love the colors in this photo but we didn’t really get a full autumn as you can see. But at publication most of the snow has melted, alas, more is on the way? I’ve lived here 28 years and we’ve never had snow in October. We missed the Halloween blizzard that happened the year before we moved here. Very unusual weather we’re having!

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upgrading a kitchen et al

I know this isn’t a very exciting topic but it’s all I got right now until it’s time to display autumn colors. And in my continuing series of avoiding the awful news of the world, I bring you the story of my kitchen upgrade.

About a week after we moved into this house the paint on the kitchen ceiling began to peel.  Okay, maybe it was two years after we moved here. Regardless, it was ugly for way too long and I couldn’t wait to have the room repainted.  We hired the guy that did our emergency bathroom remodel several years ago. We hired him last year, I think it was April?

Then I was recovering from injured shoulders last fall so we put it off until this year. We were all ready to start the week after lockdown began for the pandemic. And hubby said “what if the restaurants close?” which would be a huge issue after your stove is disconnected. The very next day Minnesota restaurants were closed so our remodel was put off again until places started offering curbside pick-up and delivery. We finally got started at the beginning of June.  And it was all completed about a month later.

Since we had to get a new refrigerator we got that accomplished last fall. Here are the “before” photos where you see the new fridge in the old kitchen and the other side of the kitchen with the stove. These are the photos I used to choose our new floor. I was able to import the photos to see how various floors would look in our kitchen. Very handy tool!

We decided to keep the cabinets since they’re still in good shape. But we had them painted, bought new handles and hinges too, then got a new counter and floor and the walls and ceiling painted as well. We’re pretty happy with it!

Following are before and after photos that I hope you will enjoy. Also included in the gallery are photos of one creative supper that we made with our Coleman stove on the back step for veggies and fried potatoes and the grill for the steak that we had that night. We also had our tiny bathroom upstairs redone and we used the same flooring.

And now for the portion of the post that isn’t kitchen/bathroom related. One day I decided to walk a little further on my walking break from work and made it all the way to the eastern part of Central Park here in Roseville where the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum thrives. Here are some photos from that little jaunt:

I will close with some photos of blooms et al, stuff I take photos of on my walks. And a video of a great blue heron in flight. I was finally able to capture this majestic bird!! Check out the egret towards the end as he lands.

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Mid summer gardening

Time for the next installment of what’s happening in the garden. Many of these photos are from neighborhood gardens that I pass on my walks as well as from the park.

But let’s start with a gallery of my zinnia and morning glory garden which is located on the north side of our house. When I purchased potted plants this spring there was a State Fair zinnia 6 pack and I couldn’t resist.  Since we’re not having our fair this year, I thought some State Fair zinnias were just the ticket in honor of the great Minnesota get-together. The morning glories reseed themselves and I guide and arrange them onto our fence.

Next, let’s check in with my vegetable garden. As you can see, it’s quite healthy and it’s producing many tomatoes and cucumbers.  And I just plucked our first green pepper the other day.  It’s the one in this gallery. We can’t eat everything fast enough. I think I’m going to find a food shelf and see if they’ll take some of our produce. We’ve done that in the past.

This last gallery contains all the fun flowers I come across on my walks through the park and in my neighborhood.

One last photo: uh oh, first sign of autumn! (photo taken 8/3/20)

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Roseville in Bloom

I saw the first rose on one of my walks through Central Park on a break from work and wondered why it was there, this bright and colorful enormous rose presenting itself to the world. There was a marker that said “Roseville in Bloom” so I googled that and found this website. There are 20 of them around my town of Roseville, Minnesota. It started in July and runs through October 2020. There is a write-up about each rose and their artist at the link as well as a time lapse video of all the roses being painted. Fun to watch!

I made it my mission to find and photograph all of them and I’d love to share those with you. It was a small adventure trying to take photos of the roses. One was on the patio of Bent Brewstillery and we weren’t sure we were in the right place as it was at the far end of the back of a row of buildings. But we followed the google and finally saw it. Whew! To get a photo of the one entitled Color and Culture, I had to walk out to it as the rose was in the middle of the lawn of that park. Some had more detail than the others, especially the Value of Education and Flower Power. The one at the ice rink felt very personal as we spent many, many hours in that building as Miss M was a figure skater there for many years.  And some we had to wait in line to take photos. At the first one of these the couple thanked me for waiting until they were done. And then they asked me where more of them were and I directed them to the google because that’s how I discovered them. The passing of knowledge, it’s a great thing.

Here’s the one in Central Park entitled Discover. On the left side the artist drew the rocket ship just like the slide that Miss M went down numerous times in Central Park during her childhood:

Here’s a gallery of the rest of them with the exception of one. It’s in an industrial area right on the edge of Roseville and Minneapolis but we weren’t sure if we could take the private road to see it. We may try again and if we do, I’ll add that photo later.

I wonder if the website will still be active when the exhibit is gone.  In case the link gets deactivated, I am copying the words on the site here for future reference:

20 roses. 20 creators. 20 stories. See the work of Minnesota’s best artists on 6-foot flowers in the Twin Cities’ newest public art event, Roseville in Bloom. Each painted flower is sponsored by an area business and tells a story unique to the artist. Print the map, see more attractions, and put Roseville in Bloom at the top of your summer can’t-miss list. Stay tuned for rose-related events and social media contests happening throughout the summer

I am not sure what inspired this art project but it’s a bright spot in these otherwise not so great times. I am trying to focus my posts on positive things and share photos of things I come across in my travels.  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed looking for the roses.

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early summer blooms in the upper midwest

While fall and spring are my favorite seasons, in that order, I do love summer for all the gorgeous flowers everywhere! And naturally I’ve taken some photos of them. Plus I have photos of the garden as it was the first few days of July. So without further ado, please enjoy early summer blooms and plants.

First, let’s check in with the vegetable garden. All the plants are happy and growing.

Next is a collection of photos from my favorite walking path near my house. So many interesting plants!

To close, some photos from my own garden.

I have so many photos of bee balm that I thought they deserved their own gallery.

Do you have a favorite summer flower? There are so many, it’s hard to choose but I do love the bee balm.  And here I’ve displayed three different colors.  I’ll be back soon with more photos of summer flowers. Do come back and take a look!

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A morning at Itasca State Park

I always try to plan a trip to the cabin while Minnesota’s state flower, the showy lady’s slipper, is blooming in northern Minnesota. I believe they’re in bloom for about two weeks around the end of June and beginning of July(more information about our state flower and a little more information ). Itasca State Park is 40 miles from the family cabin and we went there the last weekend in June seeking the lovely orchid during our three day stay at the cabin. We hoped our timing worked and it did! The blooms seemed very much at peak. Score!!

There’s a spot near Douglas Lodge within the park where there are many lady’s slippers so we always walk down the many steps then back up again just to see their loveliness. But they also grow throughout the park and we drove around the entire park searching for them. Here’s a link to the map for perspective. We did find one small group of lady’s slippers, drove right past them and then I exclaimed “there’s some!!” so we backed up and I got out to photograph them. They really blend in with the scenery so are kind of hard to spot in a moving car but I did find one patch!

No trip to Itasca is complete without visiting the headwaters of the Mississippi. Yep, the mighty Mississippi River starts in Itasca which is a huge tourist draw. My first gallery contains general park photos as well as the headwaters.

In this next gallery are the photos I took of the group of lady’s slippers that we found on the Wilderness Drive. To me, it looks like this group is further along than the blooms near Douglas Lodge.

And here are the photos from the large group of lady’s slippers down the hill from Douglas Lodge. The colors on these flowers are more vibrant than the previous gallery, wouldn’t you agree? Very curious. Maybe it has something to do with sunlight or lack thereof.

I’ll close with some sunset photos from the cabin which is the most relaxing place on earth. If you’re planning a trip to Minnesota, or if you live here, do plan a visit to this fabulous state park. There is something for everyone there.

I like that there’s still enough sun to form shadows in this one:

I think this is my favorite of the ones I took between three different nights(sans shadows):

And this is 15 minutes later than the previous photo. Look how much the colors changed in just 15 minutes:

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