Prague’s John Lennon Wall

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Wall.

The John Lennon wall in Prague, Czech Republic, was created following the 1980 assassination  of John Lennon: at that time, it contained only one image of Lennon and the lyrics from a song.  The wall changes continually and has a history of challenging authority.  Exactly one week after we took this photo, on Earth Day, the wall was repainted entirely by the protest group Extinction Rebellion to demand government action on climate change.

 

This photo was taken on April 15, 2019. Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 100, f/9, 1/50 sec, 18 mm.

 

 

 

Five Swan Boats — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 5+ Items

This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 5+ Items.

Lake Gregory in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, offers many types of pleasant water activities for the whole family, including whimsically-painted paddle boats in the shape of large swans.

This photo was taken on February 9, 2018. Specs are:

Olympus TG-4, ISO 100, f/9, 1/320 sec, 5.87 mm.

ONE through ZERO (The Numbers) — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letters or Numbers

This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letters or Numbers.

We have been taking a drawing class to help us think more clearly about photography. Today was field trip day and we visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The East Wing starts with Picasso before cubism and ends with Mark Rothko. The idea seems to be to take the viewer from something recognizable to something totally abstract with a sensible path between.

Since “the sensible path between” is up lots and lots of steps, we generally take an elevator to the top and find ourselves totally confused until we walk down a couple flights towards realism. There is an outdoor passage between two towers at the top of the museum where they often display something we can recognize after gazing at the Rothkos. Currently, the display features large metal numbers against the Washington skyline. They may only be numbers and we are not sure what they mean — if modern art is intended to have meaning — but we used them to steady our nerves so that we could continue our stroll through modern art.

This art installation, titled ONE through ZERO (The Numbers) by the American artist Robert Indiana (1928-2018), was constructed from 1978 to 2003 using Cor-Ten steel.

Margaret Brassler Kane’s Harlem Dancers — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 2 items or the number two

This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 2 items or the number two.

We recently visited the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D. C. One piece of art that we particularly liked was Harlem Dancers, a sculpture in Tennessee marble created by Margaret Brassler Kane.

 

This website is a good source of information about Margaret Brassler Kane.  Born into a wealthy family in 1909, she married in 1930 and began sculpting human busts and animal figures, creating models in clay and having them cast in bronze.  After the stock market crash of 1929 and subsequent reduction in income, as well as the birth of her first child, she switched materials from the more expensive bronze casting to marble, which she could process closer home with the full support of her extended family. Her first marble piece, completed in 1937, was Harlem Dancers.  Later in life, this sculpture was duplicated in bronze and she donated the original marble statue to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1993.

 

The figure is generously sized at 29 7/8” x 14 ½” x 14”, although the table on which it stands is tall enough that viewing the individual heads is a bit difficult.  What we particularly appreciate about this piece is how its simple curves are able to suggest more complex shapes and emotions.  The dress of the female dancer is form-fitting yet elegant; the pattern of the skirt was, in fact, based on the design of peanut shells and suggests movement. Using only a few simple lines, the man’s suit is classically formal.  The two forms, man and woman, fit together well.  Our favorite part of the piece is the quiet serenity of the woman’s face.

 

 

 

The Urban Art of Dunkin’ Donuts

This is our entry in nancy merrill photography’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Urban.

We recently visited the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in Washington, D.C.  As we wandered among the many wonderful pieces of art on display, we glanced out a window to observe an urban icon gently distorted by the glass and screening of the window.

This photo was taken on June 14, 2019. Specs are:

Olympus TG-5, ISO 800, f/4.9, 1/25 sec, 18 mm

The Art of Blowing Snow

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Open Topic.

Here is a photo to help get you though the hot days of summer.  The image was captured between sweeps of our car’s windshield wiper as we traveled home this past January in a snowstorm.  (Never take photos from a moving car, right?)  Heavy snowflakes are being blown sideways to add to the blanket already covering the pine trees bordering the roadway.

This photo was taken on January 29, 2019.  The color is original.

A Road between Eastern and Western Europe

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Road.

The Charles Bridge in Prague, built in 1347, was the only road across the Moldau River — connecting Eastern and Western Europe — until 1841. There is a tiny, almost obscure, door at the base of the bridge’s tower which opens to a long flight of steps leading to the top (for a fee — it’s still Prague, after all).  The tower is the only way to see the bridge without wading through a sea of tourists and vendors.

There is also a good view of the bridge from the deck of one of the scenic river cruises. The view is nice, but the cruise is hampered by all the locks along that stretch of the Moldau.

The final photo is an eye-level view taken while crossing the pedestrian road across the bridge. We found it to be the least interesting way to see the bridge.