A Travellerspoint blog

February 2021

Highlights from Nelson-Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City,pt 1

The Thinker, Auguste Rodin, 1880; this bronze was cast in 1949 from Rodin's original and showcases the monumental facade of the Nelson-Atkins

The Thinker, Auguste Rodin, 1880; this bronze was cast in 1949 from Rodin's original and showcases the monumental facade of the Nelson-Atkins

The Benton Farm, Thomas Hart Benton, 1973; Benton died in 1975 at work in his studio, as he completed his final mural, The Sources of Country Music, for the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville

The Benton Farm, Thomas Hart Benton, 1973; Benton died in 1975 at work in his studio, as he completed his final mural, The Sources of Country Music, for the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville

Dusasa I, El Anatsui, 2007; this huge work was created from recycled liquor-bottle tops that have been flattened and stitched together using copper wire

Dusasa I, El Anatsui, 2007; this huge work was created from recycled liquor-bottle tops that have been flattened and stitched together using copper wire

Faaturuma (Melancholic), Paul Gauguin, 1891; disillusioned with modern society, the artist left France for Tahiti only to discover that colonialism had practically eradicated Tahitian culture

Faaturuma (Melancholic), Paul Gauguin, 1891; disillusioned with modern society, the artist left France for Tahiti only to discover that colonialism had practically eradicated Tahitian culture

Epergne, Thomas Pitts I, 1761; the Folgers Coffee Silver Collection comprises 100  pieces of 18th and 19th century English, Scottish and Irish silver

Epergne, Thomas Pitts I, 1761; the Folgers Coffee Silver Collection comprises 100+ pieces of 18th and 19th century English, Scottish and Irish silver

Heineken, Idelle Weber, 1976; the perfect painting for Bob Niel!; this artist specialized in Photo-Realism where she photographed scenes (like piles of trash) and then meticulously painted them

Heineken, Idelle Weber, 1976; the perfect painting for Bob Niel!; this artist specialized in Photo-Realism where she photographed scenes (like piles of trash) and then meticulously painted them

The museum had a huge collection of pieces from ancient Egypt, native Americans, India and the Far East; I was impressed by their porcelain collection too

The museum had a huge collection of pieces from ancient Egypt, native Americans, India and the Far East; I was impressed by their porcelain collection too

Little Campbell's Soup Can (Consomme), Andy Warhol, 1962; supposedly he kept his television on 24 hours a day so he was keenly aware of sales pitches and popular culture

Little Campbell's Soup Can (Consomme), Andy Warhol, 1962; supposedly he kept his television on 24 hours a day so he was keenly aware of sales pitches and popular culture

Hollywood, Thomas Hart Benton, 1938; many excellent works by this native son are displayed here and his last home in Kansas City and studio are normally open to visitors

Hollywood, Thomas Hart Benton, 1938; many excellent works by this native son are displayed here and his last home in Kansas City and studio are normally open to visitors

Reclining Armchair, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1903; it's not a La-Z-Boy but it does look more comfortable than most critically-acclaimed, modern furniture

Reclining Armchair, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1903; it's not a La-Z-Boy but it does look more comfortable than most critically-acclaimed, modern furniture

Two-Tiered Still Life with Fruit and Sunset Landscape, Severin Roesen, 1867; this over-achieving artist must have foreseen America's habit for gluttony and all-you-can-eat buffets

Two-Tiered Still Life with Fruit and Sunset Landscape, Severin Roesen, 1867; this over-achieving artist must have foreseen America's habit for gluttony and all-you-can-eat buffets

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my Feet and a Light unto my Path, Eastman Johnson, 1881; nicknamed the American Rembrandt, the artist painted a Nantucket couple of a simpler, bygone era

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my Feet and a Light unto my Path, Eastman Johnson, 1881; nicknamed the American Rembrandt, the artist painted a Nantucket couple of a simpler, bygone era

View of Argenteuil-Snow, Claude Monet, 1875; the museum had a huge Monet of water lilies but I didn't think it nearly as good as this winter scene

View of Argenteuil-Snow, Claude Monet, 1875; the museum had a huge Monet of water lilies but I didn't think it nearly as good as this winter scene

The Garden of Les Mathurins at Pontoise, Camille Pissarro, 1876; among the best works by Pissarro (and my favorite), this piece depicts middle class life in a town northwest of Paris

The Garden of Les Mathurins at Pontoise, Camille Pissarro, 1876; among the best works by Pissarro (and my favorite), this piece depicts middle class life in a town northwest of Paris

Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, Edgar Degas, 1881; the original wax version of this work was debuted at the 1881 Impressionist exhibition causing a stir with passionate critiques, both good and bad

Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, Edgar Degas, 1881; the original wax version of this work was debuted at the 1881 Impressionist exhibition causing a stir with passionate critiques, both good and bad

A Lazy Fisherman, John Gadsby Chapman, 1844; I really liked this piece from an artist I had never heard of

A Lazy Fisherman, John Gadsby Chapman, 1844; I really liked this piece from an artist I had never heard of

Women at Sunrise, Joan Miro, 1946; the (very successful) artist was a Surrealist whose elaborate doodles were devoid of rational thought

Women at Sunrise, Joan Miro, 1946; the (very successful) artist was a Surrealist whose elaborate doodles were devoid of rational thought

Bust of a Faun, Pablo Picasso, 1946; this half human-half goat is depicted in a geometric pattern that suggests a harlequin, a theatrical trickster character

Bust of a Faun, Pablo Picasso, 1946; this half human-half goat is depicted in a geometric pattern that suggests a harlequin, a theatrical trickster character

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:56 Comments (0)

Gettysburg - fascinating look at bloodiest Civil War battle

The Gettysburg Address was just 271 words delivered 4 1/2 months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg; it is one of the best-known speeches in American history

The Gettysburg Address was just 271 words delivered 4 1/2 months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg; it is one of the best-known speeches in American history

The Gettysburg National Military Park has 1,320 monuments, 410 cannon, 148 historic buildings, and 41 miles of roads;  it is one of the largest collections of outdoor sculpture in the world

The Gettysburg National Military Park has 1,320 monuments, 410 cannon, 148 historic buildings, and 41 miles of roads; it is one of the largest collections of outdoor sculpture in the world

Gettysburg Cyclorama, is a painting by French artist Paul Philippoteaux depicting Pickett's Charge, the climactic Confederate attack on the Union forces during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863; the painting is 42 ft high by 377 ft in circumference

Gettysburg Cyclorama, is a painting by French artist Paul Philippoteaux depicting Pickett's Charge, the climactic Confederate attack on the Union forces during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863; the painting is 42 ft high by 377 ft in circumference

This map shows the movements of the Union and Confederate troops that result in the Battle of Gettysburg; the battle involved the largest number of casualties (50,000 ) of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point

This map shows the movements of the Union and Confederate troops that result in the Battle of Gettysburg; the battle involved the largest number of casualties (50,000+) of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point

Lincoln's signature is in the lower right corner of this copy of the Emancipation Proclamation; it is in the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center which is privately run with admission costing $15

Lincoln's signature is in the lower right corner of this copy of the Emancipation Proclamation; it is in the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center which is privately run with admission costing $15

Sachs Covered Bridge was built in 1854 and was designated Pennsylvania's most historic bridge in 1938 by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Sachs Covered Bridge was built in 1854 and was designated Pennsylvania's most historic bridge in 1938 by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves the home and farm of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President, which is adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park

Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves the home and farm of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President, which is adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park

Built in 1914, the Historic Round Barn  is one of only a handful of truly round barns surviving today; set 8 miles west of Gettysburg, I visited on the one day each week (Thursday) it is closed

Built in 1914, the Historic Round Barn is one of only a handful of truly round barns surviving today; set 8 miles west of Gettysburg, I visited on the one day each week (Thursday) it is closed

The Eisenhower farm served as a weekend retreat when Ike was president and then he and Mamie lived here after he left office in 1961; unfortunately the interior of the house was closed due to the pandemic

The Eisenhower farm served as a weekend retreat when Ike was president and then he and Mamie lived here after he left office in 1961; unfortunately the interior of the house was closed due to the pandemic

Completed in 1914, the Pennsylvania State Memorial is the largest of the state monuments on the Gettysburg Battlefield; the memorial stands along Cemetery Ridge and commemorates the 34,530 Pennsylvania soldiers who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg

Completed in 1914, the Pennsylvania State Memorial is the largest of the state monuments on the Gettysburg Battlefield; the memorial stands along Cemetery Ridge and commemorates the 34,530 Pennsylvania soldiers who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg

Lincoln signed this page from an autograph album on the day of his immortal address at Gettysburg; the museum would be very interesting to military history buffs

Lincoln signed this page from an autograph album on the day of his immortal address at Gettysburg; the museum would be very interesting to military history buffs

A telegraph operator tapped out news of General Lee's surrender on this telegraph key at Appamatox; this is one of the more than 40,000 artifacts on display in the visitor's center

A telegraph operator tapped out news of General Lee's surrender on this telegraph key at Appamatox; this is one of the more than 40,000 artifacts on display in the visitor's center

The guest house (1956) at the Eisenhower National Historic Site would be the perfect size for me!; the guest staying the longest was David Eisenhower who worked at Gettysburg in the summer of 1964

The guest house (1956) at the Eisenhower National Historic Site would be the perfect size for me!; the guest staying the longest was David Eisenhower who worked at Gettysburg in the summer of 1964

Posted by VagabondCowboy 05:22 Comments (0)

Incredible collection at Art Institute of Chicago, part 3

Nighthawks, Edward Hopper, 1942; this is Hopper's most famous painting and has become a fixture of American culture

Nighthawks, Edward Hopper, 1942; this is Hopper's most famous painting and has become a fixture of American culture

American Gothic, Grant Wood, 1930; it was a popular sensation when debuted here in 1930 and has become one of the most iconic (and parodied) paintings of the 20th century

American Gothic, Grant Wood, 1930; it was a popular sensation when debuted here in 1930 and has become one of the most iconic (and parodied) paintings of the 20th century

Gray and Silver: Old Battersea Ranch, James McNeill Whistler, 1863; the artist's style was heavily influenced by Gustave Courbet's bold realism and thickly painted surfaces

Gray and Silver: Old Battersea Ranch, James McNeill Whistler, 1863; the artist's style was heavily influenced by Gustave Courbet's bold realism and thickly painted surfaces

The Child's Bath, Mary Cassatt, 1893; the museum purchased this painting in 1910 and it has been one of the most popular works in the museum ever since

The Child's Bath, Mary Cassatt, 1893; the museum purchased this painting in 1910 and it has been one of the most popular works in the museum ever since

The Fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati, Italy, John Singer Sargent, 1907; this was the year Sargent stepped away from a successful career as a portrait artist in favor of plein air painting

The Fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati, Italy, John Singer Sargent, 1907; this was the year Sargent stepped away from a successful career as a portrait artist in favor of plein air painting

The Old Guitarist, Pablo Picasso, 1904; this is one of the most famous works from Picasso's Blue Period which was brought on by the suicide of his best friend

The Old Guitarist, Pablo Picasso, 1904; this is one of the most famous works from Picasso's Blue Period which was brought on by the suicide of his best friend

Kylix (Drinking Cup), Greek, 510 BC; the first documented quadrennial games honoring the supreme Greek god Zeus at a sanctuary dedicated to him at Olympia were held in 776 BC

Kylix (Drinking Cup), Greek, 510 BC; the first documented quadrennial games honoring the supreme Greek god Zeus at a sanctuary dedicated to him at Olympia were held in 776 BC

Cow's Skull with Calico Roses, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1931; in 1930 the artist witnessed severe drought in the Southwest causing many animals to die, littering the landscape with bones

Cow's Skull with Calico Roses, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1931; in 1930 the artist witnessed severe drought in the Southwest causing many animals to die, littering the landscape with bones

Bottle Rack, Marcel Duchamp, 1959; the artist labeled the piece a readymade, a term he used to describe his collection of ordinary, manufactured objects not commonly associated with art

Bottle Rack, Marcel Duchamp, 1959; the artist labeled the piece a readymade, a term he used to describe his collection of ordinary, manufactured objects not commonly associated with art

Time Transfixed, Rene Magritte, 1938; this Belgian, Surrealist artist is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality

Time Transfixed, Rene Magritte, 1938; this Belgian, Surrealist artist is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality

Farm Near Duivendrecht, Piet Mondrian, 1916; the artist painted the landscapes of his native Holland but achieved fame later for his non-representational paintings

Farm Near Duivendrecht, Piet Mondrian, 1916; the artist painted the landscapes of his native Holland but achieved fame later for his non-representational paintings

American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman), David Hockney, 1968; an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century

American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman), David Hockney, 1968; an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century

Posted by VagabondCowboy 06:01 Comments (0)

Kansas City lives up to billing as Paris on the Plains

This was the home of Harry S.Truman from the time of his marriage to Bess Wallace on June 28, 1919, until his death on December 26, 1972; it's in Independence, about 7 miles east of KC

This was the home of Harry S.Truman from the time of his marriage to Bess Wallace on June 28, 1919, until his death on December 26, 1972; it's in Independence, about 7 miles east of KC

Union Station, opened in 1914, served a peak annual traffic of 670,000  passengers in 1945 at the end of World War II but was closed in 1985; in 1999, the station reopened as a series of museums and other public attractions

Union Station, opened in 1914, served a peak annual traffic of 670,000+ passengers in 1945 at the end of World War II but was closed in 1985; in 1999, the station reopened as a series of museums and other public attractions

The Henry Bloch Fountain features 232 jets of water set to a timed display, with colorful lights at night; Gary and Becky Rodriguez grew up in KC!(with Phyllis, of course!)

The Henry Bloch Fountain features 232 jets of water set to a timed display, with colorful lights at night; Gary and Becky Rodriguez grew up in KC!(with Phyllis, of course!)

The Thinker, Auguste Rodin, 1880; this bronze was cast in 1949 from Rodin's original and showcases the monumental facade of the Nelson-Atkins

The Thinker, Auguste Rodin, 1880; this bronze was cast in 1949 from Rodin's original and showcases the monumental facade of the Nelson-Atkins

Opened in 1926, the National World War I Museum is humongous and ideal for military buffs; at night, the top of the 217-ft tall memorial tower emits a flame effect, steam illuminated by bright red and orange lights

Opened in 1926, the National World War I Museum is humongous and ideal for military buffs; at night, the top of the 217-ft tall memorial tower emits a flame effect, steam illuminated by bright red and orange lights

The Kansas City Sister Cities International Bridge honors Seville, Xi'an (China), Guadalajara, Kabul, Metz (France), Arusha (Tanzania), Hannover (Germany) and several other partner cities

The Kansas City Sister Cities International Bridge honors Seville, Xi'an (China), Guadalajara, Kabul, Metz (France), Arusha (Tanzania), Hannover (Germany) and several other partner cities

The Neptune Fountain was cast in 1911 but didn't get to Kansas City until 1953; KC is known as the City of Fountains with 200  scattered throughout the city

The Neptune Fountain was cast in 1911 but didn't get to Kansas City until 1953; KC is known as the City of Fountains with 200+ scattered throughout the city

A sculptor created this exact replica of the Plaza de Los Reyes fountain in Seville, Spain; famous people from KC include Ed Asner, Joan Crawford, Walter Cronkite, Walt Disney, Jack Sock, Amelia Earhart, Melissa Etheridge and Ernest Hemingway

A sculptor created this exact replica of the Plaza de Los Reyes fountain in Seville, Spain; famous people from KC include Ed Asner, Joan Crawford, Walter Cronkite, Walt Disney, Jack Sock, Amelia Earhart, Melissa Etheridge and Ernest Hemingway

Truman's Presidential Library and Museum were closed for renovations even before Covid struck; the museum opened in 1957 and should re-open sometime this year

Truman's Presidential Library and Museum were closed for renovations even before Covid struck; the museum opened in 1957 and should re-open sometime this year

The JC Nichols Memorial Fountain is among the most famous in town but was undergoing repairs; it's across the street from Country Club Plaza and a Chuy's

The JC Nichols Memorial Fountain is among the most famous in town but was undergoing repairs; it's across the street from Country Club Plaza and a Chuy's

The weather was definitely more appropriate for penguins than people; it was  late October when I visited so I can only imagine what it's like to live here all winter

The weather was definitely more appropriate for penguins than people; it was late October when I visited so I can only imagine what it's like to live here all winter

Truman served his first term in office with no vice-president since this was before the 25th Amendment; given the snow during my visit, it's easy to see why the colorful Harry S. Truman Little White House is in Key West

Truman served his first term in office with no vice-president since this was before the 25th Amendment; given the snow during my visit, it's easy to see why the colorful Harry S. Truman Little White House is in Key West

Across the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art lie four large shuttlecocks created by the husband-and-wife team of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen; they are the world's largest shuttlecocks and the symbol for the museum

Across the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art lie four large shuttlecocks created by the husband-and-wife team of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen; they are the world's largest shuttlecocks and the symbol for the museum

Posted by VagabondCowboy 03:52 Comments (0)

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art has top-notch collection

Wheat Fields after the Rain, Vincent van Gogh, 1890; this is one of the last paintings completed just days before van Gogh died with the bright colors contrasting with the grim circumstances of van Gogh's life at the time

Wheat Fields after the Rain, Vincent van Gogh, 1890; this is one of the last paintings completed just days before van Gogh died with the bright colors contrasting with the grim circumstances of van Gogh's life at the time

Sugar bowl, Pittsburgh, 1850; in the 19th century the Pittsburgh area produced great quantities of beautiful, functional blown glass objects (the museum collection nicely highlighted local connections)

Sugar bowl, Pittsburgh, 1850; in the 19th century the Pittsburgh area produced great quantities of beautiful, functional blown glass objects (the museum collection nicely highlighted local connections)

GIrl under Apple Tree, Edvard Munch, 1904; more famous for The Scream, this work by Munch reflects my desire to not showcase the same artists over and over in my blog

GIrl under Apple Tree, Edvard Munch, 1904; more famous for The Scream, this work by Munch reflects my desire to not showcase the same artists over and over in my blog

Lockheed lounge, Marc Newson, 1985; only 10 of this limited edition were made and it secured a revered place in popular culture when Madonna used it in her 1988 Rain video

Lockheed lounge, Marc Newson, 1985; only 10 of this limited edition were made and it secured a revered place in popular culture when Madonna used it in her 1988 Rain video

The Great Bridge, Rouen, Camille Pissarro, 1896; this painting reflects also the history of Pittsburgh with its bridges and big, pollution-generating industrial projects

The Great Bridge, Rouen, Camille Pissarro, 1896; this painting reflects also the history of Pittsburgh with its bridges and big, pollution-generating industrial projects

Chair, Jacques Guillon, 1950; Pittsburgh was a center of industrial innovation as reflected in this chair that only weighs 7 lbs but could hold 3800 lbs (I'm still doubtful of those nylon cords holding up over time)

Chair, Jacques Guillon, 1950; Pittsburgh was a center of industrial innovation as reflected in this chair that only weighs 7 lbs but could hold 3800 lbs (I'm still doubtful of those nylon cords holding up over time)

Acacias, Albert Moore, 1880; I was impressed with this painting that blends elements of classical sculpture and Japanese design with masterful brushwork to create a work of tranquil beauty

Acacias, Albert Moore, 1880; I was impressed with this painting that blends elements of classical sculpture and Japanese design with masterful brushwork to create a work of tranquil beauty

Low water, Joan Mitchell, 1969; the museum says her energetic paintings are spontaneous evocations of the natural world, albeit through abstract means (but this looks more like a child's work that would get put on the refrigerator!)

Low water, Joan Mitchell, 1969; the museum says her energetic paintings are spontaneous evocations of the natural world, albeit through abstract means (but this looks more like a child's work that would get put on the refrigerator!)

Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and Pomegranates, Jacob Fopson van Es, 1660; I found the works at this large museum very captivating and well-presented

Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and Pomegranates, Jacob Fopson van Es, 1660; I found the works at this large museum very captivating and well-presented

Water decanters, Bakewell, Page and Bakewell, 1818; made in Pittsburgh for President James Monroe, these impressively cut and engraved pieces are the earliest known American examples of their type

Water decanters, Bakewell, Page and Bakewell, 1818; made in Pittsburgh for President James Monroe, these impressively cut and engraved pieces are the earliest known American examples of their type

Place des Lices, St. Tropez, Paul Signac, 1893; the French artist was a Neo-Impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the Pointillist style

Place des Lices, St. Tropez, Paul Signac, 1893; the French artist was a Neo-Impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the Pointillist style

Fall-front desk, Nicholas Petit, 1780; this desk once graced the drawing room of Ailsa Mellon Bruce's (heiress to the Mellon fortune) Fifth Avenue apartment in NYC

Fall-front desk, Nicholas Petit, 1780; this desk once graced the drawing room of Ailsa Mellon Bruce's (heiress to the Mellon fortune) Fifth Avenue apartment in NYC

Waterloo Bridge, Claude Monet, 1903; from his room at the Savoy Hotel, Monet had this view which he painted 40  times as he explored his interest in the changing effects of light, fog and reflections in the water

Waterloo Bridge, Claude Monet, 1903; from his room at the Savoy Hotel, Monet had this view which he painted 40+ times as he explored his interest in the changing effects of light, fog and reflections in the water

Elterwater Stone Ring, Richard Long, 1985; this artist collected rocks on his English walks and then created carefully honed, minimalist sculptures (I can think of other ways to describe this piece!)

Elterwater Stone Ring, Richard Long, 1985; this artist collected rocks on his English walks and then created carefully honed, minimalist sculptures (I can think of other ways to describe this piece!)

Mountain Skyscape, Mark Peiser, 1994; this museum was founded in 1895 by the Pittsburgh-based industrialist Andrew Carnegie and was the first in the US with a primary focus on contemporary art

Mountain Skyscape, Mark Peiser, 1994; this museum was founded in 1895 by the Pittsburgh-based industrialist Andrew Carnegie and was the first in the US with a primary focus on contemporary art

This English style dining room is from a PA country estate but is all done in miniature; the entire room could easily fit in a shoe box!

This English style dining room is from a PA country estate but is all done in miniature; the entire room could easily fit in a shoe box!

Prince of Swords, Nicole Eisenman, 2013; the classical Hall of Statues was playfully interrupted with this modern work

Prince of Swords, Nicole Eisenman, 2013; the classical Hall of Statues was playfully interrupted with this modern work

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:14 Comments (0)

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