A Travellerspoint blog

April 2022

Downtown Cincinnati highlights and its great mural project

This view of downtown is from the Cincinnati Art Museum in Eden Park; underneath Cincinnati is the largest abandoned subway system in the US; it was built in the early 1900s, but the project was abandoned due to rising costs

This view of downtown is from the Cincinnati Art Museum in Eden Park; underneath Cincinnati is the largest abandoned subway system in the US; it was built in the early 1900s, but the project was abandoned due to rising costs

Fountain Square has been the symbolic center of the city since 1871 with the bronze, allegorical fountain entitled the Genius of Water; if you're old enough to remember the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati, the Square features in the opening credits

Fountain Square has been the symbolic center of the city since 1871 with the bronze, allegorical fountain entitled the Genius of Water; if you're old enough to remember the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati, the Square features in the opening credits

This mural, entitled Faces of Homelessness, seeks to breakdown stereotypes around who experiences homelessness and the reasons why; the city is named for Roman statesman Lucius Cincinnatus who was born around 519 BC

This mural, entitled Faces of Homelessness, seeks to breakdown stereotypes around who experiences homelessness and the reasons why; the city is named for Roman statesman Lucius Cincinnatus who was born around 519 BC

When opened on December 1, 1866, the John A. Roebling Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1,057 ft, which was later overtaken by Roebling's more famous design of the 1883 Brooklyn Bridge (1,595.5 ft)

When opened on December 1, 1866, the John A. Roebling Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1,057 ft, which was later overtaken by Roebling's more famous design of the 1883 Brooklyn Bridge (1,595.5 ft)

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, established in 2004, was closed when I visited due to a ransomware attack; it recognizes the significant role of the city, as thousands of slaves escaped slavery in the South by crossing the Ohio River

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, established in 2004, was closed when I visited due to a ransomware attack; it recognizes the significant role of the city, as thousands of slaves escaped slavery in the South by crossing the Ohio River

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, now shortened to the Reds, fielded the first known professional baseball team in 1869; the team now plays at Great American Ball Park which also houses the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, now shortened to the Reds, fielded the first known professional baseball team in 1869; the team now plays at Great American Ball Park which also houses the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum

This mural depicts Martha, the last passenger pigeon, who lived out her final days at the Cincinnati Zoo, and her old flock; despite efforts to save what was once the most numerous bird species in America, Martha died in 1914

This mural depicts Martha, the last passenger pigeon, who lived out her final days at the Cincinnati Zoo, and her old flock; despite efforts to save what was once the most numerous bird species in America, Martha died in 1914

The largest US grocery store chain with almost 3000 locations and 500,000 employees, Kroger, was founded here in 1883; in the 1970s, Kroger became the first store to introduce electronic scanning and has grown largely by buying up the competition

The largest US grocery store chain with almost 3000 locations and 500,000 employees, Kroger, was founded here in 1883; in the 1970s, Kroger became the first store to introduce electronic scanning and has grown largely by buying up the competition

This mural celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Scripp's National Spelling Bee which, although held in Washington DC, is run as a non-profit based in Cincinnati; 150  murals now adorn Cincinnati buildings

This mural celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Scripp's National Spelling Bee which, although held in Washington DC, is run as a non-profit based in Cincinnati; 150+ murals now adorn Cincinnati buildings

One of the most interesting and unique tourist sights in Cincinnati is the American Sign Museum; 200  signs are displayed accompanied by extensive narrative about the evolution of signs and the accompanying change in use of technology

One of the most interesting and unique tourist sights in Cincinnati is the American Sign Museum; 200+ signs are displayed accompanied by extensive narrative about the evolution of signs and the accompanying change in use of technology

Visionary Reality Threshold, Saya Woolfalk, 2019; the typical local breakfast is called goetta (I'd never heard of it), brought to the city by German settlers, that consists of sausage, oats, and spices

Visionary Reality Threshold, Saya Woolfalk, 2019; the typical local breakfast is called goetta (I'd never heard of it), brought to the city by German settlers, that consists of sausage, oats, and spices

The 49-story Carew Tower was the tallest building in Cincinnati from 1931 to 2010 when it was surpassed by the Great American Tower; it has an observation deck with great city views but was closed when I visited due to the pandemic

The 49-story Carew Tower was the tallest building in Cincinnati from 1931 to 2010 when it was surpassed by the Great American Tower; it has an observation deck with great city views but was closed when I visited due to the pandemic

The naming rights to the light rail system were bought by Cincinnati Bell so it's called the Bell Connector; despite opposition from then-Governor Kasich and city council, local voters have repeatedly supported this mass transit program and its expansion

The naming rights to the light rail system were bought by Cincinnati Bell so it's called the Bell Connector; despite opposition from then-Governor Kasich and city council, local voters have repeatedly supported this mass transit program and its expansion

The Beaux-Arts Hamilton County Memorial Building was built in 1908, as a memorial to the military of the city and county; it hosts 300  concerts, film screenings and stage productions each year thanks to its 556-seat theater which has exceptional acoustics

The Beaux-Arts Hamilton County Memorial Building was built in 1908, as a memorial to the military of the city and county; it hosts 300+ concerts, film screenings and stage productions each year thanks to its 556-seat theater which has exceptional acoustics

Homage to Cincinnatus, completed in 1983, predates the current city mural program but contributed to the public's support for expanding the mural project; ArtWorks has a helpful map with locations for all city murals

Homage to Cincinnatus, completed in 1983, predates the current city mural program but contributed to the public's support for expanding the mural project; ArtWorks has a helpful map with locations for all city murals

The former Cincinnati Union Terminal is now the Museum Center, comprising the Cincinnati History Museum, the Museum of Natural History   Science, and Children's Museum; the ransomware attack had this sight closed when I visited

The former Cincinnati Union Terminal is now the Museum Center, comprising the Cincinnati History Museum, the Museum of Natural History + Science, and Children's Museum; the ransomware attack had this sight closed when I visited

This creative mural is entitled Homecoming (Blue Birds) by Charley Harper, one of Cincinnati’s most accomplished and celebrated artists; Harper studied and taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati

This creative mural is entitled Homecoming (Blue Birds) by Charley Harper, one of Cincinnati’s most accomplished and celebrated artists; Harper studied and taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati

The NFL's Cincinnati Bengals play in Paul Brown Stadium, named after the team's founder; it is one of three stadiums in the NFL not named after a corporate sponsor, the others being Lambeau Field (Packers) and Soldier Field (Bears)

The NFL's Cincinnati Bengals play in Paul Brown Stadium, named after the team's founder; it is one of three stadiums in the NFL not named after a corporate sponsor, the others being Lambeau Field (Packers) and Soldier Field (Bears)

One of the tallest murals in Cincinnati is known as 'Energy and Grace' and features an original piece of work created by a professor at ArtWorks (the non-profit behind the mural project) – native Cincinnatian and well-known abstract artist Kim Krause

One of the tallest murals in Cincinnati is known as 'Energy and Grace' and features an original piece of work created by a professor at ArtWorks (the non-profit behind the mural project) – native Cincinnatian and well-known abstract artist Kim Krause

The Cincinnati Music Hall, built in 1878 and home for the city ballet, symphony orchestra, and opera, was my favorite building here; Music Hall was built over a pauper's cemetery, which has helped fuel its reputation as one of America's most haunted places

The Cincinnati Music Hall, built in 1878 and home for the city ballet, symphony orchestra, and opera, was my favorite building here; Music Hall was built over a pauper's cemetery, which has helped fuel its reputation as one of America's most haunted places

A mythological music muse dominates this mural as the notes to Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man (written for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and originally performed at Music Hall in 1942) fly off the page

A mythological music muse dominates this mural as the notes to Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man (written for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and originally performed at Music Hall in 1942) fly off the page

The School for Creative and Performing Arts, founded in 1973, was the first public school in the country to combine a full range of arts studies with a complete college-preparatory academic program for students in grades 1-12

The School for Creative and Performing Arts, founded in 1973, was the first public school in the country to combine a full range of arts studies with a complete college-preparatory academic program for students in grades 1-12

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The Kentucky Collection from Louisville's Speed Art Museum

Cherry Trees pattern, attributed to Virginia Mason Ivey, about 1860; this quilt, made in Logan County, required costly materials so likely was made for show rather than for function

Cherry Trees pattern, attributed to Virginia Mason Ivey, about 1860; this quilt, made in Logan County, required costly materials so likely was made for show rather than for function

Portrait of Daniel Boone, Chester Harding, 1820; the artist tracked down the 86 year old Boone who was living in a remote cabin in St. Charles County, Missouri and painted Boone as he reminisced about his early adventures

Portrait of Daniel Boone, Chester Harding, 1820; the artist tracked down the 86 year old Boone who was living in a remote cabin in St. Charles County, Missouri and painted Boone as he reminisced about his early adventures

The sugar chest is a Kentucky icon (this model comes from Madison County and was made in the early 1800s), made to store refined white sugar or locally made brown sugar; costly refined sugar came to Kentucky from Louisiana and the Caribbean

The sugar chest is a Kentucky icon (this model comes from Madison County and was made in the early 1800s), made to store refined white sugar or locally made brown sugar; costly refined sugar came to Kentucky from Louisiana and the Caribbean

Portrait of Charles and Matilda Bullett, Charles Bullett, 1866; the artist was a partner at a local firm that sculpted cemetery memorials (the firm still exists today) while his son became well-known for his oil paintings

Portrait of Charles and Matilda Bullett, Charles Bullett, 1866; the artist was a partner at a local firm that sculpted cemetery memorials (the firm still exists today) while his son became well-known for his oil paintings

Portrait of Henry Clay, Edward Dalton Marchant, about 1850; Clay moved to Kentucky in 1797 where he mounted three unsuccessful campaigns for president; Lincoln viewed him as a role model and admired Clay's eloquence and dedication to liberty

Portrait of Henry Clay, Edward Dalton Marchant, about 1850; Clay moved to Kentucky in 1797 where he mounted three unsuccessful campaigns for president; Lincoln viewed him as a role model and admired Clay's eloquence and dedication to liberty

Portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Matthew Henry Wilson, 1865; two months before he was assassinated, Lincoln posed for Wilson at the White House in what would be his last portrait; when Joshua Speed saw the portrait he had Wilson paint him this copy

Portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Matthew Henry Wilson, 1865; two months before he was assassinated, Lincoln posed for Wilson at the White House in what would be his last portrait; when Joshua Speed saw the portrait he had Wilson paint him this copy

An Awe-Inspiring View, artist unknown, 1850; discovered in the 1790s, Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world and was written about extensively in the 1800s accompanied by illustrations so readers could visualize the cave

An Awe-Inspiring View, artist unknown, 1850; discovered in the 1790s, Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world and was written about extensively in the 1800s accompanied by illustrations so readers could visualize the cave

Portrait of the Anderson Children, Oliver Frazer, 1839; the artist set aside the usual full-length poses of formal portraiture in depicting these three boys of a Lexington family at play dressed up as soldiers on parade

Portrait of the Anderson Children, Oliver Frazer, 1839; the artist set aside the usual full-length poses of formal portraiture in depicting these three boys of a Lexington family at play dressed up as soldiers on parade

Coverlet, Frederick A. Kean, about 1848; this elaborate piece was likely made using a stack of punched cards which controlled the rods on the loom (much like punch cards used in early computer programs)

Coverlet, Frederick A. Kean, about 1848; this elaborate piece was likely made using a stack of punched cards which controlled the rods on the loom (much like punch cards used in early computer programs)

The Gibson Girl, Enid Yandell, 1895; this painted plaster sculpture is of the artist's sister whose graceful, languid pose was typical of the leisurely depictions of well-to-do women of that period

The Gibson Girl, Enid Yandell, 1895; this painted plaster sculpture is of the artist's sister whose graceful, languid pose was typical of the leisurely depictions of well-to-do women of that period

Flask, Henry Thomas, 1874; Thomas made his liquor flasks in the shape of pigs because they were fed corn mash, a by-product of whiskey production; pigs were also symbols of crudeness, a sentiment associated with drinking at that time

Flask, Henry Thomas, 1874; Thomas made his liquor flasks in the shape of pigs because they were fed corn mash, a by-product of whiskey production; pigs were also symbols of crudeness, a sentiment associated with drinking at that time

Portrait of the John Speed Smith Family, Chester Harding, 1819; this work (almost 8 ft tall) captures Smith, a rising political star who had just been elected to the state legislature, and Eliza Clay, who was the daughter of one of the KY's wealthiest men

Portrait of the John Speed Smith Family, Chester Harding, 1819; this work (almost 8 ft tall) captures Smith, a rising political star who had just been elected to the state legislature, and Eliza Clay, who was the daughter of one of the KY's wealthiest men

Pitcher, Ralph Stevenson, about 1830; the images on this pitcher portray Shippingport, an early settlement located 2 miles west of modern day Louisville; located on a peninsula in the Ohio River, the town fell victim to a canal and repeated floods

Pitcher, Ralph Stevenson, about 1830; the images on this pitcher portray Shippingport, an early settlement located 2 miles west of modern day Louisville; located on a peninsula in the Ohio River, the town fell victim to a canal and repeated floods

Oakland House and Race Course, Louisville, Robert Brammer and Augustus Von Smith, about 1840; built in 1832, this horse racing facility featured a 3-story clubhouse and hotel, a luxurious pavilion and stables for more than 100 horses

Oakland House and Race Course, Louisville, Robert Brammer and Augustus Von Smith, about 1840; built in 1832, this horse racing facility featured a 3-story clubhouse and hotel, a luxurious pavilion and stables for more than 100 horses

The Leaning Silo, Luigi Lucioni, 1939; the artist prided himself on his crisp, meticulous method of painting accentuated by photographic detail in which brushstrokes were as fine as the width of a single hair

The Leaning Silo, Luigi Lucioni, 1939; the artist prided himself on his crisp, meticulous method of painting accentuated by photographic detail in which brushstrokes were as fine as the width of a single hair

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Scene's from Wilmington NC's colorful Airlie Gardens

Airlie Gardens, begun in 1884, was designed as a lush, flowing, naturalistic Southern garden for a private family, with thousands of azaleas, camellias, magnolias, palms, and wisteria; it was purchased in 1999 by New Hanover County

Airlie Gardens, begun in 1884, was designed as a lush, flowing, naturalistic Southern garden for a private family, with thousands of azaleas, camellias, magnolias, palms, and wisteria; it was purchased in 1999 by New Hanover County

The Airlie Oak dates back to 1545 and is the largest live oak in the Carolinas; it is 130 feet tall, has a trunk circumference exceeding 22 feet and a crown spread of more than 110 feet

The Airlie Oak dates back to 1545 and is the largest live oak in the Carolinas; it is 130 feet tall, has a trunk circumference exceeding 22 feet and a crown spread of more than 110 feet

Famous people who've lived in Wilmington include: Woodrow Wilson, Lara Trump, Charlie Daniels, Michael Jordan, Althea Gibson, Charles Kuralt, David Brinkley, Roman Gabriel and Meadowlark Lemon

Famous people who've lived in Wilmington include: Woodrow Wilson, Lara Trump, Charlie Daniels, Michael Jordan, Althea Gibson, Charles Kuralt, David Brinkley, Roman Gabriel and Meadowlark Lemon

Located on the grounds of the gardens are the Greek Revival-style Mount Lebanon Chapel and cemetery; the chapel, built in 1835, is the oldest surviving church structure in New Hanover County

Located on the grounds of the gardens are the Greek Revival-style Mount Lebanon Chapel and cemetery; the chapel, built in 1835, is the oldest surviving church structure in New Hanover County

How many turtles can you count here?; Wilmington is the eastern terminus of Interstate 40, an east-west freeway that ends 2,554 miles away at Barstow, CA, where it joins I-15, the Gateway to Southern California

How many turtles can you count here?; Wilmington is the eastern terminus of Interstate 40, an east-west freeway that ends 2,554 miles away at Barstow, CA, where it joins I-15, the Gateway to Southern California

Wilmington is the home of EUE/Screen Gems Studios, the largest domestic TV and movie production facility outside CA; Iron Man 3, Super Mario Bros, We're the Millers, Fox's Sleepy Hollow, Dawson's Creek, and NBC's Revolution were produced in Wilmington

Wilmington is the home of EUE/Screen Gems Studios, the largest domestic TV and movie production facility outside CA; Iron Man 3, Super Mario Bros, We're the Millers, Fox's Sleepy Hollow, Dawson's Creek, and NBC's Revolution were produced in Wilmington

Other tourist sights in Wilmington include the USS North Carolina and the almost 2 mile Riverwalk which was ranked as the 'Best American Riverfront' by readers of USA Today in 2014 in addition to popular Wrightsville, Kure and Carolina Beaches nearby

Other tourist sights in Wilmington include the USS North Carolina and the almost 2 mile Riverwalk which was ranked as the 'Best American Riverfront' by readers of USA Today in 2014 in addition to popular Wrightsville, Kure and Carolina Beaches nearby

I can't remember visiting Wilmington in at least 40 years; the city has roughly 115,000 residents and was the largest city in NC until 1910 when it was surpassed by Charlotte (it's now the 8th largest)

I can't remember visiting Wilmington in at least 40 years; the city has roughly 115,000 residents and was the largest city in NC until 1910 when it was surpassed by Charlotte (it's now the 8th largest)

The Bottle Chapel anchors the Minnie Evans Sculpture Garden; Minnie Evans was the Garden's gatekeeper from 1949 to 1974 and became one of America's most celebrated, self-taught visionary artists, with her works included in the Smithsonian collection

The Bottle Chapel anchors the Minnie Evans Sculpture Garden; Minnie Evans was the Garden's gatekeeper from 1949 to 1974 and became one of America's most celebrated, self-taught visionary artists, with her works included in the Smithsonian collection

The Gardens have 75,000  azaleas and host the largest azalea festival in the state each April; I visited the weekend before the festival with most of the azaleas at their peak; admission is $9

The Gardens have 75,000+ azaleas and host the largest azalea festival in the state each April; I visited the weekend before the festival with most of the azaleas at their peak; admission is $9

I stayed at nearby Carolina Beach where my family vacationed when I was a kid; the boardwalk is still there but it has been gentrified and seems quite boring now as opposed to having a fun arcade and bingo games when I was a kid

I stayed at nearby Carolina Beach where my family vacationed when I was a kid; the boardwalk is still there but it has been gentrified and seems quite boring now as opposed to having a fun arcade and bingo games when I was a kid

In the early 16th century, Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano commissioned by the king of France with a French crew was reportedly the first European to see this area; the first permanent colonial settlement dates to the 1720s

In the early 16th century, Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano commissioned by the king of France with a French crew was reportedly the first European to see this area; the first permanent colonial settlement dates to the 1720s

More famous people from Wilmington include: Sonny Jurgensen, Sugar Ray Leonard, Willie Stargell, Wiley Cash, Sammy Davis Sr., Caterina Jarboro and Kristen Dalton (Miss USA 2009)

More famous people from Wilmington include: Sonny Jurgensen, Sugar Ray Leonard, Willie Stargell, Wiley Cash, Sammy Davis Sr., Caterina Jarboro and Kristen Dalton (Miss USA 2009)

The 67 acre Gardens are located on Bradley Creek, just inland from Wrightsville Beach; in 2018, more than 300 trees here were toppled by Hurricane Florence

The 67 acre Gardens are located on Bradley Creek, just inland from Wrightsville Beach; in 2018, more than 300 trees here were toppled by Hurricane Florence

In the Wilmington massacre of 1898, white supremacists launched a coup that overthrew the legitimately elected local government, expelled Black leaders, destroyed their property including the city's only Black newspaper and killed up to 300 Black citizens

In the Wilmington massacre of 1898, white supremacists launched a coup that overthrew the legitimately elected local government, expelled Black leaders, destroyed their property including the city's only Black newspaper and killed up to 300 Black citizens

In 2014, Republican Governor Pat McCrory decided not to renew film incentives that had attracted major studios, which ended up taking a massive toll on not just Wilmington's but NC's entire film industry; as a result, most of the studios moved to Atlanta

In 2014, Republican Governor Pat McCrory decided not to renew film incentives that had attracted major studios, which ended up taking a massive toll on not just Wilmington's but NC's entire film industry; as a result, most of the studios moved to Atlanta

Posted by VagabondCowboy 01:50 Comments (0)

Favorites from the San Diego Museum of Art, pt 1

The San Diego Museum of Art is housed in a gorgeous 1926 building in Balboa Park that blends with the other structures built for the Panama–California Exposition of 1915 (it celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal)

The San Diego Museum of Art is housed in a gorgeous 1926 building in Balboa Park that blends with the other structures built for the Panama–California Exposition of 1915 (it celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal)

The White Flower, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1932; O'Keeffe studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and, after 1929, spent her summers in New Mexico before moving there permanently in 1946

The White Flower, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1932; O'Keeffe studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and, after 1929, spent her summers in New Mexico before moving there permanently in 1946

Trompe l'Oeil Still Life, Samuel van Hoogstraten, ca. 1655; trained in the studio of Rembrandt, this artist worked in the royal court of Ferdinand III in Vienna with this work meant to inspire wonder at its illusionistic technique

Trompe l'Oeil Still Life, Samuel van Hoogstraten, ca. 1655; trained in the studio of Rembrandt, this artist worked in the royal court of Ferdinand III in Vienna with this work meant to inspire wonder at its illusionistic technique

Bouquet, Henri Matisse, 1916-17; Matisse came to painting later in life than his precocious rival Pablo Picasso and was introduced to Impressionism by Renoir, but Matisse always had his own style which led to the Fauvist movement

Bouquet, Henri Matisse, 1916-17; Matisse came to painting later in life than his precocious rival Pablo Picasso and was introduced to Impressionism by Renoir, but Matisse always had his own style which led to the Fauvist movement

The Hands of Dr. Moore, Diego Rivera, 1940; I found this work strange and unsettling; the painting parallels that of Frida Kahlo who Diego Rivera married (twice); admission to the museum is $20

The Hands of Dr. Moore, Diego Rivera, 1940; I found this work strange and unsettling; the painting parallels that of Frida Kahlo who Diego Rivera married (twice); admission to the museum is $20

The Molo from the Bacino di San Marco, Venice, Bernardo Bellotto, ca. 1740; Bellotto was Canaletto's nephew and most talented pupil; it's just amazing how little Venice has changed in the centuries since this painting was completed

The Molo from the Bacino di San Marco, Venice, Bernardo Bellotto, ca. 1740; Bellotto was Canaletto's nephew and most talented pupil; it's just amazing how little Venice has changed in the centuries since this painting was completed

Still Life with Peaches, Raphaelle Peale, ca. 1816; this artist was the first American to make still life the focus of his work; the realism is incredible and I'd love to see how he painted with such minute detail

Still Life with Peaches, Raphaelle Peale, ca. 1816; this artist was the first American to make still life the focus of his work; the realism is incredible and I'd love to see how he painted with such minute detail

John Alfred Parsons Millet, John Singer Sargent, 1892; born in Florence, Sargent lived as an expat most of his life; this portrait was done as a gift for the wife of painter Frank Millet (this is their son)

John Alfred Parsons Millet, John Singer Sargent, 1892; born in Florence, Sargent lived as an expat most of his life; this portrait was done as a gift for the wife of painter Frank Millet (this is their son)

Catching the Thanksgiving Turkey, Grandma Moses, ca. 1943; San Diego county has no mask mandate so the museum had a sign saying vaccinated visitors could forego a mask but no check of vaccine records was done making the policy useless

Catching the Thanksgiving Turkey, Grandma Moses, ca. 1943; San Diego county has no mask mandate so the museum had a sign saying vaccinated visitors could forego a mask but no check of vaccine records was done making the policy useless

After Many Days, Thomas Hart Benton, 1940; this unusual work for Benton was painted at the end of the Great Depression; I hadn't realized that Benton was an art teacher (perhaps a bad one) for Jackson Pollack

After Many Days, Thomas Hart Benton, 1940; this unusual work for Benton was painted at the end of the Great Depression; I hadn't realized that Benton was an art teacher (perhaps a bad one) for Jackson Pollack

The Shadows, Rene Magritte, 1966; decades after giving the teasing title The Use of Words to his most famous painting - a depiction of a pipe with the inscription This is Not a Pipe - Magritte here (in the last year of his life) revisits that iconography

The Shadows, Rene Magritte, 1966; decades after giving the teasing title The Use of Words to his most famous painting - a depiction of a pipe with the inscription This is Not a Pipe - Magritte here (in the last year of his life) revisits that iconography

Light Bulb, Jasper Johns, 1969; though the light bulb constitutes a recurring motif in Johns' limited sculptural work, this is the only design in which the light bulb is suspended and represented in relief

Light Bulb, Jasper Johns, 1969; though the light bulb constitutes a recurring motif in Johns' limited sculptural work, this is the only design in which the light bulb is suspended and represented in relief

Still Life, Jose Agustin Arrieta, ca. 1870; this Mexican artist uses some local foods such as chiles, avocados and plantains in his extraordinary work looking at the emerging middle class in 19th century Mexico

Still Life, Jose Agustin Arrieta, ca. 1870; this Mexican artist uses some local foods such as chiles, avocados and plantains in his extraordinary work looking at the emerging middle class in 19th century Mexico

The Wedding Procession, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, 1626; this artist and his workshop were prolific copyists of Pieter Bruegel the Elder's most famous compositions; the Elder died when the Younger was only 5 years old

The Wedding Procession, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, 1626; this artist and his workshop were prolific copyists of Pieter Bruegel the Elder's most famous compositions; the Elder died when the Younger was only 5 years old

Portrait of a Venetian, Tintoretto, ca. 1550; best known today for his dramatic narrative paintings, Tintoretto took a more subtle approach as a portraitist painting hundreds of works of the Venetian ruling class

Portrait of a Venetian, Tintoretto, ca. 1550; best known today for his dramatic narrative paintings, Tintoretto took a more subtle approach as a portraitist painting hundreds of works of the Venetian ruling class

The Penitent Saint Peter, El Greco, ca. 1590-95; one of El Greco's most enduring devotional images, the repentant saint is distraught for having denied that he knew Christ on the eve of the Crucifixion

The Penitent Saint Peter, El Greco, ca. 1590-95; one of El Greco's most enduring devotional images, the repentant saint is distraught for having denied that he knew Christ on the eve of the Crucifixion

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:27 Comments (0)

Alcatrez is a great escape from the busy Bay Area

In dozens of trips to the Bay Area, I had never visited Alcatraz before; it operated as a federal prison from 1934 to 1963 but is now run by the National Park Service with an estimated 2 million annual visitors

In dozens of trips to the Bay Area, I had never visited Alcatraz before; it operated as a federal prison from 1934 to 1963 but is now run by the National Park Service with an estimated 2 million annual visitors

One of the prison’s most famous inmates was Robert Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz); after being sentenced for murder, Stroud took up ornithology and was considered to be an expert by the time he arrived on the island in 1942

One of the prison’s most famous inmates was Robert Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz); after being sentenced for murder, Stroud took up ornithology and was considered to be an expert by the time he arrived on the island in 1942

In 1962, 3 inmates placed dummy heads made of soap, cement and paint under their blankets and crawled through small vents to the roof; they slid down a stove pipe and swam away where they are presumed to have drowned

In 1962, 3 inmates placed dummy heads made of soap, cement and paint under their blankets and crawled through small vents to the roof; they slid down a stove pipe and swam away where they are presumed to have drowned

Alcatraz had the first lighthouse on the West Coast which began operating in 1854; today's lighthouse dates from 1909 and was manned until the US Coast Guard automated it in 1963

Alcatraz had the first lighthouse on the West Coast which began operating in 1854; today's lighthouse dates from 1909 and was manned until the US Coast Guard automated it in 1963

When Al Capone was held at Alcatraz, he gave regular Sunday concerts with the inmate band, the Rock Islanders (he played the banjo); by some estimates, Capone's crime syndicate pulled in around $100 million a year, the largest portion from bootlegging

When Al Capone was held at Alcatraz, he gave regular Sunday concerts with the inmate band, the Rock Islanders (he played the banjo); by some estimates, Capone's crime syndicate pulled in around $100 million a year, the largest portion from bootlegging

Beginning in November 1969, Native American activists occupied Alcatraz for 19  months claiming it was their land based on the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) between the US government and the Sioux

Beginning in November 1969, Native American activists occupied Alcatraz for 19+ months claiming it was their land based on the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) between the US government and the Sioux

When Native Americans occupied Alcatraz in 1969 they used the water tower as a giant billboard writing messages to the world; their 19 month occupation is credited with launching the American Indian civil rights movement

When Native Americans occupied Alcatraz in 1969 they used the water tower as a giant billboard writing messages to the world; their 19 month occupation is credited with launching the American Indian civil rights movement

This 1934 Diamond T Fire Engine saw limited action but did quench the flames when a large pile of towels caught fire in 1947; in 2003, it was restored to its original condition thanks to the work of inmates at the Indian Springs State Prison

This 1934 Diamond T Fire Engine saw limited action but did quench the flames when a large pile of towels caught fire in 1947; in 2003, it was restored to its original condition thanks to the work of inmates at the Indian Springs State Prison

It's hard to imagine San Francisco looking like this!; Alcatraz is 2 km offshore and is reached now by a 15 minute ferry ride from Pier 33 (the cost is $40 and includes an informative audioguide)

It's hard to imagine San Francisco looking like this!; Alcatraz is 2 km offshore and is reached now by a 15 minute ferry ride from Pier 33 (the cost is $40 and includes an informative audioguide)

An excellent audioguide takes you on a tour of the main cell block explaining a normal day in the life of a prisoner including the meal room, library and rec yard; it really gave perspective to what is today a pretty rundown building

An excellent audioguide takes you on a tour of the main cell block explaining a normal day in the life of a prisoner including the meal room, library and rec yard; it really gave perspective to what is today a pretty rundown building

The popular Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon has taken place for 40 yrs and features a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz, a grueling 18-mile bike ride, and a demanding 8-mile run through the trails of the Golden Gate Recreational Area

The popular Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon has taken place for 40 yrs and features a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz, a grueling 18-mile bike ride, and a demanding 8-mile run through the trails of the Golden Gate Recreational Area

Nicknamed Art Deco trucks, they were used to haul supplies on the island; this particular 1946 Chevy model was brought to Alcatraz in 1993 for use in the Warner Brothers movie Murder in the First

Nicknamed Art Deco trucks, they were used to haul supplies on the island; this particular 1946 Chevy model was brought to Alcatraz in 1993 for use in the Warner Brothers movie Murder in the First

Alcatraz closed as a penitentiary in 1963; it cost much more to operate than other prisons (nearly $10 per prisoner per day, as opposed to $3 per prisoner per day at Atlanta) and half a century of salt water saturation had severely eroded the buildings

Alcatraz closed as a penitentiary in 1963; it cost much more to operate than other prisons (nearly $10 per prisoner per day, as opposed to $3 per prisoner per day at Atlanta) and half a century of salt water saturation had severely eroded the buildings

Alcatraz from Coit Tower; Al Capone arrived by train to Alcatraz; the warden at the time was so worried about security that they loaded the train car onto a barge instead of unloading the prisoners from the train and moving them to a boat

Alcatraz from Coit Tower; Al Capone arrived by train to Alcatraz; the warden at the time was so worried about security that they loaded the train car onto a barge instead of unloading the prisoners from the train and moving them to a boat

Softball was the most popular pastime, with prisoners using a diamond here; organized teams played using shorter innings with balls going over the fence being outs, not home runs (guess they were tough to replace)

Softball was the most popular pastime, with prisoners using a diamond here; organized teams played using shorter innings with balls going over the fence being outs, not home runs (guess they were tough to replace)

Imagine being able to see the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco while incarcerated at Alcatraz; it reminds me of Robben Island in Cape Town with a view of Table Mountain

Imagine being able to see the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco while incarcerated at Alcatraz; it reminds me of Robben Island in Cape Town with a view of Table Mountain

When Spanish Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala became the first known European to sail through the Golden Gate in 1775, he christened the rocky outcrop La Isla de los Alcatraces, meaning Island of the Pelicans

When Spanish Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala became the first known European to sail through the Golden Gate in 1775, he christened the rocky outcrop La Isla de los Alcatraces, meaning Island of the Pelicans

Alcatraz from Golden Gate Bridge; during 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed no prisoner successfully escaped; 36 prisoners tried with 23 caught alive, six shot and killed, two drowned, and five listed as missing and presumed drowned

Alcatraz from Golden Gate Bridge; during 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed no prisoner successfully escaped; 36 prisoners tried with 23 caught alive, six shot and killed, two drowned, and five listed as missing and presumed drowned

Fort Alcatraz was first manned by the US Army in 1858 to protect SF Bay with the Fort's Rodman guns being able to shoot 440 lb cannonballs 3 miles; during the Civil War 105 cannon were mounted here as Fort Alcatraz served as a weapons arsenal

Fort Alcatraz was first manned by the US Army in 1858 to protect SF Bay with the Fort's Rodman guns being able to shoot 440 lb cannonballs 3 miles; during the Civil War 105 cannon were mounted here as Fort Alcatraz served as a weapons arsenal

Posted by VagabondCowboy 09:39 Comments (0)

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