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2019-PLEASE NOTE: Since Google has stopped Open ID comments, I've been receiving Anonymous comments that don't SEEM like spam. If you DO comment on a post, please don't be disappointed if I don't post it. When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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July 10, 2016

The Renwick Gallery - WOW!!!

This entire gallery just had me going from one room to the next with my mouth hanging open - just the most creative, outlandish, beautiful, intriguing, and so on and so on pieces of art I think I've ever seen.  This first one is the first room you enter and here are all these what? - mountains? stacks of trash? something that only the artist knows about?  I don't know but they were stunning.  There were probably another three that aren't in the picture so the room was filled with them.  The second picture shows what the artist used to construct them.  I can't remember if the sign said they were pieces of cardstock or thin white plastic.

This "rainbow" is made entirely of threads and the lights are positioned so that the colors glow as they blend into one another.  The total effect was pretty much mind-boggling.

I took this photo to show how close together the threads are (the bottom of the photo) and yet when you look through a specific section, they appear to have large gaps.  It's a mystery how it was strung.

The next series of photos are from a room full of "stick" installations created by Patrick Dougherty.  It's impossible with these really huge installations to get a feel of their impact in a photo.  When I came to this room I thought "oh, these are like the installation that the Huntington Museum of Art had several years ago." I wondered if the same man did that one since how many people are there making this kind of art, right?  When I got home I Googled it and sure enough, it's the same artist, once again proving my point that the HMOA in Huntington Wild and Wonderful West Virginia is a gem.  The final picture below is of that HMOA installation.
Inside one looking out at another...
and inside one looking through another to a third!
I love the sweep across the wall on this one

There's my size-o-meter son :)
And the HMOA installation

Above is the "chandelier" over the staircase up from the ground floor.  It is also beyond belief.  The long "things" are shiny metal and somehow in them are little bitty lights that can just flicker on and off in an apparently random fashion creating the impression of sparkling stars or droplets of water in sunshine, but can also be programmed to move in waves, circles, whatever and to sit there and watch for a while was really mesmerizing.  Finally began to make me a little dizzy...

There were also more "normal" but still exceptional works of art such as this inlaid wood sideboard which depicts a fox being chased by three rabbits and is titled "A Bad Hare Day" (tee hee).  All the shading in the animals is achieved with inlay which I find amazing.  It's not the smallest inlay work I've seen but I'd never seen inlay work that was so kind of jagged.  And of course the entire piece is inlay - top and sides.

and, a beautiful all glass sculpture
This was a large fiber art piece that was lovelier than the photo shows.  Below is a close-up of one bit.

There was no way to do justice to this piece with photos but I took them anyway.  Unbelievably enough (I didn't even notice it till Chris pointed it out) there is an urn within the urn and the outer cylinder is randomly connected to the outside urn with wiggly threads of blown glass.

Above and below - some more "normal" works of art - the leaves are glass as is the black obelisk.  The basket is a basket and the little tiny thing is a turned wood cup.  I took a photo of the obelisk (I'm calling it that because I don't know what else to call it) alone because it was so lovely but the photo doesn't do it justice.  It's a solid piece I think (although it may be open on the bottom, can't tell for sure).  Anyway, the it's all glass - the flowers inside and the black outside.

and talk about unbelievable - how about a glass spinning wheel???  Christ and I decided Heather should have one like this.  Or maybe Rapunzel?
Above are three pieces of jewelry - the bottom two are bracelets and the top one is a choker.  I don't know that you could wear the bottom one, but it's fun.  And then below is the teapot made of a silverworked "pot" with a gun pistol handle and a gun barrel spout.  Perhaps good for when you need a bracing cup of tea to help deal with a bad day.

Two pieces of glass work - the one on the right is by one of Chris's favorite glass blowers
This was neat - a flowing gown over a headless body.  It's frosted glass.
The one above and the one below are on permanent exhibit at the Renwick and are a favorite with Chris.  This is a wood carving depicting a sheet draped over a grandfather clock.  You're looking at the back above and the front below.  And it is, Chris swears,  all one piece of wood.  Apparently the sheet is the natural color of the wood and the clock base has been stained. You can see the bottom and top hems of the sheet and even the little string that circles around the sheet is carved.  I truly can't imagine how it could be done.

The next two pictures were in a needlework room.  The two birds are crocheted and I loved them.  Especially the very bright and happy bird.

And, finally a truly marvelous example of needlework art.  It is mostly all crochet with beadwork added as decoration.  We think it was mounted over a surfboard but, who knows?

And that's it folks.  If you're still here, thanks for visiting and I hope you got at least a modicum of the wonder and pleasure I got out of it.


Chinch said...

Wonderful pictures! Would love to have seen all those pieces and places too. Seeing Chris next to the column is among the most amazing and I really loved the blown glass spinning wheel but then I also loved so many others. When do you ever go back to Huntington and do you think you might call your sister when you get there? That would be a treat. xoxo, Chinch

Christopher Budny said...

Great recap of the Renwick -- such a fantastic museum in DC's Smithsonian collection! Though
Just to further clarify; the shrouded grandfather clock is called "Ghost Clock" by Wendell Castle, and yes, it has long been perhaps my favorite piece in the collection (well, maybe those Paley iron gates, too!) It is in fact a trompe l'oeil effect rendered in 3-D. Castle created a massive "column" of solid mahogany (by butt-joining/gluing planks of mahogany together) and from that single block of wood, he carved the entire piece so that it resembles a grandfather clock under a shroud. The shroud portion was then bleached -- but it is the same continuous mass of wood as the "false" base of the grandfather clock supposedly peeking out the bottom. The whole thing is a delightful deceit. There is no clock at all here, nor any fabric or twine. Just solid wood carved to give the appearance, masterfully, of a real clock hidden beneath a real shroud.

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