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Posts Tagged ‘lincoln’

A beautiful day is always a good excuse to walk the grounds of the deCordova Museum in Lincoln, Mass., enjoying the sculptures and lake view.

A little history from the museum website: “DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is located on the former estate of Julian de Cordova (1851-1945). The self-educated son of a Jamaican merchant, Julian de Cordova became a successful tea broker, wholesale merchant, investor, and president of the Union Glass Company in Somerville, Massachusetts. Although he married into the locally prominent Dana family of Boston, Julian achieved prosperity without the advantages of inheritance or social position. …

“Inspired by his trips to Spain and his own Spanish heritage, Julian remodeled his summer home in Lincoln, Massachusetts in 1910 to resemble a European castle. …

“For Julian, the visual arts served as a medium for self-improvement and enlightenment. In his later years, he opened the doors of his estate to share the wonders he had collected during seven decades of world travel. Julian envisioned a place where art would continue to educate and excite beyond his lifetime. To meet that end, he gave his property to the town of Lincoln in 1930 with the stipulation that his estate would become a public museum of art following his death.

“Julian’s will established a committee of incorporation, whose duties included formulating the policy, objectives, and supervision of the new museum with the guidance of professionals in the field, such as the Director of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. Independent appraisers determined that Julian’s collections were not of substantial interest or value, so the collection was sold and the proceeds were used to create a museum of regional contemporary art.”

It’s nice to have an institution that focuses on New England artists, especially one that also offers a beautiful park for families to enjoy.

The yellow cables that seem to vibrate between the concrete blocks are a startling aspect of Stephanie Cardon’s sculpture Beacon. The collection of giant leaves, by Alan Sonfist, is called The Endangered Species of New England. The purple carpet is by Mother Nature and is called Violets.

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I’m going to repost the Poem-a-Day that Poets.org sent this morning. Readers who are into poetry may like it because it is Walt Whitman. (Even when Whitman writes prose, it sounds like poetry.) Readers who are into history may like it because it is Lincoln.

Specimen Days [The Inauguration]
by Walt Whitman

“March 4th.–The President very quietly rode down to the Capitol in his own carriage, by himself, on a sharp trot, about noon, either because he wish’d to be on hand to sign bills, or to get rid of marching in line with the absurd procession, the muslin temple of liberty and pasteboard monitor. I saw him on his return, at three o’clock, after the performance was over. He was in his plain two-horse barouche, and look’d very much worn and tired; the lines, indeed, of vast responsibilities, intricate questions, and demands of life and death, cut deeper than ever upon his dark brown face; yet all the old goodness, tenderness, sadness, and canny shrewdness, underneath the furrows. (I never see that man without feeling that he is one to become personally attach’d to, for his combination of purest, heartiest tenderness, and native Western form of manliness.) By his side sat his little boy, of ten years. There were no soldiers, only a lot of civilians on horseback, with huge yellow scarfs over their shoulders, riding around the carriage. (At the inauguration four years ago, he rode down and back again surrounded by a dense mass of arm’d cavalrymen eight deep, with drawn sabres; and there were sharpshooters station’d at every corner on the route.) I ought to make mention of the closing levee of Saturday night last. Never before was such a compact jam in front of the White House–all the grounds fill’d, and away out to the spacious sidewalks. I was there, as I took a notion to go–was in the rush inside with the crowd–surged along the passage-ways, the blue and other rooms, and through the great east room. Crowds of country people, some very funny. Fine music from the Marine Band, off in a side place. I saw Mr. Lincoln, drest all in black, with white kid gloves and a claw-hammer coat, receiving, as in duty bound, shaking hands, looking very disconsolate, and as if he would give anything to be somewhere else.”

January sky

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I have admired the New England artist James Aponovich for some time but had not seen his paintings up close until the Clark Gallery in Lincoln had a show of his recent work. Amazing!

I am probably not using accepted art history terms, but the paintings  make me think of Italy and the Renaissance and are breathtakingly luminous. He might feature, for example, a large, glorious amaryllis flower in an ornate urn on a wall high over a traditional, distant landscape. You just want to go there.

The work in the current show is the result of Aponovich making up his mind to create a painting a week for an entire year. He succeeds splendidly, often making everyday items like Chinese takeout feel exceptional. For my money, there is not a dud in the bunch. (Although my money can’t stretch to even the smallest of the 52 pictures.)

I am so grateful to galleries that make work like this free for anyone who walks in off the street to view. Museums, wonderful as they are, don’t often let you in free.

Read Aponovich’s blog about the 52 weeks. Cate McQuaid in the Globe captures the essence of the show. Check her out, too.

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Years pass, and I forget how delightful Drumlin Farm is and how close. The Audubon Shop there is also a wonder. You find things in the shop that you don’t find anywhere else. All nature related.

It must have been years since I visited, because it looks like the “new” entrance and parking lot have been there a long time.

It’s a good place to go on a day that feels like summer.

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Nancy L. urged me to take a look at the work of Providence-based artist Anne Spalter. I found fascinating, kaleidoscopic videos and stills at various online locations.

From her artist statement: “Anne Morgan Spalter creates art works that explore her concept of the ‘modern landscape.’ The works depict modern landscape elements or ways of viewing our surroundings and use traditional materials as well as digital imaging, printing, and video.

“Spalter takes hundreds of digital photos and videos each year, often from the windows of moving cars and planes, that capture both technologically advanced ways of moving through the landscape and the modern structures that are in it …”

She is the author of The Computer in the Visual Arts, which former RI School of Design president Roger Mandle described as, “a seductively articulate and illuminating introduction to the rapidly expanding world of the computer and art, design, and animation.”

She and her husband are collectors of early computer art. “In early 2011, the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA,  exhibited works curated from the collection,” notes Spalter’s c.v. MoMA has shown pieces from the collection, too.

This video, called I95, will amaze anyone who has driven that daunting thoroughfare.

Find some stills from videos by Anne Spalter here.

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