Posts Tagged ‘smith college’

Photo: Suzanne and John’s Mom.
The ladies room at the Artipelag museum in Sweden.

My friend Penny always knew where to find the nicest public bathrooms in Philadelphia. It turned out to be an important bit of knowledge. Where I live now, the reliable church bathroom has been closed since Covid, but the national park bathroom is available most of the year. And Debra’s Natural Gourmet just added two gorgeous public bathrooms in the new branch, Debra’s Next Door. I always buy something when I go into a shop to take advantage of its facilities.

Meanwhile, have you noticed how glam the museum bathrooms have gotten in recent years? Hyperallergic shared a great list for your amusement (and hour of need).

Sarah Rose Sharp wrote, “A recent poll by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) asked museum professionals to submit their nominations for best museum bathrooms, and the results prove that Marcel Duchamp was only the first, but not the last, to find art in the commode. Joseph O’Neill, a content manager and editor for the AAM, dutifully compiled the results.

“ ‘Every month, we put out questions for museum people to connect around, and we were surprised as anyone to find out how much enthusiasm there is for this fun topic,’ O’Neil told Hyperallergic. …

“The most-mentioned nominee was Smith College, home to two famous artist-designed bathrooms: The men’s bathroom was designed by Sandy Skoglund while the women’s bathroom designed by Ellen Driscoll. [Patti: Do you know about these?] …

“Next up is the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Obviously, bathrooms are going to be a point of pride for an institution founded by the manufacturer of bathroom implements, including sinks, toilets, and more. But JMKAC has gone above and beyond, with the ‘Sheboygan Men’s Room,’ furnished with hand-painted porcelain tile and bathroom fixtures by once-artist-in-residence Ann Agee; Cynthia Consentino’s ‘The Women’s Room’; and Matt Nolen’s ‘The Social History of Architecture (men’s washroom).’ …

“Coming in third, the Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia, garnered praise for its bathroom series, A Head of Its Time: A Brief History of Going at Sea. …

“Of course, modern artists know that everything can be art, so it’s no surprise that SFMOMA is placed fourth on the list for its series of monochrome bathrooms in different colors on every floor, designed by the architecture firm Snøhetta. ‘This one makes me feel like I’m peeing in a Kubrick movie,’ commented Instagrammer Gabriel Toya-Meléndez.

“Fifth on the list is the Glore Psychiatric Museum, located on the site of a former psychiatric hospital in St. Joseph, Missouri. … The themed bathrooms are full of mind games, including hauntings, phobias, and worst of all, Sigmund Freud. …

“In sixth place, there was a collective mention of various 21c Museum Hotel locations. Never content to limit visitor experience to the galleries, all 21c locations feature art that extends into elevators, on the hotel art TV channel, through lobbies, and yes — even into the bathrooms.

“The Charleston Museum snagged seventh place with its cheeky chamber pot installation in the restroom. … The Baltimore Museum of Art celebrated hometown hero John Waters, granting his request that the museum’s bathrooms be renamed in his honor in exchange for his donation of his private art collection to the museum. The result is four new all-gender washrooms. …

“The Denver Art Museum closed came in ninth with its set of Singing Sinks, designed by Denver artist Jim Green. … The sinks are installed in the second-floor bathroom at the Martin Building Welcome Center, and sing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ while they run.

‘You can get the sinks to sing in canon if you time it right,’ nominator Melody Lowe told the AAM.

“Finally, the Carle Museum rounds out the top 10. [Asakiyume and I have been to that one!] The picture book museum was founded by Eric Carle, author of the iconic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. … All the urinals feature a tiny fly.”

More at Hyperallergic, here. No firewall.

I also want to draw your attention to the bathroom at Artipelag, a beautiful museum in Sweden. My photo, above, doesn’t do justice to what Trip Advisor calls “The World’s Most Beautiful Bathroom“!

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I learned about an unusual artist today because I was following @FortPointArts on twitter. Her name is Heidi Kayser, and just when I no longer have an office with a view of Fort Point Channel, she has launched an art project on the water. Sigh.

Anyway, I went to her website and poked around. This blog entry from 2011 is a typically amusing one, and I think one of my readers may want to try the experiment:

“Sarah Rushford arrived today and we got right to work … The mission, as we chose to accept it, was to construct some sort of wearable platforms to hold the cameras on the back of my legs. Wonderful engineers that we are, Sarah and I  ingeniously came up with [contraptions] made of CD cases, zip ties, rubber bands, twine and alligator clips. …

“Sarah filmed me tramping across the beach. I filmed my ankles tramping across the beach. It was very surprisingly difficult to walk wearing the cameras — I couldn’t extend my knees very much, so finding balance in soft sand proved challenging but oddly meditative. My attention had to be focused on every step, otherwise I’d fall and damage the cameras.

“When we were nearly finished, the curious beach-goers who had been pretending to ignore me as I walked steadily and weirdly by them, came up to us and asked what we were doing.” Read more.

Photograph: Sarah Rushford

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Some people will go pretty far to prove a point.

The point that a couple of Smith College logic professors like to prove whenever they get a new batch of students is that hardly anyone applies logic to rumors. So the profs plant rumors and wait to see what happens.

This year’s rumor got the campus up in arms.

In late October, writes the Boston Globe, “students at Smith College were buzzing over a rumor that the school was going completely vegetarian and locavore. There were protests and counter-protests, with slogans chalked on walkways. There was a Twitter feed that caught the attention of VegNews, ‘America’s premier vegan lifestyle magazine.’ At a student government meeting, the dining services manager came under attack: How did she expect students to pass their midterms without coffee?

“But the Smith administration wasn’t really planning to ban meat, food from outside New England, or anything else.

“The whole thing was a hoax — one in a decade of annual pranks perpetrated by professors Jay Garfield and Jim Henle as part of their introductory class in logic.” Read more.






Photo of student: Bill Greene, Boston Globe

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