sienamystic: (mermaid)
Well, back from the road, but about to head out again in a few days. Here are some photos from Syracuse, NY - mostly of the Everson Museum and works therein.

Everson Museum sculpture court
I.M. Pei's first museum building. Lots of concrete. A really impressive interior, an exterior I think could use a little softening.

the knitting porcupine )

Plus I was fed at an incredible restaurant named Sparky Town (amazing lentil soup and mushroom-cheese quiche, plus brownies to die for) and wandered around the Armory Square area and had a coffee at a place called Freedom of Espresso. All in all, a very nice trip.
sienamystic: (SPQR)
Hanging out at a coffeeshop grading tests and listening to David Bowie (makes remarkably good background music to do this.) Am contemplating a pot of tea, but then I'd really be drowsy and less inclined to get work done than I already do. Outside is a railyard and beyond that, a pretty pink and white and purple sun setting over what was a very nice late-fall day that has included some tasty banh mi from the food truck and some lounging on the sofa before I headed out to get some work done which as you can see, I'm responsibly plowing through.
sienamystic: (Giles exposition)
An unusually busy Saturday, starting out with a meeting to sort out details of a charity thingamabob that Bemo and I are volunteering for. It takes place at the local children's zoo, so we got to hang out by the two-kinds-of-stork-flamingo-whistling duck-vulturine guinea fowl area. It was early in the morning, so everybody was stretching their legs, doing various beak-clatter things, and hopping around. We spent some time watching the storks scoop up their morning meal (in the case of the European storks, a mouse each and some nice little fish that the guinea fowl tried to steal) and laughing endlessly at the whistling ducks, which marched out of their pen in a straight line, making noises not unlike a platoon of squeaky toys being stepped on by an elephant. Bemo fell in love, and now wants to fill our apartment with whistling ducks, but I fear our bathtub won't be quite enough for them.

Then, a very good breakfast at The Egg and I, a new place in town (I think it's a franchise dealiee, so I'm sure there are a bunch of them out there) that opened up a few weeks ago.

Then off to the library book sale. Our acquisitions, to the tune of eight dollars, consist of a ton of Real Simple magazines (I rarely buy them new, but I like their recipes), some Architectural Digest mags (ditto, except in place of "recipes" put "pictures of houses," and a heap of old-to-very-old Gourmet magazines. I also got a hardbound copy of four Mary Stewart novels (Touch Not The Cat, The Gabriel Hounds, This Rough Magic, and My Brother MIchael) that I may give to my sister, since I already own them all, Jacqueline Winspear's An Incomplete Revenge (a retry of the Maisie Dobbs books, since I tried the first one and really disliked it), When IN Rome by Ngaio Marsh, The THirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, Herriot's All Creatures Great And Small (a replacement of a former copy), Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong, God is an Englishman by R.F. Delderfield, Wrestling with Gravy, by Jonathan Reynolds, a small book discussing Sir Gawain and Pearl, Dennis Miller's I Rant Therefore I Am (bathroom reading for Bemo), Bennett Cerf's Bumper Crop (bathroom reading for both of us), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (wanted to read it for ages), Nicci French's The Memory Game, and Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, since it's been a long time since I read it.

Not bad for eight bucks and change, huh?

After that, we dropped a huge amount of money at Target, mostly for meds, picked up groceries from the Hy-Vee and Trader Joe's, and went home to offload. I ducked into the office for about an hour to clean up a bit and run through a list of photographs I'm working with, and then back home, where I am in the process of making giant batches of turkey meatballs to serve as meals for later on. Two batches have been cooked, and I'll probably freeze much of the rest of it.

Tomorrow will be all fussing about Rome, and printing out the tests for the kiddies. I am bringing in TJ's chocolate cat cookies to ease them through their test.
sienamystic: (outlaws)
1. I did the first day of the first week of couch to five K on the treadmill at the gym today. Will be doing my best to keep going with it.

2. Resentful that my favorite coffee shop and cupcake supplier will be closing its doors in another month or so. Hopefully they will find a retailer for the cupcakes, as the baker intends to keep on working; still, they lost the lease on their cafe space near me, and I really liked hanging out there.

3. Speaking of, will have to go hole up in a coffee shop this weekend to polish up Paleolithic/Neolithic/Ancient Near East for my class on Monday.

4. Drove out with co-workers to the Homestead Monument about an hour away in Beatrice, NE. Really beautiful area, and an interesting and well-developed museum. The prairie area they keep maintained is one of the oldest around, apparently, and they do a decent job of integrating the Native American perspective into their exhibitions, instead of doing a thoughtless, "and then white people settled here, and it was tough but they were tough also, and they were our ancestors, yay America!"

5. Am plotting how to spend my $25 Amazon gift card. It'll have to wait until next month though, we're broke right now.
sienamystic: (This is art)
So it looks like I will, after all, be teaching an intro Art History class at a nearby small uni. They rescheduled the class to make it an evening one, and now comes the paperwork - I have to get my transcripts sent over to them, go visit the campus and meet everybody and fill out some forms, etc.

I'm super nervous. I may be asking for teaching tips and ideas...this is the first class I've ever done on my own and not as a TA, where the decision making wasn't in my hands. I'm excited as well, but eep! Thankfully a coworker with an art education master's degree and lots of enthusiasm about syllabus planning (with, strangely, no desire whatsoever to actually stand up and teach a class herself) has offered to help. It'll be fall semester, Monday evenings - safely outside of my normal working day, which is what the hitch was with the original time the class was scheduled for.

So I have a lot of time to plan, and will hopefully not be too stressed out juggling three jobs come August. I suppose I could give up the co-op job then, but will have to see what the finances look like.

premature

Feb. 24th, 2011 09:07 am
sienamystic: (Annie from Community)
My excitement about the teaching gig may be for naught - the class meets Tues-Thurs from about ten to eleven, and it's a half-hour to get there and a half-hour back. That may eat up too much of my regular work time. Since the job isn't at the uni I currently work for, it may be a little harder to finagle. I'll have a conversation with my director and see if there's a way to work around it (he's the one always stressing connection-building!) but if it can't be done I'll have to pass on the class.

Bah. I should have guessed it wouldn't be an evening class - schools hereabouts are not much into "nontraditional" class schedules, as they don't have big populations of students who are fitting classes in while they work.

Meep!

Feb. 23rd, 2011 05:00 pm
sienamystic: (jello horror)
Have just had the potential opportunity to teach a class at a small nearby college come my way. They need somebody to teach a pre-Renaissance Art History class next fall, and remembered that when they came to visit my museum, one of us had an MA in Art History. (My boss has a masters in Museum Studies, although she could probably teach the class as well, although she would prefer a class covering modern-to-contemporary Art History.)

The class is supposed to cover European (got it), Islamic (shakier but I could get the highlights covered) aaaaand two areas I know very little about, Native American and Oceanic. Plus, I haven't taught in front of a class in ages, and even that was not all that often, although I do sort-of teach when students and professors visit.

Basically, I'm tremendously excited by the possibility, and also reeaaaally nervous. Will let you all know if it happens, because I'll be on here metaphorically wetting my pants if it happens.
sienamystic: (mermaid)
Was sifting through my old Art History ABC entries, where I did an essay on an art history topic for each letter of the alphabet (click the tag to see them if you'd like) and came across a poem by Michelangelo I posted. I thought I'd share it again.

What file's incessant bite
left this old hide so shrunken, frayed away,
my poor sick soul? When is it due, the day
that sloughs it off, and heaven receives you, where
in primal joy and light
you lived, unvexed by the perilous flesh you wear?
Though I change hide and hair
with little life ahead,
no way to change behavior long engrained,
cramping me all the more as years go by.
I'm envious, Love, I swear
(why hide it?) of the dead,
a panicky muddle-head,
my soul in terror of its sensual tie.
Lord, as the last hours fly,
stretch out in mercy your two arms; make me
less what I've been, more what you'd have me be.

Michelangelo, Poem 161 to Vittoria Colonna.
sienamystic: (Medici one hour)
Lorenzo de' Medici portrait bust

One of my favorite pieces of art ev-ah. Il Magnifico himself, wonky nose and all. (He had no sense of smell, interestingly enough.) I visit this sculpture every time I'm anywhere near the National Gallery. It's terracotta, and likely made after the wax sculptures crafted by Benitendi and designed by Verrochio, which were placed in various churches to offer thanks that he escaped the Pazzi murder plot.

Giuliano de' Medici portrait bust

This is Lorenzo's hottie younger brother, Giuliano, who didn't make it out of the Duomo alive.
sienamystic: (Green Man)
My little camera, as great as it is, doesn't handle low light levels very well at all, and most of the resulting photos are on the blurry to very blurry spectrum. There are great photos of the stained glass in Chartres out there, so if you're particularly interested a little bit of searching should turn up some good stuff for you.

So.

Chartres, pt. 1

Chartres, pt. 2

So, onward into part three!

rays of colored light )
sienamystic: (eternal rome)
Got to go tonight to one of the AIA lectures here on campus. Dr. Steven Ellis, currently at the University of Cincinnati, came to present on his new excavations at Pompeii, where he's been digging since 2005. Apparently back in the 1870s, the diggers working on the site turned up some plain, less awesome buildings, said "Meh, let's go play with those temples instead," and let the site turn into an untouched jungle. Ellis, who has a focus on the less-elite sorts of neighborhoods (he seems to specialize in prostitution, taverns, and crime, which are always fun) decided to see what he could find in this particular city block.

The site is near one of the main gates, and seems to always have been occupied (even when Pompeii was Greek) by working-class folk and their industries. They excavated a tannery - a little four-vat operation - that was only the fourth one ever found in Roman Italy. Unfortunatly for his fame and fortune, the very next day somebody turned up tannery number five, and since it had 96 vats, they got all the press!

He also showed us where someone had built a garum tank (garum being a Roman fish paste that was very widely eaten - Dr. Ellis, who is Australian and posessed of a cheerfully vile sense of humor, compared it to Vegemite) and then showed how the building was altered when the market was flooded with cheap Spanish garum which made a small "homebrew" operation unprofitable. The owners filled up the garum vat, put a new floor down, and turned their building into a restaurant which apparently, based on the bones found in the drain, served nice young cuts of pork...and giraffe.

An absolutely fantastic way to spend an evening. I'm so glad I went.
sienamystic: (bosch sienamystic)
Way back before my surgery, (only a few weeks, but it feels like decades) I put up part one of my trip to Chartres. Here's part two.

Saints in their multitudes )

I'll put up pt. 3 soon (and this time I really mean soon!) It'll be of the interior, and the stained glass program. Ooh, and the labyrinth, although my photos of that aren't great because there were chairs all over it.
sienamystic: (Default)
So. Chartres is only an hour train ride out of town, and trains leave every half-hour, so since I wasn't able to go when I was in Paris the first time, I pounced on the opportunity to go now. It's one of those cathedrals that gets studied by anybody with even a passing interest in medieval architecture or sculpture. And lucky for me, the time of year plus the not-so-fantastic weather meant that I had the place just about all to myself. So here is a travelogue-cum-mini-essay on Chartres, with photos I took there. )

Phew, this is a lot. I'll cut it off here and post part 2 tomorrow! Oh, and I should also say that I'm relying heavily on my copy of Medieval Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture 4th - 14th Century by James Snyder, which I have had for yonks, and Chartres Cathedral: Medieval Masterpieces in Stained Glass and Sculpture by Malcom Miller, a little book I picked up at the cathedral store. I also have my copy of Early Medieval Architecture by Roger Stalley standing by in case of emergency, although I honestly don't think it covers Chartres.
sienamystic: (fleur de lis)
sculptures at Chartes

Abraham cups Isaac's face. They both stand on top of the substitution ram.

Chartes sculpture

Chartes figure
sienamystic: (bosch sienamystic)
Via [livejournal.com profile] poisoninjest, [livejournal.com profile] daphnep has discovered a few "improvements" made to classical art. Because if you're going to make a cheap resin cast of something to sell to the masses, it's best to trim down the waist of Botticelli's Venus. We can't have her looking pudgy now, can we?

Observe the horrors
sienamystic: (book and heart)
Have successfully raided the used bookstore and come home with loot. I'm slowly building up my Heyer collection, since buying the newly reprinted ones is a little spendy. So today I came home with Cotillion, Lady of Quality, Sylvester, and Pistols for Two.

I also came home with a few Gothics from the sixties, including one that claims "surpasses Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt." I highly doubt that this person, Anne Maybury, can outdo Mary Stewart, but I'm curious to read it anyway. It's called The Terracotta Palace and the back blurb reads, "Where is Vanessa Malimbrosa? Juliet Holdroyd wants to know...and nothign the very strange, very rich Malimbrosa family can do will keep her from the twisted truth hidden in a fabulous villa in Rome." Oooh, fabulous villas in Rome containing twisted truths are right up my alley.

The other two Gothics I got are Ride A White Dolphin, also by Anne Maybury, set in Venice (squee!) and Midsummer Masque by Jill Tattersall. Midsummer Masque involves a young orphaned and penniless woman working as a companion for an old lady living on a mysterious estate called Gryphons. Hurrah for Gothic conventions! Of course, there's a murder and secrets and shadows - all properly indicated on the back cover blurb.

Currently, I'm finishing up a very good book Bemo got me for Christmas - one I'd been hoping for and was tickled pink to get. It's titled Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de' Medici by Miles J. Unger. I have quite a lot of Medici books around thanks to my Italy obsession, and any student of art history naturally gets to know the family quite a bit, but this is one of the better books I've read on the subject. For one, Unger is an art historian, and I appreciate the sensitivity with which he writes about the Medici relationships with art and artists. Secondly, he's neither a slavering Medici apologist (although he is, naturally, sensitive to his subject) nor a writer who judges Lorenzo from a modern, American standard. Rather, he does his best to show the reader the type of society Lorenzo lived in and moved through, as well as what his political aims and ambitions were. It's not as acholarly as it might be, and since there's probably an book to be written about each of Lorenzo's facets this book does have some topics which aren't gone into thorougly, but it's an engaging read about a man who, even after all these centuries, embodies his time period so perfectly.

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