Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Today in 1902 Thomas Tally reportedly opened the first permanent movie theatre in the USA on S Main, Los Angeles. Although movies had been shown prior to this date, Tally had been operating in Los Angeles since 1896, this was the first time they had been shown in a building dedicated to showing movies.
Tally’s claim to the first dedicated movie theatre has been challenged as some researchers say records show that a dedicated movie theatre had existed in both New York and Buffalo since 1896.

Thomas Tally (1915)
By The Moving Picture World – The Moving Picture World, July 10, 1915 (page 263), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45947611

In 1912 he was the first exhibitor to show a colour film in Los Angeles. Tally was also involved in an early organisation distributing films between exhibitors in major American cities.

Smithfield is an area in the city of London. In early Medieval times, it was one of the few areas on the edge of the ancient city that was not marshland and became known as Smoothfield. Originally used as a mustering ground for troops, it soon developed other uses – as a jousting ground and a place of execution. It was the site of the Bartholomew Fayre which took place for 3 days every year and to the east lay the infirmary of St Batholomew’s Monastery (later St Bartholomew’s Hospital, one of London’s great teaching hospitals). Later a daily live cattle market was held here. In Victorian times this was moved further out of London and replaced by Smithfield Market a meat market. In order to transport the meat to the market, the Victorians built a dedicated underground railway station (now an underground car park) and covered the excavations with a garden, now known as West Smithfield Garden.

In the garden stands a statue of Peace. It dates from 1879 and is the work of John Birnie Philip. Originally she was one of a set (temperance, hope, faith and charity being the others) but the other 4 have been removed. There is a story that a local worker found a ring in the garden and not knowing who it belonged to placed it on the finger of the statue. Sadly I am told that even if this story is true then it is no longer there.

The Huntress Fountain, which is found in the Rose Garden in Hyde Park, is a bronze figure of Diana, Goddess of hunting. It dates from 1906 and was sculpted by Feodara Gleichen, the first female member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

Statues and Monuments: Line-out

Posted: February 5, 2019 in Art, London, UK
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This statue stands on the South Plaza of Twickenham Stadium, home of the England Rugby Union team.

The 27 ft tall sculpture depicts a line-out and around its base are the core values of the game: Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship. It was sculpted by Gerald Laing, who also created the sculptures which sit upon the stadium’s west gate.

Sue commented that this piece of ice from Icewatch, London (See yesterday’s post) reminded her of the Polar Bear in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. This is one of our favourite pieces of art and a must visit everytime we are in the city.

Photo by Steve Elliott (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jabberwock/)

Which is all the excuse I need to publish some pictures of this wonderful piece of sculpture by Francois Pompon. I don’t know why I like it so much but there is something so clean and stylish about it and I love that questioning look on his face.

Photo by Wally Gobetz (https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/)

It is also a reminder that Polar Bears are really suffering due to the break up of Arctic ice which is restricting their ranges and causing shortages of food.

Ice-Watch London

Posted: December 13, 2018 in Art, London, Natural History, UK
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“Put your hand on the ice, listen to it, smell it, look at it – and witness the ecological changes our world is undergoing” Olafur Eliasson

An artwork by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing in the City of London. It aims to provide an immediate, tangible testimony to the effects of Climate change. The Greenland ice sheet is losing 200 to 300 billion tonnes of ice every year, raising sea levels around the globe. These large blocks came from a fjord in Greenland, where they had already detached from the ice sheet, just like 10,000 other such blocks which detach from the ice sheet every day.

24 hours later

The blocks will be on display until 21st December or whenever they melt away.

24 hours later

Thanks to Sue for the photographs

This lovely bronze statue is of two young lovers in an embrace. It is by George Ehrlich and is found in Festival Gardens, Cannon St.

Red Hands

Posted: August 23, 2017 in Art, History
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Fascinating. Thinking of the hand art we did as children it seems some things don’t change

Through My Lens

Australia has a rich Aboriginal heritage, a small part of which is showcased in the Red Hands Cave located in the Blue Mountains National Park. I took a soul-enriching 2 hour walk through the rain forest to reach the cave, which is more of a hollow in the rock face. The hand art is thought to be between 500 and 1600 years old. Standing there felt surreal and peculiar, seeing the hand prints that belonged to individuals that lived hundreds of years before me, in a world that was very different to the one I know. What I would give to be able to travel back in time!

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Hokusai exhibition

Posted: July 25, 2017 in Art, London, UK
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Yesterday evening Sue and I went to see the exhibition of Japanese art by Katsushika Hokusai at the British Museum. Now I confess I am not a great fan of Oriental art but I do love Hokusai’s best-known work ‘The Great Wave‘ and so was interested to see other examples of his work. This proved to be a wide range of styles ranging from traditional oriental to a fusion style in which he incorporated elements of western art.

Under the Wave off Kanagawa also known as ‘The Great Wave’ from ’36 views of Mount Fuji’ 1831

Katsushika Hokusai was born in Japan in October 1760 in Edo (modern day Tokyo). It is believed he started painting at the age of 6 and he was apprenticed to a wood carver at 14 and at 18 entered an art studio of a woodblock print artist. From 1793 he began exploring other styles of art and was expelled from the studio. He illustrated books and became more and more famous. He did not produce his most famous works Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji which includes The Great Wave until he was 60.  In fact, there are more than 36 as they proved so popular that the publisher prevailed on Hokusai to produce 10 additional prints.

Clear Day with a Southern Breeze also known as ‘The Red Fuji’ from ’36 views of Mount Fuji’ 1831

Shicirigahama Beach from ’36 views of Mount Fuji’ 1831

Hokusai produced works under many different names during his life and was of the firm belief that his art got better as he aged. He said that when he reached 100 his art would be at its best. Sadly he never reached this milestone as he died in May 1849 at the age of 89. On his death bed he is reputed to have said ‘ Just another 5 years, then I could become a real painter’.

Tametomo and the bow of Onoshima (A Japanese legend) 1811

 

I was pleased to see more of the pictures from 36 Views of Mount Fuji and these continue to be my favourite works by Hokusai. It was also interesting to see how his style changed over his lifetime as he encountered new influences.

The Hukosai exhibition ‘ Beyond the Great Wave’ continues at the British Museum until 13th August and I highly recommend it.