Tuesday, December 29, 2015

November 15 Sunday in San Francisco

One of my reasons for wanting to go to San Francisco was nostalgia for Glide Church.  It used to be Glide Memorial Methodist Church, then Glide Memorial Church and now it seems to be just Glide Church.  Going there is quite an experience.  I got there early so I could have a good seat for the second service and ended up being at the first service.  The big treat was seeing the Reverand Cecil Williams.  He is 86 and has been minister there for over 50 years.  They have no order of service and no hymnals, though words of songs are projected on a screen. I could go on and on about Glide, and the solid commitment they have to those on the margins of society.  They serve 3 meals a day--every day--and it amounts to over 2,000 meals.  On Thanksgiving and Christmas, they have a dinner catered by high end restaurants, with white tablecloths and the whole deal of a nice meal.  I just love it.  They are also active in LGBT and transgender support, substance abuse support and other ways to serve their neighborhood, the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.

After church, I went down to Fisherman's Wharf and to a meet-up group,SF Sketchers.  We sketched in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Museum.  I enjoyed the group and made a couple of sketches.   The first is of a model of a pilot schooner.  The "California" was built as a yacht in 1924, but worked as a bay pilot from 1931 to 1973.

I also sketched a real boat that is on display and was in a wreck.  The front part looks pretty good, but it is demolished at the back.  I only got to the front part;

It was fun, and we went out for coffee after and everyone shared their sketches.  About 20 of us participated.

I walked back to the hotel and, along the way, I saw some fun wind sock guys on a roof::

It's pretty windy there and I think they have a lot of fun dancing.  I wish I had taken a video.  I got a couples of slices of pizza and settled in for my last night at the Royal Pacific Inn.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Congressional Cemetery Arsenal Monument

 One of the more interesting monuments in the Congressional Cemetery memorializes 21 women who were killed in 1864 by an explosion at the Washington Arsenal.  According to material at the Cemetery, the sun's heat set up some fireworks outside the building where the women were filling cartridges.  It sounds pretty strange because a burning fuse blew through an open women into where the women were working and it ignited the exposed gunpowder.  Apparently there was no escape.  A grieving you woman is at the top of the monument.

It was a tragic accident and President Abraham Lincoln led the cortege to the cemetery, which also included 90 pall bearers, a band, and 2000 mourners. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

San Francisco Saturday, November 14

I wanted to have breakfast Saturday morning at Caffe Trieste, just a couple of blocks away.  More about that special place later.  On the way, I realized that I had passed some books hanging in the air several times and had never stopped to see what it was about.  They aren't really books, but are lights in the shape of books and they do light up at night.   This is what they look like in the morning:

I read the plaque and learned that the installation is titled "Language of the Birds."  It is a city sponsored work of art.  The description explains " 'the language of the birds' is considered a divine language birds use to communicate with the initiated. Here a flock of books takes off from the plaza to fly the urban gullies of the city."  It really does look like birds at first.  On the pavement below, there are scattered words that seem to have fallen from the books.

This installation is in a strange spot, across the street from the Condor Club, which was famous in the sixties for topless female dancers, notably Carol Doda.  (She died while I was in San Francisco and the Condor Club had a memorial banner put up.)  This spot is also close to City Lights Books.  I was glad I stopped to see what it was about.

I continued along to the Caffe Trieste, where I had a delicious quiche breakfast.  Caffe Trieste is a favorite spot of mine.  It attracts all kinds of people and is very quirky.  I didn't get a good picture, but here is one from the internet:

There's a wood stove and there is a jukebox that h   as lots of Italian opera.  The tables are small and some are mosaics.  They usually get shoved together like in the photo above.  There often is live music, too---always Italian!  Love that place!

I then set out by bus to go to the Asian Art Museum.  It used to be at Golden Gate Park, but now is near the Civic Center.  It is a beautiful building and the art is amazing.   I spent the rest of the day there as it is a large museum.  In addition to the permanent displays, they had a special show, "Looking East:  How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh, and other Western Artists."  I really enjoyed that show. My lunch as at the museum cafe, where I had Salmon with Miso Sauce.  Delicious.

After leaving the show, I went to an art store close to the hotel.  It was quite a comprehensive store, and a lot of fun....though I didn't buy much.  While I was there, I realized that it used to be "The Hippodrome." and I once went to a Muddy Waters rehearsal there....and smoked a joint with the band!  Memories!

I had dinner at Molly Malones, which used to be the Coffee Gallery.  It is quite different now, but the staff was nicer than any of the other places I used to frequent.  I have a soft spot for that place as it is where I met Gordon Reynolds when he was a bartender and I was a waitress.  It was a real "60s" place---Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin, Pat Paulsen, and others would come in.  Now, it is just a kind of cozy neighborhood place.

Cafe Trieste

Asian Art
Molly Malones

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Congressional Cemetery Thomas Lantos

Last week at the Congressional Cemetery, I noticed the stone for Congressman Thomas Peter Lantos. What drew my attention was that there lot of stones on the marker.  I looked into it and learned that it  is a Jewish tradition to leave stones on graves when you have visited them.

Lantos is well known as being the only Holocaust survivor who also served in the Congress.  He represented the northern part of San Mateo County.  He was Hungarian and. of course, was a strong advocate for human rights.  There is a film that talks about his experiences that was produced by Steven Spielberg called the The Last Days.

He died of esophagal cancer in 2008, and did not complete his term.  When he announced his cancer to Congress, he said:

It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a Member of Congress. I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country."

I think I may bring a stone next time I visit his grave.  I believe I support what he did with his life.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

San Francisco Friday November 13

Friday the 13th was not unlucky for me, although I did have some challenges. My planned outing was to go to the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.  I went by bus, and that worked out pretty well..except I got off a stop different than the one I had researched.  Since I was early, it was no problem.  I walked through parts of Golden Gate Park and eventually arrived at the Museum.  My next shock was the remembrance that it is not the same museum as it was in the sixties.  It was completely remodeled.  I have been there a couple of times since the remodel, but the new museum is a bit of a shock.  Above is a picture of how it is now.  And this is how it was before.  In fact, I saw it this way in the sixties.

I don't think I was ever in the tower of the old museum.  The new tower is a "must see,"though.  The view is truly amazing.  This is what I saw, and I love the peek at the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

I was also happy to see the work of Ruth Asawa in the lobby where you wait for the elevator to the tower.  She was at Black Mountain College and became a truly amazing artist.  I hope to see more of her work next month at an exhibit in Boston of art from Black Mountain College.  The exhibit is called "Leap Before You Look."  Asawa's sculptures are magical woven shapes in metal or natural materials.  Here's an example:

A current show at the museum about Panama-Pacific Exhibition in 1915.  The show is called "Jewel City."

That Exhibition not only highlighted the city of San Francisco, and the West....but also many artists who are familiar today, including Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent.  The poster shown above is dazzling, but doesn't show well in the tiny space here.

I was at the museum quite awhile and had lunch and looked around some more.  When I decided to head back to the bus, I learned that my cell phone battery had expired!  I was able to find the bus stop and eventually made it back to my room, but I was happy that I was somewhat familiar with the route I needed to take.  I think I rely too much on Google maps when traveling.

My day was not over, though.  I had learned about a candlelight labyrinth walk that night at Grace Cathedral...walking distance from my hotel.  I decided to take a bus, even though it was just a few blocks, but it was uphill and I had done a lot of walking.  I learned that  rush hour bus travel in San Francisco is tricky.  I had to wait for five before one could take us.  The first five were totally full.  I loved the labyrinth walk, though, and told the woman who greeted us that I had done a series of paintings based on labyrinth experiences.  I learned that she was Lauren Artress, who wrote one of the books that I used for research.  It was a great experience to meet her and talk with her.  After the labyrinth walk, which was illuminated by candles, I walked back to my hotel...it wasn't very far, and was almost all downhill.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

San Francisco November 12

I began my first full day in San Franncisco by taking a bus to Fishermans's Wharf.  I was compelled to see the Golden Gate Bridge and check out a familiar neighborhood.  The bus is the #30 Stockton Street, in case anyone cares about that. I was just happy because it was a bus I used to use a lot....and it seems the route is the same.  I was a little early in my outing, as I was still on Eastern time, but it worked out.  I walked to the park on the waterfront and had a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I walked around quite a bit and finally ended up at a Starbucks's.  It was a great spot for my breakfast and then I noticed that it was next to a stop for the J Line.  The J Line is a streetcar line that runs old rejuvenated streetcars.  I was excited to see one from Washington DC, though I didn't take it because I was still eating my breakfast.  It turns out that San Francisco has been successful in buying and restoring streetcars from cities across the country.  This is the DC Streetcar.  It really is.

I walked around a little bit more and ended up going to Ghirardelli Square. It was fun to see one of my favorite fountains of mermaids nursing their young.

I saw an "Elizabeth W" shop and went in.  My favorite fragrance is Elizabeth W's "Vetiver."  I told the clerk the story about how I once tried it at Gump's (downtown SF) and walked out the store and a woman asked me what the fragrance was because she loved it.  I went back in and bought it.  This time, I got a bottle at the Elizabeth W store, but planned to go to Gump's sometime during this visit.  I used to work there....in the jewelry department!  Very nice!

I also used to work at Atwood Imports near Ghirardelli Square.  Atwood's is gone now, but I did recognize the building.  I didn't take a picture, which I regret.  I walked back to the J Line stop.  I did see an art gallery along the way with a plein air show.  The artist is David Horowitz.  This poster is on the outside of the gallery.  His work is colorful and fresh.  I was glad I took a look at it.

I then took the streetcar to downtown.  I noticed a  pretty interesting sight in that some streets are painted bright red, in either lane or both.I think that means it is prohibited for cars, but my picture shows a car driving and one parked. This was near Union Square.  

I walked back to the hotel from Market Street.  This is the day that I walked 19,500 steps.  I went into Vesuvio's, another place I used to hang out and it was pretty much the same, though not as friendly because I didn't know anyone.  After that, I walked around a little more and topped the day off with a very expensive dinner at "The Stinking Rose."  I had garlic-laced prime rib!  That's enough for one day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Trip to California begins

I vacationed in California for a little over two weeks!  I left from Washington National Airport (Reagan) and went by Delta.  My transfer was in Detroit.  I had never been in the Detroit airport before and it was quite a treat. The terminal is the second largest in the world (largest is in Osaka Japan) and it has an indoor tram to get to the numerous gates.  It is really nice, but I have to admit that I used the people mover walkway.  Having never been there before, I wasn't sure how to get to the gate for my flight to San Francisco.  If I go through there again, I would definitely use the tram.  I saw it several times in motion and it is very fast

One of the first sights I saw when I got to San Francisco was the sign for the yoga room at the airport there.  I posted on Facebook about it.....thinking to myself:  "Only in California!"

I took a cab to the hotel, but wished I had explored a little more and found Uber.  The cab driver complained constantly about Uber and Air BnB and anything that was internet-based.  I understand that cabs feel threatened by Uber, but a better system IS a better system.  It seems that cabs are still often dispatched by a person with a phone.  Of course, it is easy to get a cab at a taxi-stand or the airport, but not always from other places.

Fortunately, it was still early in the day and I could appreciate by balcony view in my room at the Royal Pacific Motor Inn in Chinatown and on the edge of North Beach.  I used to stay there in my Forest Service days, and it is still the same.  I couldn't believe the beautiful views, though.

And the weather was crystal clear, too!

It was early enough in the day that I could visit some of my old "haunts:"  City Light Books, Specs and the Italian restaurant Soldini's.  I had a yummy seafood pasta.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Visitors from Hiroshima

This past weekend, my church (All Souls Unitarian) welcomed a delegation from the Roshi Kosei-Kai (RKK)  Hiroshima Dharma Center. Some of us had visited them in August 2014 and experienced the "radical hospitality" of this Buddhist congregation.

The Japanese guests arrived Friday afternoon (November 6) and we had a welcoming reception for them at All Souls Church.  I met the tow guests who would stay with me in my home and I instantly liked them.  They are a couple--Yoshinobu and Kaori Takayama.  I didn't take as many pictures as I wish I had, but above is a picture of them at my house for dinner.  They are on the left.  As you can see, Louisa's family joined us.  We also had an interpreter, Davon Collins, who is in the next picture:

Before the dinner, we went to the National Arboretum and viewed a bonsai that had survived the Hiroshima bomb and was donated to the Arboretum during the Bicentennial.  Other members of the Japanese delegation joined us, and I was charmed by how they posed with this precious bonsai.

The author of a book (The Peace Tree:  The Little Tree With the Big Story) about this bonsai also joined us.  That was fun because she had done a lot of research and was very knowledgeable about its history.

On Saturday, the Japanese guests had a bus tour of Washington DC and then we joined them at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (Udvar-Hazey campus) to see the Enola Gay.  We had a little time to reflect on peace and reconciliation.  I had never been to that museum, and found that it was very interesting--well worth going back again.  It was special to share this moment with our Hiroshima guests, one of who is a survivor of the bombing and many of whom had family members affected.  This is a picture of the Enola Gay.

The plane is large, and dominates the area where it is displayed, but it evokes a lot of shame and grief from me.  We reunited with the Takayamas and took them to their hotel that night.

The church service on Sunday morning was very moving.  Reverend Rob Hardies, our minister, and the Reverend Kotaro Suzuki gave a joint sermon on "Peace in the World, Peace in the Heart."  The reality of Hiroshima is that it gave impetus to those who fully understand the threat of nuclear war to refuse to endorse any use of nuclear weapons.  The issues are too complicated to address here.  The texts of both sermons will be available on the All Souls Church website.  Here's a picture of Reverend Suyzuki in the pulpit:

You might recognize him from the picture with the bonsai at the arboretum....and also because he looks like Colonel Sanders!   His sermon was very moving because he brought the truth of Hiroshima to us.

After the services (there are two each Sunday) we had a program about "Peacemaking, Nuclear Disarmament, and Nuclear Non-Proliferation."  It included a talk from the hibukusha (survivor of the nuclear bomb) as well as others involved in current activities regarding peace.  Again, too much information to put into a blog....but, if you are interested, google "Peter Kuznick, Ph.D. and Director of the Nuclear Policy Institute at American University; Bruce Knotts, Director, Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, UUA; and/or Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action--National.  I heard the presentations but had to miss the discussion because I had to help set up for a Thanksgiving dinner for our guests.

The dinner was a fitting end to a great weekend.  We had turkey and all the fixings plus more pies than could be consumed.  There was a band and the Hiroshima guests sang some songs.  I was particularly enchanted by Kaori Takayama using hand signs when the group was singing.  

It was a good weekend, filled with the hope for Peace that is typical of the people of Hiroshima.  My hope is that I can visit them again and that my Japanese will be better. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Understanding Contemporary Art-From Pop to Pluralism

This was actually my favorite class of the current Art History series, and I almost didn't make it.  I had been sick and hadn't been looking at my calendar.  I got a message that the class was starting 10 minutes before it was scheduled.  It is about 20 blocks from my house, and there is no parking in the area.  I have walked, but I didn't have time for that.  The Metro would take a little over 30 minutes.  I called Uber. The driver was here in 2 minutes, BUT many downtown streets were closed for a marathon and my driver could not get through to the area where the class was being held.  He kept trying to find alternative routes, but couldn't get through and he finally had to leave me at a stop where I had an eight block walk.  I am still glad I made the extra effort.

I arrived 45 minutes late.  The outline at the reception desk was very good and so I could pick up right away.  It seemed I hadn't missed much.  The lecturer, Dr. Nancy Heller, started with Pop Art.  Andy Warhol was on the screen when I came in....Campbell soup cans.  Of course, there was also some Marilyn Monroe stuff.  The message, though, is that what we take as everyday stuff is art if we choose to look at it that way. We then went into Roy Lichtenstein and I learned that those dots I find so interesting in his work are called Ben-Day dots.  In comics, they were used as transfers, but Lichtenstein painted them all individually.  I had never really thought about that. She also talked about Claus Oldenberry and some others.  Oldenberry is the one who did the huge typewriter eraser at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.  It is one of my favorites though, of course, they are obsolete.

When Ms. Heller went on to discuss Minimalist Art, I learned how to look at something that seems to be nothing and appreciate it...even if I don't actually like it.  She was very frank in her discussion of "white on white" particularly the work of Robert Ryman.
Ryman worked in a square format, with white paint, and used the framing or hanging elements as part of the composition.  I am still not sure I like it....but I see that a minimalist approach has a place in art discussions.  Ms. Heller shared a memorable quote about work like this, "What is that supposed to be and why isn't it?"  I didn't get the source of that quote, but find it very useful!!!

We also spent some time on Ellsworth Kelly and Gene Davis.  I learned that Davis was interested in the intervals between colors.  Since this class, I was at the Smithsonian American Art Gallery and found my new way of looking to be very useful....and calming.  Davis painted vertically rather than horizontally because horizontal work would invoke landscape comparisons, and he didn't want that.

The term "Pluralism" refers to the fact that a lot of different types of art started being produced in the sixties and seventies.  There were several movements, not any one category.  For instance, Chuck Close was (at that time) painting very realistic portraits that almost looked like paintings, but were huge.  It is referred to as photo realism.  Audrey Flack also painted in a photo realist style, and did still life paintings that have references to vanitas paintings---they are focused on the idea that "beauty fades" and incorporate flowers and fruit that are fading, clocks, and things like that.  Her work is also very large.

The work of Duane Hanson was also discussed.   His work is life-sized body casts that are set in everyday scenes.  The one at the Smithsonian American Art Museum is of a woman eating.
I recently saw that this work is undergoing conservation.  It is interesting because Hanson used actual clothes and they of course deteriorate over time and they are trying to determine how to conserve the hair.  I feel like I should check on her regularly.

In the same general era, some graffiti art was considered as legitimate art---examples are Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.  Keith Haring's work continues to be a source of fun for many.  I particularly like the radiant babies.  Here's an example of one:

There was a good overview of performance art but, of course, that kind of art is temporary.  The artists discussed were Spaulding Gray, Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Karen Finley and Pat Oleszko.  I think to enjoy performance art....you need to be there when it happens..

Environmental or land art was (and is) a very interesting direction.  A great example is Robert Smithson's installation of the Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake.  It became submerged and was thought to be lost, but now has resurfaced in some spots...though it is now completely different from the initial installation.  Of course, Ms. Heller talked about Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude.  Christo is still working, though Jeanne-Claude died in 2009.   Christo funds his work by selling preliminary sketches.  Of course, his works are temporary, too.  Here's islands surrounded by pink cloth:

Ms. Heller also talked about directions in feminist art, including Judy Chicago.  Anyone who has ever seen "The Dinner Party" will never forget it, but she has a lot of other interesting work.  
I have actually seen it twice--once in Benicia, CA, and once in Washington DC.  It is impressive.  Each place setting is personalized to a woman Chicago thought important in women's history.  Well, that is an over-simplification.....but this is getting too long.

It was a great day of learning art history...particularly contemporary American art. I am glad I made the extra effort to get there.  In case you're wondering, this was a day-long class.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Congressional Cemetery with Sophia

Last Monday my granddaughter Sophia had no school.  It was parent-teacher conference day.  I had planned to go on the stroll at Congressional Cemetery and so I took her with me.  The weather was a little cold so she was gladly wearing her new jacket.  I think she had more fun than she thought she would.  It is very interesting.

I was particularly interested in showing her a sculpture of a girl with a butterfly.  I didn't get a good picture, but got this one off of the web:

It was taken when the monument was dedicated.  Elizabeth Reeves Eydt died when she was eight years old.  She had been sick for some time.  If you google her name, there is a blog that talks about her hospitalization and suffering.  I don't actually recommend reading it.  It is very sad.   

The statue is very pretty, and the butterfly is golden.   One of the charming things about the monument is the bronzed sandals behind it, as if the girl had left her sandals. 

We strolled around the cemetery and enjoyed the warming day and the clear blue skies.  It is always good to get out and Congressional Cemetery always has something interesting.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Village Hikers on Anacostia Trail

Last Saturday, I went for a hike with Village Walkers.  The photo above shows a few of the hikers on the Anacostia Trail, which goes along the Anacostia River.  It is a long trail, and we only hiked part of it.  This picture was taken at a point where the trail was near the road, but there were stretches where it was just trail.  It is paved and is used a lot by bikers as well as joggers and pedestrians.

We actually met at the local Lincoln Park and then walked East on East Capitol Avenue to RFK Stadium.   We went through a parking area to connect with the Anacostia Trail.  Here's the view of the stadium from the parking lot:

It was a beautiful day!  After we picked up the trail, we got some nice river views.

The view above looks like it was early in the day, but actually it was about 9:30 am.  It was peaceful and we saw quite a few rowers.  I thought about my friend Chantel Sheaks, who regularly rows on the Anacostia.....but she goes out much earlier in the morning than our hike.  In fact, along our walk we saw the boathouses I had visited earlier in the year with Chantel.

As we got close to the Navy Yards, I was excited to see a snowy egret--looking for a tasty treat.  It was good to see such wildlife in the city.   Bill Matuszeski, who is active in watershed restoration activities, briefed us on efforts to clean the Anacostia, including huge pipes to transport the runoff water to a treatment facility instead of letting it go into the River.

We continued along the now-urban trail, through Yards Park and by Nationals Stadium.  There are numerous huge apartment and condominium buildings that have gone up or are going up.  The area used to be virtually abandoned, and now it has restaurants, housing, grocery and drug stores, and (of course) the baseball stadium.  I was particularly impressed with a building designed to reflect the skyline.  The picture does not do it justice.  

We finished up with a visit to one of the new restaurants, Nando's Peri Peri, where we had delicious Portuguese flame broiled chicken and other treats.

It was a beautiful hike filled with a lot of variety.  Thanks to Ed Missiaen for  great work with this group.  We will miss him and his wife Margaret when they move to San Francisco.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Congressional Cemetery Stroll....All Ages Welcome!

It is Thursday already and I am finally posting about the Congressional Cemetery Walk on Monday. It has been a busy week and more blog posts are to come.

We had a full range of ages on the walk Monday.  The youngest was three and the oldest was 93.  Not only are all ages welcome, but everyone is welcome.  It is not necessary to be in the Capitol Hill Village organization or the neighborhood.  No signups are needed.  Just show up at the gatehouse at 9 am.  It is less than an hour's walk and there is a lot of flexibility for some to go faster or slower than others if they wish.

The picture above shows one of Congressional Cemetery's most unusual sights.  It was a donation for the Lummi Nation (Northwest) and is part of a special walkway memorializing the events on September 11.  I heard that it was originally meant for the Pentagon, but could not be placed there.  The plan is for it to be part of a bigger memorial on Kingman Island in the Anacostia River eventually.  I personally think it will fit in better there.  It seems a little out of place at Congressional Cemetery.  It was carved by Jewell Praying Wolf James and has a lot of symbolism.  The two poles are called healing poles and signify Liberty and Freedom.  The crossbar is for sovereignty.  It was carved from a single Western ceder tree.

It was a beautiful day and we all marveled at the glorious blue sky and the clear air....not so much humidity.  Fall is here.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

American Art--Landscapes

I began a new art class through the Smithsonian Associates today.  It should be very interesting.  The first session was on landscapes....primarily the Hudson River Valley School.  I would like to have seen a broader approach, but the time frame is pretty tight.  The class lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes.  It seemed to me like she could have covered a lot more than she did.  Evidently, I was was not the only one disappointed.  I got a message this morning that her presentation was not up to Smithsonian Associate standards and another instructor will be in charge for the next three sessions.  There is also a tour at the American Art Gallery and it will also be the new instructor.  I just found it amazing that they acted so quickly.

I still did learn from the class.  The painting above is by Thomas Cole and is commonly known as "The Oxbow."  It is a a post-thunderstorm view of Mount Holyoke in Northampton Massachusetts.  It is classic because it shows the American landscape painters were interested in the wildness of the American landscape and also concerned with the impending settlement and loss of that wildness.  This painting, completed in 1836, shows both.  It is also interesting to juxtapose the damage to the tree at the left front with the damage by clear-cutting in the valley view.  The storminess on the left with the relative calm on the right also is interesting....not to mention, of course, the interesting configuration of the river flow.  The original is on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

We did also learn about Alfred Beirstadt, and his "monumental" work.  However, the instructor was wrong about how he funded his work.  She said he had patrons, but a guy sitting by me pointed out that he primarily held exhibitions and charged entrance.  He encouraged people to use magnifying glasses to look at the work and generated a lot of interest in landscapes and in the West.  The instructor conceded that was true.  I will be interested in how many are in the second class.  The first class had about 60.

There are three more classes, but we have to cover all of American Art....so I am not too optimistic that there will be more on landscapes, but I will continue to explore it on my own.  I love the California impressionists and also am a fan of Wayne Thiebaud's San Francisco views.  Thiebaud is known for cakes, but I love his landscapes.  Here's some Thiebaud "eye candy" but not cakes.

Wayne Thiebaud Ripley Street Ridge
This painting sold for over 1 million dollars in 2009!
I am not sure, but I think this image is reversed from the original.  More research needed for that.  I think I have seen it at the National Gallery of Art earlier this year.  Always more research needed!