Tag Archive | museum

4 Chicks and a Little Bitch: de Young Museum

Day 4, Thursday, March 29, 2018

After our lunch at The Hook, we headed back over to Golden Gate Park to go to the de Young Museum and met up with Lelani’s nephew Niko, who had passes that we could use!

outside of the de Young Museum

The de Young had a special exhibit on the Precisionist Movement; I hadn’t heard of it but it had a lot of art with Industrial Revolution themes.  It was interesting, and not an art movement I had ever heard of before.  They also had some everyday items on display; a car, and household items that were designed in similar styling.  I don’t know if the term Precisionist is used to describe those items – mid-century modern is more the term I have used.

I also checked out the Maori portraits painted by Gottfried Lindhauer.  They were on loan from a private collection and are stunning, but no photos were allowed inside the exhibit.  He painted some from photographs and others sat for him.  His style captures the historic Maori traditions alongside Western culture in his paintings.  At the time many Maori wore Western style clothing along with the traditional tattoos and facial ornamentation…  The pics below were taken from Wikipedia.

We also did something I have never done – we went up to the top of the tower of the de Young Museum.  The view from there is fantastic!  It was so awesome to see the whole city!

the view from the de Young tower

 

Me in the de Young tower

After the museum, we were going to hit traffic at 5 pm so we decided to make a stop at the Biergarten to wait out the rush hour.  I am not a big fan of German style beers, so I had a glass of Gruner Veltliner and a pretzel snack.  The place was packed!

Our beers and wine at Biergarten

We headed back to the apartment for a little while to relax and get ready, then drove over the bridge to Sausalito to go to Bar Bocce.  The view was amazing; it was right on the water and you could sit out by the beach while they were getting your table ready.  We split everything, and had a fabulous meal of meatballs, calamari with quinoa, and two pizzas.  I had a couple glasses of Chenin Blanc.  It was already dark when we got there, but it would have been really awesome to see the sunset there!

Bar Bocce Pizza

What a great day!

 

 

Atlanta 2018: Georgia Capitol Museum

Day 4, Wednesday, January 24, 2018

After the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, I took the subway to the Georgia Capitol Museum.  According to TripAdvisor, they had some interesting free exhibits.  The State Patrol Officer running the security screening seemed surprised when I told him where I was from and why I was there though – apparently this little exhibit doesn’t get much of a draw.  Hey, it’s free and I had some time…

The exhibit is displayed in cases on an upper floor of the capitol building, so as I was wandering around the floor looking at things, state capitol staff were going about their business up and down the hallways.  There were cases dedicated to the flora, fauna and minerals of the state capitol, and the history of Georgia.  There were also some interesting Georgia political stories and anecdotes, including a disputed election in 1946, a dead guy and a couple of men who were both very interested in having the outcome go their way.  It became dubbed the Three Governors Controversy.  You can read about it here.  Fascinating stuff really!

Seeing the inside of the capitol building was pretty cool too.  There is some really nice architectural detail there to check out.  It was worth the stop, even if the exhibit was small.

I walked back to the hotel from there, since it was a warm day and it was really only about a 1 mile walk, through an eclectic part of Atlanta.  I enjoyed it – there was so much to see!  Not to mention I walked down Peachtree Street from the Five Points district in Atlanta, which is mentioned repeatedly in Gone with the Wind.  It was interesting to see the real thing, and not just the reference from the book – it sure looks a lot different than Mitchell describes it though!

 

 

Yakima Valley Historical Museum

The Yakima Valley Museum lies in the heart of The Palm Springs of Washington – for you non-Washingtonians, that’s Yakima. If you are from Washington, you have probably heard of the nickname, or seen the now faded sign that greets you as you enter Yakima. It got its nickname from the more than 300 days of sunshine that Yakima receives – see? Not all of Washington is rainy… People either love the sign or hate it; there is no in between. I love it.

Anyway… The Yakima Valley Museum was founded in 1952, and is a great example of a small town historical museum. They have exhibits ranging from turn-of-the-20th-century furniture to neon signs, rocks and semi-precious gems, different species of fossilized trees, Native American clothing and bead work, and a huge collection of horse drawn vehicles. Phaetons, carriages, wagons and even a horse-drawn hearse. Other items in the collection include a whole bunch of taxidermied birds and animals, wooden boats, and paper Valentines.

While we were there, there was a special traveling exhibit on Sasquatch – does it exist? The museum curators don’t really weigh in, but the collection was obviously put together by believers. With no firm evidence. There are some foot casts (easily faked), some articles about hair samples, and a cute yet disturbing diorama of a Sasquatch killing a deer. I totally would have done better at diorama making if Sasquatch dioramas had been an option in elementary school…

And of course, no Sasquatch exhibit would be complete without a copy of the Patterson-Gimlin film. You know the one in 1967 showing a female Sasquatch (though I’m not sure how they decided it was a girl) walking away from the camera? I know you have seen it. Well, apparently it hasn’t been debunked (according to these museum curators anyway…) and the one guy that was there (the other guy has since died) still insists that he wasn’t involved in any sort of a hoax.

Let’s just say that the exhibit didn’t make me a believer; I’m still fairly far over to the “Sasquatch doesn’t exist” side. That said, I do recognize that the forests in the Pacific Northwest are still very wild places. A couple times a year here, someone disappears, usually just off of an established trail, and no trace is ever found.  So, in theory, there could be a large animal hidden there. And no, I’m not saying I believe the people who have disappeared have been eaten by Sasquatches – I’m just saying there are a lot of still remote, wild places here.

The museum also had an interesting exhibit on the internment of Japanese during World War II.  Yakima had a sizable population of Japanese before the war, and the forced removal had a big impact on the community.  Many white citizens were sympathetic to the Japanese, agreeing to store the belongings that could not be taken to the camps.  Some Japanese did not return after the war, and were never found.  The display includes items that were never reclaimed from storage by these internees.

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We wrapped up at the museum just in time for a late lunch, so we checked out the 50’s style diner that is attached to the museum. It was built using salvaged pieces of actual 50’s style diners, and the interior really does look like it’s been there since then.

I loved the vintage look of the Soda Fountain

I loved the vintage look of the Soda Fountain

I got a huckleberry milkshake – so delicious!, and a pulled pork sandwich. Jon got a turkey sandwich. Both were served with coleslaw and chips. The food was good, but not amazing; it was the milkshake that was the real star here. It was made by hand with hard ice cream.

My milkshake at the Museum Soda Fountain

My milkshake at the Museum Soda Fountain

After lunch we were ready to taste some wine! I had some places on my list that I wanted to visit, based on checking out their websites.  I’ll post about those next!

SW National Parks Trip: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

After our wonderful lunch at Tia Sophia’s in Santa Fe, Jon and I went over to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.  It is a little tough to find, with its entrance tucked into a little side street.  Admission is $6 for New Mexico residents and $12 for non-residents.

 

Me Outside of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – It Was Still Cold!

Me Outside of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – It Was Still Cold!

Georgia O’Keeffe was born in 1887 (the same year as my grandfather) in Wisconsin to a dairy farming family.  She decided at age 10 that she wanted to be an artist (at that age, I was still dreaming of being a horse racing jockey), so she went to art school at the Art Institute of Chicago.  After finishing school, she stopped painting for a period of time, because she wasn’t inspired by the style popular during the time, and spent a couple of years teaching art classes in Amarillo, Texas.

In 1916, she was discovered when a friend sent a folio of her work to a prominent gallery owner friend in New York. When she and the gallery owner, Alfred Steiglitz, met a few months later, he offered to pay her expenses for a year in New York so she could focus on her art.  Although Steiglitz was married, he and O’Keeffe fell in love, and had an affair for several years until he divorced his wife.  Then they married shortly after.  Although she said that she was in love with him, they had a very independent relationship, devoting themselves to their own work and living apart for months at a time.

 

One of O’Keeffe Early Works – a New York Cityscape

One of O’Keeffe Early Works – a New York Cityscape

O’Keeffe first visited New Mexico in 1929; she fell in love with the area and was very inspired by the landscape near Taos.  She spent part of nearly every year in New Mexico between 1929 and 1949, before finally making her home near Santa Fe in 1949.  Steiglitz died in 1946, and she never remarried.  She was a prolific artist until the very end of her life – her failing vision caused her to start working in pottery, charcoal and watercolor several years before she died in 1986.

A New Mexico Landscape – Beautiful!

A New Mexico Landscape – Beautiful!

The galleries were interesting – they had works for the different time periods of her life – New York, Hawaii and of course Santa Fe.  The exhibit explained how she spent several months in Hawaii in 1938 on commission to the Dole Pineapple Company; they wanted her to paint pineapple pictures for an advertising campaign.  Curiously, although she painted many fruits and flowers during her time in Hawaii, she did not create the requested pineapple paintings until after she has returned to the continental United States.

What Kind of Flower is This?

What Kind of Flower is This?

Several of the galleries allowed photography (but sadly not the Hawaii exhibit gallery), so I took some photos of works from different periods in her life; I was impressed by the range of subjects and styles in which she painted.  I was a bit surprised by the small size of the museum – they didn’t really have that many of her works.  But I guess when you consider that she was very popular when she was alive, and sold a lot of her paintings, it makes sense that there wouldn’t be that many hanging around for a museum exhibit.

A Characteristic O’Keeffe Painting – A Skull with a Flower

A Characteristic O’Keeffe Painting – A Skull with a Flower

Overall, I found the museum worth a visit, but don’t expect to spend more than a couple of hours there.  And with that, we were on our way to find more adventures!

Which is your favorite Georgia O’Keeffe painting?

California Marathon Road Trip: Maidu Indian Museum

The last day of our California trip came too soon.  It was Tuesday, and Jon was still a bit sore from running the marathon on Sunday, so we had another relaxing day.  We stopped by Total Wine to pick out some wines to bring home, and did a little shopping.  Then we headed out to the Maidu Indian Museum in Roseville, CA.

The Maidu Indian Museum is a small museum and interpretive center that is located on the site of an ancient village where the Maidu people lived for over 3,000 years.  The area saw the first signs of human habitation around 9,000 years ago – and historians believe that the Maiduan dialect began breaking off from other Native American languages around 2,000 years ago.

Around the same time, inhabitants began settling down in the area and managing the land through the use of burning, pruning, and gathering selected plants.  Acorns were plentiful there, and they provided a nutritious staple for their diet.  The Maidu also fished, hunted and gathered plants and berries.  They had an extensive knowledge of the medicinal uses of the plants in the area, and actively treated the sick and injured with various remedies.

The Maidu are expert basket weavers, using the reeds and grasses to weave baskets that range in size from a thimble to several feet across.  The museum has several excellent examples of Maidu woven baskets, and ceremonial pieces, including tools and regalia.  There is also a photo exhibit of historical photographs of the tribe.

A beautiful hawk was watching us at the Maidu Historic Site

A beautiful hawk was watching us at the Maidu Historic Site

The museum contains exhibits detailing the history of the Maidu habitation of the site, from prior to the arrival of the settlers through the period when the Native Americans were displaced from the area after gold was discovered in the area.  Exhibits talk about the Maidu trail of tears, the forced relocation to undesirable land.  It was hard to read about the hardships of their new home, and the destruction of their way of life.

A Replica Dwelling at Maidu Historic Site

A Replica Dwelling at Maidu Historic Site

After checking out the museum, Jon and I stepped outside to take a walk on the interpretive trail.  The trail is a short loop around the property, with signs at several locations explaining how life took place there.  One of the most abundant examples of the history of habitation there are the bedrock mortar holes, where women used sticks to grind acorns for thousands of years.  Over time, the constant use of the holes wore deep depressions into the bedrock.

Bedrock Mortar Holes at Maidu Historic Site

Bedrock Mortar Holes at Maidu Historic Site

The site also contains petroglyphs, but these aren’t as apparent.  They give you a little map to help find them, but Jon and I only saw one that we were sure was a petroglyph.  The others seemed like they could be natural; there were long scratches on some of the rocks that looked like the marks that are left behind by glaciers as they move other huge rocks along with them.

A petroglyph at the Maidu historic site

A petroglyph at the Maidu historic site

This site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, so it will be preserved for future generations to understand all aspects of the area’s history.  It was a pleasant visit; not an amazing museum by any means, but worth a few hours of our time.  If you are in Roseville and find yourself with a few extra hours, stop in and see for yourself.