Museology I

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Frist's Egyptian Show

I remebered the Eqyptian show I had seen at the Frist earlier this semester when we went to the McClung museum and talked about the mummy. I had taken my german forgien exchange buddy to Nashville for a quick visit. We went to the Frist and I showed her all around downtown Nashville. She hadn't been out of Knoxville yet so it was exciting for her.
At the Frist we both enjoyed the exhibit. It was nice because my mom is a member and we got to go for only $10 instead of $17, which is really expensive, I think, for an exhibit. It was the first time in a while that I had used headphones at an exhibit. Usually I don't like to, but it was really helpful this time because it had such interesting information that expanded on the written cards. There were a lot of stories behind the symbols and it explained stories and beliefs that the Egyptians had at the time. The exhibition was set up nicely, so that you wound your way around, but you didn't see too much of what was next. The lighting was low, I guess to serve two purposes: one to protect the artifacts, and two to help create a tomb like atmosphere. A lot of the bigger objects were cast of the origional. I assume that's because the origionals are too delicate or belong to a place that doesn't want them traveling.
Regardless there was a lot to see. With the headphones it took a long time to get through, because there was so much to learn. I always think I will come away with new knowledge, but because I didn't take notes I didn't committ any of it to memory. I have to write things down to learn, because I am a very visual learner. It was helpful to have the actual objects along side the information. I think Cornelia really enjoyed the exhibit too. She was from Cologne, Germany. She had seen exhibits like this before but she really liked the Art Deco building, which is one of my favorite parts of the museum. I explained to her that it was the old post office and that the museum was very new to Nashville, only a few years old.
We went upstairs and painted in the Kids room. There wasn't any other exhibit at the time, but the Egyptian had been plenty to look at and so had the rest of downtown.

1010 Carly's show

We started our night at Carly's show at 1010. I don't really know her, but we have class together and mutual friends. It was interesting to see her work. I always like to see work by people I know, it's interesting to see how the artist's personality is reflected in the work. Since I don't really know Carly it wasn't as easy to see, but the colors and abstraction seemed to reflect her personal clothing style. I found that interesting, because it's really the most I know about her and I could really see a connection between her off beat and ecentric style and her art. She had an artist statment and it was nice to have some guidence in the intention of the work.
I ran into a friend from work and she mentioned that she had been dancing across the street in the Emporium building. I was sad that I missed it because she has invited me to performances before that I hadn't been able to make, but had I known about this one I would have been there. I think dance is my next favorite form of visual art. It is really interesting to see how someone can communicate through body language and how graceful the human body can really be. My best friend is a modern dancer and I have seen many of her shows and am always suprised how impressed I am by her and her creative chorography. I love to see my friends doing and excelling at what they love and I think her energy and love for dance passed on to me. I am really glad it did. It has opened me up to all sorts of new ideas and things. I like the idea of combining two art forms, dance and music, they complement each other so well. It is interesting though that you can have music with out dance, but not really dance without music.
Back to Carly's show. The canvases were large and filled the space nicely, but I always feel like something is missing from 1010. I think it's the lack of walls that makes the viewing less personal and private as in other galleries. It's just a large open space and it is kinda of ackward with the door in the back and the very exposed space. That's why I liked it so much when Micheal and his friends created an instillation that seperated the room a little more. I also don't really like the floor. I don't know specifically why but its old and painted. I think the space is too small to really do anything else with it, but I think it's important for the artist to consider the space as well as the art becuase it really influences the viewing experience. Regardless, it's great that we have a place for students to exhibit and I always love going to First Friday to see what's new.

Downtown Gallery Polish Ink

I really, really liked this show. There wasn't a single thing in the exhibit that I didn't really like. I went with a graphic design friend and he loved it to. I knew nothing of the Polish's reputation in the graphic arts, but he told me that they had long been at the forfront of graphic desing. The show really showed their versatility and accomplishments. I love woodblock prints and linocuts, because of the heavy reliance on line. There were some really great examples of each and much more such as silk screening. I learned a little more about etching and aquatint, which I hadn't known much about before. My friend explained that aquatinting was when the artist covered the plate in chalk and rubbed sections out, which created a gradation of tone. I really liked learning more about the process, which would not have happened had my friend not gone with me.
My favorites where the woodblock print of the path going into the woods, the bus scene and the silk screen on the left as you came in. I also really liked the silk screen of the hidden face and shapes in orange. I would be intereseted in learnign more about these processes. If I had more time in my schedule I would love to take classes in the above techniques, but I have too much other stuff to take for gen eds. (I think they really get in the way of the learning process, because usually they are easy classes that no one takes seriously and if you are not interested in it you usually don't retain the information. It would be better if we had less gen. eds. so we could really persue and prepare for what we want to do with our lives)
I think it's always interesting to think about the hanging process. The way things are hung and their positioning can really change the viewing process. I thought the work was spaced out nicely and placed by things that were complementry but not too similar. That way you didn't get bored but things seemed to flow. You have to take into account how things are framed, how much space you have, and how images complement other images.
It was a busy night downtown. The last First Friday I had gone to was not nearly as busy. I think there was a great selection of things to see and some really interesting shows.

House on Henley

One of the other places we went on First Friday was another interesting, alternative show space. It was an old house on Henley right before the bridge to Chapman and it was being renovated. Previously it had been abandoned and squatters had used it as shelter. It was run down and in the early stages of rennovation, but you could tell it was a beautiful house and would become something really amazing. The ceilings were high and there was a huge dark cherry wood staircase. It was an older home and it had a lot of character. I think that it was a really interesting place to have a show. The hanging of the show was just as raw as the house. The works were paperclipped and the paper clips where hung on nails. There were papaer clips on the bottoms of the works to keep them flat. The show was by 3 UT art students. Eddie, Andrew, and anther whose name I can't remember. Eddie was a photographer and Andrew did graphic design. I really liked the work of all three and was really impressed with their creativity.
Eddie had some large photograms, which were interesting not onluy because of their size but also because of their content. Nudes posed on the paper with other material and props around them that created texture and patterns. In one lace was laid down and the nude laid on top of the lace. It created a very textured pattern and blurred the lines of the shillouette in a very interesting way. Baldwin Lee was there to support his students and I heard a lady ask him about the photograms. She sorta laughed at the fact that they had to be done in the dark room and Baldwin just smiled and nodded. They created a stir, I guess because it was a little risque to think of nude students in the dark room laying on large photographic paper. But nude modles are a big part of all artisic media so it shouldn't be that surprising.
Eddie used a lot of different formats. He had the photograms, a wide angle lense, a colloge of photos to create a large photographic scene, he shot in color, black and white, and in some he even used water colors to enhance the images.
andrew had some intereseting, very political images. He seemed to be focus on the Iraq war and the obsession with oil. He also had some non political black and white images that had very detailed and interesting pattens. I never really saw the third artist's work. I don't think he had as much as the other two. Baldwin seemed to be very proud of his students and he walked around the house photographing the show.
Again the space allowed for a large number of people and it was very busy. Once the house is rennovated the owner wants to live there as well as continue showing exhibitions. He started early so people would know about it. I think it will be a great place becuse it has a very unique and interesting atmosphere.


Friday night was First Friday. I am really glad Knoxville has this sort of free public activity. It is always fun and interesting and it is a really good idea to get people downtown. We went to a number of galleries, but I had never been to Ironwood, which is a wood and metal shop during the week, and it was a really interesting space. They had bands playing in the warehouse where the shop was. The stage was set up in front of the loading dock and they opened the large garage door so people outside could enjoy the music too. There was a huge table of potluck food and tons of people. The space was huge and it was kinda cool to be in the shop where all the high ceilings where exposed and the wood and iron work was all around. People that worked there were able to show you what they were working on and there was also a basketball goal for anyone to play. The atmosphere was very relaxed and laid back. It felt more like hanging out with a bunch of firends than being in a gallery that can sometimes make you feel uptight and cautious. I still love the typical gallery visit, but this was a really cool alternative show space.
A friend's band was playing which is why we went, but I was suprised to see the Red Bull Art show. I had not expected to see it, becuase I thought the show was in Atlanta, but in one of the rooms off the shop was the exhibit. A girl was wearing a dress made out of Reed Bull cans, there was a bar of Red Bull drinks, and all the peices in the competetion. The winner was my favorit. It was a buddah made out of red bull cans. I went to the website to try and get a picture, but they had the images protected so that I couldn't save one to put in the blog. You can go to to see some of the works and the winning, and my favorite, piece the buddah. I also really like one that was a sculpture of a human bidy, it was made of wire and the red bull can was cut in slits that created the shillouette of the curvy form.
There was also an exhibit of holiday cards that graphic designers had created, with the slogan peace on earth. My favorite was a simple card that showed the shillouettes of a hunter and a buck under the slogan on a green card. I thought it was clever and not too cheesey, most of them where not too cheesey but there where a few. I liked the new take on the holiday spirit that didn't seem so contrived. There was furniture that people had made in the shop and it was really cool. It all had very modern lines but it seemed to be fused with antique style in the sense that you could tell some of the chairs and things where made from reused material. It was all very interesting.
I really enjoyed Ironwood and hope to go back. They have something every First Friday, it's a little of the path, but it's a great place and I think a very promising show space.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Casey Jones Village and Museum

Over Thanksgiving break my family traveled to Jackson, TN to visit family and celebrate Thanksgiving. On Friday my younger brother, my cousin, and I went to Casey Jones Museum. I have been to Jackson tons of time in my life and always drive down the parkway, because that is really the only way to get anywhere, right past the museum and never been in. My brother was a little unwilling to go, because he's 13 and thinks its uncool, but we talked him into it and dragged him out there.
Once we got there we entered the museum through the gift shop, clever way to get you to buy something, and walked first to the train. The museum has two parts his house, which was moved from downtown Knoxville in the 80's, and a replica of the locomotive he drove. He came to Knoxville from a town called Casey and that's how he got his nickname. In Knoxville he became a train conductor. He drove the train until one night, while he was driving a passenger train, he learned that a broken freight was stuck on the tracks. He urged his buddy to get off and out of the engine. He tried to stop the train but it hit the freight. All survived but Casey. There are actually two Casey Jones museums. One in Knoxville and one in the city in Mississippi where he crashed.
I watched a brief movie on his life in the gift shop, but the actual museum was less informative. The movie had a voice over and actor acting out the scenes described and then some still images in between. The train was fun because you could walk around and ring the bell, but the house only had old photographs. It was pretty interesting, however, that they had created a whole "village" for tourist around the museum. It was funny to think that Jackson had tourist, but there were a lot of people there that day. That's probably because people wanted to get out of the house after Turkey Day, and there aren't that many places to go in Jackson.
The gift shop had lots of train paraphernalia and Casey Jones pictures signed by his son. The woman in the store knew a lot about him and I heard her explain to more than one person that Casey Jones was a real man. Most people think that he is a myth or tall tale, but he was an actual man.
My brother and I took a picture outside the museum to prove that we went if you want a picture, but its on my cell phone. He doesn't look that excited because he wasn't.

1010 Student Show

My good friend is a fourth year architecture student. Late September he and two of his classmates put on a show at 1010 of their work. They did this separately from class and all the other work they had done, and it was one of the first times architecture students had done anything like that. It was a really big deal and he put tons of hard work and late nights into it. Most of the architecture faculty showed up as well as many more and there was a panel and question and answer time. I was really proud of Micheal and the guys. I had never seen that big of a turn out at 1010.
Micheal and his friends designed a modern day "phone booth". It was a kiosk with phone, wireless and plug in Internet, as well as, a computer the public could use. They took into account street noise and privacy and created a closed in space that would shelter those waiting and separate the person using the booth from those outside. The waiting area was opened on the sides but covered by an awning. The bench moved according to how many people were waiting and retracted when necessary. The booth was enclosed by glass and supposedly sound proof.
They did research on locations of phone booths here in Knoxville and mapped them out. There where layers that showed overlapping data and the reasons the phone booths were put in certain locations. They learned that most often the booths were on street corners in busy sections of town. This information helped them plan where they would put their own. Their was a time line around the room that showed their process of research and ideas.
I thought it was really impressive that they designed a structure to model that of the booths. It was placed in the middle of the room and the flat back faced the doorway. This created a wall that 1010 didn't have. Without it would not have been as clear to circumambiate the room and the design of the room was much more interesting. They put more stuff in their exhibit than any other 1010 show I had ever seen, but they utilized the space very efficiently and interestingly. The color scheme was magenta and grey and they had pink string connecting important evolutions in their work.
I think it was very genius of them to make the model which really added to the space. The faculty really enjoyed the exhibit and were very encouraging to Micheal and his friends. They seemed very happy with their project. Eventually, it was moved to the small gallery across from the atrium in the Art and Architecture building. I think, again, they did an excellent job of creatively utilizing the space. They spent so much time on their project and it really showed. They were met with some interesting situations as far as space and content, but they cleverly dealt with all obstacles.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mousetail Landing State Park

My uncle and his family own a house on the Tennessee River about thirty minutes from Jackson, TN. My dad, brother, and I drove down there in mid-October. It's one of my favorite places to visit and I always love to go there while the leaves are still bright and beautiful.
We met my uncle and cousins at the cabin late Friday night and sat on the screened in porch catching up on the past few months. I hadn't seen my family since the beginning of the semester so it was really nice to be around them. My brother is 13 and he would never admit that he misses me, but when we hang out I know he has to because we have such a good time.
Saturday morning we woke up and took our time with breakfast and getting ready. We had plans to go to Mouse Tail State Park in the afternoon for a walk and to see the trees. We could really do this by just walking out of the house because the place is surrounded by trees and the view from the house across the cove is the park itself, but we decided to walk one of the trails.
My uncle told me the story of how the park got it's name. Long ago... I say this because I don't know when... there was a tannery on the property. One night it caught fire and hundreds and hundreds of mice ran out of the building. I thought that was pretty interesting. I have grown up going to the cabin in the summers to ski, in the fall to hike, and in the winter to sit by the fire and everyday there I see the park and have never known the reason for the name. I don't think I had even really wondered before he told me.
The park was a little wetter than I would have liked because it had rained a little the night before, but it was still a good hike. We followed the trails and happened upon this little creek. It was too cold to actually play in it, but I think Will and I would have if it had been in the summer. The trees looked great. I was afraid I wasn't going to make it to Mouse Tail to see the Fall this year, but I was really glad I did. It was nice to be away from a city and to have nothing to do. My cell phone doesn't even work there so there was no way I was going to be interrupted.
My uncle just got a new Rebel Digital camera which is what took all these pictures. I was really jealous. It was such a nice camera and took amazing quality photos. I had brought my Nikon 35mm, but my film was too old so none of my pictures turned out. He emailed these to me so that I could put them in the journal entry.
It's so great that the national park system works so hard to keep the parks beautiful. We would lose so much wildlife and nature if it weren't for their commitment and hard work. Mouse Tail is always very clean. I hardly noticed any trash. I hope its because visitors care too, but I am sure the park system keeps things very tidy. Up keep of a park seems like it would be very taxing. It is such a large area to monitor and so many things to archive and maintain. I realize that most of it is left to nature, but like at Ijams I am sure there is active removal of invasive species and protecting what is there.
The park is open to the public everyday from dawn until dusk, there is no telling what can happen in that time and I am sure the many visitors don't help. But if we didn't have this we wouldn't know how important it is to preserve. The park is a great educational tool, like all museums, and the fact that the public has such free access is really important to the learning process. I am really glad I made it to Mouse Tail this fall. As always it was a great experience.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Downtown Gallery, Tim Riesling and The Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing, China

I went back to this exhibit with some friends on a First Friday way back in the beginning of the semester. I had really liked the works, and was so impressed that a lot of the artist where around my age. They were beautiful drawings. I also really liked that UT staff and students put the exhibit together. I thought it was a really interesting idea and way to expose the Chinese artist.
My favorite images were Double Male Portrait by Cai Lei and Male 1/2 Portrait by Yu Hai. The first was a yellowed drawing of a old man standing in front of another in trench coat and hat. I loved the multimedia, with the charcoal drawing, yellow tint, and in some places white paint used as accents. I can still see the image very clearly and it almost makes me sad that I can't see it again. The other drawing was of a man seated on a stool with strong facial features and extreme heavy shadow behind him. I liked this one for the detail and texture in his face and clothes. Both seemed to really portray characters and not just models, that was really important. I spent a lot of time relooking at these images and all the images in general.
There had been one image I had seen on the class visit that caught my eye. I showed Sarah Primm and asked her if she saw anything odd about it. She looked and had a hard time, but then I pointed out that the woman's left arm just sorta disappeared. There was another woman in front of her so it obscured it, but when you looked close enough it was clear that because of the angle of the arm the arm would not have been hidden in that way. The drawing was still incredibly well done, and this didn't really hurt anything, but it was fun to find none the less.
Going back after the class visit I knew a little more about behind the scenes of the exhibit. Not only that but of that corner of downtown as well. As we were leaving some friends noticed the apartments that were below street level. I was able to tell them about the history and how they had raised the level of the street in order to build the bridge. All in all i really enjoyed this exhibit. It might be my favorite I have seen so far this year.


Last Friday I went to the KMA for an interview with Margo Carpenter for an internship in development. I was really excited to find that she was very enthusiastic about me being her intern. We met and went over what I would be doing, which is not glamorous, but it is a great opportunity for me to see what I can contribute to the museum. She also told me I might have some input on grant writing which would be a great chance for me to merge my writing skills and my love for art. After we met she suggested that I take a look at what was going on at the museum. I had only 30 minutes because I had to be a work, but I got a chance to look around.
I had not been to the KMA yet this year and I was glad to have the opportunity and excuse to get down there. I had already looked at the paintings in the room on the left when I first got there. I had really liked them. The large, fat, quick brush strokes of bight color. It truly was a merging of abstraction and representation. Some of the paintings seemed to blur into the abstract up close and come together from further away. I really liked the hidden man in the forest and the tunnel.
In the opposite room I fell in love. I really liked the designer. It was very modern with very clean lines and great colors. The green chair was my favorite, partly because green is my favorite color. I liked the wall that he set up to show his inspirations. I saw this button and at the time I didn't touch it, but of course when I went back with the class I was too curious and I knocked it off the wall. Sometimes I forget about museum edict. I loved the lamps a lot and was glad to hear the director say the same when we returned with class. My dad's style and taste is very close to this young designer's style and I credit him with my like taste and style.
Upstairs was a really beautiful jewelry collection. I never wear jewelry and when I do it is really simple. However, I found this collection so remarkable. The over the top design and gems was truly high society. I could see how something like the elaborate necklaces would look great paired with a a simple, elegant black dress. It opened my eyes to why women love jewels. On my own I only looked at the work, but it was nice to come back and have the director give some background to the jewelry and also to how the exhibit came to be.
I was glad to learn the mission statement from the director, it made the collections really come together. I am excited to be working there next semester.


When we first went to Ijams it was a beautiful day and I drove up with my top down and was excited about the visit. I only got more excited about Ijams during the tour and walk. I never knew we had something like that so close. In Nashville my mom and I like to go to Radnor Lake, which is similar, and walk and hike, but I hadn't done anything like that since I moved to Knoxville. You'd think I would with the mountains so close, but school and work always seem to get in the way of getting to the mountains, but now I have found Ijams.
That weekend one of my best friends came in town from Boston (see Sam Adam's Brewery post). She is from here so she knew about Ijams and had been before. She also liked to go with her mom and younger brother. She hadn't been in a long time so she was more that willing to return with me for an afternoon stroll and catch up on Sunday.
The weather was so nice, and Halloween was only days away so I was in a great mood. We decided to walk down to the boardwalk and spend some time there. Going a second time I had some stories I could tell her that we had learned from the tour guide about the caves that she didn't know. We sat on one of the benches for a while catching up and enjoying the day. We both thought it was beautiful and then we remembered how dirty the water was. It's such a shame to have such a great resource and waste it. I wanted to go back to the quarry so we decided to explore.
I wasn't sure how to actually get there... and neither of us thought to grab a map, but we eventually made it. It wasn't really that hard. The quarry is extremely beautiful and we both seemed to stop talking while we stood there. I wished I had remembered my camera, because the afternoon light was so pretty, but I had forgotten it so I will have to make do with what I remember.
I was so excited to find Ijams. I had known of it, but never been before. I sorta expected classrooms and animal sheds for some reason, but it is nothing like it. It was a great place to get a little exercise, to get away from everything, and to catch up. I can't wait for spring to come. I will have to visit more often.

Funny story but I served the tour guide at Tomato Head about 3 days later.

Three Flights Up

I was again disappointed as I climbed the stairs to Three Flights Up. The artwork on the balcony was really unimpressive. As I went inside though I saw a few things that I thought were interesting. The exhibit was of local emerging artist, as the card said. It was showing 11 artist and each had about 5 to more pieces up. Again the light was poor. This time it was opposite, instead of being too dark it was glaring. There were still no overhead lights on, but the windows were letting in so much light, I had to move around to avoid the glare and my reflection. I also had to squint at times.
The first work I saw as I entered was by Liz Nixon, Wolf Pack. I immediately liked it. I liked the abstract lines and the dripped paint. The colors were very complimentary with the warm and cool colors. It reminded me of a rainy late fall day when all the leaves have fallen off the trees, but are still brightly colored and not brittle lying on the ground. We have seen a lot of those around here lately. She also had some photographs that I found interesting, mainly because of the colors. I didn't feel particularly about them one way or another. They all had a contemporary Asian theme and the one I liked the most was a neon sign with what looked like Chinese characters on it. I really like eastern culture and art especially contemporary so I found it interesting but not that impressive.
Around the corner were some watercolors that I did not like at all. I am not a big fan of watercolors as it is. Next to these were some more photographs this time by James Edwin Hall. I liked the idea the photographer was following but I thought the execution was lacking. His images were mainly snapshots with little attention to composition. The image to the left is called Madonna et Children. I thought it was really interesting to find classical references in modern everyday life. This was the best composed image in my opinion and the one I liked the most. The printing of the images was digital and it didn't seem to be on good paper or something (I am not an expert with digital prints) because the colors were skewed and in one image the redness of a man's face seemed to be exaggerated.
I wasn't to interested in the rest of the work. There were some paintings of figures dancing, but they were puzzled almost and the pieces brightly colored. The next was some paintings on puzzle pieces and so multimedia work. I ran in to a friend from class there, and we laughed that we were both trying to fit in museum time where ever we could. We also both had a hard time with the lighting.
This was my least favorite visit yet, because of the content and the problems with light. I really like the Emporium and their mission but i guess you can't have a excellent exhibit all the time.

Ryan Blair at the Emporium

I went into the Emporium recently to see what they had showing. I had not been since we had gone with class back in September. Then they were putting up artifacts from East Tennessee museums for National Museum Month. Most of the objects were not up yet and just placed in position or leaning up against the wall where they would be hung. This time around there was an exhibit up of a painter, Ryan Blair. He is a painter and also teaches elementary age children art.
I didn't really like his style. It was too cartooning for me and I didn't like the loose, curving lines. I like art that is really defined by straight, angular, intense line. This was too free flowing for me and the subject matter seemed to be lacking any purpose other than art. Art doesn't necessarily need a purpose, but if I could have seen a point or connected to his art on some level I might have at least liked it a little. I wouldn't say I hated it, but it didn't hold me there. So I wandered around and moved on. The paintings I liked the least were the bright images of women in hats. He had more than one and I really think that was overdoing it. Something about the art seemed really commercial. I can't quite put my foot on it but I wasn't interested.
The lighting in the Emporium, regardless, was bad. None of it was on and I couldn't really see. Especially because there was a glare on everything from the big windows. I think they could have had a better set up for viewing the art. I love the building, interior and exterior, especially the stairs, but it doesn't seem to be suited for viewing art as the sun is setting. I took a picture with the flash off to try and give you an idea. It was also kinda strange because I was the only one there visiting, but I could hear all the employees. It defiantly isn't as private a gallery as some, but I am sure that has it's advantages and disadvantages. I could see it being a great place on First Fridays. I haven't actually been to the Emporium on a First Friday, which just struck me, but I have been down there often before. After looking at Ryan's work I headed up to Three Flights Up to see if it had something I liked.

Read about it in my next journal entry!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Photographs of Tony Vaccaro

I didn't expect to expect to enjoy the visit to the East Tennessee Museum of History as much as I did. My preconceived notion was that it was going to be dry and old. The thing is someone would probably say that about an art museum, and I would take offense or think they were had limited interest. However, I immediately changed my mind as we toured the building. Adam did a great job of giving us the facts and making it all very interesting. To be honest if I didn't already have an internship at the KMA I would want to intern with him. He seemed very smart and involved with his job because he cared, and the museum itself was far more interesting than I had anticipated.
I had to stay after the tour to go back into the photography exhibit. The story of how the show had come to be and the search for the dead friend really intrigued me, as did the images themselves. For starters the image The Last Step was incredibly moving. To catch such a tragic, fleeting moment is remarkable. That is really the power of photography. However, as I looked at the image and read the story next to it I wondered, why he was photographing a moment like that. Vaccaro had to have know how dangerous the situation was and that it was a possibility something like that could happen. I am not implying that he wanted it to, but I find it eerie that he took such a photo. Then I

The Last Step,
remembered a photo by Robert Capa, Death of a Loyalist soldier. It to was of the instant a man was shot in war. The difference between the two, however, was that Capa was a photographer unlike Vaccaro who was soldier and photographer. Capa sought out the adventure and danger, and Vaccaro did it as his duty. Both are extremely intense images and represent the horror of war. Still I find it odd that they were taken.
I was impressed by Vaccaro's dedication to both finding his friend but also to the photography. It's really bizarre to look at the photos and see the water marks and dust from the negatives. The conditions

Death of a Loyalist Soldier
, Capa

for printing and preserving the negatives had to be horrible and that shows after all these years embedded in the negatives. It's a testament to the struggles and hardships of the time. It really made the images more powerful almost because they didn't seem so removed from the time, it made it more relevant for me.
I really liked the layout of the room as well. i thought it created a nice, personal, and respectful atmosphere. The lighting was dim which created an almost contemplative air. The circumabmbulant layout created personal space for the viewer and divided up the progression of the photos nicely. All in all I really liked this exhibit.


I went to visit my good friend Sarah Primm while she was working one afternoon. I took my boyfriend Phil with me to see the show, because he had just returned from China earlier in the summer on a trip with a political science professor from UT. I had already seen the show and thought he would be interested. We both liked it a lot. He liked the shorts the most, he was thinking of going into film a few years ago. My favorite short was the bouncing, colored ball that moved across the screen over the outlines of the buildings. I am an architect's daughter so I am instantly drawn to architecture, and the film showed photos of beautiful buildings from all over.
I really liked the show, and I was very proud that UT had the opportunity to exhibit such a excelent collection. Sarah and I both took 183 last semester from Dr. Wright so we discussed how we could see some of the influences of early Chinese art in this new and very contemporay art, especially Hong Li's images. We studied Chinese ink and silk paintings from early dynasties, and I think Li had a really intriquing concept of merging acient subject matter with modern mediums.
As for modern mediums I really love photography, and I really like the images by zhang Dali. Demolition, Forbidden City, 1998 is the first to catch my eye. I am pretty sure that I have seen it somewhere before, but I am not sure where. I wonder if he happened upon this or constructed it himself. Either way the image is very surreal, with the tip of the forbbiden city showing through the gaping hole in a demolished building. Yet, through the destrucion, as always there is something new created. I think the outline mirrors the window to its right, both giving a glimpse of something more.
On my second trip to the show I learned that many people ask if the artist killed the bird himself in the photograph as you enter the show. Sarah says she got so tired of the question that she started to answer yes to see their reaction. Also, on the second time around I used the computer program to write my name. I also enjoyed spending some time with the works I had really liked. Here are a few more pieces that I enjoyed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sam Adam’s Brewery

In May I visited Boston, Massachusetts for the first time in my life. I fell in love with the city and it’s immense history. While visiting a friend for the week I got to experience all sorts of Boston’s history: from the Museum of Fine Arts, to the Freedom Trail, to the Sam Adam’s Brewery. I loved the Museum, but I have chosen to write my diary on something a little less academic and sometimes (just sometimes) a little more fun.
The brewery is in a small section of Boston known as Jamaica Heights. It is a very bohemian area outside of the city in a middle class to lower class neighborhood. When we arrived they took us into a small room where we watched a video on the history of the brewery. I learned that we were in the original building, which was now used mostly as a museum. It still held large kegs of Sam Adam’s, but it was no longer used to produce large quantities. New recipes, however, were all brewed in the original building and tested before released to the public and mass-produced in larger facilities.
The next room in our tour held 6 large kegs of different Sam Adam’s beer. We were told the process of brewing and passed around cups of the main ingredients to taste and smell. In the end they offered us 3 different beers to taste and a souvenir cup to take home. We tried the Summer Ale, Oktoberfest, and Sam Adam’s original Lager. I enjoyed the Oktoberfest the most and the Summer Ale the least.
All in all the tour was very short, but it was fun and interesting. It was defiantly a different experience from most museums I have visited. It was guided and it dealt with a subject matter that wasn’t necessarily regarded as art, but I assure you, those who brew for Sam Adam’s definitely consider their work a true art form. Without the true master’s and their traditions they never would have developed the tedious, but very satisfying art of brewing.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Who am I, you ask. Well, you will come to find out I am a lot of things. I can be loud at times and very quite at others. It really just depends on whether or not I get riled up.

That's me in the Natural History Museum

at Harvard!

Riled up probably sparks your interest so you ask, “What gets you riled up, Sydney?” I would then probably answer, “Well many things Professor: dishonesty or unfairness (those two things really get me worked up). My mother says I’m stubborn and that makes me defensive. So my mother riles me up, but of course I love her dearly. I get riled up over art, like when I am in a

museum, wandering through the rooms of an exhibit. I start to get more and more excited and intrigued. I start to feel creative, energized, passionate, but at these times I try to remain quite. My good friends can rile me up and get me going when we are running around together, often times acting foolish. However, if I find myself outnumbered in a new situation I tend to become a little shy, usually opting to sit back and survey the scene around me until I can find a level to connect on.
In general, despite the minor issues with using my inside voice, I like to think of myself as an easy person to get along with. I like meeting new people. It gives me the opportunity to take a look at things from another angle. Most likely that’s why I am an Art History major, I constantly get to look at things from a different perspective entirely.
Now as for ambitions, I hope to graduate with flying colors and impressive accomplishments. I’ll probably take some time after that to see where I fit in out there in the real world and eventually go to grad school to get my masters. I see myself in the glamorous world of Museums and Galleries. There I could constantly walk through with my adrenaline rising and know, “Hey, I had something to do with all this! NEAT!” I know that whatever I do, I will be passionate about it and put a great amount of effort and care into what I’m doing.

Now the technical stuff:
I have a car, and would be willing to car pool occasionally, job permitting.

Museums I’ve visited:

Louvre Natural History, Harvard
Pompidou Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Musée D’ Orsay Fogg Art Museum, Harvard
National Gallery DC (east and west) Sackler, Harvard
Sackler (Smithsonian, DC) Sam Adam’s Brewery
Hirshhorn Planetarium (Chicago)
Phillip’s Collection (DC)
Art Institute of Chicago
there are more… but I can’t
remember them all. Hope this will due.