I go away for a few days - and two more orchids come into bloom: orchids that have benefited from the regime of benign neglect recommended by my mother (put in a darkish room for a while, don't give them too much water, don't feed them, don't - well, she didn't actually say don't talk to them, but that was the overall gist of it). And it's worked. This one is particularly delicate and beautiful: I have a sense that it's not from the regular TJ's provenance, but was one that we bought at an orchid show at the Huntington a while back.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Given how much I've published about Hiram Powers' Greek Slave, it's shocking, I know, that I haven't seen her in the flesh - I mean, in the marble - before today. But there she was, in the NGA, among the display of acquisitions from the Corcoran. I now see, even more than before, why she was quite so shocking to the Victorians. There's something about the waxy quality of the marble that makes it very, very like palpable flesh: it's as though one would leave little indentations if one pressed one's fingers in. It was almost disturbing - I don't expect to be disturbed by the lifelike qualities of sculptured form in that way. I kept imagining her circling and circling on her automated plinth, which must have added even more to the illusion.
Here's some more marble, lying around in front of some forsythia, in front of a poster for the Piero di Cosimo exhibition (very worth going to). He was a strange guy (so far as one can tell from Vasari), who painted strange pictures, with rather too many violent satyrs to make one entirely comfortable. And his bodies are always slightly out of proportion - one would think, too, that he had an odd sense of perspective, until coming upon his painting of a palace under construction, at which point it's quite obvious that he has an impeccable understanding of Vitruvian perspective, right down to the horse and rider, in dead center, galloping straight towards the viewer.
Oh, and if someone knows why all these balloons, in suffragette colors, are tied to a lamppost, do tell ...
Friday, April 17, 2015
This piece of eloquence was taped to the inside of an elevator at GMU today.
... but the Japanese influence you were looking for was in the form of cherry blossom? Well, there was one grove of trees down by the Potomac, that had to function as the go-to site for visiting photographers (blossom and trees look very like Samuel Palmer's mysticism to me - I have better shots of the growing thunderheads behind the petals on my camera, but forgot the downloading device - so these iPhone shots will have to substitute ...) ...
but basically, all the blossom was last weekend, and down by the Tidal Basin MLK presides over some browning and tired looking branches.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Hmmm - it looks as though my GWU lecture on African-Americans and flash photography in the 30s and 40s had a radical displacement effect! More than I'd ever bargained for ...
... oh, wait a minute ... I'm in DC, in mid April, and you want some pictures of blossom? Here you are, then. I expect you'll get some more, in due course ...
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
This intrigued me flying the other way yesterday - from ABQ to LA, and now today from LA to DC. Is it a salt farm - or whatever the name is - salination facility? You would get another golden pic, of the red rocks at Sedona, if the terrible hotel internet hadn't meant that this image took twenty minutes to load - so imagine it (and, since I have a few images still to download and put into my slide show for tomorrow, feel free to imagine my techno terror, too ...).