Category Archives: modern art

Denver Museum of Art

Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum

Denver Museum of Art

http://www.denverartmuseum.org/ * 720-865-5000 * Denver Art Museum * 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy * Denver, CO 80204
A day of art all around for me as me and friends wandered into the Denver Art Museum on their ‘free day’ which is the first Saturday of the month. Being my first visit to Denver’s impressive Art Museum, I enjoyed my visit and will definitely be back. Hosted in Denver’s Civic Center, this Art Museum is reknown for its collections that expanse well over 68,000 works of art and has quite a notable collection of American Indian Art. Originally founded in 1893 at the Denver Artist’s Club, it took on the name of the “Denver Art Association” in 1916 and moved into its first galleries in 1918 where it became known as its current namesake. Taking over the current building in 1971 that was designed by Gio Ponti and local architect James Sudler as a 24-sided, 7 story architectural art piece in of itself. In 2006, the Duncan Pavillion grew to a 5,700 square feet second story additon to the original Morgan Wing clad in titanium and glass. The museum hosts nine curatorial departments: (1) Modern and Contemporary, (2) Native Arts, (3) Architecture, Design and Graphics, (4) Asian Art, (5) New World Art, (6) Painting and Sculpture, (7) Photography, (8)Western Art, and (9) Textile Arts. The Museum has and does display the arts of India, China, Japan, Southwest Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Southeast Asia, religious art, traditional folk crafts, modern and contemporary collections of 20th-century artists including the Herbert Bayer collection, Man Ray, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Robert Motherwell, Damien Hirst, Philip Guston, Dan Flavin, John DeAndrea, Gottfried Helnwein, Yue Minjun, Native American arts (spanning several hundred tribes) with Northwest Coastal woodcarvings, Naskapi painted leather garments, Winnebago twined weaving, Plains Indian beadwork, Navajo weaving, Pueblo pottery, California basketry; Oceanic arts spanning all the major islands with wood carvings, painted bark cloth from Somoa, Tonga, and Hawaii; Melanesian collections from Papua New Guinea & New Ireland; drawings, paintings; African Arts with sculptures, textiles, jewelry, paintings, printmaking, drawings, Yoruba works; New World Arts; Latin American arts including ceramics, stone, gold, jade, furnishings, silver from Spanish Colonial periods; Pre-Columbian arts from Mesoamerica, lower Central America, and South America; Mayan art from Mexico, guatemala, and Belize; European and American paintings and photographic works; Coptic and pre-Columbia textiles; Western American Art; the Harmsen Collection; and many more …. The Museum cannot be completely covered in a day – so make your visit to span the weekend. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Exhibits:

Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Rolling Volume Chair (Denver Museum of Art)

Rolling Chair; Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838)

Rolling Volume Chair, 1989
Ron Arad, British artist, born in Israel, 1951
Stainless steel and lead, manufactured by One Off, London. Gift of Robert and Lisa Kessler, 2012.324

    “They are still chairs … There always had to be some attributes to do with sitting … You could say that the Volumes series is always functional, but doesn’t always have to be practical. – Ron Arad.” ~ Display at Denver Museum of Art.”

“Ron Arad approached design largely from a sculptural perspective in the late 1980s and early 1990s, driven by the materials and tools he had on hand. The Rolling Volumes – large rocking armchairs – demonstrate Arad’s fascination and experimentation with the techniques and visual effects of welding and polishing steel. Early examples were rough with visible welds. As Arad’s skills improved, he achieved the smooth, highly reflective surface seen here. Heavily weighted at the back with lead, the chair reverses the conventional operation of rocking and tilts upward dramatically when not in use.”~ Display at Denver Museum of Art.

Rolling Chair (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=32169); Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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DMCA: Denver Museum of Contemporary Art

Denver Museum of Contemporary Art (DMCA: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31829)

Denver Museum of Contemporary Art
1485 Delgany St, Denver, CO 80202
https://mcadenver.org/

I experienced my first visit to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art on its infamous “penny admission day for Colorado residents” on August 5, 2017. The architectural style of the museum portrays contemporary art in its own style and facade, with a hidden entrance down what appears to be a dead-end graffiti styled corridor out front. The rooftop has a great garden with modern-style and wonderful views of the city. The bubble chill zone on fake grass pads is also a nice touch. Its a great space for exhibiting art. While this particular selection of exhibits was not very fascinating the museum itself had lots of great pleasure. I also was very impressed with the Jenny Morgan exhibit and how it was presented. The other two, not so much. As I’m not a great fan of contemporary art, I did enjoy my visit. ~ Leaf McGowan Rating: 4 star out of 5

The MCA or DCMA was founded in 1996 as a home for contemporary art in the city. For its first seven years, it took over an old renovated fish market in the Sakura Square downtown Denver, being founded by Sue Cannon. By 2003 the Board of Trustees donated land to build a permanent building. October 2007 they opened their current, new 27,000 square foot environmentally sustainable building in lower downtown Denver created by architect David Adjaye. It was styled with hidden skylights and natural lighting with large windows looking out to Denver’s streets. The building possessed five galleries as well as a shop, library, education spaces, and a rooftop cafe.

P>Exhibits:

Denver Museum of Contemporary Art (DMCA: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31829). New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, 5 August 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017: Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Jenny Morgan Exhibit (DMCA)

Jenny Morgan Exhibit (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31835)

Jenny Morgan Exhibit
2017 at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Colorado.

The Summer 2017 exhibit of Jenny Morgan’s works and paintings at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art were fantastic. This exhibition in my opinion was the top exhibit of all displayed at the Museum this season. Her work was embracing and drew me into the paintings. Her sense of style was ethereal and enchanting. There was a spiritual essence to her work. The exhibit was characteristic of good art. I was impressed. I’m not usually a fan of contemporary art, but this one instance I was intrigued. ~ Leaf McGowan Rating 5 stars out of 5

Jenny Morgan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1982 and spent a good portion of her life living and working in New York City. She received her Master of Fina Arts at the New York of Visual Arts in 2008. She embraces the figure as her most compelling subject matter as it feels natural within the ebb and flow of her style of portraits. She prides herself in finding different ways and methods in approaching her subject and realism. She plays around with the paint on the canvas just to stay interested and engaged in the work. She focuses her work on people she knows personally as she depicts them on canvas.

Jenny Morgan Exhibit (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31835); Denver Museum of Contemporary Art (DMCA: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31829). New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, 5 August 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017: Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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The Humpty Dumpty Brothers, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Humpty Dumpty Sculptures

The Humpty Dumpty Brothers Sculptures
Colorado Avenue and Tejon Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Article by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions, July 21, 2016

The whimsical humpty dumpy egg sculptures off Colorado Boulevard between Tejon and Pikes Peak have a strange history in Colorado Springs, especially having become the target of multiple vandalism accounts and pranks. They were originally created by artisan Kimber Fiebiger of Minneapolis who submitted one as an installation for the annual Art on the Streets program in 2003. The first one was called “Hump D” and sat in front of the Pikes Peak Center. Local businesses were impressed and commissioned additional ones. One was stolen in 2003, others vandalized over several years, and cost the city much in repairs and replacements. There are now four of them on south Tejon near Colorado Avenue. There is the one that sits on the wall, another playing a violin, another reading a book, and one toppling and hanging on for its life under the parking garage. Rating: 5 stars out of 5 (Visited 7/20/17)

These sculptures are also just down the road from America the Beautiful Park. They are located next to the infamous “Twilight” sculpture by Bobbie Carlyle.

There is another “humpty dumpty” at the green space across from the Carefree Circle Cinemark water park.

Carefree Circle / Cinemark Splash Zone / fountain (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=32291). New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 24, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Additional Reading and References:

Humpty Dumpty Sculptures : Strolling downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken July 20, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Interested in this review or story? have things to add? please comment below. Do you enjoy this article? if so, please consider buying the writer a chai, lunch, or help cover gas funds for covering these sites. Thomas Baurley is a work from home single father sharing his inspirations, treasures, findings, and travels. Tell him thank you if you like his work, Please donate. Need a new or updated review? contact him for more information.
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Jackalope Pottery (Santa Fe, NM)

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Jackalope Pottery
* 2820 Cerrillos Rd * Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507 * Phone:+1 505-471-8539 *

One of Santa Fe’s star shopping attractions, Jackalope Pottery is a complex of artisan booths and shops based around Southwestern Art and multi-cultured treasures. Created by a self-made entrepreneur named Darby McQuade from Richwood, West Virginia, who was inspired to weave this maze when he moved to Santa Fe in 1976. He began by selling out of the back of his truck near the historic Santa Fe Plaza selling pottery and merchandise we brought back from Mexico. Once funds rolled in, he set out to create the village that is now called “Jackalope” where visitors could experience shopping as entertainment with the treasures they could discover. Now it is one of Santa Fe’s premiere home and garden shopping centers and a five star attraction to the area visited by over 900,000 tourists every year. He has expanded his collections from Mexico to include unique items from India, Thailand, Bali, Africa, China, and Egypt as well. Focused on folk art, ornaments, pottery, handmade furniture, rugs, and hand-blown glass … the garden as well as the indoor shop is a bountiful array of gifts and curiousities. There is wildlife in the trees, hosts a prairie dog village, an animal barn, a plant nursery, a furniture store, a Mercado and a cafe. THere are now more than 1 store in Santa Fe, with additional outlets in North Hollywood California. Personally I found it a bit over-rated as the “Pier 1 on steroids” with items a bit over-priced and generic. Nonetheless, I had a good experience and even bought some trinkets. Rating: 3 stars out of 5, visited 11/22/13.

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World’s Largest Fire Hydrant of Busted Plug Plaza (Columbia, South Carolina)

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Busted Plug Plaza’s World’s Largest Fire Hydrant
* 1400 Taylor Street (corner of Taylor and Murray), Columbia, South Carolina *

Confirmed as the world’s largest fire hydrant (confirmed 2012) is actually a art sculpture created by artist Blue Sky, unveiled on February 18, 2001. Artist is the same who created the “Tunnel Vision” art mural in the parking lot just behind it. It stands close to thirty nine to forty feet tall and weighs five tons, with a titled design and slant to give it a look of being broken and having a busted plug with water seeping out of its base into the crumbling rocks around it. Safety barriers surrounding it are part of the artwork to illustrate it being broken. The two competing giant hydrants for the record are in Elm Creek, Manitoba at 29.5 feet, and Beaumont, Texas at 24.5 feet. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. More information can be found at http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/4453.

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Tunnel Vision Art Mural (Columbia, South Carolina)

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Tunnel Vision Art Mural
* 1550 Marion St. * Columbia, SC *

In the heart of downtown Columbia, South Carolina is a very realistic tunnel entrance painted on the side of the Federal land bank building. Internet data claims it was first painted in 1976 by Artist Blue Sky and faces into an open parking that houses the largest fire hydrant art sculpture also in Downtown Columbia. The mural hosts a beautiful sunset, crumbling concrete, bullet holes depicted in the street sign, hazy landscape in a modern view of a pre-apocalytic world. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. More reviews and information can be found at http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/4602.


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The Meeting Place Statue, a.k.a. “The Hags with the Bags” (Dublin)

The Meeting Place Statue ~ aka The Hags with the Bags
* Lower Liffey Street * (near Ha’penny Bridge) * Dublin, Ireland *

Just across the Ha’penny Bridge, one will find the statue of two women engaged in conversation with shopping bags at their feet. This one is nicknamed “The Hags with the Bags” but is officially called “The Meeting Place Statue”. On one of the bags is written “Arnotts”. This is located along Lower Liffey Street. It was sculpted by Jakki McKenna in 1988. It was designed to reflect everyday life in Dublin’s marketplace to which it greets people to one of the area’s most popular shopping areas on Henry & Jervis streets, just after one crosses the Ha’penny bridge from Temple Bar.


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Modern Statue of Queen Maedbh (Dublin)


Modern Statue of Queen Maedbh

* Burlington Road, Dublin, Ireland *

The Modern Statue of Queen Maedbh / Maedhbh / Maeve standing strong and naked while holding a bull’s head. Located on Burlington Road, Dublin, Ireland. Photo take June 6, 2012. The statue was presented in 2004, and sculpted by Patrick O’Reilly. It depicts a modern re-telling of Queen Maeve, representing the power & equality of Celtic women, told by its viewers as a symbol of brutality, kitch, polyandry, and obsession of a power hungry queen. As a ruler of both mortals and the legendary fae, she was a female ruler in Irish History, dominating over western Ireland (Connacht) around the 1st century B.C.E. Strong, powerful, beautiful, and passionate about love and war. She was legendary for her large armies and rumored to have slept with many of her commanders, motivating them for her tasks at hand, and using them at her will. This statue was supposedly created to symbolize this power of her, represented by her large giant fomorian-like stature, naked, with a verocious sexual appetite. Legend has it that she could sleep with over 30 men a day. Her holding the head of a bull in the right hand represents her main myth, the Cattle Raid of Cooley. As her husband owned a bull of superior strength, that outranked her fortune. She couldn’t have that, so as she needed one to compete, she went to war to take the best bull known in Ireland. “The bull of Ulster”. The spear represents her as a warrior, the bird her freedom as well as her enchantment. It is one of Dublin’s little most known statues down a street not often frequented by the public.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews and/or research articles are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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‘Freeflow’ (2006), by Rachel Joynt


* Dublin, Ireland *

Hidden in the walkway from the Jeanie Johnson to the Famine Memorial are embedded internally lit glass cobbles with watery shades of green and blue with artistic shells, fish, and other critters swimming in what she calls “Freeflow”. The art piece was commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Authority in 2006 from Irish sculptor Rachel Joynt and spreads along the North quays for a kilometer from Custom House Quay to the North Wall. She is also the artist known for “Perpetual Motion” (1995), Mothership (1999), and the giant cast bronze/steel sea urchin at Dun Laoghaire.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Melbourne Road Side Art

Melbourne Road Side Art
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

One of the memorable facets to Melbourne I remember from my travels is the fantastic and sometimes bizarre roadside art one can find on the highways in and out of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Many of the roads and freeways around this Metropolis compete for attention by the implementation of large-scale artworks and architectural interventions that make roadtrips that much more appealing. Some of these are listed on the Visit Victoria website. These tie in somewhat with the notable Australia’s Big Things art sculptures found throughout the country. Great aspect to Victoria and Melbourne in my view … definitely worth a drive-through outdoor art gallery peek! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Sculptures of Michael Legrand @ the CMAG

Michael Le Grand
* http://www.artwhatson.com.au/cmag/sculpture * Canberra Gallery of Art
* http://www.museumsandgalleries.act.gov.au/cmag/ * Cnr. London Circuit and Civic Square, * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia

Wandering around the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery I had the chance to view the sleek artwork of Michael Le Grand which is on exhibition at the CMAG from March through June of 2011. Michael Le Grand is one of the leading Australian and Canberra artists, demonstrating his range of art from the 1970’s to 2010. He takes metal and sculpts it into formalist abstract sculpture making monumental and imposing indoor and outdoor work. In 1974 Michael graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts, and by 1978 from the St. Martin’s School of Art in London, being awarded the Australian National University Creative Arts Fellowship. By 1997 he was recipient of the Australia Council Traavel Grant and the Capital Arts Patron’s Fellowship and actARTS Creative Arts Fellowships, co-winner of the Inaugural Sydney Water Sculpture Prize. He has travelled the world doing residency and symposiums in the USA, Canada, Germany, and Japan. He has retired in 2007 as the Head of Sculpture at the Australian National University School of Art. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. Visited 4/23/11.

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Canberra Museum and Art Gallery

Canberra Gallery of Art
* http://www.museumsandgalleries.act.gov.au/cmag/ * Cnr. London Circuit and Civic Square, * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia

Right around the corner from the YHA Hostel, in the heart of the City Center, is the Canberra Museum and Gallery located on the London Circuit. It was first opened early 1998 containing a permanent collection called “Reflecting Canberra” since 2001. With a few galleries located on two floors in the building, ranging from paintings, photography, and sculpture, one can quickly learn the social history of Canberra by visiting the Museum. As of to date, it has had over 160 exhibitions and has remained free to enjoy. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5. Visited 4/23/11.

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National Gallery of Art, Canberra, ACT, Australia

National Gallery of Art
* http://nga.gov.au/ * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia

One of Canberra’s largest attractions is the National Gallery where over 120,000 works of art is housed celebrating Australian and world art. It was established in 1967 by the government as a National Public Art Gallery after alot of the lobbying by the famous Australian painter Tom Roberts. Originally it was decided that the government should collect portraits of Australian governors-general, principle fathers of the Federation, and by parliamentary leaders which formed the Commonwealth Art Advisory board. It was persuasion of Robert Menzies, the Prime Minister, that established the gallery and incorporated by Prime Minister Harold Holt for building construction. They wanted the Gallery to be located in the Parliament Triangle but this was delayed because the final site of the new Parliament House was not yet determined. Colin Madigan of Edwards Madigan Torzillo and Partners won the competition for its design in 1968, and tentatively was set to be built on Capital Hill, with no design yet permitted until it was designated properly. Location was changed from Capital Hill and collaboration with James Johnson Sweeney (former Director of the Guggenheim and Houston Museum of Fine Arts) and Mollison began. Construction began in 1973 and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II by 1982 at a price tag of $82 million in late 20th century Brutalist style with angular masses based on a triangle and raw concrete surfaces surrounded by a series of sculpture gardens planted with Australian native trees and plants and over 23,000 square meters of floor space. Three floors of galleries with the first floor the largest, hosting Indigenous Australian and International collections; bottom level with a series of large galleries of sculpture originally then the Asian art collection. The uppermost level for a series of smaller intimate galleries which now house the collection of Australian art. Extensions of the Gallery took place twice with a new entrance project in 2010.

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Lake Light Sculptures, NSW

Lake Light Sculpture
* www.lakelightsculpture.com.au, Lake Jindabyne, New South Wales, Australia *


This giant round metal artistic ball sculpture was a bit of intrigue for me and Marco as we drove by it while travelling from Cooma to Lake Jindabyne. “What in the world?” as it was fenced off and located in the middle of nowhere. It apparently is a storage yard for the art piece that is displayed annually at the “Lake Light Sculpture” Festival held along the foreshore of Lake Jindabyne in the foothills of New South Wale’s Snowy Mountains. This annual exhibition is held during Easter weekend and attracts thousands of spectators. It is a celebration of “light” as a distinctive, innovative element focused on in the event by dramatic evening illumination of the art works such as this one. All artists can participate in this event regardless if a novice, emerging, or expert utilizing any medium they would like and can win cash awards for best works in various categories. The event is held by the “Snowy River Arts, Inc”. Unfortunately we were just passing through the area and was not able to attend. Perhaps next year 😉

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Australian National Museum

National Museum of Australia
* Lawson Crescent * Acton Peninsula, Canberra ACT 2601 * (02) 6208 5000 *

One of Australia’s most brilliant and diverse museums is the National Museum of Australia in Canberra within the heart of the Australian Capital Territory. It was established in 1980 by the National Museum of Australia Act to preserve and interpret Australian history, cultures, people, and events that made Australia what it is today. It was homeless until March 11, 2001 when it opened its doors in the national capital. Diverse collections and exhibits ranging from 50,000 Before Present upwards to the current day with focus on the Aborigine, the original inhabitants, their beliefs, culture, and myths. It covers European settlement of these shores from 1788 to modern day and focuses on the material culture that Australia creates both past and present. They possess the largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings and stone tools found in Australia. Exhibits rotate around like all major museums and during my visit had a feature called “Not Just Ned” covering the Irish immigration to Australia. In addition to a massive artifact collection, they have a wide range of books, catalogues, and journals in their archives. Highly innovative and on track with technology, the Museum is notable for its advancement and design. They have an incredible outreach program with regional communities as well as a inclusion with the Aborigines. The Museum was designed by architect and design director Howard Raggatt themed with knotted ropes symbolizing the weaving together of Australian stories and tales. The entire building and grounds tells the story of creation, the Dreaming, and immigration of these shores. The building is at the center of the knot with trailing ropes or strips extending from the building, forming large loops that are walkways extending past the neighbouring AIATSIS building ending in a large curl aligning as the “Uluru Axis” representing the Australian natural landmark. This design incorporates Bed Maddock’s “Philosophy Tape”, Jackson Pollock’s “Blue Poles”, the Boolean String, A knot, Ariadne’s thread, and the Aboriginal Dreamtime story of he Rainbow Serpent creating the land. Within the Museum complex is an exact copy of the lightning flash zigzag that Libeskind created for the Berlin Museum by breaking a five pointed star of David. This initially brought allegations of plagiarism. Its exterior is covered with anodised aluminum panels that include worlds written in braille. These words include “mate”, “She’ll be right”, “sorry”, and “forgive us our genocide”. In 2006 the Museum was damaged by a hail storm that caused the ceiling to collapse, expose power cables, and flood the floor.

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Mangor’s House of Madness: Photo Gallery

Docteur Mangor’s House of Gothy Madness
* Echo Park, Los Angeles, California *

Deep in the heart of Echo Park, the Mad Docteur Mangor has the house of horrors that makes a normal person get a bit creeped out while fascinating in awe the freak or alternative over his bizarre, gothy art. From robots, steampunk, Magicians, battered dolls, ecclectic paint, laughing deer heads, Dame Darcy art, giant goldfish, and bones are just the start of the curiosity cabinet of Dr. Mangor and his house of gothy madness. The creator and collector of this intriguing art is none other than Mangor, the inspiration behind the Cult of the Blind Squid and Kranioclast.com.

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Thunder Mountain Indian Monument

Thunder Mountain Indian Monument
* P.O. Box 162 * Imlay * Nevada * 89418 * United States of America * http://www.thundermountainmonument.com/ *

Thunder Mountain is a little artistic wonder along the side of Interstate 80 near Imlay, Nevada. It is also known as “The Place Rolling Mountain Thunder built”. This array of odd kitch construction as a collage of bizarre and trbal art, while maintained and managed by Daniel Van Zant, is one of Nevada’s historic monuments that was built by his father “Frank Van Zant” a.k.a. “Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder”. The Thunder Mountain Monument is a property of exotic folk art and architectural oddities spread over five acres of land standings as a roadside art park, museum, monument to Native Americans, and as a retreat for pilgrims aspiring to the “pure and radiant heart”. The local neighbours of Van Zant were split – some feared his oddity while others saw him as a spiritual guru. Frank was a Creek Nation member who was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma on November 11th, 1921. At age 14 he left the reservation and enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps and then the Army Air Corps during WWII. From there he transferred to the Tank Corps for several campaigns in Europe. After his service, he studied theology for 1 1/2 years wanting to become a Methodist minister. Brushed off by the hypocrisy of the church, he dropped out of divinity school and became a law enforcement officer working for two decades as a sheriff’s deputy in Sutter County near Yuba City, California. After his service with the police, he became a private investigator, and with his third marriage set out for the Nevada lands where he became reincarnated as “Chief Rolling Thunder Mountain”. No one really knows why such radical changes came about in his life, but it boiled down to a dream he had one night where a big eagle swooped down from the sky and told him this is where he should build his nest. Another story tells about Frank and his young bride Ahtrum heading west in 1968 to “find a place in the sun” where they landed 130 miles northeast of Reno, at the oneime railway station of Imlay, and where his 1946 Chevy pickup truck saw its last day, and it was on this spot he set up camp, and the property owner offered him the land for a price he couldn’t refuse. Inspired from a moment in youth where he saw a bottle house in the desert near Death Valley is what led him to build the artistic houses that are now the monument. Made primarily of bottles cemented together with daub and slate ceilings, he built a 3 story monument from a one-room travel trailer. He added corridors, stairways, upstairs bedrooms, and other rooms on to the structure. Whatever trash he could get his hands on to turn into building materials he did including automobile windshields as picture windows, chicken wire formed into ornamental statuary and cemented with concrete, scrap iron and galvanized pipe as rebar, old automobiles as foundations. Every square foot of the structures exterior is covered with friezes and bas-relief tableaux depicting historic Indian massacres or bureaucratic betrayals of Native Americans. Statues, multiple arches, and a carved wooden eagle adorn the roof. After the main building was built, a roundhouse, hostel house, 40×60′ work shed, underground hut, guest cabins, and a “Tim Burton-like” children’s playground was also constructed. The resort and rest area became a popular location for hippie artisans and countercultural movers/shakers. By the 70’s, Thunder Mountain began falling into disrepair, and in 1983 the 3 story hostel house burnt to the ground caving in the underground hut. Eventually the hippies left, his wife and three children left him. Alone, depressed, and health failing, he shot himself on January 5th, 1989. The estate became deserted, being only visited by curious roadside visitors spying the monument from the highway as well as being the destructive ground of various vandals. People would break into the house at night to party and tell ghost stories. The remains began to crumble and decay. His son tried to donate it to the State Parks of Nevada, but they called the place a mess. So Dan and his wife cleaned up the place. Lacking funds they have plans for a visitor center to be constructed some day. The site includes a large somber statue of the son who killed himself, Sarah Winnemucca the Paiute Peacemaker, the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl, Standing Bear of the Ponca Tribe, and a couple of statues of Thunder himself all built from “white man’s trash”. Rathing: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 9/5/10


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Temple of Flux @ Burning Man 2010

The Temple of Flux
Burning Man 2010 * Black Rock City, Nevada * www.temple2010.org *

Designed and constructed by Rebecca Anders, Jessica Hobbs, Peter Kimmelman and their crew from Berkeley, California. This year’s temple stands as a counter-monument rather than the usual Burning Man temple that echoes the churches and mosques of history. It serves to reference our impetus to create structure as well as to its relatin with the environment. A giant Gumby statue greets patrons of the temple. It beckons one to take a journey through its pathways by following its sensuous lines as they arc into the air. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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Plastiki Arrives in Australia

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/23/plastiki-arrives-in-austr_n_656141.html

‘Plastiki’ Arrives In Australia After Plastic-Bottle Boat Makes 8,000-Mile Journey Across Pacific

Posted: 07-23-10 09:58 AM on Huffingtonpost

The 12,000 plastic water bottle catamaran that David de Rothschild in company with Jo Royle, the skipper made landing in Australia after a treacherous 3 month journey, 11,000 mile journey across the Pacific from California to Australia. They pass through the Great Pacific Trash Island. The above link leads to a video about the journey, and the Youtube video below talks about the expedition. The ABC news Youtube link below shows the beginning of the journey.

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-23/tech/plastiki.australia_1_plastiki-australian-national-maritime-museum-plastic-bottle-boat?_s=PM:TECH

Plastic bottle boat reaches Australia after stormy seas

July 23, 2010

After spending 125 days traveling over 8,000 nautical miles, the Plastiki is preparing to reach Sydney, its final destination, on Sunday.

The Plastiki’s arrival in Sydney will not, however, be the 60-foot catamaran’s first time to reach Australian soil. Winter storms producing near-hurricane strength winds forced the vessel and its crew to take refuge in Mooloolaba, Queensland on Monday.

Originally, the crew had hoped to land in Coffs Harbour, south from Mooloolaba, before heading to Sydney. After waiting out the bad weather, the Plastiki took off from its unexpected first port-of-call in Australia early Friday morning with hopes to reach Sydney in the next two days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ug7CpVkBuU
ABC News: The Plastiki Sets Sail, Youtube Video

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Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum
http://www.denverartmuseum.org/ * 720-865-5000 * Denver Art Museum * 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy * Denver, CO 80204
A day of art all around for me as me and friends wandered into the Denver Art Museum on their ‘free day’ which is the first Saturday of the month. Being my first visit to Denver’s impressive Art Museum, I enjoyed my visit and will definitely be back. Hosted in Denver’s Civic Center, this Art Museum is reknown for its collections that expanse well over 68,000 works of art and has quite a notable collection of American Indian Art. Originally founded in 1893 at the Denver Artist’s Club, it took on the name of the “Denver Art Association” in 1916 and moved into its first galleries in 1918 where it became known as its current namesake. Taking over the current building in 1971 that was designed by Gio Ponti and local architect James Sudler as a 24-sided, 7 story architectural art piece in of itself. In 2006, the Duncan Pavillion grew to a 5,700 square feet second story additon to the original Morgan Wing clad in titanium and glass. The museum hosts nine curatorial departments: (1) Modern and Contemporary, (2) Native Arts, (3) Architecture, Design and Graphics, (4) Asian Art, (5) New World Art, (6) Painting and Sculpture, (7) Photography, (8)Western Art, and (9) Textile Arts. The Museum has and does display the arts of India, China, Japan, Southwest Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Southeast Asia, religious art, traditional folk crafts, modern and contemporary collections of 20th-century artists including the Herbert Bayer collection, Man Ray, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Robert Motherwell, Damien Hirst, Philip Guston, Dan Flavin, John DeAndrea, Gottfried Helnwein, Yue Minjun, Native American arts (spanning several hundred tribes) with Northwest Coastal woodcarvings, Naskapi painted leather garments, Winnebago twined weaving, Plains Indian beadwork, Navajo weaving, Pueblo pottery, California basketry; Oceanic arts spanning all the major islands with wood carvings, painted bark cloth from Somoa, Tonga, and Hawaii; Melanesian collections from Papua New Guinea & New Ireland; drawings, paintings; African Arts with sculptures, textiles, jewelry, paintings, printmaking, drawings, Yoruba works; New World Arts; Latin American arts including ceramics, stone, gold, jade, furnishings, silver from Spanish Colonial periods; Pre-Columbian arts from Mesoamerica, lower Central America, and South America; Mayan art from Mexico, guatemala, and Belize; European and American paintings and photographic works; Coptic and pre-Columbia textiles; Western American Art; the Harmsen Collection; and many more …. The Museum cannot be completely covered in a day – so make your visit to span the weekend. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Exhibits:

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Ron English (artist)

Ron English – Barack Obama

Ron English

(1959-Present) : New York
One of today’s most inspirational and controversial contemporary pop artists, Ron English over the last decade has been making stunning waves with his popular brand imagery, advertising, and propaganda. He takes his influence from Andy Warhol and has been labelled “the celebrated prankster father of agit-pop”. He works with modern pop iconography and gives it a twist that merits attention, discussion, and flare as he mashes together elements of low and high cultural touchstones, pop idols, and ideology. He is notorious for his street and billboard art that is an in-your-face, grab-your-immediate-attention, and not always very legal in its delivery – usually echoeing political, consumerist, and surrealist statements or messages. He’s made use of Obama, Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mouse, Joe Camel, McDonalds, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Palestinian Separation wall, Dandy Warhols, and Abraham Lincoln. He’s infamous for his “supersize me”, “Abraham Obama”, Marilyn Monroe with Mickey Mouse Breasts, and many other pieces. I had the pleasure of being part of his video-shoot in the launching of “Santa Christ” from the America the Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs on April 3, 2010. He’s touched my creativity and spirit. Thank you Ron. Excellent work. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Misfit Toys (2009)

Misfit Toys 2009
Following is a photogallery of some of the misfit toys I’ve constructed for the 2009 Santacons. What is a Santacon? What are Misfit Toys? you might ask?
SantaCon is a pub crawl meets flash mob or a mass gathering of people dressed in their various interpretations of Santa Claus, Reindeer, Elves, and winter fantasy creatures. Dressed in costumes and performing mischief, merriment, and festivity in the streets, bars, malls, stores, and establishments around the world. Nearly every city has them. Its all about fun, festivity, spontaneity, creativity, and improv art. They have been labelled Naughty Santas, Cheapsuit Santas, Santarchy, Santa Rampage, Red Tide, the Red Menace and Santapalooza, SantaCon events are noted for cheerfully bawdy and harmless behavior, including the singing of naughty Christmas carols, and the giving of small gifts and free hugs to random strangers. In Japan there is more of the “doing good” principle and they have contributed to the community through such activities as Santa litter-picking outings. Some participants see SantaCon as a postmodern revival of Saturnalia, while others see the event as a precursor of the flash mob. For others it is about spreading the real spirit of Christmas in the form of love, generosity, fun and celebration with ones fellows. The first SantaCon was held in San Francisco in 1994 by the Cacophony Society. “Misfit Toys” on the other hand are those gifts that the naughty santas hand out. Most of them are mischievious or naughty in theme, but most santas carry regular toys for the kids. Misfit Toy making parties are common pre-parties to Santacon, and are based alot around the Rudolph stories about the Island of Misfit Toys where in the tales there is an island sanctuary where defective and unwanted toys are sent. Misfit toys are constructed with various toy parts from many different toys merged together to create an ingenious “WTF” creation. Some of the infamous misfit toys from Rudolph’s land were: King Moonracer – a winged lion who acts as the island’s ruler who flys around hunting for unwanted toys. Charlie-In-The-Box is a misnamed, but otherwise seemingly normal jack-in-the-box who acts as the island’s sentry. A Spotted Elephant is a polka dotted elephant and also is the island’s bellhop. “A Dolly for Sue (as she calls herself)” is a seemingly normal girl rag doll with red hair and a red gingham (checkered) dress who is suffering depression from feeling unloved, Bird Fish is a toy bird who swims instead of flies; A misfit cowboy who rides an ostrich; Trainer, a train with square wheels on its caboose; A toy boat that sinks rather than floats; a squirt gun that shoots grape jelly; an airplane that can’t fly, a bear that rides a bike, and “a scooter for Jimmy”. Of course these are extremely lame in comparision to what Santacon revelers create. Of course these are all fun unwinding party moments for the world Santa population to let loose before they have to go deliver toys to good boys and girls around the world …
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Telluride Mine Burn Party (Telluride, Colorado) : 5/30/09

Telluride Mine Burn Party
Telluride, Colorado
www.totallyawesomewow.com
From Burning Man’s “Wheel of Thwarted Ambition” Art exhibit comes a new sensational party that appears to be slated annually for fun in historic, scenic, and artistic Telluride. Within and around a defunct Limestone Mine the local artistic community throws the party of the year – to celebrate and commune with one another in the international collective of communities building and growing around Art, Fire, and Community. Setup in a limestone mine with tunnels and chambers going hundreds of feet into the earth, wherein lies art exhibits, a ballroom, fun, festivities, and djs to dance to. Two artistic flowerings of the Fire Wheels spinning, fire dancers, fires, explosions, and a humongous bonfire – it was an all night party. They required safety first – goggles, gas masks, and helmets; BYOB and party favors, but a delicious soup was served. By far, one of my most favorite Colorado parties! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 17, Part B (4/11) – “Trolls et Legendes” Festival – Market, Woodland, Faeries


Chapter 17: Part B

Saturday, 11 April 2009
Mons, Belgium

“Closer to the key, I can feel it …” Sir Thomas Leaf pondered. “It is the day for the revelations to be revealed.” Difficulties making conversation or getting around without knowing French was pretty prevelant for the duo, and it frustrated Princess Brea. Sir Thomas Leaf made poor half-ass attempts at utilizing his 6 years of schooling in French to get around, but failed horribly. The dialects were quite different than the French he had learned in school. Some intriguing films drew Leaf into the theater – but not being Faerie or “fantasy” at all, but rather, macabre sick-n-twisted flicks in French. That was entertaining but not what he had expected. The vendors and crafts-beings were amazing and lured the already-broke Leaf into purchasing some art for his collection at home. Fantastical creatures, wizards, faeries, monsters, trolls, orcs, centaurs, and lizard people crept, crawled, hymned, hawed, and enchanted those around them as they weaved around the crowds. Crepes, festival food, and Belgium beer greeted many in the dining hall. A stunning Irish Faerie captivated the curiousity of Sir Thomas Leaf – alluring him to the British “Fae” magazine booth. (He’s always wanted to check out this magazine, but had not seen it in physical form, as well as the American “Faeries” magazine as well, which future investment shall be made into when the time is right. The Fae magazine he had always wanted to get and delve into, and a charming Faerie Moe to promote the already sold zine, he excitingly purchased the full set of 6 issues. As he became friends with the mesmerizing Irish charm, he returned later to the booth to meet a familiar kindred spirit – a captivating British Faerie named Zoe, who recognized him from being an online friend. Instant deep connections were created as Sir Thomas Leaf realized these kindred spirits were faerie family, and were soon to be the ones to reveal the sacred key of which this quest was set out to discover. From the mystical lands of Britain and Ireland, the mythos is near realization. A bounce around, Sir Thomas Leaf was also pleased that his beloved Faerie band “Woodland” from Oregon, that he had come to love from seeing them at “Faerieworlds” was doing an un-expected un-plugged jam session performance so that he was blessed with the ability to see them on this trip, making the day ever more so magical as he was prior disappointed he’d be missing them since the adventurers had to leave that night after Qnthal. Alas, Woodland was scheduled for a sunday performance. But he did not have to miss their charm. Magic in the song, inspiration from the tunes. The European quest coming to fruition. [to be continued …]


Photo by Zoe Nicholls

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Trolls et Legendes: Day 2 – The Fair


Trolls et Legendes vendors
photo by Zoe Nicholls

Trolls et Legendes Festival 2009 – Day 2 – the Market
Lotto Mons Expo * Avenue Thomas Edison – 7000 Mons – Belgium * http://www.trolls-et-legendes.be/2009/index-en.htm
Wandering around the vendor side of the the Festival, I was amazed by the incredible and amazing array of artwork presented. Paintings, books, crafts, homemade goodies, costumes, elven ears, masks, jewelry, leather works, figurines, statues, archery, games, and comics. Pretty fantastic fair. I think Trolls et Legendes did a fabulous job with their vendor market. There was also a gaming and role-playing game section, which since it’s not all my thing, didn’t wander through that area much – but it seemed well done as well. Costumed fantastical creatures, wizards, warriors, orcs, elves, and faeries wandered around the market with song, dance, smirks, quirks, and playfulness. My favorites was the didgeridoo playing creature on a leash, the centaur, the Troll or Orc, the elven bard, and some of the faeries in the mix. Top job with the theatrical! After not being impressed with the first night, the fact that programmes were not easily available, and some dynamics of the festival that were poorly organized – this part of the festival brought hope and fulfillment for me during the day. I was quite pleased. The food services, still not the top of my list with their silly little token plastic coins you had to use to purchase those items with were ridiculous, but I thought the crepes were good. Some of the artists and writers were amazing. I found meeting them and being enlightened by their art was very worthwhile. The S.C.A.-like camp in the back, outdoors was very intriguing, but not very welcoming. It had its own charm. However, I’m guessing I’m not much of a fan of Faerie or fantasy festivals to take place in convention centers. The writers and illustrators were also signing books and displaying their literature/art with a full list found at http://www.trolls-et-legendes.be/2009/litterature-en.htm. Market: Rating 4 stars out of 5.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_9brQBcGvc

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Lego Expo 30 ans – Mons/Grand Pres

Lego Expo 30 ans – Mons/Grand Pres
Place des Grandes Pres * 1 – Mons – Belgique – + 32(0) 65 31 27 18 * http://www.lesgrandspres.be/
Hosted in a large shopping mall just off from the historic town center was the Lego Expo within the wings of the mall. Some enormous lego statues and fabulous artistic exhibits were presented. Very creative. Intriguing and inspiring. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5. Continue reading Lego Expo 30 ans – Mons/Grand Pres

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Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part B (4/9) – The New Amsterdam Free Tour, pt. 2 – Begijnhof, Amsterdam Miracle, Dutch Courtyards & Paintings, Multatuli, The Bird

Part B


Entering the Begijnhof

Thursday, 9 April 2009
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sir Thomas Leaf was inspired by the healing energies of the plaza that was mythologically known for its healing and the bread that doesn’t burn. From the crazy wild partying city of Amsterdam – a walk through a door to another dimension – into a Dutch square where it was sacred, quiet, and tranquil. Intriguing thoughts about the key swarmed Leaf’s mind. He realized he is closer yet to discovering the ‘key of life’. After the tranquility, Kevin led the band to oogle over the Dutch masterpiece painting and learning about the seals and marks of Amsterdam. The tour ended at Anne Frank’s house where the story of “tolerant” Amsterdam stood up against the Nazis and the tragedies befell that struggle. Hungry for Thai food, Sir Thomas Leaf and Princess Brea headed over to the Asian District to try out the highly recommended “Bird Thai” restaurant which they quite enjoyed. Wandering back to the hostel for a nap and down time before exploring the nightlife with the New Amsterdam Tour’s Pub Crawl.

Read my telling and review about the Amsterdam Miracle and the Begijnhof / Chapel here …

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part B (4/9) – The New Amsterdam Free Tour, pt. 2 – Begijnhof, Amsterdam Miracle, Dutch Courtyards & Paintings, Multatuli, The Bird

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Multatuli Statue (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)



Multatuli Statue

Amsterdam, Holland

The Multatuli statue was an inspirational work of contemporary Dutch artist Hans Bayens (b. 1924) as a tribute to Eduard Douwens Dekker. Eduard Douwes Dekker (1820-1887) who was a strong critic of Dutch imperialism and a popular Dutch satirist of the 19th century. He revelled and was famous for his skewering of the middle classes in their classism and racism. Dekker was actually born in Amsterdam as his father was a ship’s captain. His father intended for Dekker to follow in his footsteps but trade disgusted Dekker and in 1838 he became a civil servant in Java and eventually became the assistant-resident at Ambon. In 1857 he was transferred to the Bantam residency of Java in Lebak gaining all the secrets of the Dutch administration in his career progressions. He really hated the abuses of the colonial system and was threatened with dismissal from his office for his verbal protests. Upon his resignation and return to the Netherlands, he became much more vocal about his indignation and desire to expose all of the scandals he witnessed. He did so by the sword of the pen in newspaper articles and pamphlets, and finally in 1860 with his novel “Max Havelaar” under the pseudonym of “Multatuli”. This name was derived from Latin and means “I have suffered (or witnessed) much”. He exposed the abuse of free labour in the Dutch Indies and caused quite a controversy. He went on to publish Love Letters in 1861 which were mordant unsparing satires. After Dekker left the Netherlands to live in Wiesbaden, he became interested in theater. He wrote the School for Princes (1875 in the fourth volume of Ideas) which expressed his non-conformist views on politics, society and religion. He eventually moved his residence to Nieder Ingelheim, on the Rhine, where he died in 1887. By 2002 the Society for Dutch Literature proclaimed Multatuli the most important Dutch writer of all time.

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