“Astronomy Grotesque” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
Astronomy is a topic that I have always been interested. During my years at the University as an engineering student, I did not have much of an opportunity to take elective classes outside of engineering-related disciplines if I wanted to graduate in 4 years.
I had to wait until I graduated to take a couple of astronomy classes at the University of Washington “Experimental College”. Subsequently I have taken on-line classes through the “Great Courses” to satisfy my curiosity. There is always opportunity to learn something new. Now, I need to learn how to apply a little creative photography to it.
And we are now laying the foundation to a manned landing on Mars!
“The Fish Teacher” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
In this grotesque on Miller Hall, the Roman god Neptune is depicted with a fish over his head. I have spent a couple of hours trying to research the connection between Neptune, a fish, and teaching. No luck so far…
“The Phoenician Teacher” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
This grotesque, the Phoenician Teacher, is also located on the third floor of Miller Hall. Miller Hall, built in 1922, was originally “Education Hall”, thus being decorated with education-related figures. Carl Gould was the building’s architect. Alonzo Victor Lewis created the 44 sculptures adorning the building.
“Chinese Teacher (Confucius) Grotesque” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
The Quadrangle, located in the “Upper Campus” of the University of Washington, is the center point for the classic Collegiate Gothic architecture on campus. This was were the non-engineering students and all the attractive girls had their classes. They did not allow engineers to grace the halls of these classic buildings. We were all too busy with our slide-rules. In the six years that I attended the UW, I never had a class there.
Even though I did not attend any classes there, I had ample time to stroll through the Quad on the way to the Chemistry and Physics Buildings and the Suzzallo Library. While doing so, I would occasionally look up at the strange figures on the buildings. I always called them gargoyles. But as I discovered later, they are really grotesques. They are differentiated from gargoyles in that gargoyles have water coming out of them from rain down spouts.
For the next several postings I will focus on a few of these pieces of art.
Let us not forget all those who have given their lives to give us the freedom that we now have. Let us look back in history and understand all the difficult situations we have encountered and faced as a nation. Let us remember what it took to overcome those times.
Our current situation with the Covid-19 virus is minor compared to what we have faced before. Yet we are fighting amongst ourselves on how to move forward. Rather than fight, let all of us focus on how we can move forward to assure a strong recovery and a safe environment. It will take patience, compromise, and sacrifice. But as many times before, we can do it!
While the interior of the little “Painted Church” is lavishly colorful, the exterior is a simple white structure. I could feel the history surrounding the church through it’s old, but well maintained, grave yard and gardens. It is a beautiful and peaceful site on the gentle sloping sides of Moana Loa.
The “Painted Church” is a must see little gem in the heart of Hawaii’s Kona coffee plantation area in South Kona. The church is on a peaceful hillside overlooking the coastline below. It was built by Belgian Catholic missionary Father John Velghe from 1899 – 1902. Father Velghe painted scenes of biblical stories along the church interior walls. He used the scenes to deliver his messages since most of his native Hawaiian parishioners could not read.
A history of the church can be found at the following link: https://keolamagazine.com/art/painted-church/
This little church was built in 1888 next to an ancient Hawaiian heiou. It is currently a Catholic mission and holding Sunday services.
When I drove past the church, it was late afternoon. The front of the church was in deep shadows. The sun glare dominated the background as it reflected off the ocean. It was a great opportunity for a B&W photograph.
Silent and serene the little church stood against the brilliant glow from above. What history does it have to tell?
I love to drive around without any specific destination. I am amazed what I have missed over the years as I have just driven from point A to point B thinking about how long it will take me to reach my destination. This day a few weeks ago, I was just driving backroads where I had not been before … just driving along. I saw this old school house somewhere north of Zillah (I think), I really did not where I was. I stopped and just gazed for a while, contemplating what stories this old building amongst farm lands had to tell. How long had it been since the last student walked through its doors? Was it a grade school, high school, or an all inclusive country school? After a while of just looking at it, I got out of my car and walked around with my camera.
Many stories, many questions … time for a little research to satisfy my curiosity.
A few days ago we had a light snow. I gazed our from my kitchen window and became fixated on the wonderful piece of history in my backyard. The snow provided a nice contrast between the irrigation flume’s wood structure and the sagebrush speckled background.
This piece of history was built in 1892 to provide irrigation water to the Selah Valley. Over the years, much of the canal has been upgraded and the wooden flumes torn down. I am lucky to have one of the few remaining sections above my home. I currently get my irrigation water directly from this flume. Sadly, it won’t be for too many additional years. Plans are to replace this section with an underground pipe. So until funds are available, I will enjoy what remains of our little bit of history.