Category Archives: Historic

A Beam of Light

“Sculpture”
St. Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican

A beam of light brushed across the head and hand of this unassuming sculpture in St. Peter’s Basilica. The image created by the light jumped out at me. For a short moment, this simple sculpture was the most prominent piece of art in the glorious Basilica.

I’ve looked through hundreds of St. Peter’s Basilica images on-line and haven’t been able to find this sculpture. It just has not captured a photographer’s eye. Be what it may, it is my favorite photograph of our visit to Rome.

360 Degrees of Art

“Ceiling in Vatican Museum”
The Vatican

It was extremely hard for me to walk through the Vatican Museum. Glorious art surrounded me from all angles; ceilings, wall, floors. I kept stumbling around and running into other touring visitors. “Mi scusi” was my most common phrase. I was glad that I was tall, so I could look over the other tourists. At times when I stopped to create a photo, I felt like I was a lone tower in the middle of a stream of wandering people.

Awe Inspiring

“The David”
Galleria dell’Accademia
, Florence, Italy

I thought the copy of ‘The David’ standing outside the Uffizi museums was a breath taking sculpture. But then I saw the original at the Accademia. I stood and just stared. I walked up close and stared some more. I walked around the sculpture, stopping every few steps. I looked from every angle. I walked around to the front and stared more. I stepped back and just admired the great piece of art. I then raised my camera and realized that there was no way that I could create an image that represented the feeling that ‘The David’ invoked upon me. The above image is the closest that I came. I wish I could better describe what I felt.

Big Head

“Tindaro Screpolato by sculptor Igor Mitoraj”
Boboli Gardens, Florence, Italy

Commonly known as the ‘Giant Head’ the Tinder Screpolato was a huge contrast to the other Renaissance sculptures in the Medici’s Boboli Gardens in Florence. After a long morning walk through residential Florence we ended up at the Medeci Palace and the attached Boboli Gardens. It was hot, 90 degrees plus, and our water bottles were empty. We walked up the garden hill to a large grass lawn and saw this giant head. We stopped looked at the sculpture and decided it was a good time to walk back to our hotel and take a nap.

Makes My Knees Shake

“The Duomo Main Entrance”
Florence, Italy

My mind is back in Florence, reminiscing on our recent trip to Italy. Standing near the main stairs leading inside the Duomo, my knees and whole body felt weak under the grandeur of the awe inspiring cathedral facade. It was difficult for me to stand still enough to create a steady image.

Being a small town country boy, I stand back and wonder. It is hard for me to comprehend what it took to create such a wonderful piece of architecture and art: the patrons, the designers, the political battles, the financial resources, the workers, the time it took to build, the people for whom it was built. I imagine and dream, then pause and enjoy the wonderful gift of what was created centuries ago.

The Capitol Dome

Capitol Dome Ceiling and Windows

‘The Apotheosis of Washington’
U.S. Capitol Dome

I have been in the Capitol several times. Each time I enter is a new experience. I don’t know how to explain the feeling that engulfs me. It’s a combination of wonder, awe, respect, excitement, humility, pride, and much more. The above two images were taken looking directly up from near the center of the Capitol Rotunda. I was shivering with awe when I took these images and had a very difficult time trying to be steady enough to get a decent shot.

The Apotheosis of Washington was painted by Constantino Brumidi in 1865. It depicts George Washington rising to the heavens in glory. The fresco is 180 feet above the Rotunda floor.

‘Washington, Liberty, and Victory/Fame’

George Washington is flanked by two female figures representing Liberty and Victory/Fame. Thirteen maidens, symbolizing the 13 original states, surround the three main figures. Six groups of figures are painted around Washington, Liberty, Victory/Fame, and the thirteen maidens. These represent war, science, marine, commerce, mechanics, and agriculture.

‘War’

‘War’ is depicted by Armed Freedom and Eagle defeating Tyranny and Kingly Power.

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Happy Fourth of July

Iwo Jima Memorial
Arlington, Virginia

This Fourth of July will be different that any other. The Fourth of July has always been a special time when I’ve celebrated with family and friends. I remember growing up and having family get-togethers at Sportsman’s Park in Yakima and watching fireworks at the Selah Park. I’ve been lucky enough to spend the Fourth in Washington, DC four times. I’ve watched fireworks over the Capitol Mall … what a glorious experience. Our University of Washington college group (the Whizzies) have gotten together for the Fourth every year since the the mid 80’s. For the past 30+ years we have joined together at Sunriver Resort in Oregon. We have watched the Whizzy children grow up and have children of their own. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed all our lives but not our spirit. Though we will not physically get together, we will have a collective Zoom event to celebrate the Holiday and our friendship.

In these difficult times, let’s all take the time to reflect on what this special holiday represents. It is a time to be grateful for what others have given to insure our independence and freedom. It is a time to give back to our Country and peoples and to make our Nation stronger.

Happy Fourth of July!

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Remember Dobie Gillis and Maynard G. Krebbs?

“Rodin’s Thinker”
Rodin Museum, Philadelphia

Remember the “Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” TV sitcom back in the late 50’s and early 60’s? Each episode started and ended with a little soliloquy of Dobie talking in front of “The Thinker.” Dobie was always contemplating on what the important things in life were: Girls and Money (used to get Girls). Things were much simpler back then. I decided to make good use of my “social isolation” time and did a little searching and found season 1, episode 1 of the show. It made me smile as I thought back to those simpler times and the start of the “beat” generation.

Fifty plus years later, I found myself standing along Rodin’s “The Thinker” in downtown Philadelphia. It was a difficult time for me then. I took the time to admire Rodin’s sculpture, clear my mind, and refocus my thoughts on what was the most important thing I could do moving forward. The answer was simple, live each and every day to its fullest.

Today was one of those days. I started sharing coffee and breakfast with my dear wife. We had a nice discussion, then went out to work in and enjoy our developing landscape. Later I came in for lunch and a nice afternoon nap. I woke up, did a little reading, then reviewed some of my older photography work, including this image of “The Tinker.” It triggerd old memories and I watched the episode of Dobie Gillis. Enjoying time with my wife, enjoying nature and getting a little exercise, reading to stimulate my mind, studying some classic art through my photographs, and watching a little past history … it was a simple, wonderful, and full day.

Little “Painted Church”

St. Benedict’s Catholic Church
Honaunau, Hawai’i

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/