Saturday, July 27, 2013

Field trip

The heatwave now gone, I decided it was time to Get Out again, and went off to spend the afternoon on the Princeton U. campus, mainly at the art museum.  I've been going there for many years but never went on an official highlights tour before, so this time I did.

I was in the company of older people from all over, as well as students from Indonesia,China, and Australia, and the museum volunteer docent was a retired doctor I used to know when he served as advisor to a board I served on many years ago, dealing with lowcost dignified funerals and end of life care.  He was a very good doctor, and some of what he said at board meetings came back and helped me in the last few years of my own life.

One odd thing, to get back to the art tour, was that he concentrated on the narrative of the artworks, which to me as an artist is the least important aspect of the whole thing, composition and balance and harmony and all that being the pressing issues, but it was interesting to hear people's response, and how they seemed to like that.  So that was educational as well as folkloric.

I'm spamming this over to Art the Beautiful, because of the pictures here, taken in the Roman gallery of the museum, and of the Woodrow Wilson gardens, which you are welcome to see as possible design ideas.  

I did a couple of shots of a third century Turkish marble mosaic pavement with (narrative!) painting of Hercules and Dionysus having a drink-off, I think.  But the interesting part was how familiar the floor design motifs were, now that we've seen them in all sorts of quilts and needlework contexts.  This pavement is about 25 x 25 feet or thereabouts. 

I definitely am interested in seeing what stitching and beading can do for a couple of these ideas, and you are welcome to do so, too!  It was a bit like reading Shakespeare and thinking gosh, he's full of quotations!

I stopped off at the Woodrow Wilson gardens on the way out of the campus.  WW was president of Princeton, before he fell by the wayside and became President of the USA. This was his house and  gardens, lovely design in all seasons, and absolutely mobbed with tiger swallowtail butterflies today.  Very appropriate in view of the tiger motif of Princeton.

Then there was the Woodrow Wilson School of Government, with a whole new series of strange huge animal heads installed outside, news to me, and clearly a big attraction for visitors, since I had to seize the chance when there were few people around to get a pic.  I remain mystified as to their significance and origin.You can see the scale from the people I included in the shot.


  1. Beautiful day for it - love those tiger lilies.
    I laughed at "It was a bit like reading Shakespeare and thinking gosh, he's full of quotations!" Nicely put!!

  2. Those lilies are gorgeous - one of my favourite types of lilies. Those animal heads are definitely intriguing - are they made of some sort of metal (perhaps bronze??).

  3. Amazing mosaics and beautiful gardens.

  4. the animal heads appear to be part of a 'set', possibly animals of antiquity, or of old tales, or even animals of mythic legends.

    and what a beautiful place to be in...


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