Degas & More

Degas N3663

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Last weekend I went to the Art Institute of Chicago. Although the Degas exhibit is small, it’s well worth seeing. I also enjoyed these modern Japanese prints.

Japanese Print of Seoul

Japanese Print of Seoul

Japanese Print of Seoul City Gate

Japanese Print of Seoul City Gate

Xinjiang Provincial Museum

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If you’re in Urumqi, the Xinjiang Provincial Museum is a must see. It’s not very large, but it gives you a portion of the history of the region. It’s located behind a street with lots of high fashion, over priced stores and the Sheraton Hotel. Get to the Sheraton and someone at the front desk will be able to speak English and point you in the right direction.

After going through security, you’ll find galleries with more English than usual. They explain how the Han first came to Xinjiang in 200 BC, way before the Uighurs. They want you to see the Han arts and crafts and remember they were there first. Point taken.

I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to see the galleries with Uighur culture on display. Those were locked up. Why?

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I’d love to know if they’re usually closed. Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve see these galleries.

It seems that these galleries should always be open to show goodwill.

Travel Theme: Hats

Crown, Shandong Provincial Museum

Crown, Shandong Provincial Museum

Yellow School Caps, Jinan, China

Yellow School Caps, Jinan, China

Guard's hat, ancient China

Guard’s hat, ancient China

Hats, ancient and modern. They had more pizzazz in the past, methinks, though that last one looks uncomfortable.

Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack challenges photobloggers with a theme this week. This week she’s asked, “Can you find a photo that feels understated, suggestive, subtle in its use of color?” If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Hats
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symmetry

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Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symmetry

Thailand

Thailand

Harbin, China

Harbin, China

Longmen Caves, China

Longmen Caves, China

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

Travel Theme: Details

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Are you ready to get down to details for this week’s theme? If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Details
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O’Keefe

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

Travel Theme: Minimalist

At the Shedd Aquarium

At the Shedd Aquarium

Each week Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack? challenges bloggers with a creative prompt. Last  week we were suppose to post photos inspired by “Minimalist.”

What minimalistic images have you shot? If you want to join the fun, follow these steps:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Minimalist.
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

Check out Where’s My Backpack for more photos interpreting “Minimalist.”

Good Part of the Day

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Most of today was good, very good. I don’t have to teach on Thursdays, which has been delightful. I like getting a chance to catch my breath during the week.

Since my students have to visit a museum, I visited the Jinan Art Museum so I’d know about the works they may write about. The exhibits this time, weren’t stellar, or I should say there were fewer great paintings and many seemed like students’ work, but it was a nice way to spend the morning. I thought it was cool that one artist captured the Chinese astronauts with ink, a medium that I associate with older, more traditional paintings.

Child. Oil

Child. Oil

Astronaut. Chinese Ink

Astronaut. Chinese Ink

Landscape. Chinese Ink

Landscape. Chinese Ink 

I figured out how to get the buses home and along the way stopped for a quick lunch before meeting friends to check out a new café not too far from campus. We just had to walk over the big bridge that crosses the railroad tracks and we got to a very chic café, where a few students from our university work.

I was quite happy with my iced coffee drink (though I think they gave me the wrong one). In fact, all three of us got the wrong order the first time we were served, but they got things right in the end.

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Then I had to go downtown to get some art paper for a project my first class will do tomorrow and to get a shirt I had my eye on that’s on sale. (But today’s the last day of the sale so I was lucky to have the time to get to town.) Riding the bus I got to learn more of the adventures of Denise in Au Bonheurs des Dames (a.k.a The Paradise) and Ethel in His Second Wife. I’m at a shocking part of the both stories!

The pace of the day was just right. I’d gotten prepared for tomorrow’s classes, at no point did I have to rush and I had time for fun and enrichment.

All went well . . . until it didn’t.

But then things went pear-shaped . . . .

Chicago History Museum, Service Safari

Today I went to the Chicago Historical Museum to do some research for a writing project I’ve started. It’s a historical

Chicago Historical Museum Research Center

  • What was my goal  and was it met? My goal was to get some primary sources on the 1870’s in Chicago to find out about how
  • What was good about the service? The librarian was very approachable and helpful. She showed interest in my search and checked on my progress and offered new ideas as I worked.
  • What detracted from the experience? I had no complaints.
  • With whom did you interact? I spoke with a friendly reference librarian and I suppose an intern who brought the items I needed. You have to show a membership card or give the librarian the entrance ticket ($10) when you arrive.
  • Were you confused at any time during the experience? I had to use a microfiche machine, which I hadn’t used since probably high school. The librarian gladly showed me how, but all the different knobs are hard to get straight right off the bat.
  • Describe the physical space. The reference desk is near the entrance. In the main room there were several long tables with slips for patrons to fill out to request items. Along one side of the room are books on shelves and the opposite wall has several computers and microfiche machines.  Beyond the tables is an area with lots of old maps on tables.

When I went, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of the scope of their collection or what would help me. I want to also try the Chicago Public Library, if non-residents can, and the Newberry Library so I wasn’t sure that I’d be back so I didn’t purchase a membership. Now I think I’ll go back perhaps weekly and hope to take one of their walking tours. So I will get a membership.  Going to one of these special libraries is kind of cool, but also a little intimidating at first. You can’t bring in any bags, pens, food or drink. You’re not supposed to bring in cameras, but one woman was snapping photos of documents with a camera. That was pretty obvious since her camera clicked loudly. I guessed she must have had permission.

You can just bring in a pencil and/or a laptop computer.

They’re only open in the afternoon. I did find out quite a bit from their history magazine about servants in that era. I went perused several weeks of the Chicago Times, a now defunct paper on microfiche. Best of all I got to go through Mrs. George Pullman’s diaries and address books of the time.

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