Spring Dredging

(Harbert, Michigan) Patrick Gilligan plugs the drain in preparation for the long-anticipated dredging of our pond. Stay tuned for more details.

The pond poses for a before-dredging portrait.

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Knights of Old

You will find this pair and their friends in galleries 236-237 at the Art Institute of Chicago.

(Chicago, Illinois) In the early 1950s, a mom and dad took their little boy from their apartment in the South Shore neighborhood to see the George F. Harding Museum at 4853 Lake Park Avenue.  What the little boy saw that day was a castle filled with Renaissance armor and arms, plus art, furniture, tapestry, and sculpture.  The little boy thought he had walked into the world of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe.  There were knights in shining armor and even one mounted on a horse, ready for a good joust in the lists.  If the little boy thought he had been transported back to a time he was just beginning to dream of, it was all thanks to the bold Chicago politician and real estate magnate George F. Harding Jr. who expressed his love of the tales of King Arthur by amassing over a thousand pieces of the aforementioned Medieval and Renaissance armor and art, some directly from palaces and castles in Spain and Germany.

Saint Catherine of Alexandria. German, Swabia. About 1515

In 1927, Harding had a castle addition built onto his South Side Home.  After his death in 1939, Harding left his collection and home as a “gift to the public,” establishing a museum that remained in operation until the building was demolished in 1965. So that little boy wasn’t seeing things in the early 1950s when his parents took him to that strange and wondrous armor-filled castle on Lake Park Avenue.  He was awakening to a life-long interest in Renaissance armor and art that was reinvigorated just the other day when he visited the Art Institute of Chicago’s recently reopened galleries of many of George F. Harding’s treasures appropriately called the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  For decades after the demolition of the Harding castle, Harding’s collection was in limbo.  But then, in 1982, a court-approved settlement gave Harding’s collection to the Art Institute.  The legacy of George F. Harding’s amazing museum thus continues at the Art Institute of Chicago where that little boy from the 1950s gazed in renewed wonder at the world of King Arthur.  That little boy, of course, is yours truly.

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South Shore Freight

South Shore Freight was ready to go to work Friday evening as the last of the rush-hour trains rolled into Shops in Michigan City, Indiana.

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Easter Card

(Chicago, Illinois) For my 2017 Easter Card, may I humble present my photograph of the Resurrection by Cecco del Caravaggio (Francesco Buoneri).  I meditate before it every time we visit the Art Institute Chicago because this altarpiece from 1619-20 exaggerates the bold contrast of light and dark and the realistic treatment of sacred figures that Caravaggio had introduced into Roman painting.  Buoneri, according to the Art Institute, was apparently one of Caravaggio’s closest followers.  Happy Easter!

The Resurrection, 1619-20
Oil on canvas
by Cecco del Caravaggio (Francesco Buoneri)

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Beverly Shores

We returned from a delightful day in the city on Good Friday by way of Beverly Shores. More details soon.

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Man Working

(Harbert, Michigan) There were men working next door yesterday, so I grabbed my sketch book and colored pencils and captured one of them as he earned his daily bread. Here’s a Good Friday tribute to workers everywhere.

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Slippery When Wet!

(Harbert, Michigan) Wooden decks are slippery today, so please be careful. I wasn’t the other day and took a tumble by the bridge, giving my right elbow a good bruising in the process.

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