Monthly Archives: January 2016

Technologically-created Art on the Moon

Charles Duke family pic on MoonAwhile ago, I posted an entry on the plaque that was left on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. It really wasn’t art per se, but it did contain a message to whoever finds it in the future.

Today I found this photograph on the Free York site. It’s of Charles Duke and his family that Duke left on the Moon in 1972 while on the Apollo 16 mission. Another photograph posted on Science Alert (which is a repost from Business Insider) is a copy of the photograph. According to the article, Duke had written on the back, “This is the family of astronaut Charlie Duke from planet Earth who landed on the moon on April 20, 1972.”

That photograph is still there on the Moon.

CharlesDuke_webNow a word about the Library of Congress classification. Photography is classed in T, for technology. This frustrates art affectionados, since art is classified in N. What they fail to understand is that the art of photography would not exist without the technology of the camera, which definitely belongs in T. Also in T, sewing, painting (as in walls, trim, etc.), and cooking–yes cooking. We tend to take cooking for granted, but it is a technology.

As Duke discusses in the article, conditions on the Moon are not favorable to preserving the photograph, and it has probably faded, but his message on the back is probably still there, which will always indicate what had been on the obverse.

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Christmas at the Historical Society

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Entryway decorations

Since the season does not end until January 7, at least for me, I thought that I’d share the photos of the decorations at the Historical Society. Last year, I helped decorate, but I didn’t have time to help this year. Actually, these past three months I haven’t had the time to volunteer at all, so it was nice to be back.

Unlike last year, there is a big tree in every room on the first floor. This is one idea that I embraced years ago. Although I did not put up a tree this year, I usually put up a tree in every room of my apartment. This includes the kitchen and the bathroom. The idea behind this is that the holiday should be reflected in every room. The trees are not always big. The bathroom tree is no more than six inches high with small ornaments. Actually, the main tree in the living room is only five feet; I have no large tree. I came up with this idea years ago, and I was surprised that the concept behind it had been popular in early America.

Though trees would not become popular until after Queen Victoria’s Prince Albert brought them from his native Germany to Britain, and the tradition made its way across the Atlantic, in Washington Irving’s day it was believed that the holiday season should be represented in every room. The people would bring pine tree branches, pine cones, holly and mistletoe in from outside to decorate their mantles, shelves, dressers, wherever. The house would also have a nice scent of pine.

Washington Irving's desk at the Historical Society

Washington Irving’s desk at the Historical Society

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend any of the holiday events at Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s home. The one year I went, they had the branches of pine and holly throughout the rooms of the house, as well as a wonderful bonfire in the yard. They had hot apple cider to keep the chill of the night at bay. (Too bad the temperature was close to 60 degrees. I fondly remember that trip to Sunnyside.

Happy new year to all!

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Filed under Holidays, Museums