Tag Archives: Brooklyn (New York NY)

Art or Not? You Decide

In the courtyard of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where people can eat their cafe meals under the sun, is an installation of art. I took some quick pictures.

Anna Tarantino’s Growth Chart is lazer-cut vinyl on existing glass windows. These windows are the skylights that light up the cafe and children’s garden below.

Art or not?

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Brooklyn Museum

(2014-08-15 085I’ve never visited the Brooklyn Museum before, so the classical building was a pleasant surprise. The new addition in front of it wasn’t so pleasant, but Caroline told me that the addition was made to stabilize the building or something; it was necessary or the building would have had to be torn down. I suppose that this was the lesser of the two evils. I’m not crazy about mixing architectures. New additions rarely look like they belong with the original building.

I had been told by a friend and colleague that the museum had a marvelous collection of ancient Egyptian art. I was impressed. They have much on the 18th Dynasty, where New Kingdom Egypt was the greatest power in the Near East. Under the reign of Akhenaten, the “Heretic King,” Egypt’s authority would decline until under Rameses II (the 19th Dynasty), the kingdom would become just another Middle Eastern power. When I taught a class at Purchase College in political science,  I covered the reign of Akhenaten. (The class was a study of sex, religion and politics.) Though Akhenaten’s revolution in religion (there was one god and it was the Aten, the sun disc) failed, the changes his reign affected in Egyptian art continued.

Of course the 18th Dynasty isn’t the only art they had. The Egyptian art went up through the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. However, this is where the Egyptian art ended; there isn’t much in the museum of Roman Egypt. Actually, I saw nothing of general Greek and Roman art. Caroline confirmed that the museum had little and was more known for its Egyptian collection.

The museum did have a few Fayum mummies and portraits. It was at this point that THE BATTERY IN MY CAMERA DIED. I should have recharged the camera, but I (foolishly) thought that I would have a large enough charge. I was wrong. This caused me to lose what was, perhaps, the most important shot for me.

(2014-08-15 135-Carolines photo)Among all the Egyptian art and artifacts, I immediately recognized a Minoan jug among the 18th Dynasty relics. Caroline was nice enough to take a picture with her phone, so I had it. The Minoans, like many of the Near East cultures, traded with Egypt, so the jug was found in one of the graves. I still thought it was so cool to find a Minoan artifact among the ancient Egyptian ones. The octopus theme was one of the popular motifs that the Minoans used in their art.

This outing concludes the trips we took around the city during the summer.

 

 

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden

(2014-08-15 014Two weeks ago, Caroline and I headed to Brooklyn to visit the Botanic Garden.

The number of times I’ve been to Brooklyn since I’ve moved here I can count on two hands. Other than visiting a friend a few times (who I haven’t seen in years), I really had no reason to go to Brooklyn. Caroline, though, was raised in Brooklyn and knows the garden and the museum next door.

The Botanic Garden is mostly outdoors and is quite beautiful. Unfortunately, it was rather humid when we went, but it was still nice. It was a sea of green wherever I looked.

There’s a new entrance being built, so the old building that held a gift shop and a café was still open, but the gift shop was gone. The café was in the basement, so we went down there for a snack before we continued on.

In the middle of the eating area was a garden with pots made into people, obviously a display for children. The children around us were more interested in screaming and running around. Caroline, who raised one child, and me, who has no children, compared notes on child-raising. Surprisingly, we had much in common, which was obviously opposite of the parents who had no control over their kids. (I like to refer to this as absentee parenting.) With headaches starting, we finished our food and went outside.

I’ve always loved Japanese gardens–except the rock gardens. I’ve never understood them or liked them. (It’s a parched environment that always makes me think of water–and thirst.) I like running water in my gardens, and non-rock Japanese and Chinese gardens have some water feature.

We had yet to visit the museum, so we reluctantly left the garden and walked next door.

 

 

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