Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Doorway

This week's entry is the front entrance to what used to be Border's books on the corner of Washington and School Street. I took this shot three weeks ago on one of the very last days it was open. Now there is no bookstore in the downtown area, just as in many other American cities.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Boston Common Plaza

Construction continues on the plaza for the Brewer Fountain. Original plans called for the plaza to be finished in June, three months ago. The fountain itself was renovated in May of last year.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hubway Bicycles

Boston instituted a public bicycle rental system this past July. I believe renting bicycles like this started in Paris
and has spread to many other cities, Boston being one of the most recent. The ideas seems to be quite successful
as can be seen by the pictures I took on different days. The bike stand above on Tremont Street is almost empty
as is the bike stand below on the corner of Boylston and Arlington Street.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rich Leung

Rich was handing out advertising materials for the NFL Network's debut of a documentary on New England Patriots Coach Bill Bellicheck. Rich, along with the statue of John Singleton Copley is wearing the signature gray sweatshirt of Coach Bellicheck.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Dolls

I met Lexie and Cat on my walk through the Public Garden one day last week as they were setting up their dolls on the bridge. I had to stop and ask them what they were doing. It turns out their hobby is collecting dolls and taking pictures of them in different places. You can see Lexie's Photos and Cat's Photos on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Doorway

Lacking a Boston doorway this week, I thought I would present one of the many Parisian doorways I shot last April.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Robert Gould Shaw Memorial

Robert Gould Shaw Monument on the grounds of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, N.H.
This more recent casting of the memorial (1971?) includes some later tinkering by Saint-Gaudens after 1897 and includes the sabre held by Shaw, which is broken off from the memorial on the Common. A famous composition by Charles Ives, "Col. Shaw and his Colored Regiment," the opening movement of Three Places in New England, is based both on this monument and the regiment.

From the National Gallery of Art: "Commissioned in the early 1880s and dedicated as a monument in 1897 on the Boston Common, the Shaw Memorial has been acclaimed as the greatest American sculpture of the nineteenth century. The relief masterfully depicts Colonel Shaw and the first African-American infantry unit from the North to fight for the Union during the Civil War. It commemorates the young Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the regiment of African-American volunteers who died in great numbers with him in a heroic assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, in 1863. Saint-Gaudens' gifts for portraiture, cadenced composition, and reserved expression calling forth projected emotions make this an exceptionally powerful war memorial."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Diana of the Tower

Statue of Diana in the studio of Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Cornish, New Hampshire. A National Historic Park site.

"Imagine this diminutive sculpture of Diana the Huntress as a rotating, 18-foot-tall, gilded weathervane atop the tower of the newly built Madison Square Garden. In collaboration with his friend, architect Stanford White (the Garden's architect), Saint-Gaudens originally designed the monumental Diana to reign over the New York skyline, a rival to Bartholdi's Liberty in New York Harbor. But Saint-Gaudens' figure proved too unwieldy to function properly (the original had metal drapery attached as a rudder) and was removed. He then designed a 13-foot version, which also failed as a weathervane and had to be bolted fast to the tower.

Saint-Gaudens went on to make Diana of the Tower in several versions and sizes. The National Gallery's three-foot bronze is a simplification of the original: he removed the flowing drapery and placed the huntress on a raised triangular base decorated with winged griffins.

With her slender limbs and graceful pose, Saint-Gaudens' Diana embodies an idealized feminine beauty. Her facial features, based on those of the sculptor's beloved model, Davida Clark, have taken on a classical perfection. Though engaged in vigorous physical pursuit, she remains elegantly composed, standing on tiptoe atop a globe, one leg extended gracefully behind her. Saint-Gaudens achieved a compositional balance, using the strong horizontals of her extended arm, raised elbow, and bow and arrow to counterbalance the figure's essential verticality.

Saint-Gaudens would have seen several mythological Dianas in Paris in the 1870s, but an elongated neo-mannerist bronze Diana by Houdon (cast 1741), which had a similar classical coiffure, had the greatest influence on Diana of the Tower. Unlike any of those prototypes, however, Saint-Gaudens' figure was conceived primarily as an eloquent and elegant silhouette, because a weathervane, seen against a bright sky, must be effective as a cutout shape."

source: National Gallery of Art

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who's That Doggie in the Window

New Hampshire prides itself on its independent spirit. The state motto is
"Live Free or Die," and here it looks like it even extends to letting dogs drive.
Actually, this great looking pup was waiting for its master to return and was sitting in the driver's seat.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Doorway

Summer is over and it's time to get back to posting again. But I'm going to start the first few days with some pictures I shot recently in New Hampshire. I found this beautiful doorway inside the Claremont, N.H. Town Hall, which is also its Opera House.