Friday, May 31, 2013


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I needed an art fix. The Allentown Art Museum has a wonderful collection of American Art that you can photograph without flash. Perfect. There were some surprises here, because many pieces resemble old European masters. Like this portrait and the ornate frame.
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There are many portraits with ornate frames, but I dwell today on pieces that tell a story, like this look like European village scene. It is a set-up of course, but the artist added the characters that might have had a meeting there. And, I love the details.
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The local curs attend these gatherings, spoiling for a fight.
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And, in a similar vein, the spoils of the hunt and harvest on display with the dogs growling and challenging each other for morsels.
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And what are they snarling over?  Not meat, with a pig’s head hanging right next to them, but a piece of pumpkin.
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And the little pups are already learning the language of snarl and growl to defend their food.
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Scenery, for the sake of scenery has to be very special for me to enjoy it. I really liked this snow scene because it brings back pleasant memories of snow from my native Michigan without having to live there and endure the endless cold. The memories of that cold, crisp, clean air with the quiet that snow brings to the woods. Lovely.
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The museum had a variety or artifacts, with some clothing…
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…and textiles.
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A beaded purse. These artifacts are high quality, though artful, are still kept to a minimum. You can see those same things in many museums,
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The wonderful paintings star, here. This flag touching the ground set up and uproar when this painting was first displayed, and almost got the artist banned.
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A zoo lion enjoying a feast is about the closest an American would get to a lion. Those old boy was named Bartholomew and died before the painting was finished. But, isn’t he magnificent?
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It covers the ages, from this Pilgrims, a dinner prayer..
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…with that detail, of the cat on the steps…
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…the years when kids had to work. This shoeshine boy is juggling a shoe brush on his chin to attract customers.
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A street urchin with a Jughead hat, praying for a good roll of the dice.
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And more modern scenes, of girls visiting on the steps. One with a news paper delivery bag. Perfect detail.
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Still life can be informative. Where would we find such a small cabbage with a long stem? We don’t grow our own food for the most part. We take for granted what we have.
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A painting of a bad accident is such an unlikely subject, truly American.  Today is a travel day, but let it be said that this museum has so much of value. I really enjoyed it. And the museum is so well lit that you hardly ever find glare on your photos. I’ll post more of them down the line.
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We went to Fegley’s Brewworks and I have suffered for want of a decent beer these many weeks. Here was a porter so rich and good, it was as good as Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery, my favorite beer. The Waitress took us to their garden setting where giant posters of their special beers line the walls. Insidious Imperial Stout, Always Sunny Pale Ale, Hop Solutely India Pale Ale, won beer of the year. Rude Elf’s Reserve a Belgian style ale. So many choices. It was so good, and the weather so hot, I drank TWO pints of porter. Wow! What a lovely day.


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