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It was cold. We couldn’t last long but what we did see this New Year’s Day was quite worth the frigid quick roundtrip.

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https://www.mass.gov/locations/belle-isle-marsh-reservation

 

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… viewed through a screen door.

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a spider’s web by lamplight

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trees outside my window in tumwater, washington

With the exception of politics, you really can find beauty anywhere. These are trees outside my hotel room in Tumwater, WA. The morning light was just starting to appear. That light did fade but I expect it will come back again and probably bring with it rain. It is quite an experience to see bright sun and feel rain drops at the same time.

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… outside my window in Tumwater, WA and I am thankful to see the beauty that is revealed, from the trees in silhouette through the layers of low-hanging fog, to the amazing range of greens so bright on the trees whether moss, leaves or pine needles.  With that said, the steady rain means I am not out in the woods with my camera capturing nature but I have been lucky enough to meander indoors in places like the Museum of Glass in Tacoma and (in between showers) Chihuly’s Bridge of Glass.

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feature from The Bridge of Glass

It was an unexpected revelation by family on the West Coast. I entered without expectation and so I think I was even more amazed by what I saw. If you follow my blog, you know I have always been attracted to light streaming through glass but I know little about blown glass. Once long ago I saw Chihuly’s work in Las Vegas. It was a monumental exhibit in one of the major hotels. Almost overwhelming with its complexity, as is the Bridge of Glass as you stop and try to imagine a mind that imagines and then creates such colorful complexity with hot glass.

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The museum itself, co-founded by Chihuly, certainly contains more of his work but its function is more than to showcase his work. The museum mission is to “to ignite creativity, fuel discovery, and enrich lives through glass and glassmaking.” In part this is done by exhibiting the work of contemporary glass artists like Albert Paley …

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and Oiva Toikka…

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and Michael E. Taylor.

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The museum shop is small and lovey featuring the work of regional artists like Mitzi Kugler’s Sand Hill Crane.

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I was really impressed by the live glassmaking and the onsite educational opportunities available to the public and especially for local children of all backgrounds. Highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. https://museumofglass.org/

The rains are ending it would appear. Soon off to have an early Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family. Wherever you are this day, best wishes to you. 🙂

 

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… and that is what I feel Anulfo Baez of The Evolving Critic has done with #MuseumswithAnulfo, his commitment to bring … or in my case drag … friends to museums, to catch up, to take respite from the chaos of these times, to see and experience the beauty created in the past and in the present. In my case, I was delighted that Anulfo introduced me to the newly expanded McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College. He pushed me over the edge when he mentioned the museum has a LaFarge window. It’s the first thing you see as you make your entrance.

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Of course the piece has a story. It’s an 1889 triptych designed by John LaFarge for the All Souls Unitarian Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts. In the 1920s the church was sold to another denomination and the original donors asked that the window be given to another Unitarian church located in Amherst. In 2013 that church decided to sell the windows in part as part of a planned expansion of the building. The McMullen Museum with the aid of alum William Vareika was able to purchase the windows. Serpentino Stained Glass which restored the window before its installation at Boston College has a great page describing the window’s structure and their restoration efforts.

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Of the three figures – St. John, Christ Preaching and St. Paul, LaFarge’s rendering of Paul held my attention most but the whole of course is a masterpiece.

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Anulfo, who @evolvingcritic describes himself as a “Self-proclaimed nerd into art, architecture, design, culture and sneakers,” discussed the fact that LaFarge was well known for his experimentation. He understood the science behind the materials he used, whether paint or glass, and how to create the painterly effects he desired.

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One thing you always hear about LaFarge is that he painted the head, hands and feet. While the window was undoubtedly meant to be up high on a wall, it is a delight to be able to walk right up to the window in its specially lit display case and see LaFarge’s work up close.

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Thanks to Anulfo for making this visit happen!

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Learn more …

McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College

http://www.serpentinostainedglass.com/Serpentino_Stained_Glass/John_La_Farge_at_McMullen_Museum.html

 

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I stepped into another church again. This one also sat in the middle of Dublin’s city centre, this time on Clarendon Street. The website describes St. Teresa’s as a quiet oasis of prayer and that was certainly true. On the streets, people were rushing about but once inside, there was utter quiet.

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People entered and wandered into particular chapels to light candles, pray. Perhaps to simply sit and be.

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I wandered …

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… just enough to “discover” the stained glass.

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I didn’t wander long but I didn’t need to in order to see the beauty of the place.

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I could find no literature on the tables about the building’s art and architecture.

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An eclectic mix of styles accrued over time as tastes vary.

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Whatever one’s desire, for prayer, for quiet, to view beautiful art, it is a lovely place for a respite.  More about St. Teresa’s on Clarendon Street, Dublin can be found via this link:  http://clarendonstreet.com/

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