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black friday & unique gifts

It is that time of the year. Major deals online and in-stores. If you’d like to purchase some of the unique items featuring my photography, you can visit the online sites using the links below. Where applicable, coupons for savings are highlighted on each page.

https://www.zazzle.com/imagesbycynthia/collections

https://artofwhere.com/artists/wordsandimagesbycynthia

http://www.blurb.com/user/CStaples

If you’re in the Boston area, you can also find my work in the Trinity Church Welcome Center gift shop which will re-open on Saturday.

Have a good weekend!

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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.

 

… 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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… the McMullen Musem of Art has three concurrent displays on exhibit this fall through December 10th. Detailed information can be found in this museum press release. What I especially appreciated about the museum itself is its overall architecture that bridges old and new architectural styles and which takes into account the natural landscape as being part of the visitor experience. The floor to ceiling glass walls on each floor present an airy feeling … and that’s before you even realize that there is an amazing roof top deck.

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Given that two of the three exhibits focus on nature, landscape, realism and symbolism, it inspired childish delight to walk up the stairs with clear glass all around, seeing the landscape outside, and then to walk into beautifully curated exhibits like that of Alston Conley’s New England Sky …

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… and that of Nature’s Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgian Landscape.

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And in the midst of so much landscape there was the unexpected appearance of man, in this case, The Old Man Blessing, by Belgian painter Leon Frederic.

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The area accessed by the public to view art is actually not that large but comes across as quite spacious. Technology, whether a video showing the Belgian landscape of today on the wall, or a tablet with additional stories about the artists of the period, accentuate the visitor experience.

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Again, I thank Anulfo Baez for introducing me to this new phase of the McMullen Museum and I look forward to future visits.

Sources and Additional Reading (and Viewing!)

http://www.bc.edu/sites/artmuseum/press/fall-2017.html

http://www.bc.edu/sites/artmuseum/exhibitions/conley/

http://bcheights.com/2017/09/10/mcmullen-hones-natures-mirror-belgian-landscapes/

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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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Installed between 1872 and 1957, the stained glass windows of First Church in Cambridge, Congregational “do not belong to a comprehensive scheme, nor to a single style, subject or studio. They are a melange. Each must be viewed in its own light.

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The Kimball/Rice Window by Horace J. Phipps and Company (1918) and The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc. (1960)

Those are the words of Pastor Allen Happe in the Foreword of the book, A Sympony of Color, by Patricia H. Rodgers. The book, published in 1990, provides a brief overview of the church’s 350 year history, and then focuses on the evolution of the physical building now present at 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA. It has been my pleasure to visit the building several times at night to attend concerts. Of course, I could not see the windows but  I was intrigued by their size and the lead outlines. Recently I made contact and was given permission to visit and photograph the windows. It was a cloudy day but there was just enough to light to illuminate the interior beauty.

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Detail from the Kimball/Rice Window by Horace J. Phipps and Company (1918) and The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc. (1960)

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Detail from the Kimball/Rice Window by Horace J. Phipps and Company (1918) and The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc. (1960)

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Detail from the Kimball/Rice Window by Horace J. Phipps and Company (1918) and The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc. (1960)

In her book, Rodgers identifies at least six studios whose work is represented including the Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company, The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc., Horace J. Phipps and Company, Reynolds, Francis and Rohnstock, Arthur Murray Dallin and Cummings Studios. There are several windows for which the studio is unknown. One of those windows is the Hart Window.

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Produced by an American glass company in 1901, it is composed of layers of opalescent glass. According to Rodger’s research, the windows was restored in 1987 and at that time it was discovered that there were up to three layers of glass in places.

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There are several striking windows by Tiffany Studios including St. Catherine of Alexander (1908). Catherine represents saintliness, beauty, and learning. This window, the last to be installed by Tiffany for First Church, was given in memory of young woman who was a noted scholar and dedicated to her missionary work.

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The Catherine window is situated between several non-figural grisaille windows.

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There are at least eight Tiffany Studios windows present.

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Detail from They Shall Be Mine, Saith the Lord, 1895

Perhaps one of the most captivating windows overall is Tiffany’s The Four Elements, 1895.

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Designed by W. Frederick Wilson for the Tiffany Studio. As Rodgers notes in her book from a period newspaper, the window apparently has over one hundred thousand separate pieces of glass and one half tone of lead and solder used to hold the pieces in position. They are the largest set of windows at First Church.

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The robes of the largest angels, representing earth, air, fire and water, are made from drapery glass.

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Tiffany Studios closed around 1928. Windows installed after this time reflect a different aesthetic as in the Bancroft Window, 1929, produced by the studio of Reynolds, Francis and Rohnstock.

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First Church in Cambridge, Congregational is quite the expansive space with a long history, and it is a welcoming place. I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit this lovely place and share the beauty of its windows.

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Learn more about this church online at http://www.firstchurchcambridge.org/

Sources & Additional Reading

https://www.amazon.com/symphony-color-Stained-glass-Church/dp/0962619604

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Detail from opalescent chancel window, Cummings Studios, 1954

 

 

 

coming soon … tiffany

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I recently visited First Church in Cambridge with my camera. Looking forward to sharing what I saw. Have a good Friday!