Sunday, January 28, 2024

Art With a Touch of Humor


I have found some very fascinating art works at the Tate Britain in London and this last trip was no different.  I was drawn to this crazy contraption and I sat watching it for a quite a while.  

As you can see from the museum description card, it was created in 1964 by the British artist Bruce Lacey.  Lacey was expressing his hesitancy about recent scientific developments.  

By the way, that pulley on the leg would periodically exercise the leg.  It was fun to watch.  

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Art & Architecture Go Hand in Hand


As I stated in last week's post, the Tate Britain is one of my favorite museums to visit anywhere.  From the outside it's a Neo-classical building complete with a row of Corinthian columns.  It's stately position looks out over the Thames with a view of all the modern towers growing skyward across the river.

On the inside it's a combination of classical and post-modern styles.  

I love how the black and white tile on the floor of the entrance, mimics the lacy design of the wall surrounding the stairwell.  

That same black and white color scheme continues as you go down the the spiral staircase into the lowest level of the museum.

This low level is where the cafe is located along with other amenities like a coat check, classrooms and offices.

All those curves and black and white trim continue through the lower level.

I went down to this area to check my coat and to get a snack at the cafe.  The area is a perfect prelude to a day of art exploration.  And as you can see, I was happy to admire (and photograph) all understated symmetry of this utilitarian space.  

Sunday, January 14, 2024

People Imitating Art


One of my favorite London museums is the Tate Britain. It's not as well known as the Tate Modern but it's been around longer and is a beautiful place to spend a rainy day.  I had been exploring the many galleries when I spotted the fellow in the photo above.  He caught my eye because I thought he looked like he had just stepped out of one of the massive paintings in this gallery.

I stealthily took several photos hoping I'd get at least one that would show how impeccably he was dressed but for a different era.

I wondered if he was a time traveler who just slipped in from 1890.  Then he pulled out his cell phone to take a photo so I guess not.  I do wonder why he was dressed that way.

There is always something interesting to see in any museum and many times there is more to see than the art on the walls.  

Sunday, January 7, 2024

All "Dolled Up"


The architect for the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel in London was a man named Charles Fitzroy Doll (1850 - 1929).  Learning this helped me to understood how the Kimpton hotel group chose the name "Fitzroy" for the hotel.  As I said last week, the hotel's original name was the Russell Hotel, named for the beautiful Russell Square garden right across the street.

After the hotel was completed, Doll was asked to "smarten-up" the facades of some of the houses around Russell Square by adding some of his terracotta ornamentation.  This gave rise to the expression "dolled-up".  I think that "dolled-up" fits this hotel perfectly from the ornate, terracotta exterior to the marble details in the lobby to the beautiful mosaic floors below my feet.  Every inch of this hotel was beautifully designed to be as palatial as possible.     

My room was located on the second floor and that's where I met Lucky George.  

The restaurant Doll designed in the original hotel served as his inspiration for the first class dining room on the RMS Titanic which he also designed. 

When the design work was in progress, he  commissioned two brass dragons to be cast.  One of the dragons was to reside at the hotel, the other was to sit aboard the RMS Titanic.  It's easy to figure out why this one is called "Lucky George".  

I was also lucky to stay at this beautiful hotel and to see George every day as I passed him in the hall.