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University of Kentucky Art Museum

The UK art museum has a large exhibit of photographs by the late Ralph Eugene Meatyard, something that probably has never happened before.  Meatyard had a strange way of seeing the world and his photographs show that.

They are loosely divided into groupings such as his mask photos, interiors, exteriors, and the doll photographs.  I found the exhibit very enjoyable, if you are used to only enjoying landscape or waterfall photographs, these may not be for your.  With an open mind about art photography, however, they show an approach that is refreshingly different.

Meatyard was a member of the Lexington Camera Club way back when the camera club movement was popular and thriving.

at the Arboretum

at the Arboretum

I managed to visit a couple of gardens this weekend, here is a shot from the University of Kentucky Arboretum.  I don’t talk much about technical stuff here, but this is the Fuji Classic Chrome film simulation, shot in JPEG and straight from camera except for the crop.  Fuji is doing really well with their jpg processing, in my opinion.  More in the next post, on both topics.

 

Brick walkway at the Henry Clay estate

Brick walkway at the Henry Clay estate

I thought I’d post this near abstract shot of the brick walkways of the Henry Clay garden as a companion to yesterday’s shot.  The peony garden is to the rear of the formal brick-wall enclosed garden and these walkways are within the formal garden itself.  I’ve been stopping here a time or two a year for over 30 years.  Really a nice and peaceful place.

 

Peonies at Henry Clay

Peonies at Henry Clay

The Peony Garden at Henry Clay’s Ashland
Lexington, Kentucky

I made one stop at the Peony garden this year and caught just a few of them in bloom.  For me, they are an interesting colorful bloom that is elusive, only lasting a short time.  Here is a video on the peony garden at the Henry Clay estate and the history of the unique varieties they have.

 

Self portrait composite

Self portrait composite

Here is a rough self portrait composite that I did on the I-phone, and I need to emphasize the word rough.  I recently spent a brief time viewing the Vivian Maier exhibit at the University of Kentucky Art Museum.  I intent to revisit the show and write more later but a quick summary is that it is very interesting but smaller than I had expected, both with smaller images and a smaller showing of images than I had thought.  But still well worth the trip.  The composite from above was from one of her images I’m fond of that was sandwiched with a self portrait in a mirror, Maier shot lots of self portrait reflections that I’ve always been fond of even before discovering her work.  If you don’t know here story, here is a nice article at Mother Jones.

 

 

4 Remember

4 Remember

From a little trip to the University of Kentucky art museum last year.  This time, I found the correct parking garage.  On one of my previous trips, I had the misfortune in choosing the “wrong” garage.  On that visit, as is usual there, it was a terrific day in which I was befriended several times while on campus in ways that not only made us feel like special visitors but also saving us a good bit of money.  So while leaving that parking garage, the attendant, who seemed proud to take on the grumpy employee costume, says to me “that’ll be thirty dollars” then stares at me stoned face waiting for the usual response.  I decide to not play that game and so dug out the thirty dollars and politely said “why so much?”.  Then I received the scolding he so much wanted to give me, that I had parked in the wrong parking garage for visiting the campus.  I smiled and said, well all in all this day has been quite a bargain even with the parking fee.  I told him about  the free art gallery admission, how we so much enjoyed it,  and special treatment that we had received and hoped to see him again soon.  Then I inquired where he would like us to park on our next visit and received directions to this garage that yielded the “4 Remember” photo.  He was still staring at us when we left, I think he regretted not being able to have a shouting argument.

 

Flight 5191 Monument

Flight 5191 Monument

All the flowers seem late this year, we dropped by the Arboretum in Lexington Kentucky and found it to be early for most of the beds.  This shot is from the back rose garden where the memorial monument to Flight 5191 is located.  That was a tragic crash that happened at the airport a few years ago.  We checked out the formal garden and the garden of peonies at Henry Clay\’s Ashland and found similar results.  The wildflowers at Carter Caves won\’t be long and I might have a shot or two from there once I sort through them.  But the park is largely still bare of flowers but I suspect each day will bring a few up over the next several weeks.

 

on the grounds of Ashland (the Henry Clay Estate)

on the grounds of Ashland (the Henry Clay Estate)

Lexington, Kentucky

This is a photo of one of the outbuildings on the Henry Clay Estate.  I’ve been visiting the gardens and grounds for about 30 years now, usually just dropping by the formal English garden for some photos. The grounds make a nice peaceful stop when coming to town, not as many picture opportunities as the UK Arboretum but much more peaceful with usually fewer people.

 

Arthur Rothstein and Marion Post Wolcott

Arthur Rothstein and Marion Post Wolcott

University of Kentucky Museum of Art
Lexington, Kentucky

In this scene, the middle photograph is “Fleeing a Dust Storm” by Arthur Rothstein.  He was a photographer with the Farm Security Administration (FSA) that photographed the country during the depression era.

This is a well known photograph, critically some have said it isn’t that good of a composition but we thought it was one of the better ones of the show.  Supposedly, Rothstein either “tweaked” it at best or else totally staged it, at worst.  The subjects are leaning while they walk to communicate their toil with the weather and the composition seems to suggest the building is occupied, though a close look at it shows the door has not been opened in a long while, nor could it ever be without a good bit of shoveling.  Still, it is a great photograph to view in person.

The photograph on the right is “Wagons deliver tobacco to barn on Russell Spears farm, near Lexington, Kentucky” by Marion Post Wolcott.  Her photographs, taken as a collection, seem to be my most favorite from the FSA project.  She photographed in West Virginia during the same time period, as well as spending a month in the Lexington Kentucky area.

I believe the photograph on the left is a Walker Evans shot, though my notes are sort of jumbled at that point.

 

 

 

Wide Angle (photo exhibit)

Wide Angle (photo exhibit)

University of Kentucky Museum of Art
Lexington, Kentucky

Here is a wide-angle view of the photo exhibit Wide Angle that is presently on display at the UK Art Museum.  I’ve learned today that it will travel to the Huntington Museum of Art this fall.  It’s a pretty complete exhibition in terms of giving the viewer an education on the different styles of photography as well as a long list of important (and famous) photographers.    From the UK museum website:

“From the Art Museum’s extensive collection of more than 1,300 photographs, this exhibition examines the history of American photography through the work of artists like: Ansel Adams, Van Deren Coke, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Frank, Lewis Hine, Helen Levitt, Russell Lee, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Cindy Sherman, Aaron Siskind, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Doris Ulmann, Andy Warhol, and Carrie Mae Weems.”

An important and interesting part of the exhibit is the discussion about the old Lexington Camera Club, the tie-in being photographs and money left to the museum by Robert C. May who was a club member and a University of Kentucky employee.

The club existed from at least 1936 until 1972 but had it’s peak sometime in the 1940s with greater than 100 members.  When May died, he left the museum about 1,200 photographs and a substantial amount of money (per the Lexington Herald Leader) that has been used to host an annual photography show and to bring noted photographers to the campus for an annual exhibit and lecture.

 

Burgers in Lexington, about 2010

Burgers in Lexington, about 2010

Here\’s a photograph of a place we used to visit both for burgers and the atmosphere.  There\’s a lot of things in life that are not logical and wouldn\’t make much sense in some cultures or generations.  One of these is going out to eat for a purpose other than eating.  Thomas Jefferson certainly had a grasp on the idea, which is nicely presented in the book Dinner at Mr. Jefferson\’s.  

 

 

 

 

 

Coral

Coral

Lexington, Kentucky

I rank aluminum awnings right up there with pay phones as being highly endangered and often photogenic, though I rarely get shots of them worth using.  For this trip, I ended up with 2 shots of awnings, the other one seems to defy a good simplifying crop but this one seems to lay out fine.  I like the 1960s-1970s look of the building.  I had a late-uncle, whom I barely remember, that installed aluminum awnings and siding in the early 1960s and some of his work is still standing and in good shape.  This awning is a bit different, being some sort of mini-slats that I like much better.  Did some yard work today and then visited bike shops, finding a helmet to fit my fat head but striking out on a road bike.  Someday, you will see shots from the road, I kid you not.  Snow might be flying, the cows might be coming home.  Here\’s a quote about cycling but aptly applies to photography as well, it seems to never get easier as you just find more problems with your subjects and images as you develop your eyes with your experience.

"It never gets easier,
you just go faster."

Rule #10,  The Rules
Keeper of the Cog
(atributed to Greg Lemans)

Brough to you by the number 6

Brough to you by the number 6

Lexington, Kentucky

Took advantage of the weather today and picked our first green beans of the year, plus a small load of tomatoes that made 8 pints of pizza sauce and about that many quarts of frozen tomatoes.   The corn that I had planted in April, when I posted this photo, is all harvested and should get cut down this week to get ready for a crop of fall greens.  It was a great year and hardly took any effort at all.   As someone said this weekend, when was the last time you had green grass in August here in Kentucky?  Since I worked in the garden today (Monday), it\’s appropriate to mention that it is Wendell Berry\’s birthday.  I want to link to a very short poem by Berry that happens to be one of my favorites and one that makes you think beyond the words.  Read it at the Writers Almanac.

"Do unto those downstream as you would
have those upstream do unto you."

Wendell Berry