Saturday, December 31, 2016


"The Schirmerturm is one of nine towers of Museggmauer in the city of Lucerne . It is located between the Clock Tower and the Powder Tower.
The building has a height of 27.5 meters and is thus the second and smallest tower of the Museggmauer with the powder and Allenwind tower. 96 stairs lead to the top floor within the tower. The two windows on each side offer a panoramic view of the city of Lucerne to Lake Lucerne and the Pilatus." ~ Wikipedia

New York-Paris No. 2

Stuart Davis, New York-Paris No. 2, 1931, oil on canvas at the National Gallery of Art in D.C.

Are there two cities in the world more closely associated with New Year's Eve than New York and Paris? That's why I thought this painting by Davis would be particularly appropriate to share today. Got anything exciting planned to celebrate the new year? I confess, I usually like to turn in early so I can start the new year fresh and rested. But I'm pretty sure I'll get one more bike ride in during 2016 and maybe catch a concert or two on TV before turning in. Whatever you do this evening, please be safe and I'll see you again here online next year. :-)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Cityscape V

Lucerne, Switzerland as seen from the city's medieval Musegg Wall

New York Mural

Stuart Davis, New York Mural, 1932, oil on canvas

After touring the Hirshhorn Museum, I headed across the Mall to the National Gallery of Art to visit the Stuart Davis exhibit.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cityscape IV

Lucerne, Switzerland as seen from the city's medieval Musegg Wall


Yayoí Kusama, Pumpkin, 2016, fiber-reinforced plastic

"Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Pumpkin’ is a tribute to her most beloved motif, at once endearing and grotesque, and almost pulsing with energy," said Hirshhorn associate curator Mika Yoshitake. “Seeming to grow from the beds of the Hirshhorn plaza gardens, this crowd-pleasing work adds a vibrant focal point to the museum’s world-class display of international sculpture.”

Visitors are invited to pose with the iconic sculpture, and post their photos using #InfiniteKusama for a chance to be among the first 10 VIP visitors to see “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” opening weekend. ~ Smithsonian

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cityscape III

Woman in E

Ragnar Kjartansson's Woman in E

"Unlike the G-scale, which is commonly used in love songs, E-minor conveys a melancholy, reflective feel. In Kjartansson's [Hirshhorn exhibit], this pensive chord reverberates throughout the museum building, growing stronger as it bounces off the architecture. Woman in E revolves around a single, central figure: a woman dressed in a gold gown, standing on a rotating pedestal. The central figure plays the electric guitar without accompaniment, alone with the instrument and an amp. The atmosphere around her glitters as the notes rebound off the walls and ceiling, creating a deep, guttural tremolo.

"The piece is also a nod to classic, representational sculpture. The protagonist powerfully embodies multiple tropes of femininity at once—she is a goddess, conqueror, and siren—but eludes a single narrative. The result is a portrait of vulnerability and prowess, of objectification and self-possession. ~

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cityscape II

Part of a series of views from atop Lucerne's Musegg Wall.


This is just one of a collection of Luhring Augustine sketchbooks from the period 2004-2016 now on exhibit at the Hirshhorn. Sharing them with the public, I think, is a brilliant idea. So much can be learned from seeing art in process.

Monday, December 26, 2016


Now for some of my favorite views of Lucerne as seen from atop the Musegg Wall.

Holy Mountain III

Horace Pippin, Holy Mountain III, 1945, oil on canvas

I'm back to my series of photographs from the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016


View of the park below from the Musegg Wall
Lucerne, Switzerland

Merry Christmas!

St. Sebaldus Church in Nuremberg, Germany

Merry Christmas everyone! Here's one of my seasonal favorites:

The time draws near the birth of Christ.
The moon is hid; the night is still;
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.
. . . .

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rimes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand; 
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

It is the day when he was born.

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Musegg Wall II

Another look at the wall.

Christmas Eve

A little far afield for this blog, but this is a sculpture I photographed during a visit to Germany's Erfurt Cathedral in 2014. Just seemed fitting for this Christmas Eve. I hope you have or will have had a wonderful evening.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Musegg Wall

"A part of the rampart walls built in 1386; the wall is still almost entirely intact. Four towers are open to the public: Schirmer, Zyt, Wacht and Männli.

A part of the rampart walls built in 1386; the wall is still almost entirely intact. Four towers are open to the public: Schirmer, Zyt, Wacht and Männli. The oldest city clock, built by Hans Luter in 1535, is in the Zyt tower. This clock is allowed to chime every hour one minute before all the other city clocks." ~

Fernand Leger

Fernand Leger, Nude on a Red Background, 1927, oil on canvas

"Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (French: February 4, 1881 – August 17, 1955) was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style. His boldly simplified treatment of modern subject matter has caused him to be regarded as a forerunner of pop art."

Thursday, December 22, 2016


One of the nine towers along Lucerne's famous Musegg Wall.

Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still, 1962-D, 1962, oil on canvas

"Clyfford Still (November 30, 1904 – June 23, 1980) was an American painter, and one of the leading figures in the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, who developed a new, powerful approach to painting in the years immediately following World War II. Still has been credited with laying the groundwork for the movement, as his shift from representational to abstract painting occurred between 1938 and 1942, earlier than his colleagues like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, who continued to paint in figurative-surrealist styles well into the 1940s." ~ Wikipedia

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


On my way up the hill from the Kapellbrücke to visit Lucerne's 14th century Musegg Wall, I passed this lovingly maintained municipal garden.

World Time Clock

Having visited the Smithsonian American Art Museum two weekends ago, I went back to D.C. this past weekend to visit the Hirshhorn Museum where Bettina Pousttchi's World Time Clock is showing. 

"German-Iranian artist Bettina Pousttchi (b. Mainz, Germany, 1971) has often contemplated systems of time and space. Over the course of the last seven years, she traveled around the globe creating World Time Clock, a serial work that consists of twenty-four photographs taken in twenty-four different time zones, in cities as far-flung as Bangkok, Auckland, Mexico City, and Tashkent. At each location, the artist created a portrait of a public clock at the same local time: five minutes before two. Displayed together, these images suggest both a sense of suspended time and, in the artist’s words, 'imaginary synchronism.'

Installed for the first time as a complete set, Pousttchi’s images will take the viewer along a circular path that recalls the artist’s circumnavigation of the globe, or the motion of a clock’s hands around its face. The hollow cylinder form of the building itself furthermore acts as a natural timepiece, literally framing the sun’s passage across the sky. The progressive shift in sunlight and shadow through the gallery over the course of the day provides a fascinating counterpoint to the mechanized and politically regulated version of time suggested by World Time Clock." ~ Smithsonian

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bridge Art

Artwork located on the trusses supporting the roof over the Kapellbrücke

Lucerne is unique in the fact that its three wooden pedestrian bridges, the 14th century Hofbrücke (now destroyed) and Kapellbrücke and the 16th century Spreuerbrücke, all featured painted interior triangular frames. This feature is not replicated in any of Europe's other wooden footbridges. The paintings, dating back to the 17th century by local Catholic painter Hans Heinrich Wägmann, depict events from Lucerne's history. Out of the original 158 paintings, a total of 147 existed before the 1993 fire. After the fire, the remains of 47 paintings were collected, although only 30 were ultimately fully restored.


Lamps illuminating one of the marble staircases in the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Monday, December 19, 2016


Lucerne's famous Kapellbrücke. Must be THE most photographed feature in Lucerne. Can you see the photographer just left of center?

Snails Space

David Hockney
Born: Bradford, England 1937
oil on two canvases, acrylic on canvas-covered masonite, wood dowels

Nothing about my photograph does this piece justice. Snails Space is not a static display. It evolves. To fully appreciate it, click here

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Medieval Architecture

Support for the oriel and external staircase at the Alte Suidtersche Apotheke in Lucerne.

Just as a point of reference, 1536 was the same year King Henry VIII had Anne Boleyn executed and married Jane Seymour. 

Light Show

Never did identify who sculpted this piece or what it's called. The light behind it pulsated slowly, giving you different looks as the light changed.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Medieval Oriel

"An oriel window is a form of bay window which projects from the main wall of a building but does not reach to the ground. Supported by corbels, brackets or similar, an oriel window is most commonly found projecting from an upper floor but is also sometimes used on the ground floor." ~ Wikipedia


Joan Mitchell, Marlin, 1960, oil on canvas

"Marlin is one of the 'very violent and angry paintings' that Mitchell created around 1960 after her move to France. The image may have reminded her of deep-sea fishing off the coast of Montauk, Long Island, or it might have come from her summers spent sailing the Mediterranean with friends. All of the energy of Mitchell's painting style whirls around a vortex of thick, vivid strokes, while thin spatters and stains fly out to the margins. This explosive power did not come from random attacks with the paintbrush. Mitchell flatly stated that 'the freedom in my work is quite controlled. I don't close my eyes and hope for the best.' The artist regarded painting as 'a way of feeling alive,' and she paradoxically evoked the death throes of a famously difficult game fish resisting the bloodied hook." ~ Smithsonian American Art Museum

Friday, December 16, 2016

Reuss River

This is the Reuss River as it passes through Lucerne just downriver from the Kapellbrücke.

The Figure Five

Robert Indiana, The Figure Five (detail), 1963, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Fire trucks really are an iconic part of our American towns and cities. Rarely does a week go by that I don't see at least one rushing to the scene of some accident or small fire. Indiana's painting is said to have been based on William Carlos Williams's poem "The Great Figure".

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
fire truck
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Confectionaries III

I don't think it ever would have occurred to me to make Lucerne's famous 13th century water tower out of chocolate (above). I mean, how would you have the nerve to eat it? Even the wedding cake below seems too marvelous to consume.

Prismatica II

I waited patiently for the perfect shot of a child interacting with the Prismatica display, all to no avail. The best I could come up with was this little fellow. But I think the expression on his face says a lot.

“Children see magic because they look for it.” ~ Christopher Moore

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Confectionaries II

Even more choices!

The May Bug (above), by the way, is a much beloved/hated beetle in Europe.

"Once abundant throughout Europe and a major pest in the periodical years of 'mass flight', it had been nearly eradicated in the middle of the 20th century through extensive use of pesticides and has even been locally exterminated in many regions. However, since an increase in regulation of pest control beginning in the 1980s, its numbers have started to grow again." ~ Wikipedia

"Max and Moritz is a German language illustrated story in verse. This highly inventive, blackly humorous tale, told entirely in rhymed couplets, was written and illustrated by Wilhelm Busch and published in 1865." ~ Wikipedia


Tired of the graphic arts? Still seeing stripes everywhere you go? How about a brief break, then, and a peek at Prismatica in Georgetown's Waterfront Park? I really do think the best photographs of this holiday light display are taken at night. But, hey! I like to sleep then. So I'll let those who are more nocturnally inclined show you the display all lit up after the rest of us were all safely tucked away in our beds.