Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Art Series - Paper Dresses

I seem to keep missing limited run exhibits at museums around San Francisco.  Here is an examples of one.  It was called "Pulp Fashion:  The art of Isabelle de Borchgrave".  Friends who went said it was incredible.  Oh well, at least I saw the postcard.   Here's the description of the exhibit:

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave is a painter by training, but textile and costume are her muses. Working in collaboration with leading costume historians and young fashion designers, de Borchgrave crafts a world of splendor from the simplest rag paper. Painting and manipulating the paper, she forms trompe l’oeil masterpieces of elaborate dresses inspired by rich depictions in early European painting or by iconic costumes in museum collections around the world. The Legion of Honor is the first American museum to dedicate an entire exhibition to the work of Isabelle de Borchgrave, although her creations have been widely displayed in Europe.

Pulp Fashion draws on several themes and presents quintessential examples in the history of costume—from Renaissance finery of the Medici family and gowns worn by Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette to the creations of the grand couturiers Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Christian Dior, and Coco Chanel. Special attention is given to the creations and studio of Mariano Fortuny, the eccentric early-20th-century artist who is both a major source of inspiration to de Borchgrave and a kindred spirit.

Damn.  Sounds pretty amazing. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Windmill Museum

My friend Jessica brought me this postcard from The Windmill Museum which I couldn't be sure was a real place.  Sure enough though, the Museum, aka American Wind Power Center, is located in Lubbock, Texas (of course) and is described as

 "A Museum for the American Style Water Pumping Windmill and Related Exhibits on Wind Electric.   The purpose of the American Wind Power Center ... is to interpret the relations of humans, the environment and technology through the medium of a museum of wind power history."  
The windmill featured in this postcard is "The Woman's Windmill": 

 "This tilting tower was produced by the Aeromotor Company Company in 1895.  It tilted so that it could be greased from the ground without having to climb the tower." 

Jessica reports that it had a plaque next to it that said "...its design was so easy to clean and service that ANY CHILD COULD DO IT."  The comments on this plaque were editorialized by Jessica.  She wrote: "And it's called the 'Woman's Windmill'?  God Bless Texas".

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Animal Series - Roadrunner

In looking for information about the roadrunner in this postcard, I came across the "The Cornell Lab of Ornithology".   It has great information on individual birds, including this about the roadrunner: 

The Greater Roadrunner is a signature bird of the desert Southwest. During the 20th century, its range expanded all the way to southern Missouri and western Louisiana. A ground-dwelling cuckoo, it feeds on snakes, scorpions, and any other small animal it can catch and subdue.

The site also describes it as "chicken-like".  If I were a roadrunner, I'd prefer "ground-dwelling cuckoo" to "chicken-like".  Also about this bird from the back of the postcard:
The rather unusual behavior of the roadrunner accounts for its unique name.  When surprised on a road, it will rapidly run away and vanish into cover.  It seldom flies.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology also includes the sounds of individual birds, and the roadrunner's sound is nothing like the famous "beep beep beep" of the Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner Looney Tune cartoon fame.