Wandering Walters Art Museum

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The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. ~Aristotle

As a teen, the WaltersArtGallery (now known as the WaltersArt Museum) in BaltimoreCity was one of my favorite spots to visit on rainy afternoons. It was interesting to return, decades later, to the museum as an adult. As a young person, I was not fully aware of the breadth and depth of the collections, ranging from pre-dynastic Egyptian to medieval to baroque and Italian. Flemish and Dutch, and art from far Eastern parts of the world (Asian art) is also among the more than 35,000 artifacts, paintings, ceramics, sculpture on display at “the Walters.”

Many of the naturally illuminated galleries, exquisitely showcase the artwork from around the world in the best light. The architecture is as interesting, and inspiring as the art itself. To read more about the treasures within the WaltersArt Museum, please visit this link. http://thewalters.org/about/history/. Follow me as I explore the interior spaces through this photographic tour. I did seek permission before taking these photos inside the museum.

It was a memorable Memorial Day weekend, spent in Baltimore. Time spent with my twin sister is always fulfilling!

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The exterior of the building is far different than the interior. Don’t let it fool you!

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Dramatic and exquisite entry into the “Walters”

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Above & Below: Baroque & Flemish paintings inside this gallery space

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Above & Below Images: Architectural Embellishments

The Leo in me couldn’t resist the Lion on the doors to one of the galleries

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Images Above & Below: Italian Art

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Above Image: Exhibit about book binding

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Answering the Call

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The idea of a sacred place…is apparently as old as life itself.” ~Joseph Campbell 

We have a winner! On September 2, I wrote a blog which was a follow-up of Glassworks Inspired by Nature, the most frequently read blog on All Things Fulfilling of all time. I put out a challenge to our readers, to send in a suggestion of a beautiful building that incorporates history, architecture and outstanding glass installations. My hope was that the choice would educate me and our readers about an awe-inspiring structure that is in a far off part of the world.  

Marie, sent in her suggestion of the Chartres Cathedral, located inParis,France. It well fit the bill! This sacred UNESCO World Heritage site was constructed between the years 1193 and 1250. It is considered one of the finest examples of French High Gothic Style in the world.

Not only is the building of great historical value, millions of people visit the Cathedral because of a relic that sits inside the doors. The Sancta Camisa, the tunic believed to have been worn by the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the time of Christ’s birth was acquired by the Cathedral in c.876 and it is on display. The indoor labyrinth is of great interest, too.

The church has seen fire damage to the structure and to the vivid stained glass windows, installed throughout. The French Revolution and World War II also took a toll. But many of the original glass installations are still intact. From an art historical viewpoint, the Cathedral, inside and out, has been preserved magnificently. 

Not only is the building  notable for it’s history, architectural elements and for the exquisite glass installations, it is a sacred place for worship for tourists who come from around the world, each and every year. To read more about this fascinating shrine, please visit http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/chartres-cathedral.  

Thank you, Marie, for answering the call and for being a loyal visitor to this blog site. Contributions from readers like you make blogging all the more fulfilling.

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Routes and Roots of American History

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Art among a religious race produces relics; among a military one, trophies; among a commercial one, articles of trade.” ~ Henry Fuseli

Culture and religion has been at the root of American civilization. In Frederick, Maryland there are a wealth of attractions including roads and byways that hold great interest for visitors to this area who wish to understand the founding principles and history of our country. The National Scenic Byway, a 38 mile stretch of land from Frederick County to the Catoctin Mountains is dubbed the Hallowed Ground. Many soldiers fighting for our country’s independence lost their lives along this route.

Attractions that collectively represent the beginnings of trade, politics, culture and spirituality throughout our country’s history can be found throughout this region. To name a few:

  • The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton – dedicated to the first canonized Saint.
  • The C & O Canal (Chesapeake and Ohio) explores the history of shipping.
  • The Shifferstadt Architectural Museum highlights the finest examples of German colonial architecture.
  • The Barbara Fritchie House commemorates the author of the poem that described waving the American flag in the face of the Confederate Army.
  • Weinberg Centerof the Arts houses the original Wurlitzer pipe organ.
  • Visit the All Saint Street Neighborhood – the center of commerce and entertainment during the latter part of the 19th century for African Americans.
  • America’s replica of the famous Grotto of Lourdes in France is represented at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of the Lourdes at Mount St. Mary’s University.
  • The John Hanson House, the Ramsey House and the Roger Brooke Taney House all hold significance in some aspect of early American history by those that occupied them or visited them.
  • Battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam are located close by. 

We have only touched lightly on a place that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named as a Great American Main Street community. There are so many things to see and do. The designation as a 2010 Top Arts Destination by American Style Magazine only strengthens this small city’s position as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

To obtain a travel packet of information on this region, visit www.fredericktourism.org. I hope some of the readers of this blogsite have the opportunity to visit this area. It was a fulfilling trip and I would like to  return again to take in more of the sites and scenes.

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Along the Pathway of American History

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“Art is anything people do with distinction.” ~ Louis Dudek  

Today we continue my stroll through Frederick, Maryland. This small city has been a cornerstone along the pathway of American history since it was founded by English and German settlers in 1745. It was home to the State’s first elected Governor and to Francis Scott Key, author of the national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. Many civil servants and other notables who shaped our country’s beginnings have traveled through and stopped in this town, located on the Mason-Dixon Line. 

As I continued further along the redbrick walkway lining Carroll Creek, I came upon the FauxSchool. http://bit.ly/q3BVUN.  Fulfilling evidence of the teachings of this school of trompe l’oiel painting were present on wall murals located throughout the city  bringing artistry to public places. 

 A short distance from the Faux School I entered the C. Burr Artz Library. http://bit.ly/pbsq6z.  Posters, flyers and literature were displayed pertaining to the One Maryland One Book Author Tour, which was underway. This year’s book for the statewide reading program for Marylanders is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie. This library is obviously a great resource to the community based on the activity that I saw inside it’s doors. 

I became fully aware of how deeply steeped in American history this town is as I walked by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. www.civilwarmed.org.  The medical artifacts that pioneered the way for modern medicine are on display. Compassion, courage and devotion of medical personnel during wartimes are honored throughout this museum. It is a tribute to those who heroically cared for and healed soldiers that were at the forefront of the destruction and death of the infamous battles of the Civil War period. 

There is much more to share about this town of Frederick, Maryland. http://bit.ly/DWXsf. It is a destination that encompasses art and culture, history and religion.Frederick has been indentified as one ofAmerica’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations. I can understand why. 

Return next time to All Things Fulfilling, as I share a self-fulfilling attitude that I have noticed in the West, but had absorbed much less of on the East Coast region until I visited Frederick, Maryland.

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Artfully Restoring America

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The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world.” ~ Allen Ginsberg

Several days ago, I returned to a town that I had not visited in almost twenty years. I was blown away by the change that has taken place in what used to be a run-down town filled with uncared for historic Federal Style buildings in the heart of the Civil War heritage Area.Frederick, amid the rolling hills and abundant farmland of Frederick County, Maryland has become a charming and vibrant community that has been designated as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations and as a Preserve America Community http://bit.ly/pwZygfy. It was named a 2010 Top Arts Destinations by American Style Magazine http://bit.ly/aj5eGd in the Small Cities category. 

At the center of it all, are now vibrant shops, charming restaurants, and Federal style buildings that have been salvaged, restored, and renewed. Great testimony for the argument that rather than building new, America should be reclaiming spaces and places to bring life back into existing towns and cities. 

I took a walking tour of the city, strolling along the beautifully restored area of town along side the Carroll Creek, an estuary of the MonocacyRiver. I came across the  Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center www.delaplaine.org and looked in on three exhibits that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

It is fair time in Frederick!  In the upper hall way of the brick cannery building reclaimed as Art Space, was an exhibit of black and white photos that brought back nostalgic memories of State Fairs. A second exhibit, a National Juried Quilt Exhibit was one the best selections of Art Quilts that I have seen. Few quilts were of the ilk that you see on Grandmother’s beds and it was interesting to see how the names of the quilts were carried out in the artistic creation of the quilts. 

The third exhibit – Painting with Thread by Joanne Bast http://bit.ly/qfKBx6  were canvases that had been so densely stitched with thread that they created fiber paintings of iconic Chesapeake Bay scenes, charming homes or gardens, and in street scenes of other places. One of my favorites appeared to be  perhaps a village in Italy. 

The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center was just the start of my afternoon tour of Frederick. Major support for this vibrant, restored Art Space is provided by the Delaplaine Foundation, the Ausherman Family Foundation, www.fredericktourism.org and the Maryland State Arts Council. 

Join me next time for more of my travels through Frederick. In a new millennium, this town is finding success in artistically fulfilling their vision, of a vibrant community through heart and spirit.

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Architecture, Glassworks and History

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In all things, let reason be your guide.” ~ Solon

On April 5th, I posted a blog entitled Glassworks Inspired by Nature. http://bit.ly/h0j9Uc. It continues to be one of the most frequently read blogs of all time on All Things Fulfilling. Obviously, it struck a cord with readers on this site.  

I will be writing another blog on this subject and am looking for help from our readers all over the world. If you have found in your travels or in your community, an architectural structure that is of great interest due to it’s history, architecture and the glassworks incorporated into the design of the building, come forth and post a reason why you think your suggestion fits what I am looking for. Remember – all three elements must be there – art (extraordinary glass installations), architecture and history. 

At a later date,  modern structures that wow will be featured. For now, I am searching for historical structures. This request could bring enlightenment and education for all readers. After all, there are buildings all over the world that are inspiring and carry stories of interest that the average person has had little to no exposure to. 

By the way, fulfilling things don’t come just in churches…… many public buildings, private  homes, college campuses, museums and community centers  could have the three elements that I am looking for, too. 

 Identify this structure or post in the comment section your favorite structure that fulfills the requirements of history, glass installations and architecture. I want to hear from you and the best of the best will be featured. 

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