Saturday, August 31, 2013

Getting Out of the House

 Today was the first Open House since the house was listed for sale. Since the worst thing to have at an open house is the owner, I decided to take myself out for a while.

Warning: there is no quilting or knitting content. The closest thing is the poster over there <-- a="" for="" href="" target="_blank" the="">needlework exhibit
I wanted to see. Sadly, they did not allow photography in the exhibit, so I can't share the wonderments with you.
I've always had a particular love for old schoolgirl samplers. At one point I had a pretty good collection of Scarlet Letter kits for making reproductions, and fully intended to work them. Well, we know how that goes.

It was a great experience to view this exhibit today. Not only was it a cool and pleasant oasis on a particularly steamy day, I was apparently the only person who wanted to see it. I had the whole (small) room to myself. Well, except for the guard, who looked pretty bored but might have gotten unhappy if I'd taken my camera out. Only a few samplers, but really nice ones, and I was able to get right up to the glass on their frames to examine the stitching. Extremely fine work, mostly silk on linen, and not a nice evenweave linen of the kind we can get nowadays.

 Of course I did some more wandering around the gallery. There's a north wall with a sheer expanse of windows and some bronze sculptures displayed in front of them.

This one's a Remington, and even though it's smaller than many I've seen, it's got that wonderful energy and movement that comes to life while you gaze at it.

This one's  quite a bit more modern. To me it looks like a tree, almost an echo of the large trees visible outside the window.

I could have read the  little information card, but I decided I liked my own interpretation of it.

Every so often I get in this mood: don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up. Luckily it's usually about something relatively unimportant, like whether this is meant to be a tree or if it has some deeper, more existential meaning. 
 Antelope and Hound. Graceful figures and again, I don't really want to know if they are hunter and hunted. I like to think that they are kindred spirits, gamboling and playing.

Doing my best ostrich imitation.

There are a couple of paintings in the wing of the gallery that seem to echo this same pairing of hound and antelope, dog and deer. Maybe a little research for another day.
This piece is called Benediction. I think I take pictures of her every time I'm in this gallery. I realized, after I'd snapped this one, that she's a favorite of mine.

By the way, these photos were all taken at the Virginia Steele Scott Gallery at The Huntington

Their newest exhibit examines the legacy and history of the mission era in California history. Included with the maps, artifacts, photos and displays, are some contemporary pieces and some "rewriting" of the old idyllic visions of the time. Built around the iconic form of Junipero Serra, the exhibit examines the man and his works and legacies. I will probably go back to see this again, as there was much food for thought in the presentation.

I should add that a lot of it feels very personal to me, since I've had a San Gabriel mailing address for most of my years in California. The San Gabriel Mission has been our parish church, it's where my children were baptized and confirmed and some of them even married there. The old Mission Playhouse was the first job for most of them, too. It's been over 50 years for me, living here, and I am fascinated by the history of this place.

 The Scott Gallery has a nice wing of A&C furnishings, including this dining room ensemble by Frank Lloyd Wright.

There's an entire room dedicated to the Gamble House. I was reminded once again that I need to pay another visit to that spectacular place.

So many wonderments, so little time to see and experience them all!
 Stained glass window in a very art-nouveau style. I can see this as a quilt.

Reminds me that I have a FLW window quilt in progress in one of those tubs that's either in the garage or in the storage unit. I need to get it out and finish it.

I did finish one piece that I had started in that Asilomar class so many years ago--in fact, I finished it in about 3 days of the session, and then started the more ambitious piece. I'm thinking that might become a blog post all its own, once I get settled in and can start quilting again!
 It's been one of those days--well, weeks really--when we have lots of clouds and the humidity ratchets up to east-coast levels.

But they do make for a pretty sky.

This is the view looking south from the portico of the Scott gallery. On a clear day, you could probably see Catalina from here. Back in the days when the Huntingtons lived here, they had a view to the south of rolling hills and a lake.

The lake has long since disappeared, but there are traces of it if you know where to look. It's how Lake Avenue got its name (Lake Ave. is the premier shopping section of Pasadena, home of posh shops and proper ladies back in the day). The old lake bed is now Lacy Park, in San Marino.
 After I took the picture above, I turned around and this is the view looking north from the same spot.

Diana the huntress--and her hound.  Hmmm, there were a few hounds in today's visit.

The last couple of pictures were both taken facing north toward the mountains, though the greenery hides them. One of my firends commented on Facebook today that the sky was showing every possible variation of cloud--and I believe her.

The only thing we didn't have was rain clouds...

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