Postcards to Mary and David

(See the 30-days-of-san-francisco page)

Matisse and San Francisco

Aunt Pennie and Grandpa Marshall saw the Matisse exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco in conjunction with seeing the Anders Zorn exhibit (for which the postcards were sold out).

Date on the cards: 2014 March 7

David:

Postcard photo: Landscape: Broom, 1906 – Daubed oils giving a few looking up to the hills in bright colors.

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Postcard photo: Flowers, 1907 – Oils on cardboard depicting a pitcher of flowers – perhaps on the corner of a parapet with a view of the garden in the background or perhaps on the corner of a dresser.

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Mary:

Postcard photo: The Conversation, 1938 – Oil on canvas of two twenty-something women – one in a black short-sleeved dress and the other in a short-sleeved dress with a maroon top and a maroon, yellow, and burnt orange plaid bottom – sitting next to each other in casual poses, their gazes crossing at a point between them and the viewer.

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Reference: xx

Postcard photo: Young Woman in Pink, 1923 – Oil on canvas of a woman in a blousy, short-sleeved dress with wide, horizontal, salmon-pink stripes on a dove grey background and a rounded, brimmed, dove grey hat with a pink camellia on the band sitting in an overstuffed armchair in front of a wallpaper in a print of large pink flowers and dark green leaves on a yellow background.

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Richard Diebenkorn, The Berkeley Years 1953 – 1966

Aunt Pennie and Grandpa Marshall visited the Diebenkorn (dee-ben-corn) exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco September 2013.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_Area_Figurative_Movement

Date on the cards: 2014 Jan 19

David:

Postcard photo: Ingleside, 1963 – A painting from the vantage of a ridge looking down a street in the Ingleside Terrace neighborhood of San Francisco with 1920s and 30s Mission style houses.

Text: Richard Diebenkorn,

Reference: xx

Mary:

Postcard photo: Landscape With Smoke, 1960 – A landscape painting with defined swaths of green, trees, and sky – but the sections are solid blocks of color or texture.

Text: xx

Reference: xx

Virginia City, NV

Aunt Pennie stayed in Virginia City, Nevada (at Edith Palmer’s Country Inn) 2013 December 18 & 19) while in town doing a project for 1Plug.  The first night there was a couple of inches of snow left on the ground but the streets were clear; early the next morning it started snowing depositing a few inches before stopping late afternoon.

Date on the cards: 2014 Jan 9

David:

Postcard photo: Virginia & Truckee Railroad steam locomotive #8 and #29 together pull passengers along the track.

Text: Virginia City, Nevada was the northern terminus of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, built to haul silver (and gold) from the mines of the Comstock Lode to transfer stations of the First Transcontinental Railroad.  Today the V&T Railroad is a private company offering steam train rides from late May to Halloween and special Polar Express rides in December.

Postcard photo: Collage of photos of the annual Virginia City “World Famous” Camel Races

Text: This International Camel Races have been held in Virginia City in early September since 1960.  Most of the world’s camel racing is done in low desert countries such as Saudi Arabia but the high desert in Nevada works just as well – and can be almost as hot during the day in the summer months.  There’s also ostrich and zebra races.

Reference: The World Championship Outhouse Races – human-powered – held on the first weekend of October sound like even more fun to me.  Camels were used as pack animals in the 1800s for the gold and silver mines – but were not raced.  The Camel Races started as a hoax.

Mary:

Postcard photo: Interior view of Piper’s Opera House taken from the back of the auditorium.

Text: At the peak of silver mining in the late 1800s, Virginia City, Nevada had over 15,000 residents.  The current Piper’s Opera House was built in 1885 to entertain miners with plays, concerts, and minstrel shows (an early form of vaudeville).  Samuel Clemens started writing as Mark Twain in Virginia City and he performed at Piper’s Opera House.

Reference: Mining magnate John Mackay had a private box and staircase at Piper’s Opera House.  Today there Virginia City has less than 900 residents  – but gets over 2 million visitors a year.

Postcard photo: Entrance to the Chollar Mine (on the Comstock Lode) in Virginia City.

Text: Silver was discovered in Nevada (the “Silver State”) 11 years after the start of the California Gold Rush.  The soft silver ore was in big masses underground.  Until Jewish mining engineer Philip Deidesheimer developed the square set timbering support system as seen at the entrance to the Chollar Mine, there were several fatal cave-ins.

Reference: Deidesheimer’s work was depicted in the first season of the classic TV Western Bonanza.  The walls of the Cider House Restaurant attached to Edith Palmer’s Country Inn have signed Bonanza photos.  The Chollar Mine and the Old Washoe Club were featured in the 2009 December 4 episode of Ghost Adventures.

SF Cable Car Museum

Date on the cards: 2013 Dec 13?

David Hockney

Aunt Penelope and Grandpa Marshall visited David Hockney, a Bigger Exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on 2013 Nov 22.

David:

Date on the card: 2013 Dec 6

Postcard photo: closeup of the snake head with closed mouth and ruby eyes.

Text: x

Reference: x

Mary:

Date on the card: 2013 Dec 6

Postcard photo: closeup of the snake head with closed mouth and ruby eyes.

Text: x

Reference: x

Bulgari

Aunt Penelope and Grandpa Marshall visited the Bulgari jewelry exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on 2013 Nov 22.

David: snake bracelet-watch ca. 1967

Date on the card: 2013 Dec 6

Postcard photo: closeup of the snake head with closed mouth and ruby eyes.

Text: Last month Grandpa Marshall and I saw an exhibit of jewelry handcrafted by the Italian company Bulgari that included this cool snake in gold and rubies.  This snake is worn coiled around the forearm; when you want to check the time, the snake’s mouth hinges open to reveal a watch face!  Do you think that the snake’s ruby eyes and forked tongue look friendly?

Reference: x

Mary: Tremblant brooch in yellow and white diamonds and platinum

Date on the card: 2013 Dec 6

Postcard photo: closeup of flower and leaf stems of a Tremblant brooch.

Text: Famous people such as princesses and movie stars over the last 60 years have worn jewelry handcrafted by the Italian company Bulgari, including diamond and platinum brooches such as the one pictured on this card.  The diamond flowers are mounted on little springs so as the wearer moves the flowers slightly jiggle – like real flowers in a breeze – and so the diamonds emit more sparkles.

Reference: Grandpa Marshall tested the brooch’s ‘tremblant’ qualities by giving the display case a slight shove.

Dutch Masters

Aunt Pennie and Grandpa Marshall visited the Girl with a Pearl Earring and the Rembrandt’s Century exhibits at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on 2013 May 28.

David: The Goldfinch painting by Carel Fabritius

Date on card: 2013 May 28

Postcard photo: A pet goldfinch, softly rendered (with the exception of the bright zigzag of creamy yellow on its wing), sits on a feeding box perch mounted on a buff stucco wall; both the bird and the box are casting shadows on the wall.

Text: This painting is a special example of ‘trompe-l’oeil – French for ‘deceive the eye’.  The bird is life-size in the painting (vs. the copy on this card).  This, combined with the shadows cast by the bird and its feeding box and with the reflections off the perches, may cause the casual viewer of the painting (when hung on an ordinary house wall) to think that the bird is real.

Reference: http://www.essentialvermeer.com/dutch-painters/masters/cfabritiusbase.html  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trompe-l%27%C5%93il  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusionistic_painting  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carel_Fabritius.

David: The Large Cat engraving by Cornelis Visscher

Date on card: 2013 May 28

Postcard photo: A large English Marmalade cat lying outside the house on its stomach, paws in front, tail tucked out of sight, eyes closed, and brow slightly furrowed.  A mouse is visible in the far left of the engraving, to the left rear of the cat in front of a cellar window.  A card in the lower left corner is engraved with the artist’s name.

Text: ‘Engraving’ was the technique used to produce this print of a cat (and mouse).  The artist scratched a copper plate with a pin, wiped the plate with ink, and pressed paper to the plate to transfer the ink from the plate’s grooves to the paper.  The writing on the plate was mirror image – write a ‘D’ in ketchup on a bun and place it on the burger; remove the bun and you’ll see a [mirror image] ‘D’ – a mirror image.

Reference: Cornelis Visscher was a very popular and fairly productive artist but relatively few of his works remain since much of his work was destroyed in a large explosion and fire.  http://www.sfexaminer.com/topics/cornelis-visscher  http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pd/c/cornelis_visscher,_large_cat.aspx

Mary: Girl with a Pearl Earring painting by Johannes Vermeer

Date on card: 2013 May 28

Postcard photo: The iconic 1665 oil painting of a teenaged girl wearing a maritime blue and yellow turban and large pearl drop earrings looking back over her left shoulder against a black backdrop.

Text: The relatively small number of paintings done by 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer are highly valued for how they depict light and life.  See how the dots of white in her eyes and at the corner of her lips make them stand out?  The girl’s enigmatic look and her mysterious identity have earned her the nickname “the Dutch Mona Lisa”.

Reference: Her coat is typical of a teenaged serving girl but her turban is exotic and her pearl earring is fabulously expensive – though it’s probably painted glass.  Because the maritime blue color in her turban is from expensive crushed lapis lazuli, it was usually reserved for painting the robes of the Mother Mary and Jesus.  Per Wikipedia, the background color was originally a “deep enamel-like green” that has faded to black.  In the 1990s the painting was restored removing past efforts and the very noticeable cracking and discoloration.  This painting may be categorized as a ‘tronie‘ – a composite rather than a portrait of a specific (identifiable) person.

Mary: Vase of Flowers painting by Rachel Ruysch

Date on card: 2013 May 28

Postcard photo: A graceful loosely arranged bouquet of flowers and foliage on a shelf or table against a black background.

Text: This still life was painted by one of the few 17th century Dutch (or European) prominent women artists.  See the tulip?  They came from Turkey but today are a Dutch icon.  The painting depicts the cycle of life: the bouquet’s flowers range from buds to the bare stem* in the center.  And note the cricket to the lower left and the blue dragonfly to the center-right.

*(its flower petals have dropped off)

Reference: Wikipedia article on Rachel Ruysch – who painted from the age of 15 until her death in 1750 at the age of 85.  She produced an average of over five paintings a year.  Her father was a botanist and an anatomist.  Ahhhh, convolvulus.  The postcard reproduction does not do justice to this beautifully restored painting: in the postcard the details around the bright white, orange, and pink flowers in the bouquet’s center fade into the background.

Terracotta Warriors

Aunt Penelope and Grandpa Marshall visited the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco on 2013 March 21.

Mary and David: Terracotta Warriors pop-up card

Date on card: 2013 April 10

Postcard photo: Front has three+ rows of terracotta warriors in-situ, and the inside has three pop-up rows against a backdrop of more rows.

Text: When the First Emperor of China died in 210 BCE he was buried with everything that he might need in the afterlife – including over 8,000 life-size terracotta (clay) warriors (soldiers).  Originally they were brightly colored but the paint has chipped off and faded.  Less than 1/80th of the First Emperor’s burial complex has been excavated.  Grandpa Marshall and I saw eight of these warriors last month in an exhibit at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; now we want to go to China to see the hordes!

Reference: ‘BCE’ means ‘Before Common Era’, and non-denominational convention with the equivalent meaning as ‘BC’ (‘Before Christ’).  Likewise ‘CE’ and ‘AD’ (‘Anno Domini’) are equivalent.  China uses BCE / CE.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCE  ;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Warriors  ;  http://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/terracotta-warriors  ;

David: Untying Space_Asian Art Museum, SF, 2012

Date on card: 2013 April 2

Postcard photo: Sun K. Kwak’s 2012 art installation Untying Space_Asian Art Museum, SF made from black masking tape and vinyl.

Text: This photo is of an art installation last year at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.  I think it’s cool the way the art is spreading organically and ominously over the interior wall of the Museum.  Would it look as sinister in hot pink?  It’s not painted or projected on to the wall – that’s why the portion in the center can be suspended from the top of the alcove.

Reference:  http://www.artbabble.org/video/asian-art/sun-k-kwak-untying-space  ;  http://local-artists.org/users/sun-k-kwak  ;  http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/sun_k_kwak/

Mary: Japanese Noh costume, Edo Period

Date on card: 2013 April 2

Postcard photo: Back view of an antique, lightweight, gold silk, Japanese brocade robe decorated with pastel and earth tone phoenixes and flower clusters; from the Edo Period (1615 – 1868)

Text: This gold silk brocade robe was worn over 200 years ago by a performer – probably the main actor (shite) – in a ‘noh‘, a form of Japanese musical drama.  The bird in the pattern is the Japanese ho-oh, similar to the Western phoenix.  The ho-oh was a symbol of royalty and represented “fire, the sun, justice, obedience, and fidelity”.  The pom-pom shaped flowers are chrysanthemums, a symbol of the Japanese emperor.

Reference: Karaori apparently refers to a weave that has a thin, extra thread to prevent threads in a lightweight weave from shifting and gaping under stress.  http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-karaori-robe-of-brocaded-silk-edo-4004145-details.aspx?intObjectID=4004145  ;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noh  ;  http://www.glopad.org/jparc/?q=en/node/21938  ;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_%28mythology%29#Analogues  ;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenghuang#Meaning  ;

‘hanakotoba’ is the Japanese language of flowers.  The other flowers on the robe are probably camellias.  Camellias were cultivated by Japanese royalty and samurai.  They were a symbol of samurai courage – in part because the flower falls to the ground in one piece just a few days after opening. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanakotoba  ;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysanthemum#Japan  ;  http://articles.latimes.com/2006/feb/15/entertainment/et-kidcal15  ;  http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071213071250AADztUT  ;

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Mary / David: Art_Title art_type by XX

Date on card: 2013 May 28

Postcard photo: xx.

Text: xx.

Reference: xx.

1 Comment

Navneet on 2012/11/07 at 6:35 am.

Fyi, I checked the weidpiika site today and saw that the definition had be updated by someone who apparently has an unfavorable view of the idea of “simple church” which can happen in the free-for-all world of weidpiika. You can click around and find previous definitions, so here’s the previous one that I liked: Simple church’ is a re-definition of Christian Church as a Christ-centered community established primarily on relationship both to God and to the other members of the group. The term “simple” is used to denote the movement of many traditional church characteristics to the category of non-essential, or even unhelpful, in this model of church. A simple church may meet anywhere, with or without religiously trained persons or “clergy”, may not have any formal liturgy, and little if any programmatic or institutional structures. To facilitate relationship, discipleship (spiritual formation), multiplication, mobility, and member ownership, a simple church is usually a small group of no more than 20-25 persons. Church “programs” are virtually nonexistent and small group participation is essential.

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