Tuesday, August 5, 2008 B

"Amazingly Synchronistic"
5:27pm

We end the major part of the day well-fed and satisfied. It began with a visit to Brandy's restaurant for breakfast. Not only having tasty food, it is nestled within a beautiful green area. I love the green trees and mountains.

Then from there to the Northern Arizona Museum, which we found without much trouble using the map. This museum is well-established, having begun in 1935.


The little plaque says "1935"


The museum entrance faces a green scene...


What do we see in the middle of that forest clearing?

The exhibits are displayed gorgeously and well-explained. It is more than equal to anything the big cities have. I enjoyed learning some of the history of Native Americans, in addition to their art.

The fossil and dinosaur skellies are also nicely laid out. The "sickle claw" model shows the Therizinosaur to have been a huge one:


"Nothronychus", new species, reconstruction and cast by Gaston Design


Some mighty big claws on him!


What he likely looked like, feathers having been found in the fossils

By this time it was after eleven o'clock, but we were still full from breakfast.

So we went to the University, found the tiered parking area (which is just like the one at the UofA in Tucson), and began the hunt for the Art museums. But first, we stopped at a statue:


"Navajo Code Talker", R.C. Gorman


The Museum of North Arizona has an exhibit about those code talkers:
"The U.S. Marine Corps’ Navajo Code Talkers are legendary. Their heroic efforts come to light with Our Fathers, Our Grandfathers, Our Heroes…The Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, the most comprehensive exhibit yet created about the over 400 Navajo young men who were recruited by the U.S. government to devise an unbreakable code in the language they had previously been forbidden to speak." (From the Museum website)

The art museums aren't far from that statue. Located in the Old Main Building, they were closer than we thought.


Click to approach closer

The Marguerite Hettel Weiss Art Museum houses a display of art and furniture from her estate. It's a varied collection, featuring many sculptures. Photos weren't allowed, but I do remember a Francisco Zúñiga

Photographs could not do justice to the other exhibit of works by Adrian Hatfield. Many of his paintings were done with a unique multi-layering technique using resin. The result is a three-dimensional effect. My favorite is a large piece framed with a velvet curtain. It looks like a fantastic aquarium, bursting with active life.

Another intriguing piece features a dinosaur 'falling' through a Victorian type wall paper. The discovery of the great age of the dinosaurs upset the Victorian sense of order.

What is amazingly synchronistic is how his art brought together everything we've seen on this wonder-filled trip. I'll let Tom Patin, Director of the School of Art at NAU, describe it:

"Adrian Hatfield's work depicts many of the same subject matter that those writers and artists preoccupied with the sublime once did: the age of the earth, the vastness of the universe, the distance to the stars, the enormous stretches of time of evolution, the depth of the seas, the untamed wilderness. Hatfield also grapples with speculation on the shapes and colors of galaxies or the existence, patterns, and colors of dinosaur feathers. But more generally, he depicts the visual language of both art and science - the techniques of depiction, the means whereby fact, fiction, and speculation are made to seem believable or at least momentarily plausible."(From exhibition pamphlet)


"They're talking about me!" "I was nobody 93 million years ago!"

Just as we left the Art Museum, it began to rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning. After one very loud crack, I said, "Set has spoken, Hail, Set!.

The rain was cool and refreshing and I was glad to slowly get back to the car. By the time we made it back to the hotel room, it was a torrential down pour. We stayed in the car, while I packaged up the camera to keep its case drier. Then we made a mad dash inside.

We hung up our clothes to dry and watched TV, a feature on the history of bread making and then one about excavations in Meso-America.

By the time that was over, we were hungry and our clothes were dry.

Looking at the phone book, Dara Thai, a Thai restaurant, looked most promising. I had sweet and sour tofu and a few bites of Julia's ginger fish. We also had veggie rolls, Thai tea (the real thing, not those powdered over cinnamoned mixes), and green tea ice cream. That was a very tasty way to end the meal.

On the way back, we saw a new-agey shop and a place to park nearby.

Julia is now studying a book on Vedic astrology. She also got some rose oil and I found a nice statue of Khnum. He is holding a huge Ma'at feather, and a small sword.

There were lots of statues, including an amusing one of Ganesh stretched out on a lounge chair reading. If it hadn't have cost 120 bucks, I might have tried to find a place for him. But I think he will find a good home somewhere else.

We've had a wonderful time. Tomorrow, we'll head back south to hotter, drier and less greener climes, but with such nice memories of this charming area and some of its attractions.

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