Monday, August 2, 2010 A
"Middle of the Night Drawing"

Middle of the night wakefulness! After nibbling on a nut and fruit mix and sampling one of my new books, I'll take an intuitive brain 'doodle':

"Something on his mind"

Monday, August 2, 2010 B
"Satisfied (Part One)"

I'm feeling satisfied. Full of tasty tilapia fish and rice, I'm glad the Middle Eastern Restaurant was my choice. They featured 'Euro News' on a big screen and had photo montages of historic places like the Parthenon, Abu Simbel and the Giza Sphinx.

I'm so glad I decided to return to the Art Institute today. I would have missed a lot of good art had I not done so.

I enjoyed the exquisitely detailed Thorne miniature rooms. Then I visited the prints and drawings galleries, which featured H.C.Westermann's "See America First" lithographs. He has an ascerbic quality to his images.

Next, I enjoyed Chinese and Korean art. There are some delightful pieces in these galleries, including an 'entertainer' designed to entertain the departed person in the afterlife. It wasn't only the Egyptians who carefully prepared the resting grounds of their ancestors.

Entertainer (Tomb Figure), Chinese, Northern dynasties, 6th century
Buff earthenware with pigment
Height: 27 cm (10 in.)
Gift of Stanley Herzman in memory of Gladys Wolfson Herzman, 1997.369

"At their finest, these sculptures convey the immediacy and energy of
human activity. This stout figure wears a foreign style of dress - soft
cap, cowl-neck tunic, and boots - and may depict a Central Asian
entertainer in the act of balancing an object on his forehead..." (from info card)

Some bird finials looked completely modern:

Pair of Pole Tops with Double Bird-Shaped Bell,
Northern China or Inner Mongolia, 6th/4th century BCE.

Bronze, 18.8 x 10.5 cm (7.4 x 4.1 in.)
Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection, 1937.329-330

And I found a teapot with a bird's head utterly charming:

Bird Shaped Ewer with Crowned Rider Holding a Bowl
Korean, Goryeo dynasty (918-1213), 12th century
Stoneware with celadon glaze and underglaze incised decoration
21.4 x 17.7 x 13.2 cm
Bequest of Russell Tyson, 1964.1213

Then I went onto to Indian, Southeast Asian and Himalayan art. I noted a determined entity holding the 'vajra' scepter, which means 'thunderbolt':

Vajrasattva Buddha with Bell (Ghanta) and Thunderbolt (Vajra)
Tibetan, Brass with coral and turquoise
52 x 39.1 x 32.1 cm (20 1/2 x 15 3/8 x 12 5/8 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Joseph Valentine, 1958.169

"Vajrasattva, [vajra-being], state of commitment to what is indestructible"
"Vajrasattva,.., vajra master""[expl. of outer, inner and innermost
levels of practice, Light of Wisdom, Vol. 2, page 70 & 163]"
(from Tibetan Dictionary)

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