Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Inspiration from the UK!

(Above:  My elder son Mathias Lenz Dingman and his lovely girlfriend Laura-Jane Gibson, both dancers with Birmingham Royal Ballet)

My week in England was wonderfully spent with half the time at The Festival of Quilts and the other half visiting my son and his girlfriend.  This was the first time in seven years that a trip DIDN'T coordinate with a ballet performance ... which meant that we could simply talk, visit, and go to dinner at a "normal" time.  It was great.  The days went quickly because there were so many inspirational experiences in addition to all the fiber art.  This blog post features some of the beautiful things I saw while abroad ...

... like this gorgeous owl!  On my first evening in Birmingham I walked down New Street, a pedestrian-only city-center location.  Right there in the middle of the former road was a temporary set-up for a local bird-of-prey protection center.  The birds were SO CLOSE.  Photographs for non-professional use were permitted with any monetary donation.  It was so worth the 2 ₤ I threw into the bucket.  

I created a Flickr! Set with the 23 photos that turned out rather well!  I love birds of prey!  They are majestic (even the cute little ones!)  CLICK HERE to see them!

(Above:  The Birmingham Museum of Art.)

I always go to The Birmingham Museum of Art.  I adore their extensive collection of Pre-Raphealite paintings.  Yet, with every visit I see something new and wonderful ... or ...

(Above:  View through several glass cases of decorative arts.)

... from another point of view!

(Above:  Entrance to a current exhibition on loan to Birmingham from the Smithsonian's American Art Museum.)

Speaking of "point of view", I had to laugh to myself at the current traveling exhibition, George Catlin's American Indian Portraits.  There were all sorts of "no photography" signs posted in this area and a guard who enforced the rule.  Of course, when I'm in Washington, DC's Smithsonian American Art Museum, I can snap all the photos of these many Indian portraits I like.  When one of the Pre-Raphealite masterpieces, however, is on loan to a museum in the United States, photography is forbidden.

While in Birmingham, however, people are allowed to capture the way the light reflects off the brushstrokes of these incredible works.  It is simply a matter of viewpoint, copyright law, and national ownership! 

 (Above:  Florence Camm's stained glass window depicting Dante and Beatrice.)

One of my favorite places in the Birmingham Museum of Art is undoubtedly the nice display of real stained glass windows.  For the most part, they are shown in large cases with light from the windows shining through them.  I've looked at them plenty of times ... but until this last trip, I failed to realize that a woman artist created some of the best examples! 

(Above:  Stained glass window by Edward Burne-Jones.)

Yet, the museum isn't the only place to see incredible stained glass.  St. Philip's Cathedral features incredible pieces by Edward Burne-Jones.  Seeing these works in a proper place of worship is perfect.

I created a Flickr! Set for my photos from the museum and the cathedral ... HERE!

Enjoy ... and now BACK TO ...

(Above:  Photo from a public art fountain near Birmingham's Bullring shopping area!)


Julie said...

I am only about 2 hours away from Birmingham but have never visited the galleries. I really must get round to it. I love stained glass and Burne Jones is a pastmaster. There are some beautiful windows by him in the church at Betws y Coed in North Wales.

Judy Ferguson said...

I worked as a tour guide in our local art museum for a while. I never did understand why people could not take pictures. They sold a booklet at the desk with pictures of the exhibit. What's the difference. Beautiful pictures anyway. I love art museums.

Wanda said...

Tell me that that wasn't a real alligator in with those birds. I have always wanted to see an owl in the wild. Haven't yet but I keep looking. Wonderful pictures. It seems like they posed for you! Absolutely wonderful

Wanda said...

P.S. great pic of Mathias and LJ! They look like they enjoyed the visit too!

Sandy said...

We have several Burnes-Jones windows in one of the Bracknell churches.
Glad you got to see the birds. and interesting perspective on what can be photographed where. I hadn't thought of it that way.