Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

I thought I would share a glimspe of the culture of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (my home).  The photos are taken at Central Market, the oldest farmer’s market in the United States and one of the top ten in the world.  The market offers food culture from around the world but its uniqueness lies in its concentration of Amish and Mennonite vendors, which is what I’m focusing on in this post.  If you would like a more detailed look at this historic market, I wrote about it here last summer.  Thanks for taking a peek.

Lancaster’s Central Market

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A Peek Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere, and the world’s most encyclopedic museum under one roof.  Founded in 1870, its permanent collection, housed in seventeen curatorial departments, embraces more than 2 million works of art spanning 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present, from every part of the globe, in all artistic media, and at the highest levels of creative excellence.

While Mr. Whimsey and I were in New York City last weekend, we spent six wonderful hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time.  The quote above is from the inside flap of the back cover of Art Is…, a book I bought as a souvenir at the gift shop while we were thereThe depth and breadth of creative expression and artistic excellence across time and culture on display at the Metropolitan is overwhelming.  We barely scratched the surface of its treasures, spending most of our time in 19th and Early 20th Century European Paintings and Sculpture (for me) and Arms and Armor (for Mr. Whimsey).  I was tickled to discover that non-flash photography was permitted and I happily snapped away, documenting those things we found particularly moving or fascinating.  It was an afternoon of Impressionists, Egyptian gods, Dutch masters, suits of armor, and a new camera – my idea of bliss.

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[ Pietà, second quarter of the 16th century ]

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[ Gallery 827 of 19th and Early 20th Century European Paintings and Sculpture ]

In the 19th and early 20th Century European painting and sculpture collection, entire rooms were filled with paintings by Manet, Degas, Monet, Renoir, and van Gogh, the superstars of Impressionism.  I’ve decided to post a few lesser known (but still spectacular) paintings just to mix things up a bit.

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[ The Massacre of the Innocents (exhibited in 1824), Françios-Joseph Navez ]

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[ Breton Brother and Sister (1871), William Bouguereau ]

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[ Arabs Crossing the Desert (early 1870’s), Jean-Léon Gérôme ]

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[ The Organ Rehearsal (1887), Henry Lerolle ]

OK, just two examples from the big guys.  I can’t help myself, the Impressionists are some of my favorite painters and the Met has an outstanding collection.

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[ The Dance Class (1874), Edgar Degas ]

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[ Wheatfield with Cypresses (1889), Vincent van Gogh ]   – I am in love with this sky.

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[ Statue from the Cypriot collection, 6th to 3rd century BC ]

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[ Cylinder seal in the Ancient Near East collection – weather gods flanking griffins attacking lion, 1720 – 1620 B.C. ]

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[ Ancient Near East openwork plaque of Sphinx, 9th – 8th century B.C. ]

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[ Fragment of a sistrum (musical instrument) in the shape of a Hathor head, Egypt 688 – 525 B.C.]

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[ Assyrian relief from the palace of Ashurnasirpal II, 9th century B.C. ]    – I wonder what a god keeps in his purse?

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[ A Maid Asleep (1656 – 1657), Johannes Vermeer ]   – My second favorite Vermeer painting.

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[ Double Barrel Breech Loading Pinfire Shotgun (1866), J. C. A. Brun ]

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[ Our Lady of Lourdes sword hilt (1881-1882), created for the Prince of Viano. ]

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[ Smith and Wesson .32 Single Action revolver (1892 – 1893), designed by Tiffany and Co. ]

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– Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about this rifle; I just thought it was pretty…

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[ Helmet with mask visor (ca. 1515) ]     – The teeth on this helmet crack me up!

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[ Steel blade for a sword (Katana), Kamakura period (13th century) ]

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[ Japanese knife handle, Edo period (late 18th – early 19th century) ]

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[ Japanese warrior mask from the Edo period (18th century) ]

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[ Sarcophagus of Harkhebit, Dynasty 26 (664 – 525 B.C.) ]

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[ Head of King Amenmesse, Dynasty 19 (1203 -1200 B.C.) ]

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[ The Temple of Dendar, the Sackler Wing ]

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It would take weeks to do the Metropolitan Museum of Art justice – time I would gladly sacrifice for the enlightenment and pleasure it would offer.  For now, I’ll have to settle for this brief taste and look forward with anticipation to the next visit.  If you’re curious about how I spent the rest of my weekend in The Big Apple, take a lookie here.  As much as I enjoy visiting New York, I can only handle it in small doses before I start to feel claustrophobic and nature-starved.  This particular trip was just about perfect.

A Free Summer Concert at Long’s Park

Sunday evening, Lovey and I filled a bag with books, peanut M&M’s, and Coca Cola, grabbed our cameras, and tossed two camp chairs in the back of the Pathfinder.  It was a “Girls’ Night Out” because the boys had previous engagements that prohibited them from joining us.  MarchFourth Marching Band from Portland, Oregon was performing at Long’s Park as part of the free summer concert series and we couldn’t wait for the show.

It was a night filled with energetic music heavy on percussion and brass and accompanied by bawdy circus-like entertainment.  From the first moment the drum line began pounding out a staccato rhythm until the last note of the last song was blasted, MarchFourth never stopped playing or moving.  The percussion rhythms made it impossible for us to sit still either, and the brass and woodwinds blew our minds.  For two hours straight, they poured themselves into their performance.  It. Was. Fantastic.  We were all happily exhausted when it was over.

[ Long’s Park amphitheater, Lancaster, PA ]

[ The fact that they never stopped moving made them very difficult to photograph ]

As you can see, it was a very interactive show.  The audience danced.  Performers wandered the crowd.  And for the last song, the entire band left the stage and joined the audience for a final hurrah.  I must say that despite the gnats that kept trying to hide in our noses, it was one heck of a way to spend a perfect summer evening.

If you are curious at all about MarchFourth’s music, take a listen.  While some of the  performers and acts are different now, the music is right on target: