Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fruits & Vegetables - Historic American Seed & Plant Catalogs from Smithsonian Institution Libraries




Swiss artist Félix Edouard Vallotton 1865-1925 paints traditional Portraits


Félix Edouard Vallotton 1884 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) The Artist's Mother



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1886 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Juliette Lacour



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1886 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) The Artist's Parents



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1892 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) The Invalid



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1902 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Workshop with my Wife



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1904 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) womn Reading at the Window



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1906 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Melot Martha wife of Alfred Natanson



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1907 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Gertrude Stein



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1908 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Gabrielle Valloton



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1908 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Mrs Hasen



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1909 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) At the Cafe



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1911 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Coquettery



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1911 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Seated Black Woman



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1911 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Young Woman with Yellow Scarf



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1912 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Children of Hans and Lisa Hanloser



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1913 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) The Yellow Sheet


Swiss artist Félix Edouard Vallotton 1865-1925 paints rather non-traditional andscapes



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1913 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) The Rising Tide



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1895 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Moonlight



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1915 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) the sheaves



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1921 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) View of Cagne from Horseback



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1922 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Part of the Town of Pont-Audemer



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1917 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Verdun



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1920 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Alyscamps morning sun



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1923 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) A Vallon Landscape



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1922 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) The Family of Trees



Félix Edouard Vallotton 1925 (Swiss artist, 1865-1925) Landscape Rocamadour


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fruits & Vegetables - Fields & Flowers - Historic American Seed & Plant Catalogs from Smithsonian Institution Libraries




A few Swans here in the Chesapeake & in the paintings of Australian Rupert Charles Wulsten Bunny 1864–1947


Mute Swans on Maryland's Eastern Shore

The birds are thinking about migrating, & a few mute swans have reached the Eastern Shore, where they gather to feed & rest before any further migration to the warmer South.  The stars of this avian show, however, have to be the flocks of Tundra Swans that fill many farmers’ fields & grassy, shallow water coves of the Chesapeake Bay & its tributaries. The swans are big & beautiful.  Their high-pitched whooping calls announce their elegant presence.


Rupert Charles Wulsten Bunny (Australian artist, 1864–1947) Summer Morning 1897



Rupert Charles Wulsten Bunny (Australian artist, 1864–1947) Endormies



Tundra Swans with the Bay Bridge at Annapolis, Maryland in the background.


Edward Lear watercolor of a swan, ca 1831-36



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fruits & Vegetables - Historic American Seed & Plant Catalogs from Smithsonian Institution Libraries




A Shaker Community, Pleasant Hill, Kentucky


Some time ago, I visited Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, which was a Shaker religious community from 1805 through 1910. Shakertown, as it is known by the locals, is about 25 miles southwest of Lexington, in the state's bluegrass region.



By 1800, Mother Ann Lee's (1736-1784) religious movement had already established 11 Shaker communities in New York state & throughout New England. About this time, the community sent 3 Shaker missionaries across the Cumberland Gap & through Ohio to find converts in the west. Shakers practiced celibacy & their numbers would die out without new converts.




The Pleasant Hill community was begun by 44 converts who signed a covenant of mutual support & common property ownership of the 140 acres on which they were living. It did not take long for the community to expand & the property to grow to 4,369 acres.




The Shakers chose a peaceful way of life. They were celibate and believed in equality of race & sex and in freedom from prejudice. A quest for simplicity & perfection is reflected in their fine craftsmanship.



The Shakers were skilled farmers, and over the years they expanded land holdings by acquiring adjacent farms for orchards & fields. The Shakers at Pleasant Hill became known for their excellent livestock & engineering accomplishments. Their location near the Ohio River was ideal for agricultural & economic commerce.



By 1816, they regularly traveled to larger communities to sell their wares: brooms, shoes, preserves, garden seeds, & herbs. The Shakers sold their wares in cities and towns up & down the Ohio & the Mississippi rivers, some at great distances, such as New Orleans.



The Shakers, known for their beautifully simple furniture & architecture, also invented many labor-saving processes to serve their large community. In the early 1830s, they constructed a water tower on a high plot of ground. A horse-drawn pump lifted water into the tower, and from there a system of pipes carried it downhill to kitchens, cellars, & wash houses.



In the wash houses, horse-powered washing machines were built to reduce the enormous chore of laundering the community's clothes & linens.



Music was also an important part of Shaker life, with songs, hymns, & anthems written by both men & women. Their dancing or shaking was the origin of the name Shaker.



The community began to decline with the advent of the Civil War & controversies over slave ownership. The last resident on the property died in 1923. The 14 original buildings of the religious community were restored in the 1960s, & it is now the largest restored Shaker community in America, a National Historic Landmark.