Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Lewisburg, PA (10/30/2019)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Made a stopover in Lewisburg, PA, a small borough on the West Branch of the Susquehanna, and home to Bucknell University.
Samek Art Museum Downtown Gallery
at 416 Market Street
The downtown gallery exhibit was
"10: Artist as Catalyst"
In 1975, artists formed the Alternative Museum in New York City, as a space to present political art that often criticized government and social institutions. The government reacted by reducing public funds for the arts (in the 1980s). In 1992, ten artists produced a portfolio of prints that they sold to support the Alternative Museum. These 10 prints were on display today, with the print above being the cover sheet (by Robert Storr).

Lotto: The American Dream (1992, by Luis Cruz Azaceta)
Campus Theatre (1941, by David Supowitz in Art Deco style),
at 413 Market Street, belonged to the Stiefel family until
it was sold in 2000 to a Bucknell University film professor, Eric Faden
In 2006 the non-profit Campus Theatre, Ltd purchased the building, and operated the theater in partnership with Bucknell University. The question is: was the Bucknell Bison always on the theater façade? Yes, and the theater was originally painted in the Bucknell colors of orange and blue!
Cupressus nootkatensis 'Pendula'/
Weeping Alaska Cedar
First Presbyterian Church (1857, with renovations),
at 18 Market Street, with a pair of Weeping Alaskan Cedars
Packwood House (c 1796, expanded 19C), at 8-12 Market Street
Bases of two water towers (1883) at Market Street and N Water Street
Soldiers Memorial Park
Remnant of steel truss bridge (c 1912, for Pennsylvania Railroad)
that spans the West Branch of the Susquehanna
At 13:00 we were able to tour the Packwood House;
no photos allowed except in the garden with the
centuries old Cryptomeria japonica/Japanese Cedars
The Packwood House started as a 2-story log cabin tavern (c 1796-1799) for travelers on the Susquehanna River. When the Lewisburg cross-cut section of the Pennsylvania Canal was completed in 1833, the tavern was expanded into the American Hotel. When the railroads came to town in the 1860s, people lost interest in river travel, and the hotel lost business. It was closed in the late 1880s, and converted into three townhouses. Edith Kelly grew up in one of the town houses, and when she and her husband, John Fetherston, decided to retire, they purchased the whole building. The couple was childless, so they established a trust to open the house as a museum upon their deaths. Edith Kelly Fetherston was a painter who kept all her paintings, and they are displayed throughout the house. She also collected glass, ceramics, textiles, furniture, paintings, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, and Oriental art, as well as maintained her garden. The Museum also has a collection of quilts that belonged to relatives of Edith.
Bucknell University Bison (2017, by Craig Campbell) is a
charging bison that replaces a calm standing bison
Samek Art Museum (est 1983) is located on the top floor of
the Elaine Langone Center, but there is limited access
to their extensive and varied collections
Most of the space of the museum was devoted to two special exhibits;
one was "Guerilla Girls: Art of Behaving Badly" with the works of
an anonymous group of activist artists who use visuals to
expose bias and corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture
The other exhibit was "Damaged Goods: The Punk Aesthetic,
"focussing on the visual aesthetics of punk, as manifested in various kinds
of material culture: posters, concert flyers, LPs and 45s,
zines, photos, buttons and other cultural effluvia (KSS)
Madonna and Child (c 1500-1525, by
Andrea Sansovino), from the Kress Collection
Judgement of Paris (c 1548-1588, by Paolo Veronese),
from the Kress Collection
Samuel Henry Kress opened his first "domestic goods" store in 1887 in Nanticoke, PA. In 1896, he established the chain of S H Kress and Company stores, which resulted in his great wealth, allowing him to collect art and pursue philanthropy. Kress donated part of his art collection to the National Gallery of Art when it opened in Washington, DC in 1941. However, Kress realized that the success of his stores was because of people in small towns and cities, and he wanted to share his collection with them. He organized a traveling exhibition that lasted three years. It was his brother, Rush, who carried Samuel's wishes in regards to the rest of his art collection. Eighteen regional museums and 23 colleges and universities (including Bucknell) were gifted with works from the Kress collection.
Ingrid Bergman on Stromboli (1949,
by Gordon Parks) was acquired in 2008
Miss O'Keeffe, Abiquiu, New Mexico (1980,
by Myron Wood) was acquired in 2007
Joseph Beuys (1980-1983, by Andy Warhol),
a gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation
for Visual Arts, Inc, in 2014
We ended up spending the night in Williamsport, PA, at the historic Genetti Hotel. Built in 1921-1922, it was designed by William Lee Stoddart as the Lycoming Hotel.
Genetti Hotel (This photo of SureStay Collection by
Best Western Genetti Hotel is courtesy of TripAdvisor)
The sink was in the bedroom-room
Tankless toilet
View from our hotel room of Bald Eagle Mountain and
the West Branch of the Susquehanna River

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Waterways of the Tsars: St Petersburg from the Water (10/19/2019)

Saturday, October 19, 2019 (continued)
After lunch, we went on the optional shore excursion "St Petersburg from the Water," as this was our chance to go inside the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. We traveled by motor coach to our first stop.
Церковь Спаса на Крови/Church of the Savior on
Spilled Blood (1883-1907, by Alfred Parland, in the style
of traditional Russian Orthodox churches, on order
of Alexandria III, dedicated to his father Alexander II)
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood was erected on the site where Alexander II was attacked in 1881 by Russian nihilists. A thrown bomb exploded as Alexander's carriage passed along the embankment of the Griboedov Canal. Alexander hopped out of the carriage to remonstrate with the culprit, when a second bomb was thrown, mortally wounding Alexander and the second culprit himself. Alexander was taken to the Winter Palace where he died.
All the walls and ceilings inside the Church of
the Savior on Spilled Blood are covered with mosaics;
note the top ceiling mosaic is of the Resurrection,
as that is the official name of the church
The mosaic of Christ the Pantocrator in the central dome
The church was ransacked and seriously damaged after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The church was closed in the 1930s. During World War II, it was used to store food (i.e., potatoes) and later as a morgue. In 1970, St Isaac's Cathedral (as a museum) assumed management of the church, and began extensive restoration. The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood opened again in 1997.
The iconostasis is made of carved stone
The Royal or Holy Doors (2005-2012
to replace the original lost during Soviet times)
Column mosaics of saints
Column mosaics of Sts Matthew and Andrew (KSS)
Detail to show the pieces of mosaic (KSS)
Wall mosaics of the Nativity of Christ
Marble flooring
Decorative mosaic borders of flowers
A canopy covers the alleged spot where Alexander II
spilled his blood on the cobblestones, and
leaned against a section of iron railing
Detail showing the cobblestones behind the golden gate,
and the railing in the back
A nearby model of the canopied memorial for the
visually impaired
The bell tower is centered over the canopy-covered
cobblestones and the base of the tower is covered
with tiles depicting the coats of arms of all the cities
and provinces that sent donations for building the church
S large kokoshniki/gable mosaic of Judgment Day
Inscriptions on granite plaques outline the life and reforms of Alexander II
Alexander II was the tsar to give serfs their freedom in 1861, citing that no human should own another. He also introduced educational, judiciary, military, and economic reforms. Alexander II was the one to sell Alaska to the United States.
N kokoshniki/gable mosaic of the Resurrection
The canal was partially filled in so that the
church could be built around the significant railing
and cobblestones of the embankment
We returned to the motor coach for a ride to the canal boat tour landing.
We passed a demonstration of 3-4 people under
the not so watchful eyes of the police; there is the
Russian national flag, the orange and black stripes
of the Order of St George, and the Soviet flag
Apparently Putin revived the colors of the Order of St George, which had been abolished after the Bolshevik Revolution because it represented the highest battlefield honor in imperial/tsarist Russia. Orange and black have been made to symbolize victory over the Nazis during World War II (huh?), or at least nationalism and memory of the war. World War II veterans would not have been awarded the Order of St George, but now they wear the colors. Somehow the St George Ribbon began as a symbol of remembering the war, but under Putin it has become a symbol of the state, and then a symbol of loyalty to the state. A Putin PR campaign? Here in the United States, the "state" did not have to come up with new colors. They just have changed the meaning of the old the red, white, and blue flag.
A couple canal tour boats await the Viking passengers on the Fontanka River
Perhaps half the canals of St Petersburg have been filled in, but enough remain in central St Petersburg to give the city the nickname of the "Venice of the North."
Дворец Белосельских-Белозерских/Palace of Beloselsky-Belozersky
(1747, multiple renovations) was a residence of nobility, then during
World War I it was used as the British Red Cross hospital; later and
still today it is a venue for concerts and special events
Another tour boat in front of the Shuvalov Palace
that houses the Fabergé Museum
The gates (1838, by Geronimo Corsini) to Шереметевский дворец/
Sheremetev Palace (1740s, by Savva Chevakinsky and Fyodor Argunov);
the Sheremetev family held concerts and theater performances here,
and now the palace houses the State Museum of Theatre and Musical Art
Two boys (wearing red jackets) ran from bridge to bridge
to wave at us as the tour boat passed
Санкт-Петербургский цирк/St Petersburg Circus (1747,
by Vasily Kenel) was the first brick-built circus in Russia;
since 1928 it also has the first circus museum in the world
Миха́йловский за́мок/St Michael's Castle (1797-1801, by
Vincenzo Brenna and Vasili Bazhenov) was the residence of Paul I
(son of Catherine the Great) who was so paranoid he had a moat
dug around the palace; the bridge to the L in the photo once
crossed this moat that is now filled in (KSS)
Funny thing is, a couple weeks after moving into this palace, Paul I was apparently killed by his own guards.
Approaching Panteleimon Bridge (1823)
where we turned into the Moika River (KSS)
There are those two boys again (KSS)
Sadovaya Street Bridge; you can see how the low clearance,
and we really did have to watch our heads (KSS)
Pavilion and pier (by Carlo Rossi) in Mikhailovsky Garden, which is
the location of the Mikhailovsky Palace, home of the Russian Museum
Don't stand up! (KSS)
Passing by Teatral'nyy Bridge and seeing the bell tower
of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
Cruising along the Moika River
Waving youngster with his grandfather (KSS)
Graffiti on the wall surrounding the former main imperial stables (KSS)
Last Palace, former palace of Prince Abamelek-Lazarev, was
the last palace built before the Bolshevik revolution in 1917
The former mayor of St Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak, lived in this building;
he was the first democratically-elected mayor in 1991 and was co-author
of the Constitution of the Russian Federation (1993)
Putin asked Sobchak to travel to Kaliningrad to support his election campaign. Strangely, Sobchak and his two bodyguards all died of simultaneous heart attacks.
Part of the General Staff Building that houses the Hermitage
Museum's collection of Modern Masters
Here we turned into the Winter Canal
Connection between the Large Hermitage on the L to
Peter I's Winter Palace (with the Hermitage Theater) on the R
The boys in red on the Hermitage Bridge
Now we were on the wide Neva River, passing the Peter and Paul Fortress,
with the iconic needle spire of the Cathedral of Sts Peter & Paul;
note the river entrance to the fortress
Kent and Tamiko on the canal tour boat (Photo by JoJo - thanks!)
Novo-Mikhailovsky Palace (1857-1862, by Andrei Stackenschneider
in Revivalist style, including a medley of Renaissance,
Baroque, and Louis XVI styles) (KSS)
Marble Palace (1768-1785, by Antonio Rinaldi in Neo-classical style)
was built for Count Grigory Orlov, one of Catherine the Great's "favorites"
Dome of Храм-часовня Святой Троицы/Holy Trinity Chapel
on the site of Peter's Church of the Holy Trinity where he became tsar;
and the dome and minarets of the Санкт-Петербургская соборная мечеть/
St Petersburg Mosque (1910-1921, by Nikolai Vasilyev)
Gate to the Summer Garden of Peter the Great's Summer Palace
We turned into the Fontanka River under the Palace Embankment Bridge
(1766-1769), which has debt pits where once debtors were
imprisoned until their relatives could pay their debts; supposedly
you could not stand in the cells, were exposed to cold winds,
and rising water levels; Catherine the Great abolished their use
Peter the Great's Summer Palace (1710-1714, by Domenico Trezzini);
it is a very modest palace! (KSS)
Fall foliage in the Summer Garden (KSS)
Passing St Michael's Castle again; the story is that the color
matches the glove of a lady friend of Paul I
The boys in red are back (at the end of the tour they were looking for tips)!

There are 342 bridges within the St Petersburg city limits and we passed under 13 different bridges, two of them twice.
We boarded the motor coach to return to the Viking Truvor.
We passed the Московский вокзал/Moscow Railway Station
(1844-1851, by Konstantin Thon), the terminal for the train to Moscow;
interestingly, the line ends in Moscow at the Ленинградский вокзал/
Leningrad Railway Station, a twin in the same design as this station (KSS)
Across the square from the train station, letters on the building
proclaim Город-герой Ленинград/Hero City Leningrad,
a tribute to those who survived the Nazi siege of World War II
After dinner on the Viking Truvor, there was evening entertainment with an opera soprano and tenor from the Mariinsky Theater in St Petersburg. The audience joined in for "Kalinka Malinka."

Sunday, October 20, 2019
We departed at 2:45 for the airport and flights home via Frankfurt, DE. We used Uber to get home by 17:00 from the Philadelphia airport. Another great trip has been accomplished.