Tag Archive | Boston

Tara Donovan’s Styrofoam Cup Cloud Installation

Tara Donovan Cloud
Photos By Gail

If you happen to be doing the tourist thing in the city of Boston, you absolutely cannot miss the opportunity to visit the Museum of Fine Arts, which, like The Met here in NYC, is massive, and has a little bit of everything that an art lover wants to see, all under one roof. It is really quite a remarkable place.

Favorite areas of the museum, for me, are the Contemporary Art galleries, which make amazing use of the space with several installations placed against the high vaulted ceilings. One such piece is Tara Donovan’s Untitled, (2003); a representation of a cumulus cloud formation, which she created solely from Styrofoam cups stuck together with hot glue.

Untitled Clouds

This piece is not only very beautiful, but it also encourages imaginative extrapolation as to how the Brooklyn-based artist chooses her materials. You can read more about that at This Link.

Stacking Chair By Danny Lane

Stacking Chair
All Photos By Gail

Danny Lane is a London-based designer, visual artist and glass sculptor who specializes in working with fractured and stacked glass.  His popular Stacked Chair (1993) is made up of slab-like green-tinted glass with polished, irregular edges. The chair back and rear, single leg are  constructed of an arched column of stacked irregularly cut and polished glass slabs held together by a central steel rod topped by a nut. Similar construction applies to the chair’s shorter front legs and feet.

Stacking Chair Display Shot

This is what the chair looks like on display in the contemporary art wing of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where I took these photos last summer. You can actually find this chair for sale around the web, with a little Googling effort.

Stacking Chair Detail

Head of Medusa by Arnold Böcklin

Head of Medusa By Arnold Bocklin
Head of Medusa: Papier Mache and Plaster. Open Mouthed Head with Coppery Locks and Snakes Issuing from Domed Black Medallion with Molded and Gilt Rim. (All Photos By Gail)

Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901) created this realistic sculpture of the Head of Medusa around 1894. This piece is on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, which I visited in August of this year. Below you can see a photo of the wall against which it hangs and get an idea of how it is displayed. They do a nice job of staging everything at the MFA, that is for sure.

MFA

A Visit to the New England Aquarium of Boston

New England Aquarium Signage
All Photos By Gail

No matter where I am, I love having a new adventure. Just last month, I spent a few days vacationing in Boston (my first visit) on the back end of a cruise to Bermuda (recommended) and was a bit overwhelmed by all of the fun things there are to see and do in this historic, seaside city. If you find yourself in Boston and want to make the most of your time there, I suggest making a point to check out the New England Aquarium, a destination which is fun for all ages!

Boston Aquarium Special Exhibits

I have visited public Aquariums all over the country and would say that the New England Aquarium is comparable in size and scope to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, although it also has many impressive distinguishing features.

Boston Aquarium Shows

The New England Aquarium, which opened in 1969, is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation, and is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston, with over 1.3 million visitors a year. It is a great place to bring kids because the focus is very much on education, and they have lots of animal shows and talks that you can attend for free as part of your paid admission. Please enjoy some photos and highlights from our visit!

Fur Seal Names

One of the first things we did during our visit was attend a Fur Seal Training Session. Many of the seals at the aquarium were at one time sick or injured/abandoned animals that were rescued and rehabilitated at the facility where they now have a safe home.

Fur Seal Show

There are moms and dads and brothers and sisters all living there together. The show is about 15 minutes and you get to meet a family of Fur Seals and hear facts about them while the swim and do simple tricks like waving and spinning around, being rewarded with some tasty fish. Kids will love it.

Fur Seal Show
They have very interesting feet!

Fur Seal Show

This one, above, is still a baby.

Penguins

On the ground floor, there is a huge habitat for adorable African Penguins, where they have lots of informational signage about these birds as well as feedings, facts and presentations ongoing throughout the day.

African Penguins

Swimming Penguins

It is lots of fun to watch them swim!

Stingray Touch Pool

They have a huge touch pool also where you can “pet” the stingrays and small sharks. Everything is very well-supervised by Aquarium employees who give informational talks about the inhabitants of the touch pool.

North Atlantic Right Whale Skeleton

This is a North Atlantic Right Whale Skeleton suspended from the ceiling, and below you can see the Penguins swimming.

Top Of Giant Ocean Tank

The most impressive feature of the New England Aquarium is its four-story Giant Ocean Tank, located in the center of the building. The massive tank features a brand new coral reef, an underwater communications system and hundreds of Caribbean reef animals including sea turtles, stingrays, eels, small sharks and multitudes of colorful fish. I took the above photo from the very top of the tank just as a presentation was about to begin.

Giant Ocean Tank Presentation Speaker

Giant Ocean Tank Top View
Giant Ocean Tank Presentation

Be sure to pick up a visitor’s guide when you buy your ticket so you can check the schedule of all of the various talks, shows and presentations and plan your time to attend as many of them as you can.

Post continues after the jump!

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Beatles Dress

Beatles Dress
All Photos Taken By Gail at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

A fluid back-and-forth between contemporary art, music and fashion characterized the 1960s. Made for Universal Studios as a rare promotional item, this Beatles dress illustrates three ideas central to Pop Art – the blending of Art and Advertising; the instant obsolescence of fashion; and the cult of the rich and famous.

Beatles Dress Detail
Print Detail

Its brightly contrasting print mimics Andy Warhol’s repetitive silk-screened images of celebrities and commercial products through the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Beatles Dress Side View
Back View of Dress. (Note: Red Anish Kapoor Wall Sculpture in the Background.)

Regarding the black patent leather mid-heeled shoes on the mannequin, designed by Roger Vivier, The Beatles themselves were avid customers of Vivier, a fashion designer credited with the Stiletto heel.

Happy Birthday, Sib Hashian!

Sib Hashian

John “Sib” Hashian, original drummer for Boston, and current drummer for Ernie & The Automatics, was born on this day, August 17th in 1949. Read my update on Sib in the September 2009 issue of Modern Drummer, on newsstands now. Happy Birthday, Sib!

Gail In Print, Modern Drummer September 2009

MD Cover 9_09

Wow, September is a huge month for me in Modern Drummer magazine. First of all, I’m really excited about and proud of my feature on Jon Karel of the experimental mathcore band, The Number 12 Looks Like You. In my ten-plus years of interviewing drummers, Jon was one of my very favorite interviews. I predict we will see him on the cover of Modern Drummer within two years. Also in this issue, I’ve got an update with Sib Hashian of Ernie & The Automatics. Sib is perhaps best known as the original drummer of the legendary classic rock band Boston, so everybody knows his licks. Lastly, I have a profile with Eric Green of Riverboat Gamblers, a truly innovative modern punk band that hasn’t forgotten where the melody is. Their latest CD, Underneath The Owl, is one of my favorites of the year so far. Three great articles all in an issue that has Josh Homme and Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age) on the cover as well as interviews with Bun E Carlos, Slayer’s Dave Lombardo and local hero Chris Pennie of Coheed and Cambria. Be sure to pick up a copy of September’s Modern Drummer, which you can find on newsstands next week!