Tag Archives: Pink Floyd

Cabinet of Curiosities


This week’s Cabinet of Curiosities is from the Rijksmuseum, posted by the author Maaike Dirkx of Rembrandt’s Room.  A fabulous display of rococo furniture, this buffet contains a water fountain and wine cooler.  Specifically made for Anthony Grill, well known art collector of the age and resident of the “House of Heads”.  Carved decorations of the highest rococo style decorate the outside, possibly from the hand of Asmus Frauen, a Transylvanian sculptor, and resident of Amsterdam after 1738.

Opening the doors of this exquisite cabinet, I want to share four epic paintings currently displayed at the Chicago Art Institute, Gallery 28.  These choice items by French artist Hubert Robert, 22 May 1733 – 15 April 1808, created specifically for the residence of Marquis Jean-Joseph de Laborde, owner of the Chateau de Mereville. The Old Temple, The Obelisk, The Landing Place, and The Fountains, this suite of canvases were set into the paneled walls of the Marquis’ salon, creating an alternate space, accentuated by the Neoclassical décor of the room.

The Old Temple

The Old Temple, 1787/88 Gift of Adolphus C. Bartlett, 1900.382

The Obelisk

The Obelisk, 1787/88
Gift of Clarence Buckingham, 1900.383

The Landing Place

The Landing Place, 1787/88
Gift of Richard T. Crane, 1900.384

The Fountains

The Fountains, 1787/88 Gift of William G. Hibbard, 1900.385

Sold by Galerie George Petit, Paris, June 13, 1900, to Durand-Ruel, acting on behalf of the Art Institute, with funds provided by Adolphus C. Bartlett, Clarence Buckingham, Richard T. Crane, and William G. Hibbard – Titans of Chicago industry during their day.  The old ruins continue their enduring journey through the ages as mere mortals play and work amongst them, a stony, silent witness to history.

My latest guilty pleasures can be found in the hidden drawers of our cabinet, HistoryHit and Art Detective.  If you haven’t had the inclination of enjoying these podcasts hosted by Dan Snow and Janina Ramirez, I urge you to follow them on Twitter and give them a listen.  Their enthusiasm brims over with each new subject, and I don’t feel like I am the only History Geek in the world.  Given the state of continuing education in the arts and history, these podcasts reinvigorate the listener to learn more and expand their intellectual horizons.

Their Mortal Remains Banner

My next hidden drawer brings us London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and the first retrospective of Pink Floyd, beginning May 13.  Celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first single Arnold Layne, ‘Their Mortal Remains’ continues through the journey of Pink Floyd’s extraordinary world.  The exhibition celebrates Pink Floyd’s place in history as a cultural icon surviving the changing landscape of the times.  Their flying pigs still carry a relevancy to this day.


I truly hope this exhibition will see the world tour it deserves, as did Bowie’s costume collection.  A virtual tour of this one would suffice, nonetheless.  Admit it, you’re off to find the link to the Wizard of Oz synced with Dark Side of the Moon.  Here’s a good one.

Marching Hammers

P21431 2001.PR.2 001

My final hidden drawer, way back behind the others, contains treasure from the Getty.  From their online archive, The Prospetto dell’alma citta di Roma visto dal monte by Giuseppe Vasi 1710-1782 is truly epic in size and execution.   Dedicated to King Charles III of Spain, the monumental panorama of the city of Rome extends from St. Peter’s Basilica on the left to the Pyramid of Cestius and Fonte dell’Acqua Paola on the far right.


The entire piece is available in minute detail, check out this close up in comparison to the actual breadth of the engraving.  Stunning craftsmanship covers every fiber of the page.

Thank you for sharing my Cabinet of Curiosities.  Our cabinet shared many special treasures and I hope your interest is piqued.

What I am reading, City of Light, City of Poison, Holly Tucker.

Blogs to follow, Messy Nessy Chic.




Leave a comment

Filed under May

National Handwriting Day and the Artist

vintage fountain pen

In celebration of National Handwriting Day I wanted to write a post about this disappearing art.  Many days after school, I spent time in my room trying to perfect my script.  I was not satisfied with the identity my written words portrayed on the page.  A moment in history struck a chord in my mind, Marie Antoinette signing her marriage contract; her hand trailed across the page, an anguished scrawl, leaving a legacy she was not pleased to be associated with, never mind the tragedies to transpire after the marriage.  I wanted to be an artist, but my written words were anything but artistic, cramped letters that mimicked the style taught during grade school; I endeavored to do better than Marie.

Marie antoinette wedding signature

marie antoinette wedding contract

cursive example

At the time, the best examples of artistic script to be found was contained in the art of album cover design.  From Pink Floyd’s The Wall to Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise, these designs inspired me to draw my letters until a flowing script transformed many notebook pages from my practice. This will probably be the only reference in blog history of Neil Diamond and Pink Floyd mentioned as the influences of an artist.

beautiful noise album cover

pink floyd the wall album design

A dear friend in high school shared the gift of fountain pens and nibs, growing my art to Calligraphy, another area I mastered.  This art required patiently composed words the curve and flow of each letter paramount.

calligraphy nibs

waterman fountain pen ad

As new artists emerge, perhaps technology will transform this style into something none of us can currently imagine.  The day of email and typed script has taken over the creation of hand lettering and I find myself missing the personal touch of a handwritten note.  On occasion, I glance over my mother’s handwritten bits, she is gone now, but those words bring her closer to me again.  I rarely get the same feeling from an email or Facebook message.

a month of letters challenge

So I would encourage you, dear reader, take a moment this week to pen a note and send it to a friend.  I believe the response will have an immeasurable comparison.

fountain pen image

john hancock_s signature

Rabbit Hole of Research:

Toni Tennille (The Captain ‘n Tennille) sang backup on The Wall.

Robbie Robertson, (The Band) produced Beautiful Noise.

month of letters participant

I am participating in A Month of Letters on Facebook, send me a private message and we can exchange addresses.  Do you have any thoughts to share on the disappearing art of hand writing?  I look forward to chatting with you!

Kind regards,

Mary Jo


Filed under January