Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Visit to the Cloisters

On Sunday I dashed to the Cloisters, my first visit in a few years, to catch the last day of The Forty Part Motet, a sound installation by Janet Cardiff  in the Fuentidueña Cloister. This is copied from the Cloisters web page about this exhibit:

The Forty Part Motet (2001), a sound installation by Janet Cardiff (Canadian, born 1957), will be the first presentation of contemporary art at The Cloisters. Regarded as the artist's masterwork, and consisting of forty high-fidelity speakers positioned on stands in a large oval configuration throughout the Fuentidueña Chapel, the fourteen-minute work, with a three-minute spoken interlude, will continuously play an eleven-minute reworking of the forty-part motet Spem in alium numquam habui (1556?/1573?) by Tudor composer Thomas Tallis (ca. 1505–1585). Spem in alium, which translates as "In No Other Is My Hope," is perhaps Tallis's most famous composition. Visitors are encouraged to walk among the loudspeakers and hear the individual unaccompanied voices—bass, baritone, alto, tenor, and child soprano—one part per speaker—as well as the polyphonic choral effect of the combined singers in an immersive experience. The Forty Part Motet is most often presented in a neutral gallery setting, but in this case the setting is the Cloisters' Fuentidueña Chapel, which features the late twelfth-century apse from the church of San Martín at Fuentidueña, near Segovia, Spain, on permanent loan from the Spanish Government. Set within a churchlike gallery space, and with superb acoustics, it has for more than fifty years proved a fine venue for concerts of early music.

The large space was filled with people as it was that last day, and I was sorry that I hadn't made an effort to see this earlier when it might have been possible to wander around more freely and listen to the various voices from their individual speakers. It was interesting to watch how people listened and reacted to this short but stirring presentation and I took a few pictures with a new camera that I needed to test. It was beautiful to see the joy and wonder on so many faces.

The Fuentidueña Chapel, looking toward the entrance. The speakers placed around the room each represent an individual voice.

The interior of the half dome is decorated with a Catalan fresco depicting the Virgin and Child in Majesty and the Adoration of the Magi from the church of the Virgin near Tredòs, and a magnificent twelfth-century painted Spanish wood crucifix hangs from the arch. 

Many people recorded the 14 minute presentation and like me, took photos while listening.


Gathering and transporting manna, 15th century, Munich

Medallion of the face of Jesus carved from Baltic Amber, 12th century

St. James the Greater, alabaster, gilding and polychromy. Gil de Burgos, 15th century Spain

Room that houses the Unicorn tapestries, which was extremely crowded. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Wonderful Renaissance Treasury

It's not often that someone chooses a theme like this one, and the costume designer in me rejoices to see
such carefully chosen pieces that illustrate a place and time so well. Thanks to Maria from Portrait Handbags for curating this evocative Etsy Treasury!

And check out her beautifully embroidered handbags adorned with beautiful Renaissance ladies...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween, Greenwich Village-Style

I happened to be in the West Village in New York City the day before Halloween, and had to take some pictures of the decorations that were carried out so brilliantly by home and business owners alike. I love that the neighborhood got into the spirit (heh) and that some home owners really went for it in a big way. You can find elaborate displays anywhere, sometimes in surprising places, like one lone townhouse on a side street on the Upper East Side. 

Fabulous entrance to a house on Bank Street. I met the owner and she was happy that I got such a kick out of what she and her family had done.

Bat above lovely greenery and metallic decor on West 11th

                                    West 11th Street corner house
                                                 Perry Street skelly
                                      More West 11th, I think, heading toward 6th Avenue
                                                     Fun on West 11th Street
                                                                       Perry Street
Heads up on West 4th Street

                             Spooky red window and door at Marc Jacob's boutique on Bleecker Street
Pumpkin vendor at Union Square Greenmarket

Window of Mexican Restaurant on Hudson Street

                                                               Perry Street
The Reaper on Bank Street

                    West 11th again, quite the display with orange lights wrapped around tree and gate
                                           Ralph Lauren on Bleecker - a nice autumn display
                                                             Bank Street pumpkins
               This evil little pumpkin was in the doorway with the hanging heads on West 4th Street
                                                                       Bank street
                                                        Awesome spider on Bank Street
                                                      Carved pumpkins on Bank Street
                                                           Corner house on West 11th
                                      West 11th off Bleecker. Fall foliage has finally arrived.
                              elaborate tombstone on West 11th further East (an oxymoron)
 I have seen a few of these figures in displays. This was in the "yard" of the house on West 11th with the orange tree lights
                                    Great rope spiderweb - and spider upper left! Bank street
                                           Very pretty window boxes on Perry or West 11th

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Today in New York City it's a breezy 62 degrees after a recent heatwave, and Fall is in the air. I thought I'd celebrate by posting pictures of Autumn Lovelies from both of my shops:

Angora collar to warm up a favorite sweater

Macrame 1940s handbag with lucite tortoise shell handles

Groovy suede and acrylic hooded sweater jacket

Cheerful yellow knit gloves

Freshwater Pearl cluster lariat necklace in rich jewel tones

Acrylic fall leaf necklace

Mimi diN orange glass seed bead torsade necklace

Vintage buckle, button and bead bracelet

Orange glass bead bracelet

Hot chocolate and cream jasper and copper earrings

Jasper and glass bead bracelet in yummy chocolate and coffee colors

Fall flower glass bead earrings

Orange glass lampwork earrings

Sterling silver and topaz chandelier crystal earrings

Orange coral sticks

Glass leaf beads in green and copper

Enameled caterpillar on a leaf beads

Vintage wooden painted folk art ladle

Happy Fall to All!