Into the unknown

I’ve been reading Nathaniel Philbrick’s excellent book, In the Heart of the Sea, about the whaling ship Essex (it sank in the Pacific Ocean in 1820 after tangling with a sperm whale and became Herman Melville’s inspiration for the novel Moby Dick). The surviving crewmembers, adrift in the ship’s boats, had to decide where their best chance of rescue lay […]

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A day of remembrance

When I started writing this post yesterday, it seemed like the perfect time to share these powerful paintings which I saw during my visit to San Francisco’s de Young Museum last summer. At first I hesitated to include Jack Levine’s piece, above, because it felt like such a negative image. This painting commemorates the Birmingham Campaign, a series of direct […]

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Mixed media

I collected this set of images during two separate visits to two different museums: Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum (September 2019) and San Francisco’s deYoung Museum (August 2022). The artists and the media may be widely varied, but each one speaks to me in a profound way, and the more I consider them, the more connections I seem to discover. Al […]

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Blown glass

On my visit to San Francisco’s deYoung Museum last August I revisited some of the blown glass pieces I had seen previously, in 2019, and spent some time getting a better look. I wasn’t entirely satisfied with some of the pictures I shot with my phone on my earlier visit; this time I used my Canon SL2, and I think […]

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Violence, deconstructed

I think that once you’ve seen one of Al Farrow’s mosaic sculptures you’ll never quite forget it. That was why on my visit to the deYoung Museum in San Francisco last August I suddenly found myself experiencing a strange feeling of deja vu; it took me a few minutes to realize why. His intricate pieces are both jarring and thought-provoking, […]

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Serious Moonlight

I first learned about the artist Chiura Obata (1885-1975) during my visit to Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum back in September 2018. I shared some images from that visit more recently, in October 2020, showing some of his drawings and other pieces (including the one above) that particularly impressed me. So I was very happy to discover Moonlight, a large piece […]

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