Monday, November 25, 2019

WATERFALLS, Sparking "AWE!" in Central Park By Polly Guerin

Waterfall at the Loch in Central Park 
Ah! Wilderness!!!                                       The breathtaking views will spark "AWE!"  As you contemplate the beauty of nature, the powerful waterfall engages our senses and help us to feel less stressed out. No need to trek up to the Adirondacks, go no further than Central Park to get that "AWE" feeling.
       Nature is the healer and the health benefits of waterfalls is due  negative irons that are released as  the water cascades down the rocks. It leads to fresh cool water that creates a feeling of calm for serene contemplation or meditation. Central Park's waterfalls allow escape from the cacophony of the city with it blaring orchestra screaming at us with daily sirens. Just sitting still and listening to the cascading water helps to reduce that stress and even depression.
         In Frederick Law Olmstead's plan he sculpted meadows, knolls, ponds and waterfalls At the entrance to Central  Park West between 101st street and 106th street in the North Woods , you'll find water flowing from the grassy banks of the Pool and the ravine of the Loch in the center, before connecting o the Meer on the East Side.
       "It's not an area in the park that is as visited as others," Central Park Conservancy guide Juan Jesus said. "And they are kind of hidden in the sense that they are shrouded or like hidden by this canopy of trees that we have all around us."      
Another view of the Lush Cascading Waterfall
The man-made stream called the LOCH  contains several dams, which have created  three magnificent cascades or waterfalls that have gone surprisingly unnoticed for years. Take the challenge and go to west Central Park and find your special respite.
      There are several components to the waterfalls that have made it some of the greatest features of engineering and art. "The big boulders of Manhattan make up a schist, which happens to be the foundation  that we have on the island of Manhattan," Jesus said. "There's also elements like coconut husk fibers that are used to maintain the edge of the LOCH---of this continuous stream--and regular New York tap water."    
Contemplating in the Ravine
Waterfalls are a gift of nature providing the soothing sounds of birds chirping and the flowing water that continues our stream of consciousness to become refreshed and invigorated with a new sense of peace and harmony in our life. What the sound of waterfall does is rather magical, too, it allows us to enjoy the beauty of the people and the pulsating city and, at the same time, to escape the madness going on around us.  It's free, it's nature's gift where peace and solitude provide refuge and restoration, to feeling connected with the cascading rhythm of the waterfall and life itself.
Ta, Ta DARLINGS!!! It's time to get back to the simpler joys of life where waterfalls transcend the
ordinary and bring us to heights of greater enlightenment.  Fan mail:
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Monday, November 18, 2019

A WONDER T0 BEHOLD: Craftsmanship and the Creation of BABYLON'S ISHTAR GATE: By Polly Guerin

Reconstructed panel of bricks with a Striding Lion
A little known treasure, and one of my favorites, is The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW). It's fascinating exhibition A WONDER TO BEHOLD: CRAFTSMANSHIP and the CREATION OF BABYLON'S ISHTAR GATE, is a new venue for understanding the most spectacular achievement of the ancient world. On view through May 24, 2020 at 15 East 84th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenue, the exhibition is a time capsule of ancient history with Free Admission. It will illuminate your vision of the spectacular and the extraordinary achievements of old-world craftsmanship. It features 180 objects that bring to life the masterful craftsmanship and ancient beliefs that transformed clay, minerals, and organic materials--seen as magical potent substances---into this powerful monument. Image: Reconstructed panel of bricks with a striding lion. Neo-Babylonian period (reign of Nebuchadnezzer 11, 604-562 BCE). WONDER OF THE ANCIENT WORLD is an eye-popping demonstration of how the master craftspeople who designed and built the Ishtar Gate and its Processional Way were not merely skilled technicians, though they were certainly that, but also artists, historians, and ritual practitioners known as "experts"(ummanu).  They were capable of creating artworks that manifested divine powers on Earth, and the Ishtar Gate, offering entry into the imperial city of Babylon. The exhibition opens with an introduction to the gateway with a variety of archival drawings, photographs, and objects that demonstrate the immense  of this undertaking.  A 1901 watercolor by archaeologist Walter Andrae, for example, shows the Babylonian system of fitters' marks that he deciphered, revealing the painstaking process through which the monument was created. This process began by marking out the design on a wall of unadorned bricks, and continued with he molding, glazing, and baking of each individual bricks before fitting them together, a task that is something like designing and assembling an intricate puzzle.

Replica of the Ishtar Gate at the Berlin State Museum
      Travelers to Ancient Babylon were met with an astonishing sight--a gate nearly 50 feet high and 100 feet wide--made of jeweled glazed bricks and adorned with bas-relief lions, dragons and young bulls believed to be powerful beings associated with the king's role as protector of the people. The beasts are depicted in bold relief, projecting the space of the viewer, as they intimidated unwelcome visitors while protecting the inhabitants. A colossal undertaking it was built over the course of King Nebuchadnezzar 11 reign,
         The Ishtar Gate (named in honor of the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, goddess of fertility, love and war, was at the epicenter of a major empire that extended from present day Iran to Egypt. In its final and most spectacular phase, imagine the stunning edifice, the monument was built with brilliantly glazed bricks, molded in relief to depict hundreds of dragons, lions, and bulls--all set against a background  the color of Lapis Lazuli.        
Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar
Treasures within the exhibit include a cuneiform tablet from the Middle Babylonian Period (ca, 1300-1200 BCE) which records a recipe for making red glass that sheds light on the secret alchemical knowledge of ancient Middle Eastern craftspeople, while an Egyptian glass vessel from (ca. 1400-1300 BCE) showcases the range of brilliant colors that these experts were able to achieve.
      The Institute for the Study of the Ancient  World (ISAW) is an independent research center within NYU for advanced scholarly research and graduate education with the aim of forming a new generation of scholars who will enter the global academic community and become intellectual leaders. GALLERY HOURS: Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm and Friday from 11an to 8 pm with free guided tour at 6pm.
      TA TA DARLINGS!!! This exhibit is a golden opportunity to realize the tremendous talent and production of the ancient world's craftsmen, It's a "Must See!" cultural experience. Send fan mail to Visit Polly's other Blogs on


Monday, November 11, 2019

COST OF REVOLUTION. The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier at theMuseum of the American Revolution: Review By Polly Guerin

The American Revolution and its fight to be free of British rule is an inspiring battle cry that also
spirited on the cause for rebellion in other countries, particularly  Ireland. 
COST OF REVOLUTION: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF AN IRISH SOLIDER at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia tells the untold story of RICHARD ST. GEORGE, an Irish soldier and artist, whose personal trauma and untimely death provide a window into the entangled histories of the American Revolution and the ensuing Irish Revolution of 1798. "You may not have heard the name Richard St. George before, but you'll be astonished by what his life can tell us about America and Ireland during the Age of Revolution," said Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, President and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution. "This exhibit extends the Museum's internationally acclaimed, story-driven approach into the global stage to examine the broader influence of the American Revolution through St. George's remarkable personal journey."   On view through March 17, 2020.   
Richard St. George by Thomas Gainsborough
        St. George, mind you, did not fight on the American side, yet his story is a compelling reference to the time and place when history took on the monumental cry for liberty. As a young officer in the
British Army, Richard St. George crossed the Atlantic in 1776 to try and stop the growing American Revolution. He returned home to Ireland after surviving a severe head wound at the Battle of Germantown, near Philadelphia in 1777. Back in Ireland he found his native country roiled by the effects of the revolutionary spirit sweeping across America and Europe. Inspired by the rally call for freedom St. George became an outspoken critic of the growing movement to establish an Irish republic, independent of the British Empire in the late 1790s. Sadly, a few months before the outbreak of the Irish Revolution of 1798, St. George was ambushed and killed by a group of Irish tenants in County Cork who were influenced by the United Irishmen and the Defenders. He was eulogized at his funeral in 1798 at St. Mary's Church in Athlone, Ireland for having devoted his life to defending the British Crown. 
         American Revolution history buffs will appreciate the KEY ARTIFACTS ON DISPLAY: The 1775 bound maps of the estate of Richard St. George in County Galway, on loan from the Galway County Council Archives, Galway, Ireland. A rare silk flag carried by the Delaware militia tha the British light infantry captured during the Philadelphia campaign of 1777, on loan from the Delaware Historical Society, Richard St. George's personal sketches from the American Revolutionary War, on loan from a private collection. One sketch depicts St. George being carried off the battlefield following his wounding at the Battle of Germantown in 1777.  Image: A portrait of Richard St. George by English artist Thomas Gainsborough (1776) that depicts him just before he shipped out for New York to fight against the growing American Revolution, on loan to the Museum from Australia's National Portrait Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne).        

Exhibition Display COST OF REVOLUTION
Five portraits of Richard St. George, created over a span of 25 years, are known to survive and are reunited in the exhibit for the first time since they left the possession of St. George's descendants more than a century ago. Every piece of surviving artwork by St. George himself, including cartoons, sketches from his military service in America, and a self-portrait are also assembled for the first time in this exhibit. Together, the portraits, cartoons and sketches reveal the physical and emotional toll of revolution. Among the other portraits are paintings of the Battles of Paoli and Germantown by Italian artist Xavier della Gatta that St. George helped to create in 1782 to reflect on St. George
's participation in those battles. The paints are in the Museum's permanent collection. SPECIAL PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS: The Museum's monthly History After Hours Series includes COMIC RELIEF on November 19; CAMPED OUT on December 10, and A WINTER'S BALL on January 21, 2020.   For more information visit Or call 215.253.6731.

MUSEUM of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, 101 S. Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
       Ta Ta Darlings!!! Even if you are not an aficionado of historical research COST OF REVOLUTION reminds us to remember that the American Revolution is the birth of our
nation with Freedom and Liberty at the core of our fundamental beliefs. Fan mail always
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Monday, November 4, 2019


Greenwich and Dey Streets New York City 1810
Rare depictions of early America by the pioneering woman artist and French refugee, the little known Baroness Hyde de Neuville, illuminates by meticulous and charming detail what it was like in America in the 1800s. A keen and particularly sensitive observer, the Baroness traveled extensively and recorded individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and landmarks that you may recognize. Other historically correct and mesmerizing images may no longer exist but they serve as historical references to the fledgling nation. Image: Greenwich & Dey Streets, New York City. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Collection of Art, Prints and Photographs. Stokes Collection 1810.
     The New York Historical Society's exhibition, ARTIST IN EXILE: THE VISUAL DIARY OF BARONESS HYDE DE NEUVILLE is on view through January 26, 2020 in the Joyce B. Cowin Women's History Gallery of the Center for Women's History with 115 watercolors, drawings, and oher works by Anne Marguerite Josephine Henriette Rouille de Marigny, Baroness Hyde de Neuville (1771-1849). Self-taught and ahead of her time, Neuville's art celebrates the young country's history, culture, and diverse population, ranging from indigenous Americans to political leaders.  The Baroness' oeuvre is an enchanting observation of early America, views so well recorded with such fine and innocent detail that her images vicariously take you, like a time traveler, back into an early American place, its people or an event. Image: Indian War Dance for President Monroe, Washington, D.C. in 1821. Colonial Willamsburg Foundation Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
Indian War Dance for President Monroe, Washington, D.C. 1821
"Neuville could never have envisioned that her visual diary---created as a personal record of her travels and observations of early America---would become an invaluable historical of the early republic. Yet, her drawings vividly evoke the national optimism and rapid expansion of the young United States and capture the diversity of its individuals," Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New York Historical Society. Image: Among the notable events the Neuville's attended was an "Indian War Dance" performed by a delegation of the Plains Indian tribes in front of President Monroe,  and 6,000 spectators at the White House, Washington, D.C. on November 29, 1821. Neuville's watercolor documenting the event includes likenesses of half-chief Shaumonekusse (Praire Wolf) and one of his five wives,  Hayne Hudjihini (Eagle of Delight) Later the "War Dance," was performed at the Neuville's house.. Black and brown ink. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. 
THE BARONESS HYDE de NEUVILLE, the artist who stated in 1818 that she had but one wish "and that was to see an American lady elected president." A woman ahead of her time she was born to an aristocratic family in Sancerre, France. She married ardent royalist Jean Guillaume Hyde de Neuville, who became involved during the French Revolution in conspiracies to reinstate the Bourbon monarchy and was accused of participating in a plot to assassinate Napoleon, In an effort to disprove the charges against her husband, the baroness took her cause directly to Napoleon who was impressed with her courage and allowed the couple to go into exile.      

They arrived in New York in 1807 and stayed for seven years. During their second American residency (1816-22) when her husband served as French Minister Plenipotentiary in Washington, D.C., Henriette became a celebrated hostess. John Quincy Adams described her as "a woman of excellent temper, amiable disposition, profuse charity, yet judicious economy and sound discretion. Image: Self-portrait Baroness Hyde de Neuville, Black chalk, black ink. New York Historical Society purchase 1953-238. A GALLERY TOUR OF ARTIST IN EXILE, Led by curator, Roberta M. Olson, will take place on January 6. In honor of the Baronesses' heritage, several French movies will be shown as part of the New York Historical Society's Friday night film series. 1938's The Baker's Wife on November 8 and 1946's Beauty and the Beast on December 6. On select weekends throughout the exhibition's run, young visitors can explore the Baroness' life and the art she created with touch objects and living historians.  TA TA DARLINGS!!! Wonderful exhibition of
life in small-scale renderings, be sure to pick up one of the magnifiers on loan at the exhibit to see up-close the fine details of the Baroness' images. Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at with links in the left-hand column to visionary men,
women determined to succeed, fashion historian and poetry.