Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Look What I Found in my Parents' Basement. Masterpiece 1987

Look what we found in my parents' basement last Tuesday when I went for a visit. The 1987 version of the Masterpiece game. 

25% of the cards are the same as the 1970 Version of the game. 

Seventy-five percent are 'new' masterpieces.

 Here are several paintings from the '87 game that I spotted at the Art Institute of Chicago.  

Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte by Georges Seurat, 1884-86

I wanted to show this photo so you could see the scale of the piece and the crowds. I waited around a while for heads to move in order to get this next shot...

The Seurat owns a place of prominence at the museum and is one of their most popular pieces. It is Seurat's largest and best-known painting.

Van Gogh's The Bedroom, 1889

Van Gogh's Self-portrait, 1887, made the center of the 1987 board. Deservedly so.

Water Lilies, 1906, by Claude Monet

Paul Cezanne's The Vase of Tulips, 1890

This still life of fruit and flowers appears in several other paintings by Cezanne. From what I've read, the spatial relationships between objects in the painting is admirable. I just know that I love it when I see it.


And this Renoir which is part of the 1987 Masterpiece game calls Chicago its home, but it was out on loan when we visited. But here is a print from the wall in our office next to the piano. I love Renoir and love this painting:

Renoir's Lady at the Piano, 1875

I like all the paintings here. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite. Do you have one?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Three Pieces of Poetry News

 Here at Visits and Verse, the 'Verse' seems to have been overshadowed by the 'Visits' side of things lately, so today we'll focus on poetry-related news.I do have three personal poetry tidbits of news to share.

1. This National publication in the photo below published one of my short poems in their January 2012 issue. They paid me and everything. Hurray. The publication owns the rights for the next three months so I can't share the poem here today. The good news is they have a circulation of 318,000 readers. It's the third time in about fourteen months that they've accepted and published one of my short poems.

2. Bolts of Silk is an online literary zine. Editor Juliet Wilson, based in Edinburgh, Scotland has run the UK blogzine since 2006. The motto of Bolts of Silk is "beautiful poetry with something to say." 

Yesterday, my poem Three Horses in the Cold appeared in Bolts of Silk. I invite you to check it out if you haven't yet. Simply click here. To leave a comment at the site (I hope you will) click on the words "poetry lovers" below the poem.

3. You are invited to attend the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets' Winter Festival on Sunday afternoon, February 12, 2012. I am scheduled as participating reader, along with Susan Elbe, Robin Chapman, Tim Walsh, Morgan Harlow and Geoff Collins. 

 2012 Winter Festival of Poetry
Avol's Bookstore, 315 Gorham Street
Madison, WI
February 12th at 2:00 pm

It would be great to see a familiar face or two in the audience. Fyi, plan for the entire event to last about 80 or 90 minutes. All friends and non-hecklers welcome! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Claude Monet at the Art Institute of Chicago

Claude Monet, an initiator of French impressionist painting, lived from 1840 to 1926. The term Impressionism originated from the title of his early painting, Impression, Sunrise. Monet and other impressionists broke the rules of acceptable academic painting practices and were considered radicals.

Here are some of his earlier works on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Petite Creuse River, 1889

Cliff Walk at Pourville, 1882

Bordighera, 1884

Rocks at the Port-Goulphar, Belle-Ile, 1886

Monet came to Belle-Ile, a small island off the shore of Brittany to capture the beauty of the place. He came for two weeks and stayed more than two months, having misjudged the time it would take to explore and paint.

Boats on the Beach at Etretat, 1885

Painted during the rain from his narrow view of the beach in his room at the Hotel Blanquet.

Poppy Field (Giverny), 1890-91
Monet painted four scaled canvases showing poppy fields near his home. He did not consider them a series, but they show his growing interest in developing similar canvases.


 It's party time. All current Visits and Verses members are invited to a Parker Brothers' Masterpiece Board Game party at my WI home. You should have received an invitation via e-mail or on Facebook. If you're a member and didn't receive an invite, then please send me a note at lorilipsky@gmail.com.

Not sure if you're a member/follower? Look for your photo in the upper left of Visits and Verse (you may have to click 'more', then 'next') or hover over one of the colored squares and see if your name appears or just send me a note and ask. Not a member? I invite you to join our group.

Have a terrific weekend. Next week I'll show some more Monet from Chicago, and then we'll be moving on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Masterpiece Board Game Masterpieces in Chicago

Turns out that the Masterpiece Board Game has worked its magic on the next generation in my family as well. My niece was distracted and missed this Jackson Pollock painting when we passed by it the first time, even though it's displayed in a place of significant exposure. We all had to walk back a ways with her because she was so disappointed to have missed it. I loved that she cared!

Here are four more works from the 1970's version of the Parker Brothers' Masterpiece game:

Greyed Rainbow by Jackson Pollock, 1953

Abstract Expressionism

A Self Portrait by Van Gogh, 1886/88

"Based on the contrast of complementary colors. The blue-green background tone serve as a foil to  the  orange-red of the artist's hair and beard. The brushwork adds intensity." (notes from the museum)

At the Moulin Rouge, 1892, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

When the Moulin Rouge opened, Lautrec was hired to produce posters. Afterward, he frequented the establishment.
Because he was often mocked for his short stature and physical defects, he turned to alcohol to numb his pain, and ended up dying at the young age of 36 after being institutionalized.

Sylvette (Portrait of Mlle. D.) 1954 by Pablo Picasso

Thanks for being part of Visits and Verse and thank you for all the comments. It's been great fun to hear from so many of you. The top commenters, winners of the five Prestel art books, will be announced in early February. Fifth place is wide open, so it's not too late to comment and win one of the art books.

I invite you to join and become part of Visits and Verse. Just click on the join button at the top left and follow a couple of steps. It would be a huge help to me at those times when editors visit my site. Every time I send out submissions for publication, editors come to Visits and Verse to check it out. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Parker Brothers meets the Art Institute of Chicago

My family played games as I was growing up. Many games. Masterpiece by Parker Brothers was my mom's favorite and we played it a lot.

To be honest, I often groaned and moaned about it. Turns out, as I look back, all those games of Masterpiece had an impact and it's about as close to an art museum as I got with my family as I was growing up.

On my recent visit with Mark, Sandy, Paige and Alex to the Art Institute of Chicago, one of my goals was to find as many paintings from the old Masterpiece Art Auction Game (1970 version) as I could. I had success.

Old Man with a Gold Chain, 1631 by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn

Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness, 1618-1625, Spanish

Still Life by the Dutch, Pieter Claesz, 1625-30

Peter Paul Rubens, 1577-1640, Flemish The Holy Family with Saints Elizabeth and John the Baptist, c. 1615

The Assumption of the Virgin, El Greco, 1577-79

Have you ever played the Masterpiece board game? I brought up the box from the basement and it sat on our kitchen table for six days last week. No one here was interested in playing it with me. I had a wonderful time looking through the art cards again, though.

Next Post: Some more Parker Brothers' Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago

Monday, January 23, 2012

Photographer Timothy H. O'Sullivan; Oil on canvas at the Art Institute of Chicago

When daughter Paige read that there was an extensive exhibit of Timothy H.O'Sullivan photographs at the Chicago museum, she was pretty excited about it. I'd never heard of him.

No photos of the exhibit were allowed. The exhibit book is for sale in the museum shop: http://www.artinstituteshop.org

Clarence King's survey of the West (1867-1872) was the first to include a full-time photographer. Timothy O'Sullivan, who produced over 400 photographs, remains the most studied and admired photographer of the 19th century western surveys.

If you prefer oil on canvas paintings, here are a few from the museum's collection:

Antwerp: Landscape with the Penitent Saint Jerome, 1530-40, 

Trompe l'Oeil Still Life with a Flower Garland and a Curtain, 1658, Dutch painters Spelt and Mieris.
Adriaen van der Spelt painted the flowers and Mieris did the Trompe l'oeil work with the curtain

Moulin de la Galette, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1889
Lautrec thinned his paint with turpentine and applied in loose washings
(the technique, peinture a l'essence)

Haying Time, Camille Pissarro, French, 1892

Woman Bathing Her Feet in a Brook, Pissarro, 1894/95

The Vase of Tulips, the French Paul Cezanne, 1890

Thanks for stopping by Visits and Verse. I'm glad you did. Have a great day.

Upcoming posts: Monet; Parker Brother's Masterpiece Board Game

Friday, January 20, 2012

Van Gogh at the Art Institute of Chicago

Post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh, considered to be one of the greatest Dutch painters (after Rembrandt), lived from 1853 to 1890. He took up painting in 1880 at his brother's urging. In 1886, when he moved to Paris to stay with his brother, he became acquainted with artists Degas, Pissarro, Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin. 

Van Gogh painted almost 900 works during the last ten years of his life. Thankfully there are some to see here in the midwest! The Art Institute of Chicago owns several:

Vincent Van Gogh, The Bedroom, 1889

This is second of three versions he made. It shows the interior of the Yellow House in Arles, in the south of France.
The first version was one of the paintings he made to decorate the house for his visitor, Paul Gauguin.

Van Gogh, The Drinkers, 1890

Madame Roulin Rocking the Cradle, 1889

Van Gogh's Terrace and Observation Deck at the Moulin de Blute-Fin, Montmartre, 1887
This was one of a group of landscapes Van Gogh painted about a year after he arrived to stay with his brother Theo in Paris.

A Peasant Woman Digging in Front of Her Cottage, 1885

Self-Portrait, 1887

  • During his lifetime Van Gogh sold only one painting, The Red Vineyard, 1888, which now hangs at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. 

  • On the list of the top-ten-most-expensive-painting-sales-in-history, three of the paintings are by Van Gogh.

 “I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.”  ~Van Gogh


In case you haven't heard, for January I am going to give a free copy of an art book to each of my top five commenters. The books are published by Prestel. You'll receive one of the titles: Rembrandt, Monet or Van Gogh. The books go along well with our Art Institute of Chicago visit.

Have a terrific weekend. Thanks for stopping by Visits and Verse. You rock.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Puppy Photo from Hong Kong

Daughter Paige sent me this follow-up photo from Hong Kong yesterday after reading my blog post. You don't see this sort of thing in Waunakee, Wisconsin.

She took this photo to class and showed it to her professor just for fun. He's the photography prof who had warned the class not to submit any puppies, babies, flowers or sunsets (see yesterday's post). Anyway, he actually likes this one. He said if he were grading it he'd give it a five out of ten. Paige responded that 50% was not even a passing grade and his answer was that 50% was a pretty good grade for a puppy photo.

A couple of months ago on the streets of Hong Kong: 

photo by Daughter Paige 

If you haven't joined yet, I invite you to do so. If you're a member, thanks for being part of Visits and Verse. 

upcoming posts: We return to the fabulous Art Institute of Chicago

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Puppies, Flowers and a Baby...No Photos Please

Let's take a little break from Chicago's Art Museum for a short story and a photo.

Last fall when (Daughter) Paige went to Hong Kong for the first time she had the opportunity to study with a well-respected photo professor who is also a working photographer. On the first day of class he warned the students about their upcoming assignments:

"Absolutely no flowers, no puppies and no babies," he announced sternly and then repeated. He felt the three were overdone subjects.

The next day Paige found this photo below, mustered up some courage and sent it to her professor. Isn't it fantastic? I got such a kick out of it.

I'm sorry I'm unable to credit the photographer, but I'll keep looking. Just try a google search for puppies, flowers and a baby and see what happens...

Photo source unknown

I'm glad to have the freedom to delight in flowers, puppies and babies! Aren't you? What would the world be without them?

Have a great day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago

Edward Kemey's Lion Statue outside the Art Institute of Chicago

I look at it, study it, read about it, but I still don't get it. 

Sculpture amazes me. How do the artists do it? 

Here are a few works of sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago:

My companions for the day L-R: Sister Sandy, Niece Alex, Daughter Paige and Husband Mark holding Paige's camera

Vater Staat (Father State) by the German born Thomas Schutte, bronze
(Schutte's 2010 comment on powerful, towering regimes)

The Head of Buddha, 9th Century Indonesia

              Buddha Seated in Meditation, Granite, 12th Century India

Eve After the Fall, Auguste Rodin, 1886, marble
Critics of the day were shocked by its realism. Eve seemed real rather than idealized.

      Three encased sculptures by Rodin
1. Head of Pierre de Wissant, 1889  2.?  3. Carytide, 1891

The French sculptor, Rodin, lived from 1840 to 1917. Many of his works were widely criticized during his lifetime because they clashed with figure sculpture tradition and weren’t created around the themes of mythology and allegory. Rodin refused to change his style. His reputation grew after his World’s Fair exhibit, but then declined after his death until resurgence in the 1950’s. Today Rodin is one of few sculptors whose name is widely known outside the fine arts community.

Have a great day. Thank you for being part of Visits and Verse.

Upcoming post: Parker Brothers intersects with Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Five Things I Learned at the Art Institute of Chicago

Here are five things I learned in my first fifteen minutes at the Art Institute of Chicago:

1. Ever wonder where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got their names? You know, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael? The creators who were making decisions about the names sat in a restaurant across the street from the Chicago Institute of Art and got to reading the names on the building as they talked.... 

2. Guess what writer Lewis Carroll(Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) did besides write Alice in Wonderland?  In 1856 took up the brand-new art form of photography and even considered earning his living with it for a while. Dodgson was a well-known "gentleman-photographer" according to Wikipedia. 

3. Photographer Lewis Wickes Hine's photographs were some of the first used to enact change in social laws. He was hired by the National Child Labor committee to document scenes of child labor. His images influenced states to prohibit employment of children under age 14.

4-foot tall Sadie Pfeifer works with dangerous machinery in a South Carolina cotton mill

4. George N. Barnard, the photographer who is famous for documenting Sherman's Civil War campaign in the South, also took this panorama showing the devastation of Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871 which killed 300 people and left 100,000 without a home.

My sister Sandy enjoyed Paige's commentary on the photography 

5. Photographer Nadar (Gaspard-Felix Tournachon) was the first ever to make aerial photographs in 1858. His first flight in his hot-air balloon on October 4, 1863 ( he constructed the largest one in the world) was a big success. On his second launch the balloon crashed and he ended up with a fractured leg. 

Next post: more from the fabulous art museum in Chicago

In case you missed it... 

For January, I am going to give a free copy of an art book to each of my top five commenters. The books are published by Prestel. You'll receive one of the titles: Rembrandt, Monet or Van Gogh. The books are lovely and fit well with our visits to the Denver Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.

I invite you to make it official and join this site if you like Visits and Verse. It would help me out a bunch. It only takes a minute or two and makes a significant impact when editors and publishers drop in.

Thanks. I've enjoyed your comments this week. Have a wonderful weekend.