Eggs of many colors and fashionable Fifth Avenue bones

Nature on display in Bergdorf Goodman’s windows – expertly cast North American bird’s eggs and a diverse selection of skeletons are courtesy of Bones Clones, Inc. and featured on their website. 

https://boneclones.com/category/bergdorf-goodman-windows

The windows are the work of Bergdorf’s Senior Director David Hoey and overseen by Linda Fargo, SVP of Fashion and Store Presenation (who grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield as I did!) and are always imaginative and a fun treat on my way to work – but these are spectacular.       

 Photo @ Ricky Zehavi

  

Photo @ Ricky Zehavi

  

Photo @ Ricky Zehavi

  

Photo @ Ricky Zehavi

  

Photo @ Ricky Zehavi  

    

I see a northern cardinal egg above and below is this gorgeous large male I saw in a Central Park just hanging out on a bench! Wasn’t even frightened off when I got very close to snap his photo.

  Refreshing to see nature in the city as always!    

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F is for Falcon and H is for…

I read Helen Macdonald’s excellent “H Is for Hawk” this past winter. An engrossing novel of obsession and grief – one of the best I’ve read recently. What drew me to the book, in addition to the marvelous reviews, was the subject. I had just returned from a wintery trip to Vienna – complete with a blizzard to compete with the ones we’d been experiencing in the Northeast. And then several days after I arrived the Austrian and German television stations reported that Boston had been hit with yet another large snowstorm! Several times over the winter, after I had returned home to New York, I heard people remark “well at least we’re not in Boston!”

But back to falcons and hawks – while at the Neue Burg, which houses the Arms and Armour collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, I came across these Falcon Hoods.

  
And Hawk Hoods

  
I was fascinated and as usually happens, to me at least, once your are aware of a new object, word or topic you meet it again everywhere.

And thus, back in New York I came across this charming portrait at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  
This Flemish portrait was painted by the artist Wallerant Vaillant, who was born in Lille and died in Amsterdam. It is simply titled “Portrait of a Boy with a Falcon”. But who is this elegantly turned out young aristocrat? I’ve no idea – another “art mystery” as we used to say in school.

I adore birds of prey and we can see many in New York – mostly red-tailed hawks like the famous Pale Male, but peregrines as well as the occasional bald eagle. Plenty for them to eat with a bounty of squirrels and pigeons available in our parks and the high perches we’ve built for ourselves all around Central Park are particularly enticing nesting spots – at least the older buildings. These new all glass towers are useless to our feathered friends – no where to rest or raise a family at One57! But a perfect hawk haven below.

 
Photo by Lincoln Karim posted at http://www.palemale.com

The of Triumph of Fame over Death

Loved this team of elephants pulling the cart

Loved this team of elephants pulling the cart

This South Netherlandish tapestry is on view in Gallery 305 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. What attracted me was the pair of white elephants. The theme is from Petrarch’s I Trionfi (The Triumphs) and Louis XII commissioned a series of tapestries after the work was translated into French. This particular one has been cut down and was from a series most likely created for Bishop Symphorien de Bullioud of Soissons, a man familiar with Italian culture from trips to Milan and Rome.

The figures include Alexander the Great and Charlemagne – both sporting symbols of the French kings including Charlemagne’s fleur-de-lys and Alexander’s scepter. Plato and Aristotle stand with them. And the women being trampled by the elephants? Death. Hope that should I ever meet white elephants that would not be my fate.

Preliminary Notes on Two Recently Discovered Inscriptions from La Corona, Guatemala

Maya Decipherment

by David Stuart (The University of Texas at Austin), Marcello Canuto (Tulane University), Tomás Barrientos Quezada (Universidad del Valle de Guatemala), and Maxime Lamoureax St-Hillaire (Tulane University)

During the 2015 excavation season at La Corona, Guatemala, two new sculpted blocks were recovered in excavations of the site’s main palace overseen by one of the authors, Maxime Lamoueax St-Hilaire. Both blocks are parts of larger compositions that were removed from their original settings and re-set in a masonry wall near the northeast corner of the palace complex. The precise archaeological context of the discovery will be presented separately, and described in detailed at the upcoming SImposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala.

Each stone has been assigned an “Element” designation in accordance with the nomenclature system developed for La Corona’s corpus of sculpture (Stuart et. al. 2015). Each stone seems to be part of a larger panel or sculpted step, so it…

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IPCNY’s 2014 Spring Benefit

IPCNY's 2014 Spring Benefit

Lovely tables all set up inside Cedar Lake in Chelsea on the night of Thursday, May 22nd. The evening honored artist Richard Tuttle, Clifford S. Ackley, the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Curator of Prints and Drawings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and David and Evelyn Lasry of Two Palms Gallery. Despite the rain that evening, the rather noisy interior was filled with artists and those involved with printmaking as collectors, critics, gallerists and other supporters. My table included the executive director of the new printmaking studio Guttenberg Arts. They provide the space and time for practicing visual artists to develop their work and expand their reach through artistic collaboration, and the promotion of their work to curators and collectors throughout the Tri-State area. http://www.guttenbergarts.org/ What a marvelous endeavor! And I was fortunate to meet one of the talented artists they support, printmaker, Kirtsten Flaherty that evening.

The Rise of Maya Civilization

Last weekend the 8th Annual Tulane Maya Symposium and Workshop was held in New Orleans. Sponsored by the Middle American Research Institute, the yearly gathering is smaller than a major conference and a real chance for scholars to hear about the recent research of their colleagues and meet up and coming graduate students from institutions throughout the country, but many from the Louisiana, Florida and Texas area. 

Normand Hammond, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at Boston University, presented his research from the site of Cuello, Belize.  The site was inhabited from 1200 BC through the end of the Late Preclassic. He showed evidence from the Middle Preclassic of residential structures and a sweatbath grouped around a courtyard and persistent renovation programs for more than 500 years until they were finally buried beneath a later ceremonial structure. Floral and faunal evidence shows a community with a maize based diet and some root crop agriculture as well as hunting and puppy farming for additional protein sources. All the dogs were raised to the same age, just less than a year, and then butchered for food. There was trade in exotic goods and suggestions of  ranked society. That a community with such a small population (perhaps a little over 100 households and 600-700 people) should be this developed in the first half of the first millennium BC shows that much more work should be done to discover Middle Preclassic evidence at other sites which may have been destroyed or buried by later building programs. I’ll have to add Prof. Hammond’s “Cuello: An Early Maya Community”

Figurine from Cuello