011818: From the Museums

Snow and cold outside. Another opportunity to dig back into the archives. The last two posts contained images from museums and they obviously contained fossils that were finished to the finest standards – very different from my usual finds. I like the aesthetics of each for different reasons.

So this week I decided to continue an exploration of my museum shoots and see what I might have missed the first time around. Most of today’s images are newly worked and there is much more there to be mined!

Here are five sets of images – three in each – from five different museum collections. The first three images (above) are from the collection of the Paleontological Research Institution in Trumansburg NY.

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The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven CT

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The New York State Museum, Albany NY

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The Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy, Paris, France

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The Natural History Museum of Florence, Florence, Italy

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Thanks for the visit.

011118: Crinoids

Last week, while reviewing the bivalve images I had taken during my two trips to the Paleontological Research Institute, I ran across and was reminded of all the beautiful crinoids that I found in their collections as well.

Crinoids  are oftentimes referred to contemporaneously as Sea Lillies, thanks I believe to their shape. They are also thought of as “living fossils” since they can be traced all the way back to the Ordovician period she 450 million years ago!

I have had the good fortune of photographing crinoids from a number of museum collections. I personally find them to be something rather magical. So I spent a few days immersed in the world of crinoids that I am now sharing with you this week.

In order to fill out this week’s post I have augmented the PRI crinoids with some from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven Connecticut.

These first seven images are from the PRI collection.

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The remaining eight images (below) are from the Yale Peabody collection.

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Thanks for the visit.

0305: Ice

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Ice, not snow, has been the bane of my existence this Winter. The thick ice that blanketed my driveway at the beginning of the season will finally leave when Spring gets here. So, like most all of my neighbors, the thought of 40 degree weather gives us hope.

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It was ironic, then, that another encounter with ice should leave me positively elated. Last weekend, friends of ours (Pat and John), who live right on the Hudson River, invited a small group over to experience the ice on the river and share the strange magic of a walk out onto the Hudson. The day was beautiful. No wind. The sun was bright. And two feet thick ice was the “ground.”

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Most of the ice was covered by 4-6 inches of snow. There were areas, though, where the wind cleared off the snow and other areas where irregularities created uneven surfaces that allowed the ice to bubble up, thus providing me with the best surprise of the day.

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Looking into these clear spots was like viewing a cats eye marble – fascinating patterns under the surface. Like the old adage about how every cloud has a silver lining, the thick ice of the Hudson held much beauty and surprise as well as some quiet, solemn moments in nature.

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Last week, I chose to explore outtakes from my visit to the Yale Peabody Museum. And I was surprised that so many fine images went unnoticed through the first round of selections. Since the snow has prevented me from producing fresh, new fossil images I decided to look through the library for other museum experiences. I’m happy to have rediscovered the work I did at the Museum of the Earth (the Paleontological Research Institution). So today I have some fresh outtakes from that experience.

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One last note about the Hudson River experience. I was so excited by my discoveries that I went back out there the following day. Gone was the tranquil warmth and quiet solitude – replaced by winds that blew so hard I could barely stand in place. Sometimes all of life is in the timing!

Thanks for the visit.

0226: Revisiting the Peabody

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By “revisiting” I mean looking over images in my library from my visit a while back. Two days shooting at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History left me with too many “selects!” – a problem one likes to have. Actually, it’s hard to miss when the subjects are so impressive. It was a  wonderful experience. The fossils were certainly a wider array than I am familiar with (from Devonian crinoids to Jurassic shrimp).

Browsing through that  picture library also led me to a group of moody images from a quiet day in the Tuscan hills.These images proved to be a fine escape from the cold and snow and allowed me to explore some different techniques – while at the same time offering a glimmer of hope that Spring arrive soon!

Enjoy the pics and stay warm.

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Thanks for the visit.

0320: Trilobites

img_5543_01_lr_10Two recent media items brought this post on. It’s seldom for one to ever hear the word “trilobite” – unless your work (or play) bumps up against some parallel lines of interest. I knew nothing about them until I began finding fossil parts of trilobites and photographing them. The lead image today is that of a trilobite pygidium (the hind of three parts) that Cindy found one summer while we were exploring near Ithaca.

MurphyArt3The New York Times ran a terrific story recently all about trilobites. Brief enough but a great introduction to a strange and fascinating world – this one over three hundred million years ago. The article, When Trilobites Ruled the World, is accompanied by a chart that shows some of the wide variations of this marine invertebrate species (some 20,000).

Devonian New York 3881In the second episode of Cosmos, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson takes time to explain the trilobite and its role in the evolution of life. He referred, in particular, to the eyes – trilobites were some of the earliest creatures to have developed eyes. It meant, among many other things, that they no longer needed to bump into their food to survive. Now they could see it! It may sound a bit silly to dwell on but that’s about as basic as it gets and pretty fascinating as well. The picture above shows one of the first trilobite eyes I ever found – cracked open a large piece of coarse sandstone and there it was. And I must admit it made my day.

img_5686_01_lr_10So, with trilobites on my mind, I picked through my libraries and came up with a variety of my trilobite images. The ones I found are all the above images – rough and fresh out of the ground. These remaining images are from several collections.

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From the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

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From The Paleontological Research Institution

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From The Paris Museum of Comparative Anatomy

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Last, I wanted to remind my friends that my work remains hanging at the BAU Gallery in Beacon, NY for two more weeks. We had a fine opening and the gallery looks great.  IMG_2676_01_LR_10

In Gallery One we have a members group show Tasty. Seen along with my flamingo and my ice cream cone are sculpture by Tom Holmes (left), Erica Leigh Caginalp (center) and Herman Roggeman (right).

IMG_2662_01_LR_10Sculptor David Link and I are also in Gallery 2 this month. As the two new members we were allowed this introduction. The shows run through April 8.

And today is the first day of Spring!!!

0905: A Flurry of Activity

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I’m happy to say that the above piece, entitled “Buy Now, Pray Later,” just won the Juror’s Choice Award at the Woodstock Artists’ Association and Museum (WAAM) show opening this Saturday afternoon. You’re right – it doesn’t remotely look like fossils. The theme of the show is “In the News” (Art expressing a point of view about current or past events). I thought this image combined the nutty taste of run-amok evangelism with the ominous clouds of imperiled consumerism. I shot it a few years ago in the parking lot of the Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston. 4 – 6 PM Saturday in Woodstock.

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That Renaissance Guy up the road, my good friend Harry Matthews, has work currently up at the Mountaintop Arboretum in Tannersville. His balanced stone sculptures are delightful and mystifying. And set in such a beautiful location, with the Catskill peaks filling out the view, it’s a great reason to take a drive up Kaaterskill Clove and enjoy the last days of Summer or even early Autumn colors (it’s up until October 14).

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You might remember this one. It’s a favorite of mine that’s making the rounds lately. This double crinoid image, taken at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History made it into the PHOTOcentric 2013 show at the Garrison Art Center in Garrison, NY. I’m happy to say that this is the third year in a row my work has been accepted into this national juried show. The opening is Sunday, September 15 and it will run through October 6. Unfortunately, I will miss the opening. I will be in Italy, preparing for my September 20 opening at the Florence Natural History Museum.

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One last show to report on – this piece “Window” – was selected for the 2013 Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region exhibition, being held this year at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY. It will run from October 15 through December 29.

I bring this up now because we had to run the print up there today (85 miles away) and used the trip to view a terrific show at the Hyde that only has ten days left. The show is entitled “Modern Nature. Georgia O’Keefe and Lake George”. It’s a small but very thoughtful exploration of O’Keefe’s days on Lake George and how it shaped much of her future (and more famous) work. And there are more than enough gems to make the trip worthwhile.

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For the first time (thanks to the curator’s choices) I was able to see her influences – from Arthur Dove, to Kandinsky, and even Braque. What a wonderful exercise! And what did I get hooked on? Her trees, of course! A subject that has certainly captured my attention these past few months. I never knew (or remembered) that she specifically painted them. It made for a great day.

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O’Keefe was quoted in 1927 as saying “If only people were trees…I might like them better.” Spending most of my days in my little studio in the woods I must say I’m beginning to understand.

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It’s only fitting that I give you a couple more tree images from our recent trip to Isle La Motte, including these two trees fighting over a rock.

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I’ll end with one last picture from Isle La Motte – our last night there.

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Thanks for visiting.

More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage artandfossils.wordpress.com

0613

IMG_9357_01_LR_12Today I’d like to wrap up my recent work from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. It was as successful a shooting experience as I’ve had in a long time. I should once again thanks the folks there in New Haven for their hospitality and assistance.

But before I get to those images I’d you to know about two exhibits occurring in Woodstock, NY this Saturday. The image above is one of five from my Devonian Drawer series that will occupy the Active Members Wall at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum. And the image below, Cornet, was selected for the Small Works Show and received an Honorable Mention Award. Opening for both, along with the Far & Wide exhibit, is set for Saturday afternoon, the 15th, from 4-6 PM. If you are in the area please drop by.

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IMG_0071_01+_0076_LR_12Let me begin the Peabody images with a pair of pairs – something that I have been experimenting with of late – yet another example of the fossils suggesting to me where to go with them. The above image shows two crinoids that work well together. The one below is two different views of the same fossil (gastropod?).

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Thank you as always for visiting this site. More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage artandfossils.wordpress.com