The Twin Cities are home to several remarkable architectural gems. One of them is the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum located at the University of Minnesota campus on the banks of the Mississippi River. If you haven't seen it before, please take a moment to view the images in this post. If you have, here are some quick facts about the museum that you might find interesting followed by several images I captured this summer.
Q: Why is it named after Frederick Weisman?
A: Originally from Minnesota, Mr. Weisman donated $3 million dollars as well as "additional support" to see it come to fruition. He was a successful entrepreneur who loved the arts and was a known philanthropist.
Q: Who designed it?
A: It was designed by architect Frank Gehry. He subsequently won the Progressive Architecture Design Award in 1991 for its design.
Q: When was it built?
A: The building officially opened on November 21, 1993.
Q: What is the building's exterior surface made of?
A: Stainless Steel.
Q: What was Gehry thinking when he built it?
A: He is known to come from the style of Deconstructivism and his works seems to have a common theme reflecting this. Many of them feature large sheets of metal (presumably stainless steel) in various degrees of curvature.
Q: What else has Gehry built?
A: Experience Music Project in Seattle, The Guggenheim Museum in Spain, Standing Glass Fish in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and The Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, to mention a few.
Q: Was Gehry inspired by any other artists?
A: When I look at the Weisman, I immediately think of a Picasso painting, but couldn't find any evidence to back that up.
Q: Is there a face in there?
A: According to Wikipedia there are 2 faces. Also a waterfall and a fish. Can you see them?
Of course there is more great design and art to see inside. The Weisman is home to my all-time favorite art exhibit - a re-assembled apartment building hallway from Seattle, I believe. The neat part about it is as you approach an apartment door, you can put your ear up to it and hear what is going on inside. Each apartment has different sounds coming from it. I'm not going to tell you what they are in case you can get there and hear it for yourself. It's an interesting experiment in human psychology. If you've ever lived in an apartment or stayed in a hotel, you can relate to the thin walls that allow sounds to permeate both ways. It's much harder to maintain any privacy in this kind of environment, despite the physical barriers of walls and doors. How does this affect our relationships as people? Do you treat someone differently if you know something about them that you found out indirectly? How does it change depending on whether you heard it via gossip or through the walls? Could conclusions have been jumped to? There is a lot to consider.
As always, thank you for stopping by! Here is a link to the Weisman if you would like to learn more:
Last week I promised some more images from the weekend I rented Canon's 65mm Macro Lens. Here they are:
Just for the record, I haven't worked on these images other than to resize them. They could use a little cleaning perhaps, and a bit of sharpening. It's interesting because my eyes don't see the "dust" but the macro lens does. I tried to pick one piece off and it was so teeny that my fingers weren't able to get ahold of it, although it looks large under the lens.
I might be interested in renting a stronger lens than this 5x. Perhaps a multiplier would do the trick.
I'm off to my favorite Farmer's Market to see what I can find. I hope you are all enjoying the fabulous beginning of Summer!
I'm always grateful when I have a chance to test drive a big-ticket item before buying it. When the best lenses generally run over $1,000, it's nice to see how they perform before laying down the money.
Luckily, our local pro photo store rents a full line of Nikon and Canon lenses so I was able to give Canon's MP-E 65mm f2.8 1-5x Macro a spin last weekend.
Before renting it, I read that this 1-5x Variable lens could fill a frame with a single grain of rice. When I picked the lens up from the shop, the guy told me it can photograph grains of salt. Could it possibly be true?
The next thing I decided to work on was a dead bumblebee that met it's untimely demise in the garage window. Why there is a window in the garage is beyond me. When the garage door is open, bugs fly in and then they get drawn to the window and can't figure out how to get back out. It's like those mirrors in the fun houses. Sometimes, that's the end for them, as it was this bumblebee. It appears in the last image that it mixed in with some other dead insects from the window which were actually so small I didn't even see them with a naked eye.
I worked on a few other items before returning the lens and will show those next week. Overall, I really enjoyed working on such a small level and looking at the world from a new perspective. It is much different than my usual big picture, wide angle landscape and architecture work!
then these old railroad ties would be a pile of landscape chips by now. There have been a lot of groundhogs that have occupied this 5 or 6 story home of railroad timbers over the years. It provides a good fortress, and sunning bed, and jungle gym, and lookout post. For the groundhog that is. I have tended to look upon the ties as a Photoshop job in my backyard landscape shots and generally wish they were gone.
Then one day a couple weeks ago I saw the groundhog running with a mouthful of last year's old dried up leaves back to her den. Could she be nesting? Sure enough, last weekend her little ones curiously emerged from their underground home, one by one, until a total of 7 babies were out and scampering around.
I read that once grown, they will dig burrows only a few feet away from their mother and that they like to establish their homes close to a food source. This would explain why it is 25 feet away from the garden. It is lightly fenced in, but with 8 groundhogs in the vicinity, I am thinking that I should do my fresh produce shopping at the farmer's market this year. I think I am outnumbered and it would be pretty hard to keep them out.
Please take a moment to notice, as I did, the prominent display of the mother groundhog's teeth. When I looked at some groundhog images on line, I found it remarkable that those groundhogs were not showing their teeth. I believe I have been duly warned. I've seen her run and although her legs are short, I think she might be able to out-run me.
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.