Northeast Midwest

A winter Art Adventure to Michigan and Ohio? Why not? There'll be lights and decorations and I know there are some great museums, so we left on the first Sunday of December.  Heck, there is more than two weeks before the beginning of winter. Drove straight up to Cincinnati in 12-13 hours (there was a wreck in Atlanta. What else is new?) and found our AirBnb on the north side of town. The place was pretty terrible so the next day we found a much nicer AirBnb. And since it was Monday and the museums closed, we went to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton.

Not a Di Suvero.
Upon opening in 1996, it was touted as the "most beautiful natural setting of any art park in the country" by Atlantic Monthly. The 335-acre park features more than 60 monumental contemporary sculptures. Many are done by the same artists, the only famous one being Steve Tobin, but they are pleasing and well-sited. There were wires and lights everywhere (including on some sculptures) because after dark you had to pay more money to see their holiday display.

Steve Tobin
Falline Flora by Don Creech
Abracadabra by Alexander Liberman
The Family by Boaz Vaadia

There is also an Ancient Sculpture Museum filled with artifacts, but it was late, so we headed out.

From there went to Hamilton center, which bills itself as a "City of Sculpture." And, indeed there were a few pieces to be seen.

Conversation in Six Parts by Eric Laxman, 2009

That night we met Major Patrick Dugan at the Dingle Bay restaurant in West Chester, to talk bands and P.S. Gilmore. We closed the place.

On Tuesday, we drove to Miami University in Oxford, a 50-minute drive. I hate to say it, but the campus is awfully boring with all the same architecture. MU is one of the oldest public universities in the country, made possible by George Washington in 1795. MU bills itself as the "Yale of the West," but I'm pretty sure I would not confuse the two. We did, however, find the museum where we found a faculty and alumni show going on:

Knot Equivalence by Kelly Urquahart, 2013
Painting from Donut Series #44 by Vincent Inconiglios, 2015

The permanent collection features some interesting works on paper:

Clown and Child by Georges Roualt, 1930
The Musicians by Gino Severini, color litho, 1955
K├Ąthe Kollwitz by Lotte Jacobi, 1930
Excavating by Alfred Stieglitz, 1911
Backstage by Max Beckmann, 1921
La Visite a l'Atelier by Honore Daumier, 1857

And outside, there was sculpture.

For Kepler by Mark di Suvero, 1995
Three Storms by Barry Gunderson, 1993

And a few more. We stopped and had 4-way chili (sauce-like chili, beans, and shredded cheese on thick spaghetti. Onions make it 5-way) at a Skyline Chili. They are everywhere and our waitress was very friendly, offering soda refills to-go, and generally being cheerful.


I didn't get a shot of our snack, but here's one I found:

We had a nice cozy place in Lebanon to rest in.


The next day we started at the University of Cincinnati campus and DAAP (Design, Architecture, Art and Planning) Complex. UC actually began as a design school. The Aronoff Center for Design and Art, designed by Peter Eisenman, has enabled all of the programs to be under one roof. Actually, looking at a campus map, many of the buildings are connected, which is a good thing in this cold environment. People are friendly and used to asking lost visitors what they are looking for because the center is so multi-level, not straight, and pretty confusing. But in a good way.

 Ethan and Violet by Alan P. Marrero, 2005, 2016

We found the Reed Gallery, which had a student show:

Did not see any sculpture, as we walked around the campus.

Then we headed for downtown Cincinnati to see what we could see.

Sky Landscape II by Louise Nevelson, 1993

Then there was the Taste of Belgium:


The Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest in the US.  Founded in 1881, the building in Eden Park opened just five years later. Collection includes over 67,000 works, with a heavy emphasis on Rookwood Pottery.

Our favorite was at the beginning.  A multi-media presentation called More Sweetly Play the Dance by William Kentridge.  We stood in the center of a shadow procession with great music.  The movement of the marchers was exceptional, I thought.  Here is a video I found on line:

And here are more finds:

The Harp of Erin by Thomas Buchanan Read, 1867
Saint Helena with the Cross by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1525
 Judith with the Head of Holofernes by Sandro Botticelli c 1470
Head of a Peasant Woman by Vincent Van Gogh
Lamp Base-Boy and Girl by Vally Wieselthier, 1928
Romanian Blouse by Henri Matisse, 1937
The something of Marie by Frederic Bazille
Pete Rose by Andy Warhol, 1985
Seven railroads had to agree on building a Union Station and so it took more than three decades until it was opened in 1933. There may already be museums and performance space inside now, but there was so much construction going on there, it was difficult to tell. I was hoping to get inside because there was a trove of Art inside. 

Please forgive my including this long story here:

Winold Reiss spent two years creating murals for the Union Station. There were two 22-foot high by 110-foot long mosaics depicting the history of Cincinnati for the rotunda:

Also, two murals for the baggage lobby, two murals for the departing and arriving train boards, a large world map mural located at the rear of the concourse and sixteen smaller murals for the train concourse representing local industries including:

• Piano making (Baldwin Piano Co.)
• Radio broadcasting (Crosley Broadcasting Corp.)
• Roof manufacture (Philip Carey Co.)
• Tanning (American Oak Leather Co.)
• Airplane and parts manufacture (Aeronca Aircraft Co.)
• Ink making (Ault & Weiborg Corp.)
• Laundry-machinery manufacture (American Laundry Machine)
• Meat packing (Kahn's Meat Packing)
• Drug and chemical processing (William S. Merrill Co.)
• Printing and publishing (U.S. Playing Card Co. and Champion Paper Co.)
• Foundry products operations (Cincinnati Milling Machine)
• Sheet steel making (American Rolling Mills and Newport Rolling Mill)
• Soap making (Procter & Gamble Co.)
• Machine tools manufacture (Cincinnati Milling Machine)
• Pottery manufacture (two Rookwood Pottery murals, potter and kiln master)

Fourteen of the murals located in the train concourse were removed in 1972 when the concourse building was demolished, and placed on display at the airport.


The two Rookwood Pottery murals have been relocated to the Cincinnati History Museum, while the arriving and departing trains murals were moved to the front of the entrance to the Cincinnati Historical Library. With Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 being demolished, nine of the murals were relocated to the convention center. Five murals are in the main terminal at the airport.

Pierre Bourdelle, son of renowned French sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, also created artwork for the terminal, including a jungle-themed mural for the Women's Lounge, men's lounge, baggage checking area, meeting spaces, and the executive offices.

Went to our nest and watched Phryne Fischer on Netflix.


Thursday we drove to Dayton and saw some sculpture representing Dayton inventions: Cash register, ice cube tray, airplane, couldn’t find the pop-top sculpture, nor the name of the sculptor.

The Wright Flyer III by Larry Godwin, 2001

And then out to the Dayton Art Institute, where they were having a special show of Alphonse Mucha.


Founded in a downtown mansion in 1919, the Dayton Museum of Fine Arts moved in 1930. The DAI was modeled after the Casino in the gardens of the Villa Farnese at Caprarola, and the hillside stairway after the Italian Renaissance garden stairs at the Villa d'Este, near Rome.  I took no pics of the building, but here is some of the Art:

 Lefvre-Utile, Sarah Bernhardt by Alphonse Mucha, 1903
Chief Massasoit by Cyrus Edwin Dallin, 1977
Joy of the Waters by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth
Dragonfly Lamp by Clara Driscoll for Tiffany, c 1910

This piece had special meaning as I had recently read a novel about Ms. Driscoll and Mr. Tiffany.

Silence, Waterfall and Forest by Arthur B. Davies, early 1900

And so many more, you will have to CLICK HERE.

A few more scenes from Dayton:

And then it was off to Columbus.

Vault by David Barr, 2004-2006
Karnak by Paul Feeley, 1966

 and the Columbus Art Museum

Water Lilies by Claude Monet, 1914
The Boat by Odilon Redon, 1894
Inside Bruant's Mirliton by Louis Anquetin, 1886-87

And sculpture outside:

V-X by Kenneth Snelson, 197
Lamp by Roy Lichtenstein
Two Lines Up Excentric Variation VI by George Rickey, 1977.

Drove to Dublin, home of Cornhenge, though its official name is Field of Corn (with Osage Oranges). 109 concrete ears of corn, each standing six feet, three inches high by Malcolm Cochran.

Then to Toledo, and the Toledo Art Museum, which was open late.

Spiegel by Jaume Plensa, 2010
La Penna di hu by Frank Stella, 1987-2009
Houses at Auvers by Vincent van Gogh, 1890
Dancer Resting by Henri Matisse, 1940
Wheat Fields with Reaper by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
Young Man with Plumbed Hat by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1631

Too exhausted to see Glass Pavilion, we stayed at Ramada Inn/UToledo.  I took advantage of spa.  The next morning, we stopped back at art museum to see the sculpture outside the museum (it was dark last night):

Triple N Gyratory III by George Ricky, 1988
A real Paris Metro entrance by Hector Guimard.

And a few more scenes from Toledo:

Next stop, Detroit, Michigan and the Detroit Art Institute and the famous Diego Rivera murals.

Detroit Industry Murals by Diego Rivera, 1932-33

Also, American artists:
McSorley's Bar by John Sloan, 1912
The Beach Hat by Robert Cozad Henri, 1914.
Freight Yards by Milton Avery, 1937
Savoy Ballroom by Reginald Marsh, 1931

Five Van Goghs:

Self-Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh, 1887
Portrait of Postman Roulin by Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
Bank of the Oise at Auvers by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
Still Life with Carnations by Vincent Van Gogh, 1886
The Diggers by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

Plus lots more Cezanne, Gauguin, Renoir, Degas, and the rest.  CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE.

There was even a Franz Marc:

 Animals in a Landscape by Franz Marc, 1914

And then there is the Josephine Ford Sculpture Garden:

The X and Its Tails by Alexander Calder, 1967
Two Lines Oblique Down, Variation III by George Rickey, 1971

Before leaving town, we hit the Hudson Cafe, downtown on Woodward Ave.  One of their specialties is the Red Velvet Pancakes:

And a few last shots of Detroit:

United We Stand by Charles McGee, 2016
from the Scarab Club.

Drove north to Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills, home of the Cranbrook Art Museum.

For Mother Teresa by Mark Di Suvero, 1998
Europa and the Bull by Carl Milles, 1935

And inside we found lots of Keith Harring:

And other stuff:

Wall Drawings 790A and 790B-Irregular Alternating Color Bands by Sol LeWitt, 2011
by Ryan McGinness

Drove to East Lansing, in time for an hour or so at the Eli & Edith Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.


The entrance was the best:

 A production by something called Toilet Paper, it was the best thing there.


Glad we didn’t have to wait until eleven o'clock the next day to see this museum, because there just was not that much to see.  The show was called Michigan Stories: Mike Kelly and Jim Shaw.

 Dream Object by Jim Shaw, 2007
Octopus Vacuum by Jim Shaw, 2008

Crashed that night at a motel in East Lansing and when we got up the next morning:


We decided to cut this trip short and pick it up with a Part 2.

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