Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The bright white steeple of Lexington Presbyterian seems to be springing from Randolph Street Methodist's brick bell tower, with the silver steeple of First Baptist decorating the roof: A little illustration of just how many churches we have here in Lexington.
At lower right is the blacksmith's forge and the in-town stable for the horses of the Lexington Carriage Company.
Hope to show you much more of Lexington in 2009!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
North Main St. separates the larger part of the VMI campus (or "Post") from the stadium and other buildings on the east side. At lower left you can see the footbridge that cadets use to cross above the street.
Monday, December 29, 2008
In the foreground is a bust of Lorenzo de' Medici in the Italian Renaissance rooms of the National Gallery of Art. It is thought to be a later copy, in painted terracotta, of a wax sculpture designed by Andrea del Verrocchio. The wax original was made to commemorate Lorenzo's escape from an attempted assassination (during Mass!) in the Duomo.
His younger brother, Giuliano (center - also by Verrocchio), was not so lucky.
The gentleman in the dark suit is there to make sure I don't take them home with me.
Here is the grotesque on Giuliano's suit of armor:
(Tomorrow, back to Lexington.)
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I'd like to take more pictures of this church and its interesting details, but, alas, I'm going to have to get out a lot earlier in the morning to catch the sun on its façade!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This large holly tree is growing in the middle of an old family plot in Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in the center of town. Guess who else is buried in this cemetery?
Monday, December 22, 2008
A climbing structure in the playing field next to the elementary school. (The school is at the far left.)
I never see anyone on this structure -- it's too far away from the rest of the playground equipment. (If there was a soundtrack to this photo, you'd hear lots of children shouting and laughing off to the side.) It has the look of a piece of rustic sculpture out there, especially in combination with the fence.
Yesterday I received these 2 awards from Rob at Trieste Daily Photo. (See yesterday's post for a link to one of my favorite photos from his fascinating blog.) Thank you very much, Rob! It is now my privilege to pass the awards on to eight other bloggers.
As is my custom with chain messages of any kind, I will not request that anyone pass these on who does not care to. This is my tip of the hat to you, to say that I enjoy your blog and want others to see it, too. I especially like the idea of the Proximidade Award, above, in recognizing how these blogs bring us into proximity with others, whom we would otherwise never know.
I follow many art blogs, as well as daily photo blogs, so I will award mine half-and-half:
Liège Daily Photo - Greg Dimitriadis posts very interesting (and sometimes amusing) photos from Belgium.
Murcia Daily Photo - Pictures of a lovely town in Spain I would otherwise know nothing about.
Aurora Daily - Small town and rural South Africa through the observant eyes of an architect.
Hove Daily Photo - A new blog from the English seaside by a retired designer and writer.
René PleinAir - A very talented Dutch painter who has achieved an atmospheric, unique style.
Christopher Greco - This Ohio artist paints landscapes with wonderful light and color.
Artist Michael Mikolon - A California painter of figures, landscapes, and marvelous architectural sculpture.
Dordogne Painting Days - Adam Cope posts evocative paintings, drawings and sketches from this beautiful region of France.
Thank you, everyone, for sharing your photos and paintings with those of us far away!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
A Lexington landmark at Main and Nelson streets, the original 1844 Greek Revival church was designed by Thomas U. Walter, who later went on to design the dome of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. "Stonewall" Jackson worshipped here, and is remembered for the Sunday school classes he taught for both slave and free blacks in the town.
On July 18, 2000, a fire caused by maintenance operations engulfed the steeple, eventually causing its collapse - taking an 850 lb. bell with it - into the sanctuary below. (See a photo of the fire here.) The church has been painstakingly restored; in 2002, local school children were given a holiday to witness the dramatic replacement of the clock and steeple.
** Rob at Trieste Daily Photo has given me an award! (Actually, two blogging awards which seem to be making the rounds together.) Thank you very much, Rob. I will have to wait until tomorrow to respond, but in the meantime I want to send everyone your way to see your beautiful and evocative photos of Trieste and its environs, like this one.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
On a 40°F (4°C) day in December, the student's ensemble of choice will be: shorts and a down jacket.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I couldn't go on with this blog much longer without showing the Colonnade, but I was reluctant to try it because it's something of a photographic cliché around here. I was lucky enough to back into these tree shadows -- one of the great advantages of taking winter pictures. I think they add something a little different.
Expected a black and white version (below) to play up the shadows even more, but I don't think it does. They seem more fantastic in green and black. What do you think?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Robert E. Lee requested the design of this chapel, and it was built during his tenure as president. After his death, he was buried beneath it. The building now hosts university events (a Christmas service of Lessons and Carols was sung there last week), as well as many a W&L wedding. Next year I'll have to get a summer shot of an afternoon wedding party, with the sun lighting the facade. I've found that the sun can't quite reach the front of the chapel this time of year.
The mountains you see in the background are the beautiful Blue Ridge.
Lee's funeral was one of the memorable events in Lexington history. See an 1870 photo of mourners lined up outside the chapel, here.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
I wandered into Studio Eleven on South Jefferson St. the other day to see this month's show, and found the gallery full of easels and set-ups, ready for the painting class later that day.
On the walls are works by Richmond artists Karen Blair and Betsy Cunningham Morgan, and Lexington painter Agnes Carbrey.
The Lexington area has many artists and I hope to be able to show you much more of their work.
If you're interested in seeing more of the paintings in this show, here's a link to the gallery: Studio Eleven
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The old county courthouse building, corner of Main and Washington streets. This is the main pediment, showing the arched windows of the second floor courtroom. See below for the full façade.
When it was first completed in 1896 (after a 1797 courthouse had been torn down), a local resident touted it as "the cheapest good building and best cheap building" ever built in the county.
This courthouse has been the center of much controversy in Lexington over the last decade or so. The county of Rockbridge, which owns the building, had allowed in to fall into disrepair. A former judge (now deceased) caused the state of Virginia to bring a suit against the county and city for repairs and upgrades. To make a long story short (and such things seem always to be a very long story around here, and often to involve lawsuits), a new modern courthouse 3 times the size of this one is nearing completion 2 blocks away. And no one will ever call it the cheapest good building ever built in these parts.
The Main street façade of the old courthouse:
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
109 Lee Avenue, "Beaumont," ca. 1824. Saved from demolition in 1964.
When first built, this house - and its neighbors - were not on a street at all, but out beyond the edge of town. Now the row of 3 grand houses of which this is a part are just a block south of the post office on Lee Avenue. They still have wonderful long, sweeping front lawns.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
A folk statue of George Washington stands atop the cupola of Washington Hall, while an arborist trims the branches of a nearby tree.
Not sure this works, but it's what I've got. Those arborists were everywhere this afternoon.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Update: I received some good advice about cropping from Benjamin Madison in the comments section, and did some experimenting. Do you prefer (A) above; cleaned up around the edges (B) below; or radically cropped (C) below that? [I think I like (B). I like the depth the tree gives.]
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
VMI is the country's oldest state military college, founded in 1839 on the site of the former Lexington arsenal. The first Barracks, designed by Andrew Jackson Davis in the Gothic revival style that characterizes the entire "Post" (as the campus is called), was not built until 1850; it was burned beyond redemption by General Hunter in 1864, during what came to be known as "Hunter's Raid." Almost the whole of VMI was left in ruins.
The Barracks was rebuilt after the war, and a new facade facing the parade grounds - with a central arch in memory of General "Stonewall" Jackson (who taught at VMI from 1851 until the outbreak of the Civil War) - was added. Later additions have had to keep pace with the now 1,300 cadets, all of whom live in the Barracks, in spartan conditions, for their full tenure.
For pictures that capture something of the spirit of this unusual school, see the slideshow on the home page of VMI's newly-redesigned website: Here
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
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