further selections from the Boston Public Library

Here are a few more photos I took on our visit to the Boston Public Library on December 31st. It’s really quite a striking building, with lots of details small and large to admire.

A reading room with quite a few people apparently at work on New Year’s Eve. I love the table lamps here, with their green glass shades.

Here is another light fixture that caught my eye, this time for its leafy ornamentation.

There are fossils to be seen in the stone of the floors.

I loved this little corner with the lamp with the spherical shade, and the circle of marble in the wall echoing its shape.

This delightful mechanical model of the earth is on display in the map room.

The courtyard is lined with stately columns and arches, which can be glimpsed through this door.

The courtyard is a wonderful place to get some fresh air and stretch your legs after being dragged around a large building with a mother who likes to take pictures of light fixtures and spots on the floor.

smokestacks from Vassar Street (friday foto finder: chimney)

I may not have a lot of photos of chimneys at hand, and didn’t motivate myself to take anything like an interesting shot of my own house’s chimney. However, I do have quite a lot of photos of smokestacks, which serve more-or-less the same function. Smokestacks are architectural features that have long attracted my eye. While I’m sure that old brick smokestacks were considered eyesores when first built, they now add interest to many old mills and factories.

Here are several views of some smokestacks visible from Vassar Street in Cambridge, Massuchusetts. (Most were taken from a building that is part of the MIT campus, but I don’t believe the smokestacks to belong to MIT.) I took these between November of 2005 and October of this year.

November, 2005

January, 2010

July, 2010

December, 2011

October, 2012

To go see what other structures others have chosen to blow out their smoke, please stop by Archie’s friday foto finder blog.

Photos from the Musée D’Orsay (friday foto finder: station)

The Musée D’Orsay in Paris is a remarkable building. It was built as a railway station around the turn of the (last) century, but only used as a rail station for a few short decades. The large and impressive building was converted into a large and impressive art museum in the 1980s, and it houses, among other works, a very large and impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces. (Most of which are impressive, but not very large.)

When we visited Paris in 2007, I made my first visit to this museum. It might seem surprising that I had not been there before, especially given my love of art and the fact that I had lived outside of Paris for 2 years. However, the first year I lived in France was 1980, and the museum would not yet be open for another 6 years. I’m pretty sure I heard of the museum when I lived in Paris again in 1988, and I’m not sure why I never made it there then. I certainly remember going to other museums. (I particularly remember the Rodin Museum and the Orangérie.)

In any case, I was very taken with the museum, as much (if not more) for the building as for the art. I loved the grand arches, interesting use of glass, and many other details.

I love the tunnel-like effect of the main hall.

This gigantic clock faces inward.

This gigantic clock faces outward, and can be seen from inside the café.

People and sculptures.

Looking up.

Multiple levels.

High vantage point.

My rosy-cheeked little one in front of some of Renoir’s famous rosy cheeks.

This week’s friday foto finder theme was “station.” Given my love of rail travel, it might not surprise you that I have many photos of train and subway stations in my photo archives. However, this was the station that came to mind first.

To see what other stations are being shared, please visit Archie’s friday foto finder blog. Won’t you consider participating, too?

wood (friday foto finder)

This week’s friday foto finder¹ theme is “wood.” Having just posted some photos of a door, and given the theme of wood, my brain connected the two by remembering the remarkable woodwork, on the doors and elsewhere in the building, in the Casa Battló in Barcelona, Spain. This remarkable house was designed by Gaudí, and contains very few straight lines. My camera and I visited it (along with other members of my family) in September, 2009. (I even posted another photo of it way back when.)

A detail from one of the doors.

A beautifully carved wooden door.

A slightly more utilitarian-looking door, but still strikingly curvy and carvy.

Another carved wood detail of…something. Possibly a door. Maybe just a wall. But it’s pretty.

Another detail from something. Might be a doorway. I love the undulating border.

¹ Yes, I realize it is still Thursday, but I have my reasons.