National Museum of the US Army

Long Time Waiting, But the National Museum Of The United States Army Is Almost Here

Image Credit: Wikipedia

The United States if full of museums and memorials for those who have served in the Armed Forces. From the Vietnam Memorial to the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, you can find just about anything which memorializes specific conflicts or time periods of U.S. history. Until now, there has not been anything that completely memorializes the entire history of specific branch of government. Scheduled to open in 2015, the National Museum of the United States Army is set to change that.

“I have been to monument dedications throughout the United States, but this is one that I believe I have looked forward to the most, “ said Doug Christiansen, a photographer from Mount Zion, Illinois. “The announcements about what to expect inside the museum have been quiet, which makes the anticipation grown even more.” Christiansen says he plans to travel to the opening ceremony with his wife and three children.

Construction on the museum is set to begin in fall of 2013 and will be located within minute of Washington D.C. at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. It is planned to be a 155,000 square foot building set on over 40 acres of property. According to the Association of the United States Army, the museum will be accessible without having to enter the base which will make access less complex for visitors. The cost of the project is estimated at approximately $200 Million and the website for the museum is already up and running. When completed, the museum will celebrate the history of the United States Army from 1775 to present, including the men and women who have served both in war and during times of peace.

The project is the brainchild of the Department of the Army, who received fundraising support from the Army Historical Foundation. Visitor expectation is expected to be a little less than 1 Million people annually. With this many people expected to visit, the Department of the Army has spared no expense on the design. They have contracted with two nationally known firms, Christopher Chadbourne & Associates and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. For those not familiar, Christopher Chadbourne & Associates has a wealth of museum design experience, while Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is the architectural design firm responsible for the design of the Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center.

They have also spared no expense on the pre-opening of the museum. They have contracted with award winning producer and director Kevin Meyer to write, direct, and produce a series of short documentaries for the new museum. The documentaries include voice over narration by Rex Linn and Karri Turner and will be available in the “Experiential Learning Center” on the museum website prior to opening, and then part of the traveling exhibit which will tour the country prior to landing at the museum on opening day. “This is a great experience for me being able to take part in something so special to this country,” stated Meyer. “I have worked in film for many years on many projects, but this one will always be forefront in my mind. My brother and nephews serve in the military and as a filmmaker, this is my way of giving back.” Meyer has produced many well known films including “Perfect Alibi” starring Teri Garr and also wrote the 1997 romantic comedy film “A Smile Like Yours” starring Greg Kinnear and Lauren Holly.

The site for the project was approved from Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh in June 2011. “In presenting the Army’s storied 236-year history, this long-overdue facility will offer the American people a unique opportunity to connect with our Soldiers and better understand and appreciate their many and glorious stories,” said McHugh. He is correct that a project like this is long overdue. To have something that covers the history of the U.S. Army so thoroughly is something that those who have served deserve. It is nice to see it finally coming to fruition.

Garry Reynolds is a decorated veteran of the United States Army and spends his time traveling to many of the U.S.’s most popular travel destinations.


The Tate Modern in London

A new exhibition at the Tate Modern in London explores the relationship of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch in film and photography, which reveals an unknown facet of the artist as a lover of new technologies.


Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye , organized in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Munch Museum in Oslo, breaks the image of Munch as an artist rooted in the nineteenth century and places it squarely in the twentieth, in full modernity.

Thus, the sample, which includes sixty paintings and fifty photographs taken by the artist, as well as some films, focuses on his work, on the last century, when he experimented with new ways of capturing the image.

“The techniques of cinema and photography are reflected in some of his paintings, which have marked diagonal or moving figures escaping the plane”, said one of the curators of the exhibition, Angela Lampe, in a presentation to the press .

Example of this is experimentation with new angles coming home Workers (1913-14), where a group of workers moving towards the viewer, or the yellow trunk (1912), which presents a tree trunk in the middle of a forest lying in a powerful diagonal.

The exhibition, which opens on Thursday and runs until October 14, also includes some iconic works of Munch, reflecting his deep spiritual anxiety and agitation.


Glass Museums

The History of the Chandelier

 Meaning ‘candle holder’, the word chandelier originates from the French word ‘chandelle’ (a fixture attached to the ceiling).  The Chandelier is the most stylish and beautiful form of lighting in the world, making a statement in any room.

 The earliest chandelier dates back to over 1000 years ago, to medieval times. Then, chandeliers were generally made of wood, with candles placed on spikes set around them – a far cry from the stunning glass and crystal creations we know and love today.  Wooden lighting fixtures and exposed flames would send the health and safety conscious of us completely mad!

 Gradually, rich Europeans re-designed the chandelier and by the early 1900’s crystal chandeliers with candles were all the rage. Crystal chandeliers made from cut glass which caught the light and sparkled brightly adorned the homes of the wealthy and famous, showing off their wealth and social status.

 By the mid-19th century, with the popularity of gas lighting, candle chandeliers were converted and by the 1890s, most chandeliers used a combination of gas and electricity.


The largest chandeliers in history

 One of the most beautiful chandeliers in the world can be seen in Istanbul. Gifted to the Dolmabahce Palace by Queen Victoria, the chandelier weighs 4.5 tons and has 750 lamps. Other stunning examples of crystal chandeliers can be seen in the ‘Grand Salon’ of the Louvre and the Hall of Mirrors, in the Palace of Versailles, Paris, which contains 17 large and 26 small chandeliers, holding up to 1,000 candles in total, as well as in Prague, where many of the art nouveau buildings contain beautiful examples of chandeliers from the early 1900s.

 Today, chandeliers have become glass art in museums across the globe. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a stunning example of a blown glass chandelier in the entrance hall. Created by glass artist Dale Chihuly in 2000, the 30ft chandelier is a breathtaking sight for visitors entering the museum.

 The Corning Museum of Glass in New York contains more than 40,000 objects made from glass, dating from Egyptian times to the present day. Antique bowls, sculptures and glass portraits sit alongside contemporary sculptures and of course some amazing chandeliers, including the Erbium Chandelier, a vivid pink blown glass chandelier created in 1993 by Dale Chihuly.

 Today, chandeliers have become more affordable for everyone. It is still lovely to have a unique and bespoke chandelier hand crafted by local glass artists, but it is also possible to find more budget friendly versions on the internet and in various home furnishing shops.  The chandelier has evolved from its simplest wooden designs to incorporate a wide variety of materials in its more modern reincarnation.  Furthermore, chandelier designs have also been adapted to suit those looking more for a piece of modern art than necessary lighting.  Chandelier designers such as Rocco Borghese have collections that show the stark difference between classic designs and more contemporary Modern Chandeliers.

Chandeliers have a rich history and are making a resurgence in modern times.  There is a huge variety of sizes and styles, and of course price right from the affordable ones in larger retailers to custom made chandeliers by boutique experts.


Museo del Prado in Madrid

The Museo del Prado is not only an essential references of Spanish culture is nurtured and excellent representation of human artistic production. The Centro Virtual Cervantes comes from this section, funds that houses the gallery Madrid, through various thematic selections of his painting.


Information about the Prado

Located in the city center of Madrid, the Prado Museum in itself, since 1819, the core of a broad artistic scope, covering the works of masters from around the world. The museum is divided into two sites very close to each other: the Villanueva Building (the most representative), located in the Paseo del Prado, and the Cason del Buen Retiro. In October 2007 we opened an extension of the museum that features the cloister of the neighboring church of Jeronimos.


In the different rooms, the museum visitor can find not only exceptional examples of the paintings by Spanish (Goya, Velázquez, Zurbarán …), but also works of great masters of other schools (Titian, Rubens and Bosch, for example), as well as samples of high quality sculptures and other art.