Thursday, April 28, 2022

Akron Art Museum, Akron OH

Akron Art Museum by Threeblur0 via wikicommons


When I travel around the country, and visit small art museums, I have found that they tend to fall into two categories. Some present a wide, if limited, range of art work, covering many genres and eras. Others spend their money on presenting specific eras or genres. The Akron Art Museum falls into the latter category.

Inverted Q by Claes Oldenburg

The Akron Art Museum was founded in 1929 as the Akron Art Institute. It offered classes in art and art appreciation. Originally, it was located in the Akron Public Library, until 1981, when it moved into a historic, renovated post office building in downtown Akron. This building is still being used by the museum today, along with a 2007 addition that tripled its size. 

The Akron Art Museum has a collection that spans from the late 19th to the early 21st century. It includes paintings in many genres and by some important artists, as well as local ones. The permanent collection is on display on the first floor of the Old Post Office.

Bedford Hills by Childe Hassam

On the Balcony by Frederick C. Frieseke

Mother and Child by Charles W. Howthorne

Winter Evening by Raphael Gleitsmann

The Artist and His Wife by Elmer Novotny

The Eviction by Raymond Grathwol

Powernomics (woman) and (man) by Antwoine Washington

Man Eating Trees by Jonathan Sokol

Girlfriends and Lovers by Mickalene Thomas

All Fall by Jenny Holzer

Untitled by Mark Rothko

The second floor of that building holds a collection of glass works by Paul Stankard (b. 1943). His works are made of pieces of blown glass that are placed inside of blocks of glass, forming beautiful floral designs that move the “craft” of making paperweights into the world of fine art.

When I visited in early March of 2022, there were three temporary shows on exhibit. The 10,000 Things is a collection of work by graphic artist Jordan Wong (b. 1990) incorporates traditional Chinese iconography with Manga style. The show is in two parts, inside the museum has smaller pieces that are studies for the larger ones that are in the museum's garden. (Through May 15, 2022)

Responsibility to Reveal: 30 Years of the Knight Purchase Award for Photography explores the work of the 22 photographers that have have been honored by receiving this award over the past thirty years. The money is used specifically to acquire some of the photographs produced by each year's recipient. (Through June 5th)

Tiny in her Halloween Costume by Mary Ellen Mark

by Zanele Muholi

The final show was More is More: Visual Richness in Contemporary Art. (Closed March 22). These works by current artists, mostly people of color, covered that walls of the galleries, much like the old European art museums.

What a Paradise by Quinn A. Hunter

Hasake by Rufai Zakari

The Akron Art Museum is a beautiful building with an excellent collection. Stop by when you are passing through Akron.

Nuts and Bolts:

  • Located at 1 South High Street, Akron OH 
  • Open Wed, Fri-Sun 11 AM - 5 PM and Thur 11 AM - 8 PM 
  • Entrance fee is $12 adults/ $10 Seniors/ $ 8 students 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Walking in Lexington KY


The Old Court House

As I said in an earlier blog, Lexington, Kentucky, is a wonderful city to walk. The neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area are filled with buildings that date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries. I had the opportunity to spend a day exploring the area.

Before my walk, I stopped at the city’s Visitor’s Center, at 215 W. Main Street. It is in the Old Court House. The helpful staff provided me with maps for two self-guided walking tours in the area that I used to plan my day.

Triangle Park

The Courthouse is in the Cheapside neighborhood. The name comes from an Old English word related to ‘Marketplace” and it was the home to Lexington’s markets, including its slave market before the Civil War. From the Courthouse, I walked two blocks north along Main Street to Triangle Park. The park opened in 1982, and serves as a center point for the downtown area. It offers a wonderful fountain and an open performance space for outdoor concerts. Across Main Street from Triangle Park is The Square. This commercial center was built by preserving the facades of 16 existing buildings, and totally renovating their interiors to create stores, restaurants and even a space for a children’s theater. 

I continued along Main Street as far as the Mary Todd Lincoln House, her home while growing up.  I turned right and went one block over to Short Street, and then headed back towards Broadway. This loop took me past the Rupp Arena, two historic churches and several beautiful homes.

Rupp Arena

St. Paul Catholic Church

First baptist Church

Mary Todd Lincoln House

An old ad, now half hidden

Once back to North Broadway, I turned left and headed east. The Lexington Opera House is on Broadway at Short Street. It was built in 1886, and, looking at photos on-line, it is a beautiful theater, totally renovated in 1973, after a storm cause the roof to collapse.

Walking along Broadway, I came to Heritage Antiques, which is in an old church. It is filled with furniture, statues, and many other old household items. On the next block was the Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan House, now home to the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation. Dr. Morgan was the first Kentuckian to win a Nobel Prize. His came for work in describing the role of genes in heredity.

Heritage Antiques

Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan House

Third Street is the southern edge of Transylvania University, the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains. It is also the northern edge of the Gratz Park neighborhood. Gratz Park was once the site of Transylvania College, until its buildings burnt down in 1829. The new buildings were built north of Third Street, and this land was turned into a park. Many of the buildings around the park were built during the mid-19th century and There  are many beautiful homes. There is also an old Carnegie Library building, that served as Lexington’s main library branch for many years. Today that building is the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, offering classes in reading, writing, and computer programing.

Fountain Dedicated to Youth

St. Paul AME Church

Gratz Park

Carnegie Center for Learning and Literacy

Carnegie Center for Learning and Literacy

Carnegie Center

KY Writers Wall of Fame - Carnegie Center

Carnegie Center

After visiting the Literacy Center, I walked back to Downtown Lexington, where I enjoy several of the murals that have been painted on buildings there. Then I enjoyed a late lunch at Zim’s Cafe, an excellent restaurant inside the Old Court House.

Walking around a city is a great way to spend a day, and Lexington offers some very nice walks to take.