Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Infinite Art Tournament, Left Bracket Third Round: Avercamp v. Arcimboldo!

As various snarls and tangles at the very top of the brackets start to resolve themselves, we have Hendrick Avercamp today becoming the first artist to make a SIXTH appearance in the Tournament.  Avercamp lost his first outing (against Francis Bacon, who subsequently lost two straight and left the tournament), but since then has won three and tied once to make it 3-1-1.  He jumps brackets now after the tiebreak to take on 2-1-0 Giuseppe Arcimboldo for a spot in the semi-finals.  Who's going to win this one?  I'll tell you who: You, the art connoisseur and IAT voter.

Also, Happy Halloween.

Hendrick Avercamp

Giuseppe Arcimboldo
Italian (Milanese)
  • Defeated Jean Arp in Round 1.
  • Thumped on sculptor Alexander Archipenko in Round 2.
  • Lost to Italian master Fra Angelico in Round 3.


Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Wednesday Post

East by Northeast Redux
Yesterday and To-Day


The Cheat River Bridge on U.S. 50 should not be confused with Cheat Bridge, West Virginia, which is an old bridge and its eponymous town further south in the state.  One of our Cheat River Bridges is still there. It is however not looking too swell, at least not according to a major online source of road imagery.

According to, the bridge of To-Day was built in 1932.  You will have noticed that the covered bridge of Yesterday no longer exists.   Built in 1835, it burned to the ground, or rather to the river, on May 23, 1964.  Only its central pilings are still visible to-day.


The Old Country Store Museum no longer exists.  However, close examination of the directions given on the postcard -- 1 Mile S.W. of West Chester, Penna. on Lenape-Longwood Rd.& Rts. 52 and 100 -- and, after consideration of the recent rerouting of Pennsylvania state road 100, we can reasonably speculate that the O.C.S.M. was formerly housed in this building:

Or, much less likely but not impossible, this one across the street:

It is also possible that the store was located in a building that has been torn down, or for that matter that was destroyed by fire on May 23, 1964.  My money is on the building in the first paragraph, though.  Regrettably, a very civil message of inquiry that I sent last week to the framing shop now occupying the structure has been met with stony silence.


Fundy National Park is still there, and the internet is rife with lovely photographs of its many scenic wonders.  There is nothing online like the postcard image, though, which seems to be is a view from the park headquarters area towards McLaren Pond.  It is easy enough to reproduce using that online source of road imagery I mentioned earlier:

To judge from the rich trove of images available online, this seems to be about the only direction you could point your camera in all of Fundy National Park, and manage not to capture anything of visual interest.


Peggy's Cove is still there, and indeed is clearly kept up as a little tourist gem by the Nova Scotia powers that be.  Photographs are abundant on the internet, and you could while away a happy hour looking at the town from different angles and noting which buildings are new, altered, or unchanged since the postcard photograph was taken.

Or, you can check out what's happening in Peggy's Cove right this minute!  As a quaint old fashioned fishing village, they maintain a quaint old-fashioned location web-cam, like it was 1998.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Infinite Art Tournament, Left Bracket Third Round: Champaigne v. Cornell!

After losing to Marc Chagall in his First Match, Philippe de Champaigne has staggered through three one-vote victories in a row. He edged out Cellini, De Chirico, and, in a stunning down-to-the-last-vote grudge match, Marc Chagall.  He stays alive to try for the semi-finals. But can he make it past crowd favorite Joseph Cornell? I can't wait to find out!

Philippe de Champaigne
1602 - 1674
Flemish; worked in France.

Joseph Cornell
1903 - 1972
  • Gutted John Singleton Copley in Round 1.
  • Crushed Fran├žois Clouet in Round 2.
  • Lost to Frederick Church in Round 3.


Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What I Did This Weekend

My line of work does not involve a lot of business travel, mind you, but for the next few days I am attending a conference in a major American city known for its majorness, and also its cityness, and for having many tall buildings.  In fact I'm in one of them right now.

It seemed a shame not to come out a few days early and see the city's world class art museum.  But, for better or worse, I got distracted by the outlying areas and put in a solid three days of arbitrary travel instead.  As is my custom, here's a little travel diary for you.

Friday, 5:30 a.m.  I arrive at the airport refreshed from more than three hours of airplane sleep, and rent a compact car that, the agent gravely informs me, they "don't really recommend for highway travel."  Uh huh.  As it is quite dark and I am disoriented, I pretty much follow the first road I find, which takes me away to the northwest and sets the general direction of the trip.  It is not until I find a coffee shop in little Winnebago, Illinois, that I am able to connect to the internet.  This yields me the day's hashpoints, and, scenting blood, I am off to surprisingly cute Dubuque, Iowa, and a farm road seven miles to its southeast.

The area where Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa all come together is really rather charming.  An "island" in the major glaciations of our epoch, it is a rolling tapestry of woods, fields, and villages.  Very picturesque.  I continued my day's drive up to Spring Green, Wisconsin, where you can stay at the only motel in the world built according to Frank Lloyd Wright's semi-harebrained "Usonian" principles.  I'd stayed there before, and it's pretty cool.

Friday score: 8 new counties (5 Illinois, 2 Iowa; 1 Wisconsin); 1 geohash; 1 new state run in (Wisconsin).

Saturday.  Having scoured the maps on Friday, I've discovered that most hashpoints in this part of the world land in farmed fields.  But there was one in a ditch over in Iowa, so I drove north for a ways, then west for a ways, then clipped off the point of southeastern Minnesota, and eventually got to the hashpoint.  It turns out that it was only ten miles or so from Spillville, the Czech colony where Dvorak hung out during the summers when he lived in the United States.  I was hoping they'd have a statue or something, which they don't, but there was this mural:

So that was cool.

At this point, I figured I should probably start heading back in the general direction of the conference, but thought I'd stop in Guttenberg, Iowa, just to make sure that a Sunday hashpoint that looked too good to be true was, in fact, too good to be true.  It turned out that it was exactly good enough to be true, so I found some digs, settled in, and gorged myself on college football.

Saturday score: 8 new counties (3 Wisconsin, 3 Minnesota, 2 Iowa); 1 geohash; 1 new state run in (Iowa); 1 classical music pilgramage; Oregon 42, UCLA 14.

Sunday.  After a midnight adventure and a good night's rest, I basically just headed back to the large city to give the nice people their car back and report for duty at the tall building.  But naturally I found a route that I'd not taken before, and incidentally managed to sneak in a second hashpoint for the day on another lonely agricultural road.

Sunday score: 7 new counties (1 Iowa, 6 Illinois); 2 geohashes.

What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Infinite Art Tournament, Round One: Heckel v. De Heem!

Ladies and gentlemen: welcome to the fourth bracket sheet.

Erich Heckel
1883 - 1944


Jan Davidsz de Heem
1606 - c. 1683


Vote for the artist of your choice!  Votes go in the comments.  Commentary and links to additional work are welcome.  Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Years Ago: Almost Bay Along It, We'll be Out of the Earth Special

Five Years Ago in The Infinite Art Tournament!

Back to the treasure trove that is the IAT vaults this Friday for a classic post that certainly deserves a second look, and besides will tide me over a busy spell at work!

From time to time there will be a fad here in the United States of America to plaster characters from Asian languages all over our leisure clothing. By tradition, the wearer will neither know nor care what the characters mean; the point is only that they look exotic and more or less stylin' upon one's chest or thigh. A few of us will fret about the intellectual vacuity of this sartorial choice, but nobody cares what we think.

Well, it goes both ways. All over the world, people express their contempt for the Anglo-American cultural hegemony by sporting T-shirts on which our beloved mother tongue is contorted into strange and surreal forms. These shirts embody a postmodernist's contempt of the simplistic notion that language can convey precise "meaning." The sole message they bear is rather that coherence is an illusion -- that concepts and states of mind can at most only be extracted from the medium of written language in the form of vague gestures and allusions. Or, as the shirt of a young Russian gentleman I met recently had it,
Almost bay along it
We'll be out of the Earth special
Occasional L&TM5K Commenter Heatherbee has of late been sojourning in the countries of Asia, and took time out from studying traditional Korean drumming techniques to investigate the T-shirt phenomenon. Here, brought to you with the kind help of her mother, is a sampling of her collection.

"Have French toast!!" was worn with panache by Mrs.5000 for one outing, at which point it shrunk alarmingly.  Subsequently, it came into the possession of Niece #4, who was at the time a little girl.  She was adorable in it, but then she's adorable in anything.

In conclusion, if you only remember one piece of T-shirt wisdom, it might well be this one:
Brighten the corner where you are
Water is Life
Every Drops of Water are Value

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Infinite Art Tournament, First Elimination Round #21/64

Faceoff #1: Giambologna v. Gilbert and George

1529 - 1608

Lost badly to Alberto Giacometti in Round 1.


Gilbert and George
born 1942 and 1943

Lost to Harold Gilman in Round 1.

Faceoff #2: Giordano v. Giulio Romano

Luca Giordano
1632 - 1705

Lost to Giorgione in Round 1.


Giulio Romano
1492 - 1546

Thumped by Giotto in Round 1.

Vote for the two artists of your choice! Votes generally go in the comments, but have been known to arrive by email, by postcard, or in a sealed envelope.

Please note that you may vote only once in each face-off.  Opining that both of the artists in one of the two face-offs is superior to the other is fine, but casting your votes for two artists in the same face-off is not permissible.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Wednesday Post

East by Northeast
A real pleasure to go thru
Jimmy & Michael love it out here 


6/30/64  Dear Mr. & Mrs. Jones,

We got here yesterday. It took us 14 hours to drive.  Jimmy &Michael love it out here.

Arlene and Jim

1 Mile S.W. of West Chester, Penna.
On Lenape-Longwood Rd.& Rts. 52 and 100.

This is a quaint store.  A real pleasure to go thru.  All imports.  Candy from Belgium.  Museum filled with antiques.  Have lovely time browsing.  Ann Luedeman


Fiddleheads are scarce.  Had some.
Jane Hudson

Color by Bureau of Information, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Thanks for putting the lamp shades up first.

We do not like Nova Scotia.

Having a nice time.

Clara Cook