Diego Rivera Mural by Ashleigh Mowers
“As I rode back to Detroit, a vision of Henry Ford’s industrial empire kept passing before my eyes. In my ears, I heard the wonderful symphony which came from his factories where metals were shaped into tools for men’s service. It was a new music, waiting for the composer with genius enough to give it communicable form.
I thought of the millions of different men by whose combined labor and thought automobiles were produced, from the miners who dug the iron ore out of the earth to the railroad men and teamsters who brought the finished machines to the consumer, so that man, space, and time might be conquered, and ever-expanding victories be won against death.”
― Diego Rivera, My Art, My Life
There’s probably not a better monument to the massive role of labor in building Michigan & the United States than the Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals. Commissioned for the Detroit Institute of Art, these 27 massive paintings that cover the four walls of the Rivera Court at the DIA:
In 1932, Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886-1957) began illustrating the walls of what was then the DIA’s Garden Court. Using the fresco technique common in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Americas, Rivera created a grand and complex cycle of murals that portray the geological, technological, and human history of Detroit. He also developed an ancient context for modern industry rooted in the belief system of the Aztec people of central Mexico.
Ashley took this photo back in January of 2017. You can see more in her Detroit gallery & on her website!
Americana N°2, photo by Remus Roman
As we’re gearing up for summer, it’s a great time to think about Michigan’s many incredible museums. One of the coolest is Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford in Dearborn. They explain that the origins of Greenfield Village were with Henry Ford himself. His obsession to recreate his childhood home was a resounding success and:
…after several other restorations of buildings at their original sites, he began looking to create a village that would represent the early days of America up to the present. Working with Ford Motor Company draftsman and architect Edward L. Cutler, Ford began laying out plans for Greenfield Village.
It wasn’t meant to represent any specific place in the United States, or even serve as a particular town – Ford created Greenfield Village primarily from buildings that he had purchased and moved to the site, organizing them around a village green with a courthouse, a town hall, a church, a store, an inn and a school. He placed homes along a road beyond the green. He brought industrial buildings, such as carding mills, sawmills and gristmills to the village and made them operate.
Today, Greenfield Village is organized into seven historic districts, with real working farms, a glassblowing shop, a pottery shop and more…so that, just like Henry Ford when he surveyed his preserved birthplace, you, too, can be transported to another place and time to learn about the ordinary and extraordinary people who shaped America.
Click through for a whole lot more.
View this photo of the Smithy at Greenfield Village background bigilicious, see more in Remy’s slideshow, and also at remyroman.com.
Lots more history & museums on Michigan in Pictures.
USS Edson frozen in the Saginaw river, photo by Tom Clark
The USS Edson is located at the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum in Bay City. The say (in part):
The keel for the Forrest Sherman class destroyer USS EDSON (DD-946) was laid at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on 3 December 1956. EDSON is one of the relatively few ships of the U.S. Navy named for a United States Marine, in this case Major General Merritt Austin Edson.
Edson was launched on 4 January 1958 by General Edson’s widow, Ethel Robbins Edson, who broke the traditional bottle of champagne over the ship’s bow. EDSON’S final fitting out and sea trials occupied the next ten months, and on 7 November 1958, EDSON was commissioned under the command of CDR Thomas J. Moriarty, USN. She then sailed in early 1959 to the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal to reach her original homeport of Long Beach, California, on 2 March 1959.
For the next two decades, EDSON served as a valuable member of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, earning a reputation as a Top Gun ship and the nickname, “The Destroyer.” Her ship’s crest included a skull copied from the shoulder patch worn by then Colonel Edson’s First Marine Raider Battalion.
Note that the Museum itself is closed for the winter until March!
View Tom’s photo bigger and see more in his Ships & Boats slideshow.
More ships & boats on Michigan in Pictures!
Detroit Industry, photo by Maia C
A very happy Labor Day to everyone and also a salute the generations of hard-working Michiganders whose struggles helped to build the society we have today.
View Maia’s photo background big and see more in her Rivera Court, Detroit Institute of Arts slideshow.
More Labor Day and more about the Diego Rivera murals at the Detroit Institute of Art on Michigan in Pictures.
“A” Shaft at Cliff Shaft Mine Museum, Ishpeming, Mi., photo by Thom Skelding
The Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum page at Pure Michigan says that the Ishpeming museum is open June – September Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm:
Walk back in history to see local historical artifacts representing the local community during the great mining era. View historical displays of miners and mines past and present, headgear & other safety equipment available to miners of yesteryear, and displays on blasting and diamond drilling equipment. Stop in the Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Club’s room and view over 500 minerals from the local area, the Upper Peninsula, Midwest and the world.
Take a guided tour of the tunnels that the miners walked to the base of the C-Shaft and listen to the history of mining from those who worked the mines. Follow up the stairs past old underground iron ore cars with a stop at the blacksmith shop. Go outside to view towers 97’ to 174’ high which were used to lower miners 1250’ into the bowels of the earth. Stand beside a 170-ton Iron Ore Truck with tires 12 feet high.
Don’t forget your camera so you can have a memento of your visit standing inside the 30 ton shovel bucket in front of the Dry building or in front of the 170-ton Iron Ore truck. End your tour in the gift shop to pick up memorabilia of your visit. The museum open with a nominal admission.
Sounds pretty cool to me! Follow the museum on Facebook for the latest (and some old photos).
View Thom’s photo background big and see more in his slideshow.
Lots more Michigan museums and more mining on Michigan in Pictures.
1951 Oldsmobile Super 88 and 1962 Oldsmobile F85 coupe R E Olds Museum Lansing, photo by Corvair Owner
The MotorCities National Heritage Area is holding a Sweepstakes on Facebook. The Grand Prize is an Autopalooza Gift Basket that includes a $50 BP Gas Card, MotorCities 1-year Membership, National Park Passport Stamp Book, Henry Ford 150 Celebration Mug, Ford Piquette Avenue T-Shirt, 2013 Cruisin’ Hines T-Shirt, 2013 Clinton Twp. Gratiot Cruise T-Shirt, 2013 Woodward Dream Cruise Calendar, Free Admission passes to The Henry Ford Museum, R.E. Olds Museum, Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Gilmore Car Museum Edsel & Eleanor Ford House and more! 2 baskets will be raffled off, one at the Concours d’Elegance on July 28, 2013 and the other at the Orphan Car Show on September 22, 2013.
The photo above is from one of the MotorCities National Heritage Area member organizations, the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing. From their Facebook page:
The Museum has thousands of irreplaceable items in the archives along with 52 vehicles that range from 1886 through 2003. It is dedicated to Ransom Eli Olds, inventor, entrepreneur, and financier, and one of Lansing’s most notable automotive leaders. He created the principle of the assembly line in the automobile industry and founded two local automobile companies: Olds Motor Works (1897) and REO Motor Car Company (1904).
…The Museum exhibits a significant collection of automobiles, engines, and other materials significant to the transportation history of Lansing, the region, the state and the nation. The R.E. Olds Transportation Museum and the Bates and Edmonds Engine Company offices are resources within the Lansing Stewardship Community of Motor-Cities-National Heritage Area, a cultural heritage area and affiliate of the National Parks Service.
View Joe’s photo bigger and see more in his RE Olds Museum slideshow.
More Michigan museums on Michigan in Pictures!
Entrance to the Museum! – HFM, photo by MikeRyu
Lish Dorset of The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn writes on the Pure Michigan Blog that although summer is always a busy time at The Henry Ford, this summer is shaping up to be especially busy as they celebrate what would have been the 150th birthday of founder Henry Ford. She writes:
We’re celebrating Henry’s legacy all year at The Henry Ford, whose birthday is July 30. Starting in June and running through August, pay a visit to Miller School in Greenfield Village and step back in time to the days of Henry’s youth as he experiments with clock parts, machines and principles that challenged him.
You can also visit Henry’s T, a 15-minute dramatic play and hear how this ultimate maker was inspired to build his universal car. Follow up the play with a visit to Henry Ford Museum and learn how to build a Model T yourself.
Both Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are offering guided tours to guests with an emphasis on Henry’s work.
Check out HenryFord150.com for a timeline of the legendary automotive pioneer, and you can also read more about events at the Henry Ford and keep up with everything on their Facebook.
Mike took this shot on an Exposure.Detroit photowalk at The Henry Ford. Check it out on black and see more in his Henry Ford Museum slideshow.
Also see the Henry Ford Museum slideshow in the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr for over 400 more photos from The Henry Ford!