Thomas Jefferson & Good Government

Detail: Hand and Globe, “Spirit of Detroit”–Detroit MI, photo by pinehurst19475

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
-Thomas Jefferson

Happy 274th birthday to the principle author of our Constitution, Thomas Jefferson.

As we head into a recess where we all have a chance to speak with our elected officials, my personal hope is that many voices will be raised in support of this Jeffersonian ideal of good government that seeks to uplift and preserve our health and well-being, particularly in regards to our preserving & expanding access to health care, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and ensuring that efforts to protect the Great Lakes aren’t defunded. You may want something different, so you probably should show up and share your thoughts as well! ;)

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in pinehurst19475’s massive Statues & Sculpture slideshow.

PS: This is the detail of the hand on the Spirit of Detroit by noted sculptor Marshall Fredericks and you can click that link for much more!

Walking with Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Park Kalamazoo
Martin Luther King Park, photo by Bill Dolak

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
-Martin Luther King

The sculpture is “Martin Luther King” by Lisa Reinertson and her site includes an article about the sculpture:

A bronze portrait figure of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. strides forward confidently in a small park in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The statue, created by sculptor Lisa Reinertson, is only slightly larger than real life, but its presence is monumental.

Seen from a distance, the clerical robe worn by Reverend King strengthens the tall, pyramidal composition, while the robe’s flowing contours both animate the design and echo the character of this restless minister who was constantly on the march for freedom and justice.

Upon approaching the sculpture, which the viewer is drawn to do by its placement on a simple low pedestal, one sees that the robe is embellished with scenes from the civil rights struggle rendered in low relief. A black slave labors in a field near the hem of the robe, while a dark fold of the garment reveals the lynching of a man by the Ku Klux Klan. A Montgomery city bus and a portrait of Rosa Parks adorn the lower left side. The Selma to Montgomery march and King’s I Have a Dream speech are depicted elsewhere. One also finds images of voter registration, school desegregation, the Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter sit in, and the use of firehoses to break up the peaceful 1963 Birmingham demonstrations. Down King’s broad back the vertical folds of the cloth evolve into the bars of the Birmingham Jail with a pensive King seated behind them. Above him is the image of Mahatma Gandhi, who inspired King’s use of non-violent civil disobedience.

View Bill’s photo from MLK Park in Kalamazoo background big and see more in his MASSIVE Kalamazoo slideshow.

More about Martin Luther King on Michigan in Pictures.

Happy 2017, Michigan!

the-spirit-of-detroit

The Spirit of Detroit, photo by walker_bc

And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy 2017 to everyone. While there’s certainly a lot of alarming winds swirling, I hope that some of Rilke’s things that have never been make us all better, stronger, and safer.

View Walker’s photo of the Spirit of Detroit background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

More about the Spirit of Detroit on Michigan in Pictures.

They came from beneath…

Fish from Beneath

Untitled, photo by otisourcat

These fish heads are located at Newaygo’s Riverside Park. No idea why, but if you want to check them out, Roadside America has the location.

View the photo bigger and see more in otisourcat’s massive Here & Now slideshow.

More fish and more amusing Michigan oddities on Michigan in Pictures.

The Wizard of Belle Isle’s Scott Fountain

 

A Cheat, A Liar, a Cad, But A Damn Fine Fountain, photo by Derek Farr

A Cheat, A Liar, a Cad, But A Damn Fine Fountain, photo by Derek Farr

Sherri Welch has a great feature (with video) in Crain’s Detroit entitled Underneath Belle Isle with the Wizard of Scott Fountain:

Far, far below Belle Isle, in a domed-ceiling building few know exist, Robert Carpenter keeps watch, switching levers, hitting buttons and adjusting valves like a modern-day Wizard of Oz.

But his motions aren’t designed to produce an apparition.

They’re focused on producing a plume of water that jets 20, 30, 40, 50 feet or higher into the air, along with countless other smaller bursts of water.

Carpenter is the unofficial caretaker of Belle Isle’s massive, antique James Scott Memorial Fountain.

It’s not a paying gig for him, but, truly, a labor of love.

Carpenter and his team did, restoring the pearly sheen to its marble basin, sculpted faces, animals and all five tiers.

Being the engineer he is, Carpenter couldn’t stop there.

He began scrutinizing the antique valves, pipes and drains, practically living in the domed structure under the fountain as he prepared it for operation through maintenance that included gingerly flushing its corroded, cast iron pipes and rushing to clean the resulting red water from the fountain’s marble bowl.

Read on for more at Crain’s and definitely check out the video – very cool to see what’s below this beautiful Michigan landmark!

Derek is one of my favorite Detroit photographers, and if you like his photos you can head over to his Flickr page for information about how to get them. In addition to taking great pictures, he often includes a brief story of the subject as is the case with this photo:

A Cheat, A Liar, a Cad, But A Damn Fine Fountain

Not exactly loved by all during his time on this planet, James Scott inherited a fortune from his real-estate-baron Father. He attempted to spend the majority of it during his lifetime, Building a large house ( it wasn’t large enough, he wanted his neighbors house as well. The neighbor declined so James built a huge addition to the front and top of his house, blocking out the sun for 3/4 of the day to get back at him ) , throwing large Gambling Parties oblivious to the amount he may have lost, suing any business partners ( or competitors ) that attempted to move in on what James thought should be his. He was described even by his friends as vindictive.

When he died in 1910 he left his sizeable fortune to the city under the specification that a memorial be created to honor him. It took 10 years for the city to agree to use the money for this purpose, and another 5 to complete this fountain – located on Belle Isle in Detroit. It was designed by Cass Gilbert and completed in 1925.

View Derek’s Scott Fountain photos or settle back for more fountain and more Belle Isle in his Belle Isle slideshow.

There’s more Belle Isle and more sculpture on Michigan in Pictures.

Roar

Roar

Roar, photo by Matt Gowing

Just sayin’.

Check Matt’s photo out background bigilicious and see more in his Street slideshow.

And oh yeah – go Tigers!

Deco Dance: Leaping Gazelle by Marshall Fredericks

Deco Dance

Deco Dance, photo by MichaelinA2

One of Michigan’s most renowned artists was Marshall Fredericks. He’s well known for the Spirit of Detroit sculpture, but this artist who spent much of his life in Michigan created many public works. Wikipedia’s entry for Marshall Fredericks has this to say about Leaping Gazelle:

This sculpture was the first commissioned work for which Marshall Fredericks was paid. In 1936, the sculpture won first prize in a national competition, and as a result, Fredericks became well known as a public sculptor. Since the gazelle is not native to Michigan, Fredericks made four animals that are, and placed them around the gazelle on Belle Isle. These animals are the otter, grouse, hawk and rabbit. Fredericks sculpted the gazelle in a characteristic movement called wheeling, which is when an animal quickly changes direction while being pursued by a predator.

The Leaping Gazelle is one of the most duplicated of Fredericks’s sculptures.

This particular sculpture is located near the entrance of the Detroit Zoo, one of many Fredericks sculptures on the Detroit Zoo grounds.

Also, I’ve been meaning to post a really cool exhibit that’s currently at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City titled Sketches to Sculptures, Rendered Reality: Sixty Years with Marshall M. Fredericks:

An exhibition of 31 small sculptures and 36 related drawings and sketches that showcases the creative process of Fredericks both as designer and sculptor. From simple pencil sketches to presentation drawings, the creative mind of Fredericks is on display as he transforms two-dimensional ideas on paper into three-dimensional sculptures. While many of the drawings in this exhibition resemble the final sculpture they would become, others only hint at elements of their outcome or point to a different outcome entirely. This exhibition is comprised of four genres that represent most of Fredericks’ work: architectural, commemorative, spiritual and whimsical. The exhibition was organized from the collections of the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University.

It includes some very cool maquettes – small, scale models of the finished Fredericks sculptures that are really amazing!

View Michael’s photo on black and see more in his Design, Special Settings, Lifestyle slideshow.

More sculpture on Michigan in Pictures.