A WALK DOWN WOODWARD STREET

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Didn’t mean to take this picture, the phone did it itself.  In this case the artificial intelligence got a great shot representing our one mile walk between the Westin Hotel and Wayne State University where the Detroit Institute of Arts sits.

We didn’t want to move our car from the parking lot, and had planned to hike.  The weather was beautiful and without our hellish SC heat.  Asking the hotel clerks if it was possible to walk to the DIA, the answer was that the street was all torn up.  “Are there temporary walks beside the street?  Yes, but it is a mess.”

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Each color on this sidewalk is a notation for a different system being upgraded.  The whole street is torn up and all is being improved with the added benefit of creating jobs.   A big fan of replacing the infrastructure, I was happy to see this and happy to walk.

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Woodward Street is mostly not functional although once in a while there is relief for crossing cars.  In this one mile walk from the financial district to the University, there is a lot of variety in the buildings.  And many vacant lots.  We saw things we have not seen before in a city.

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Gorgeous Romanesque-colored Baroque-clad churches,

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featured amazing deco animals on their cornerstones.  Look at the fine numbers!

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And this church was falling apart.

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Another church was a part of the Underground Railroad, not falling apart.

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Haven’t seen one of these in a long time.

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Have you seen Tiger Stadium?  The big cats are crawling all over it, which is not recorded faithfully enough here.  You walk through huge baseball bats to enter.

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Steam erupts everywhere.  I don’t get this.

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Some city father observes the mess and even has his own port-a-potty.

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Breath-taking flowers near the Westin.

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Not so far from this gaping hole.

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Or this.  Trash can be quite beautiful.

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The ACLU sits beside the Fine Arts.

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Do Not Enter Kresge’s.

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New construction on the left looks towards the skyscrapers downtown.

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Delightful walk to see these guys at the DIA.  Here they are with Mr. Goodyear, Chairman of the Board of the Museum of Modern Art.  These two Communists just could not stay away from Capitalists.  Led to the fight with Nelson Rockefeller.  Was reading about him on our Detroit visit.  Love when that happens.

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ESPECIALLY FOR FORMER STUDENTS

We said “hello” to the fabulous city of Detroit last weekend.  Reason for the journey was to visit the Detroit Institute of Art’s exhibition of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

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Not only could it be a quick trip with not a lot of driving, and a new place to visit, we wanted to support the city which has gone through a lot of pain lately.  We were not disappointed.  Most service people we encountered were very happy.  The city is starting to buzz again.  A lot of smart infrastructure building is under way.  The restaurants are full.

The exhibition was a figurative dance between Frida and Diego.  It was stated that their eleven months in residence while Diego manifested his design in fresco, was the beginning of the end of his career, and the jumping off point for hers.  It must have been so fine working together in the magnificent hall, he expressing his love for the worker and industry, she concentrating on her amazing little detailed symphonies (The detail in her work was more precise than I expected.  It was fully reminiscent of Northern Renaissance detail; think of Jan Van Eyck.).  Her “Henry Ford Hospital” was painted during this time, the spontaneous abortion happening while there.

Visitors to the Detroit Institute of Arts look at the four-wall mural by famed artist Diego Rivera in Detroit, Michigan June 5, 2013. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Visitors to the Detroit Institute of Arts look at the four-wall mural by famed artist Diego Rivera in Detroit, Michigan June 5, 2013. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

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Above is “Rivera Court” in the Detroit Institute of Art.  The many frescoes are separated by architectural members.  Entitled “Detroit Industry”, the work was paid for by Henry Ford.

Many of the cartoons for the frescoes were on display.  We could see Diego’s mind working as figures were approximated and finally spelled out in a darker line.

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Above he is working on the cartoon for one section of the hall.  This section was changed after the loss of the baby.  He commemorated the sad event by including a baby in the womb as the beginning of all of man’s wondrous achievements.

We entered the exhibition space and saw this:

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The exhibition space prior to entering the great hall alternated between Diego’s early panel paintings and cartoons, and Frida’s small works.  Detroit had a lot of the most famous works there.

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“Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair”

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“A Few Small Nips”  The blood from the murder of the wife by the husband is reflected on the frame.  I had not remembered this.

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“Self-portrait on the Borderline between Mexico and the United States”  1932

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“The Suicide of Dorothy Hale”.  Again, interesting treatment of the frame in regard to the content of the work.

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And, of course, “Henry Ford Hospital”.

There were many more, and also earlier panel paintings by Diego.

This exhibition is over, as of yesterday.  Something else will be shown in that space, but the DIA is full of wonderful stuff.  I realized before we left that we would see this:

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Pieter Brueghel’s “Wedding Dance”, one of my favorites, for pedagogical and sexual reasons!