Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Waterways of Olbrich

I love the peace and tranquility of waterways. These two images are from the Sunken and Rose Gardens at the Olbrich Botanical Garden in Madison. Located on the east side, it's a beautiful spot with free admission.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Museum of Glass

Although the exhibits at the Madison Contemporary Art Museum are off-limits to photography, its signature 3-story glass window façade provided some photo opportunities. The stairs of this glass section lead visitors to the free museum's two main galleries as well as a restaurant. It also provides a great view of State Street. 
I especially enjoyed the "Turn, Turn, Turn" exhibition featuring art related to the poetry of the Old Testament Ecclesiastes 3, such as those by Thomas Hart Benton and Kathe Kollwitz. A smaller gallery housed the exhibition "Los Grandes del Arte Moderno Mexico" which included several pieces by greats of Mexican art such as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and José Clemente Orozco.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

State Street, Madison

 On a rather hot (90°F - 32·C) summer day in Madison, I decided to visit the Contemporary Art Museum. The bus, which I conveniently picked up right in front of my condo, took me directly in front of the museum on State Street. With the exception of buses and service vehicles such as police cars, State Street is a popular pedestrian street. Small shops, pubs, and restaurants line both sides of the street. During the warmer weather, it's a great place to sit outside to dine out and watch the street performers and passers-by. Aptly named, the street is one of several spoke-like streets leading up to the capital (pictured in the upper right corner of the top photo).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By the Yahara

Wildflowers and weeds grow along the banks of the Yahara River, which crosses Madison and connects to both the Monona and Mendota lakes.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rural WI Walk

Walking along the hilly rural Wisconsin countryside is an enjoyable summer thing to do. Right now, the wild dill is quite abundant, along with some Queen Anne's Lace.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Delicate Red and Green

Summer in northern Wisconsin reveals a beautiful, delicate contrast of green ferns and red impatiens flowers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sculptures above the Observation Deck

Taking some narrow spiral steps up to the observation deck, one has a great panoramic view at 92 feet of the Madison city as well as the sculptures above. Sculpted by Karl Bitter, these Greek-inspired pieces symbolize faith, prosperity, abundance, and strength. Years ago, visitors were able to go up all the way to the lantern, but safety concerns put that to a halt. Still, it is a great view.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Don't forget to Look UP!

Details abounding in the Madison State Capitol building, it's important to look up. I loved this circular 28' ceiling skylight made from toned leaded glass, found in the Senate Chamber. Clear blue skies from above helped intensify the colors from the glass, dancing at times in patterns.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Touches of Wisconsin

Symbols reflecting the unique aspects of Wisconsin abound in the capitol. Fitting of the "Badger State," a statue of this feisty animal appears on guard above the entrance to the state's Supreme Court. 

Even the door handles include our furry friend and state seal. I love such attention to detail.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Stairways and Doorways

The stairways and doorways found in the beautifully restored Capitol interior compliment the majestic finishings of the walls and floors. Metalwork designs on the railings echo the stenciled designs restored on the murals above. The warm wood on top of the stairways was beautifully finished and felt smooth to the touch. Although electrified, the light fixtures retain their timeless beauty. Stately granite columns frame each side of the main governmental doorways, with each covered with elaborate grillwork doors. Although the elevators have been upgraded to enable accessibility, they also retain much of their original charm.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Mosaics in the State Capitol

Illuminated by the soft natural lighting from the rotunda, the four glass mosaics on each of the pendentives are worthy of attention. Representing the three branches of the state's branches of government as well as Liberty, each mosaic contains around 100,000 glass pieces. Recent restoration of the mosaics reveal the brilliant colors used by artist Kenyon Cox (1856-1919).

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Madison Capitol Rotunda and Gallery

The interior of the world's largest granite dome is equally beautiful. Arched windows from the dome and four glassed arches let in plenty of natural light, illuminating the mosaics, granite, marble flooring, and stairways. The South Gallery contains a replica of the Liberty Bell.

Friday, July 04, 2014

White Granite Beauty

Blue skies made a great backdrop for my morning visit to the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison. Completed in 1917, the current building, now a National Historic Landmark, is a central dominating feature of downtown Madison. Between its height (city legislation prohibits any other building from being taller) and roads leading to the to it like spokes, it truly stands out amongst the bustling area. Its exterior is covered with 
Bethel White Granite from Vermont. Just three feet shorter than the nation's capitol, the building has the distinction of having the largest exterior granite dome in the world. With the well-kept landscaping, it makes a beautiful scene for the weekly summer Concerts on the Square.

Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Concert on the Square

One of the traditions I look forward to during the summer is going to a Concert on the Square with my sister and family. Held on the Capitol grounds in Madison, the free Wednesday concerts are an enjoyable cultural event. People of all ages attend, making it a whole evening. Blankets can be set out starting at mid-afternoon to reserve one's spot. An hour or two before the concert starts, people begin arriving, toting picnic lunches that range from home-packed sandwiches to fancier takeout with wine. Even though the temperature was a bit cool, the patriotic-themed concert was a hit. What a great way to spend a summer evening!