Monday Window: The Summer of Frida

The Summer of Frida is my theme for this week’s Monday Window hosted by Ludwig Keck. People in the Chicago area – especially in the suburbs of Glen Ellyn and Wheaton – are going gaga over Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist who painted a variety of subjects reflecting her experience and Mexican culture, as well as many self-portraits meant to portray her own thoughts and feelings.

“Frida in New York” (1946), photo by Nicholas Muray

At the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, the theatre on campus built a brand new gallery in 2018-19 specifically to house an exhibit of 26 Frida Kahlo works borrowed from the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City. After negotiating with the museum for the exhibit, they planned for it to take place in the summer of 2020.

We all know what happened in 2020 – Covid-19 – so the exhibit was postponed, and opened with great success and fanfare on June 5, 2021. It will run until early September.

Dale next to the “2021” that is painted in Mexican style at the museum. If you look carefully, you can see that the style and colors of the painting on the numeral 1 are different from the other digits – that’s because the original number was “2020” and they had to get a different artist to paint the number 1.

The exhibit is expected to draw large crowds, so one must buy tickets online with a specific date and time for entry. Already reservations have come in from 48 states and 6 other countries! Not wanting to lose the opportunity to capitalize on this event, the suburban communities of Glen Ellyn and its neighbor, Wheaton, have decorated their downtown areas with festive “papel picado” (colorful banners of crepe paper with designs cut in them), large pots of colorful flowers (Frida Kahlo loved flowers, which figure prominently in her work) and by painting images of the artist on the windows of stores and restaurants.

This downtown Wheaton street is blocked off to traffic and tents have been erected to have outside seating for several restaurants. We didn’t eat outside because the weather was too hot! Note the colorful flower pots and “papel picado” crepe paper banners.

I have a good friend who lives in Wheaton and is a Spanish professor at the college, so after we toured the exhibit, we went to downtown Wheaton for lunch, where we saw several of these windows.

My friend Sandy and her husband taking a selfie in front of one of the windows.
This pizzeria is across the street from the restaurant where we had lunch.

Frida Kahlo was born in Coyoacan, Mexico in 1907 to a German father and a Mexican mother. Her father was a photographer, so there are many photos of Frida and her family. At school, she was studying the prerequisites for medical school but in 1926, on her way home from school, the bus she was riding in was in a serious accident when it collided with another vehicle.

Frida’s drawing of the accident

Frida was thrown to the ground and suffered serious injuries from which she never fully recovered, in spite of having several surgeries. While in a body cast, she began to paint on it, thus initiating her career as an artist.

A replica of one of Frida’s body casts that she painted on.

She broke her pelvic bone, and fractured her back in three places, the result of which she was almost always in pain, and was not able to birth a child.

At the age of 20, she married the famous muralist Diego Rivera, and spent time in New York, San Francisco, and Detroit, where he had commissions to paint murals. Diego said of Frida that she was a better painter than he was! Anyone who sees the beauty of her subjects, and the intricate details and symbolism in her paintings would tend to agree!

Coincidentally, there’s a new biography out by Celia Stahr, called Frida in America. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in knowing more about Frida Kahlo and her work. Several of her works, mainly those painted while she lived in the United States, are featured in the book.

Monday Window: Grand Houses of Savannah

For Ludwig’s Monday Window challenge, I am using his post as an inspiration to present windows of Savannah, GA from our trip there in 2014. These windows are from grand houses (some are mansions) we encountered there.

This might be a government building.
This is a historic Victorian Mansion available for vacation rental.
Mercer-Williams House, featured in the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt. It was the scene of the 1981 murder of Danny Hansford by the house’s owner, Jim Williams.
Not a great “window photo” but I love the dual stairway!

Speaking of the book “Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil,” Lady Chablis is a main character and she was still around, at least in 2014!

Lady Chablis (famous because of the book & movie) is still going strong!
Clary’s in Savannah – we had brunch at this place, made famous by Lady Chablis, who often has breakfast here.

Monday Window: Dohany St. Synagogue

The Dohany St. Synagogue, also known as the Great Synagogue, in Budapest, Hungary, is the largest synagogue in Europe and the 4th largest in the world. It can accommodate close to 3,000 worshippers.

The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style, incorporating decoration based on Islamic models from North Africa and la Alhambra in Granada, Spain. The Viennese architect reasoned that no distinctive Jewish style of architecture could be identified, so he used elements from the people most closely related to the Israelites, most particularly the Arabs.

These windows and those in the next photo depict scenes from the Old Testament.

The synagogue constituted the border of the Jewish Ghetto in Budapest during the Nazi occupation of Hungary, and the complex includes the Jewish Museum, Heroes’ Temple, the graveyard and Holocaust Memorial.

The Dohany St. Synagogue is the center of the Reform Jewish denomination in Budapest. From there, you can take a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter, an interesting historic area in the Pest part of the city.

Posted for Ludwig’s Monday Window photo challenge.

Information obtained from Wikipedia.

Monday Windows: Germany

I haven’t been many places lately, for obvious reasons, so most of my photography the last several months has been of nature. So I dipped back into my archives of our trip to Europe last year to find some interesting specimens for Ludwig’s Monday Window challenge this week. Here are some windows in Wurzburg and Bamberg, Germany.

Monday Window: Windows With Grates

For Ludwig’s Monday Window Challenge, I am looking back at a cruise we took to the Panama Canal, stopping at several Central American Pacific ports on the way back. All these windows have grates. One of them, however, was taken in Jerusalem last year.

León, Nicaragua
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Antigua, Guatemala
KODAK Digital Still Camera
The purple sashes were there because it was Holy Week.KODAK Digital Still Camera
Actually, I think these windows have shutters, not grates.
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Todos Santos, Mexico
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Jerusalem, Israel
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Monday Window: Dominus Flevit Church

(Visited January 13, 2019)
This little “teardrop” Catholic church outside the walls of Old Jerusalem is called Dominus Flevit, which means “The Lord Weeps,” representing Jesus weeping about the future destruction of Jerusalem.
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Here is the same window from the inside, framing old Jerusalem with the Golden Dome as a recognizable landmark.
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The church is flanked on four sides with pillars, atop which are jars in the shape of teardrops.
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The interior is very simple. The altar is not much more than a table and a cross, but set in front of the beautiful window overlooking Jerusalem.

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Worshippers face the altar in front of the window.

Here are a few details of the interior: the dome, one of the stations of the cross, along one of the side walls.

There is a small building outside the church…
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…which houses a necropolis, containing graves of Jews from the 1st to 4th centuries C.E.
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There is also this plaque on an exterior wall of the church.
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Ludwig’s Monday Window challenge