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.

Bright Stained Glass of a Charleston Church

I was looking through my 2014 photos of Savannah and Charleston for another post, and came across this bright circle of stained glass from The Circular Congregational UCC Church in Charleston.

Ceiling stained glass

I also took this photo of other stained glass windows, the beauty in their simplicity, at the same church.

Stained glass windows
This view of the church’s sanctuary helps visualize the circular-ness of the interior.
Front facade of Circular Church

The church had a rather interesting graveyard in back, which we also explored, with some very old and historical graves.

Day 28 of Becky’s April Bright Squares photo challenge

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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Thursday Doors: A Walk Through Schärding, Austria

On the 4th of July, the day we spent the morning in Passau, Germany, we opted for an afternoon tour to the small town of Schärding, Austria (population approx. 5,000). Passau and Schärding are essentially border towns.  We even crossed a bridge on the Inn River that had a small metal plaque in the middle with D (Deutschland – Germany) on one side and Ö (Österreich – Austria) on the other!
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The town of Schärding is a major port on the Inn River which is the dividing line between Bavaria in Germany and the Austrian state of Upper Austria.

The Bavarian family Wittelsbach owned the town until 1779. In the Middle Ages, due to its location, Schärding became a center of trade, particularly for salt, timber, ores, wine, silk, glass, grain, textiles and livestock. Originally the town was fortified; sections of the wall remain, but the castle that was originally there is no longer.

Schärding’s most beautiful feature is its central square with its rows of colorful, gabled buildings. The buildings are color coded so that illiterate people in past centuries would know what the building was used for. For example, the town hall (Rathaus) was yellow, and pharmacies were green. Nowadays, next to the Rathaus, the green building is a charming hotel, Hotel Stiegenwirt.

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The town’s skyline is dominated by St. George Church. It is Roman Catholic; more than 80% of the town’s residents identify themselves as Roman Catholic.

When I was not attending a workshop to make herbal salt (I ended up not keeping it – the salt content was way too high for me!), I joined Dale to explore the streets of the town.
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Two interesting clocks!
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Schärding’s coat of arms is painted on the side of a building.
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Historically, Schärding’s population suffered an epidemic of the plague. A plague pole was erected when the epidemic was over, to thank the Virgin Mary for saving people from the plague.
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There is a statue to St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, in the center of a fountain. The fountain is hard to see in this photo because it was surrounded by construction zone fences.
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Looking out toward the river from Durchgang Wasstertor.
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I don’t know what these masks were for, but they look like instruments of torture!
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There was also this display of possibly religious relics, near St. George Church.
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And now…Schärding doors!
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Posted for Norm’s Thursday Doors 1/16/20.

Some historical information obtained from Wikipedia’s article on Schärding.