Acting, Film, Performance Arts

Hollywood Celebrities List: Fifty and Fabulous

keanu-reeves_wordpress21. Keanu Reeves Born: September 2, 1964 (age 52)

Reeves is pictured here in a scene from the 2016 crime mystery Exposed. Keanu Reeves, who’s been acting since the mid 80’s, seemed to transform overnight into a superstar and sex symbol with his appearance in the lead role for the hit movie Speed. Co-starring Sandra Bullock, another noteworthy A-Lister, who’s aging quite gracefully. Bullock is also 52. A great display of Reeves’ vitality can be found in his portrayal of Donaka Mark in the martial arts action drama Man of Tai Chi. Yes indeed. This hero hunk from The Matrix Trilogy has still got it.

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2. Halle Berry Born: August 14, 1966 (age 50)

This bombshell babe just made the list by a few weeks. Having only turned 50 a little over a month ago. Halle Berry’s career in acting started in the late 80’s to early 90’s. One of Berry’s unforgettable breakout roles was Vivian, a prostituting drug addict, in the Spike Lee film classic Jungle Fever. Because of her acting ability to easily transition character roles and her unwavering youthful beauty Berry went on to be the first African-American woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress in the powerful 2001 romance drama Monster’s Ball.

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3. Patrick Dempsey Born: January 13, 1966 (age 50)

The former Grey’s Anatomy star has been on the acting scene since the mid 80’s. With memorable movies like, In the Mood (aka The Woo Woo Kid) and Can’t Buy Me Love. Once a McDreamy always a McDreamy. Not to mention Dempsey’s off-screen passion for collecting vintage and sports cars. Add professional race car driver/team owner, Dempsey Racing, to his repertoire and you have the makings of a real life bad boy heartthrob.

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4. Jamie Lee Curtis Born: November 22, 1958 (age 57)

Absolutely stunning. A staple of the Hollywood community, Jamie Lee Curtis first graced the silver screen in the late 70’s. She made her mark and earned her place amongst Hollywood royalty with her reoccurring role as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter‘s Halloween. Curtis is no stranger to television, as her career has come full circle back to the small screen, where her acting career first started. From an appearance on the famed TV show Charlie’s Angels to a regular role as Dr. Samantha Ryan on the Emmy nominated prime time television series NCIS.

Tom Cruise

5. Tom Cruise Born: July 3, 1962 (age 54)

As for Hollywood royalty, Tom Cruise is the cream of the crop. Cruise starred in his first film in 1981. It seems Hollywood producers hit pay dirt when they discovered a handsome young Tom Cruise. Since his role as Cadet Captain David Shawn in the all-star cast of the timeless movie drama Taps nearly every film consecutively Cruise has starred in went on to be a fan favorite and Box Office success.

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6. Eddie Murphy Born: April 3, 1961 (age 55)

Murphy made his way into our hearts and homes back in the early 80’s. With his first hit film 48 Hrs. in 1982 and the release of his first, self titled, stand-up comedy special the same year. He’s enjoyed continued success in film throughout the entirety of his career. Gaining the most notoriety as a regular cast member of the infamous comedy television series Saturday Night Live. Appearing on the show from 1980-1984.

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7. Angela Bassett Born: August 16, 1958 (age 58)

Hard to believe this lovely lady is almost 60. Pictured here, earlier this year at the 2016 BAFTA Awards, wearing a flattering fuchsia gown designed by Galia Lahav. A veteran, Angela Bassett began her career in television then transitioned to film. Her first movie role was a stewardess in the family comedy Kindergarten Cop in 1990. The next year, in 1991, Bassett was thrust into the limelight with a credited film role as Reva Styles, the mother of Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s character in John Singleton‘s explosive crime drama Boyz n the Hood. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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8. Blair Underwood Born: August 25, 1964 (age 52)

An early pioneer of prime time television of the 80’s and 90’s that paved the way for current legal drama and crime investigation television series, Blair Underwood was a sexy regular cast member of L.A. Law. He’s had some successful film roles in his career. Most notably, Set It Off, Rules of Engagement, Malibu’s Most Wanted and Madea’s Family Reunion. Underwood is best known for his television acting career. Recently, he appeared on the popular TV show The Good Wife and he also plays Andrew Garner on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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9. Sarah Jessica Parker Born: March 25, 1965 (age 51)

SJP, as she is affectionately known, was cast in her first TV movie in 1974 at the age of 9. And, she still exudes that fresh-faced effervescence at 51. Since around 2000, Parker has become a permanent fixture of the fashion industry and the face of a variety of well known brands. Even launching her own signature perfumes, clothing & accessories line and the SJP Collection of shoes at Nordstrom. Undoubtedly, much of Parker’s success in the world of fashion can be attributed to her character urban fashionista Carrie Bradshaw from the trendy TV show Sex and the City.

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10. Kevin Bacon Born: July 8, 1958 (age 58)

Kevin Bacon is a legend in his own right. Cast in his first ever known acting role in 1978 as Chip Diller in the unruly comedy Animal House. Where he starred alongside other acting legends, the likes of John Belushi and Donald Sutherland. The list of riveting film performances delivered by Bacon is sensationally long. These days you can find Kevin Bacon performing off-screen as well with his brother Michael Bacon. In 1995, the Bacon Brothers band was formed. The band is currently still touring.

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Acting, Advertisement, Children, Film, Marketing, News, Performance Arts, Publications

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Transformers: Age of Extinction starring Mark Wahlberg


The first time I saw a movie trailer for this film I thought, “Hell yeah!” I’m almost sure everyone remembers the Transformers. Mark Wahlberg is, of course, hot and one of my favorite actors. And, the special effects and action scenes are righteous. Last night I had the pleasure of watching the full length movie, which is just over 2 1/2 hours long. Although the action does pick up fairly soon in the beginning the movie starts off kind of dull. I especially didn’t care for the early scenes between actor Mark Wahlberg and actress Nicola Peltz who plays Wahlberg’s teenage daughter. Their relationship as father and daughter just isn’t believable. Wahlberg, in real life, is 43 years old and stands at about 5’8″. The two actors would have been better cast as love interests in my opinion. According to IMDb.com casting director credits go to Denise Chamian, Mickie Paskal and Jennifer Rudnicke but I’m honestly not sure who should take the heat for the film cast. After all this is a Steven Spielberg production and I have yet to see one of his films fall short. I guess there is a first time for everything because the casting in this instance honestly took away from a great body of work. Sources report that the three lead roles (Wahlberg, Pelka and the role of Pelka’s boyfriend played by actor Jack Reynor) are contracted to appear in the next three sequels. If you consider the fact that independently both Wahlberg and Peltz gave an excellent performance that could only mean that Executive Producer and Film Director Michael Bay dropped the ball on this one. It has yet to be announced whether or not Bay will return to direct a future Transformers production. Not that it really matters to me (I never agree with their ratings) but when the movie was released late June 2014 it received poor reviews from film critics, ranking at only 18% on Rotten Tomatoes and making it the lowest ranked film of the Transformers franchise. Transformers: Age of Extinction turned out to be a hit at the box office and grossed over $1 billion worldwide. Where I can agree with film critics about this movie is with their great appreciation for the performances that Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci delivered as well as the outstanding visual effects, and action sequences. — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformers:_Age_of_Extinction

The action certainly makes up for the film’s few shortcomings. According to fxguide.com Transformers: Age of Extinction was a massive production. Much larger in scale than the first three films in the franchise. Age of Extinction required a bigger crew size, complex effects shots, higher quality stereo delivery and the shooting locations were more dynamic. In fact, it is the largest film production in the history of visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic. ILM visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar is quoted saying that the Age of Extinction film was the “heaviest data wrangling picture I’ve ever done, the largest in ILM’s history. It was the largest crew I’ve ever had – 500 people. It was IMAX and 3D so you’re rendering twice as much at least. Our work is about 90 minutes worth of the movie.” — http://www.fxguide.com/featured/age-of-extinction-ilm-turns-up-its-transformers-toolset/

90 minutes worth of action packed visual wonder and amazement. All of the Transformers characters’ mechanics are visually intricate. The Autobots gang includes Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Hound, Drift, Crosshairs, Ratchet, Leadfoot and Brains. They each take on an extremely realistic human persona. Actor John Goodman is the voice of Hound, a chubby but nimble Autobot with a scruffy beard made of wire coils, nuts and bolts who chews on bullets as though they were cigars. Hound makes his debut in this film operating as the Autobots’ heavy artillery gunner. He transforms into an Oshkosh Defense Medium Tactical Vehicle. I really enjoyed his character. Hound cracks a lot of jokes, making light of an otherwise gloomy situation whenever he can and he is just a downright lovable guy. — http://screenrant.com/transformers-4-characters-autobots-decepticons-dinobots/

It is truly astounding the level of depth in robotic animation achieved in Transformers: Age of Extinction. The cinematography capturing the action sequence integration between the actual human cast and the digital renderings was nearly flawless. Admittedly, the making of this particular 3D IMAX film production was by far the largest undertaking for visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic. Quite the handful by any standards. Don’t get me wrong, the visual effects were phenomenal. Unfortunately, they weren’t absolutely impeccable. Call me a knit-picking perfectionist. Perhaps the most difficult part of this creative process was the marrying of the actor’s takes and the digital animation. From what I was able to notice there are a couple of frames in the movie where both Mark Wahlberg’s and Jack Reynor’s stunt doubles were blatantly obvious. I found it distracting to the eye. I immediately became confused about which actor was in the scene. A little off-putting to the direction of the film plot. Overall, nothing major in that respect. Age of Extinction is definitely a movie the entire family will enjoy. If you are looking for a humorous, fast action, digitally high-tech movie with sweet rides I would highly recommend Transformers: Age of Extinction.  But don’t take my word for it, check out the movie trailer below then pick up your copy available on BLU-RAY™ , BLU-RAY 3D AND DIGITAL HD today!

 

“Autobots must escape sight from a bounty hunter who takes control of the human serendipity: Unexpectedly, Optimus Prime and his remaining gang turn to a mechanic and his daughter for help.” — http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2109248/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_8

 

Transformers: Age of Extinction TRAILER 1 (2014) – Mark Wahlberg Movie HD

Published on March 4 2014

Earth is scarred by the events of the past three movies, but is moving on after all the giant robots disappeared. Cade Yeager, an inventor, discovers a buried Transformer, which sets the stage for the return of the Autobots and Decepticons.

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Accessories, Art, Art History, Classical, Clothing, Couture, Designer Collection, Fashion, Fashion Designer, Fashion Stylist, Music, Retail, Runway Show, Techno

BOSS Womenswear Fashion Show Spring / Summer 2015

 Jason Wu | BOSS Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015

#thisisboss #bossfashionshow


What would fashion couture be without the likes of Jason Wu? What’s more, what is a fashion show without ambiance? The BOSS Womenswear Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2015 was held live in New York. The venue was impeccable. Guests were seated along the exterior of the highrise studio which was lined with floor to ceiling windows overlooking New York. More guests were positioned opposite the runway along the interior of the studio. Behind those seated guests were electronic pillars that gave the illusion of a moving forest scene. These pillars were strategically placed along the exteriors walls of the studio. As the first model approaches the runway she is introduced with a dramatic and suspenseful techno-mix which transitions into warm classical music, and then again back to the same techno beat. All of which is signature to Jason Wu. We’ll hear him talk about what inspires his creative expression, dubbed #thisisboss, as the new Artistic Director for Hugo Boss BOSS Womenswear.

I am tempted to say that Jason Wu has truly outdone himself, but this is only his first year with BOSS Womenswear, and it can only get better from here. My first impression of the Spring/Summer 2015 collection was Pablo Picasso meets fashion. Picasso is one of the most important figures of the 20th century in art and the art movements that evolved during that period. He introduced the cubism art form and this was an entirely new way of viewing art. Pablo Picasso’s art focused on color and expressionism, as opposed to two-dimensional art forms, cubism focuses on artistic expressions seen in more than one way, dimension, and angle. — http://www.pablopicasso.org/

The Old Guitarist, 1903 by Pablo Picasso

The Old Guitarist, 1903 by Pablo Picasso

Wu himself drew his inspiration for the BOSS Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 collection from the work of artist Agnes Martin. The fabrics are meant to be structured yet fluid with a signature color palette.

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

Clearly both Picasso and Martin were abstract expressionists who often worked with the same soft color palette. This signature is very evident in Jason Wu’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection. The abstract geometrical patterns and rigid seam lines are sharply sophisticated while at the same time very comfortable, and relaxed. Pairing these designs with above the calf gladiator sandals is sensational. Definitely bold and risque. Instead of coming off as a terrible attempt to push the boundaries of fashion it actually emphasized that delicately feminine yet assertively masculine edge. Jason Wu has certainly set the bar high for fashion creatives. The 2015 Spring/Summer collection is fresh, edgy and simple. I absolutely love these pieces. Jason Wu knows precisely how to style the everyday modern woman.

As also apparent with the less casual designs. There is a bit business or formal flare as well as more elegant pieces. Quite stunning. Wu made a point of pairing long dusters with cocktail dresses and sleek blazers with a similarly designed skirt to show the relaxed versatility of his collection. The dresses themselves come in a variety of designs that range from strapless, sleeveless and backless to knit-crotchet, shear overlays, shiny gloss and three quarter-length. The plunging necklines are daring yet graceful. And, of course, a Spring/Summer collection must-have were the mini dresses and mini-skirts. His choice in fabrics is exceptional. Every aspect of the BOSS Womenswear is very practical. Right down to the venue of the fashion show. Outside of the electronic beams and the runway music things were very simple and quaint. Even the models were dressed particularly plain. The hair was combed back and pushed behind the ears, nude make-up, and no accessories except for a belt or a handbag. A fabulous over-sized pillbox shaped leather clutch with a metalwork handle. Jason Wu has the perfect creative eye for styling today’s woman. I thought the long sleeve blouse with mini-skirt was very wearable. The pant suits were also fantastic. Holding on to the traditional Hugo Boss while incorporating femininity. I found them both casual and business professional. After the fashion show scroll down to hear what Jason Wu has to say about #thisisboss. Just below that you’ll find the new THISISBOSS movie directed by Marco Brambilla starring Suvi Koponen. Very exciting! What will next season have in store?

Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1952, print

Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1952, print

Published on Sep 11, 2014

The new BOSS Womenswear Spring / Summer 2015 collection is inspired by structures of cement and glass and also by the work of artist Agnes Martin with colors of celery, pastels and also a mixture of monochromatic black and white looks. The fabrics are structured, yet still feminine and fluid.

BOSS Womenswear Spring / Summer 2015 Fashion Show by Artistic Director Jason Wu. Structured yet fluid fabrics and a color palette inspired by the work of Agnes Martin are essential for this collection.
Discover more: http://bit.ly/_discover_thisisboss

Join the conversation with #thisisboss and #bossfashionshow.

Discover the Collection at http://www.hugoboss.com

Follow BOSS on

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hugoboss
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HUGOBOSS
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/hugoboss/
Foursquare: http://foursquare.com/hugoboss
Instagram: http://instagram.com/hugoboss

Published on Aug 28, 2014

Jason Wu on the new THISISBOSS movie directed by Marco Brambilla starring Suvi Koponen http://fashionshow.hugoboss.com

Watch the BOSS Womenswear Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2015 live from New York on September 10, 2:30 pm EST at http://fashionshow.hugoboss.com

Join the conversation with #thisisboss and #bossfashionshow
Discover the Collection at http://www.hugoboss.com

Published on Sep 4, 2014

#thisisboss – directed by Marco Brambilla starring Suvi Koponen http://fashionshow.hugoboss.com

“I wanted to present a completely different take on BOSS. This film expresses a marriage of nature and technology, classical versus hi-tech.“ – Jason Wu, Artistic Director BOSS Womenswear.

Watch the BOSS Womenswear Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2015 live from New York on September 10, 2:30 pm EST at http://fashionshow.hugoboss.com

Join the conversation with #thisisboss and #bossfashionshow

Music: Peter Tschaikovsky – “The Sleeping Beauty”

Discover the Collection at http://www.hugoboss.com

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Art, Poetry, Publications, Writing

journey

Phenomenal writing! I can relate to this style of imagery and analogy. The symbolism is strong and emotional. Outstanding.

writing in airplanes

Thank you to the e-zine Aberration Labyrinthfor including my poem journey in Issue #012.  Also thanks to my teacher, friend, and mentor Jim Reynolds, for your invaluable editorial suggestions on this poem, especially the ending. Listen:

The push of youth gives way to the pull of old age
its gravitational field weighing upon each step
in a struggle to stay upright

I look at myself in the mirror to see what is there:
a worn piece of shoe leather that has become my face
the lines telling of a journey taken without a map
the worn eyes that have gazed upon too much

There is less acuity of senses now
less feeling in the hands and legs
but some things are felt more
like the cold which even on a summer day
leaves me with a chill I imagine is
death’s coming attraction

Emotions grow less sudden but more…

View original post 51 more words

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Byzantine Art


It was my pleasure to take a tour of the beautiful Museum of Fine Arts, Boston which is where the first Museum of Fine Arts was established in July 1876. The museum was built in Copley Square, Boston the nation’s centennial. At that time when the Museum of Fine arts opened to the public there were over 5,600 works of art and artifacts archived there. Many years later the collection and visitors had grown immensely and the museum moved to its current location Huntington Avenue in 1909. To date the Museum of Fine Arts is considered to be one of the most comprehensive art museums throughout the world. Currently the collection has accumulated as many as 450,000 works of art and artifacts. Visitors have access to pieces from ancient Egypt to contemporary, special exhibitions and avant-garde educational programs.

In November 2010 The New Museum of Fine Arts opened. A new wing was constructed for Art of the Americas, renovated art of Europe galleries as well as improved conservation and education facilities. Also The Linde Family Wing dedicated solely to contemporary art and a new more spacious public area—the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard. Lastly the magnificent Fine Arts museum established what is referred to as An Artists’ Colony – Right Across the Street. The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston founded in 1876. The SMFA is known as one of the oldest and most distinguished art schools in the U.S. In 1945 based on an affiliation with Tufts University the SMFA made available undergraduate and graduate degree programs with access to a wide spectrum of academic resources.

Such an amazing and historic display of architecture I found in the narrative of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As you can imagine I was just as taken aback as I perused over the many works of art trying to decide where to put my focus. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is truly exceptional! I narrowed my tour down to some period pieces from the Byzantine culture but I couldn’t help but to gaze longingly at everything. The famous works, personal favorites and various pieces that sparked my interest all caught my eye. It is always nice to explore new cultures and I was impressed with the tour of a Byzantine Art collection. It is a very modest exhibit of artifacts that I could spend hours analyzing as well as enjoying the richness of the history they hold. I found the exhibit well put together and extremely enriching. Sorry to get carried away over a room full of relics. It is the art and art history lover in me. I felt like a kid in a candy store. There are seven pieces that immediately stand out because of their supple exquisite appearance. I could imagine these pieces as collector’s items in a wealthy home. Or even beautiful antiques that could be found in a small village market overseas. Often I find the simplest pieces to be the most profound. Is it a useless chunk of limestone or the remnants of a once majestic empire? We shall see…

As I begin I am brought to a beautiful mosaic. To imagine that man was this skilled in design is phenomenal. I dare to think of the time and precision it took to design this masterpiece. The images depicted are almost crude which only adds to its appeal. I see what could be symbolism of the culture. I say this because the mosaic is said to be from a church floor in or near Edessa. The water fountain flows into a kantharos which is the Greek word for a pottery drinking cup. In 490-480 B.C. the wine god Dionysus is shown with his kantharos of wine. The kantharos was never supposed to be empty. Around this period of time Christians developed cryptic signs and symbols to maintain secrecy and avoid Roman persecution. For example they used Greek letters sometimes in the form of acronyms. Everything pictured in the mosaic is fairly real to life. The one thing that is strange is that the peacocks do not actually perch on the fountain. Only one of each bird’s talons actually stands on the edge of the fountain. It is possible that the kantharos fountain was an early Christian symbol of abundance, purity and everlasting life through Christ Jesus. The stance of the peacocks is a mystery to me but I’m quite sure the artist had some reason behind arranging the birds the way they did.

Mosaic [ Byzantine, Early Byzantine Period, A.D. 450–462 ]

Mosaic [ Byzantine, Early Byzantine Period, A.D. 450–462 ]

Two peacocks perch on a fountain, in the form of a kantharos into which water flows from a stylized floral (palmette) spout above. Colors: pale red and blue on yellow. From the floor of a church complex near (at) Marathus or Homs (Edessa).

Provenance: Said to be from the floor of a church complex near (at) Marathus or Homs (Edessa); by date unknown: with George Zacos, Engelgasse 65, Basel, Switzerland; 1970: gift to Department of Classical Art, MFA from an Anonymous Source; accessioned by MFA as gift of Department of Classical Art, April 8, 1970 | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/mosaic-262648 | http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/greekart/g/032108kantharos.htm

As I move on a rudimentary lamp sits before me. Puzzled I read the curator’s notes. Now that I had an idea of how this would work as a lamp I was absolutely fascinated. I love the Greek inscription and I love the translation even more. The curator’s notes mention the two filling holes which leads me to believe it is some sort of oil lamp. Not that it really made it any clearer how to work one of these lamps. Thank God for good ole electricity! Pieces like this one, although not so glitz and glamor are my favorite. The terracotta is a wonderful material to work with. I can imagine myself in art class molding and sculpting clay. It may look simple but a lamp like this takes time and skill. Love, love, love the steelyard weight!! Silly how it’s just part of an ancient scale yet I find it so decorative. Which makes you wonder what was this scale being used to measure or better yet who the scale belonged to. An emperor’s gloved hand grasping the orb of power. It just sounds so prestigious. The craftsmanship is excellent. I’m sure it takes quite a bit of skill as well.

Lamp with Greek inscription [ Byzantine, Early Byzantine Period, 5th–6th century A.D. ]

Lamp with Greek inscription [ Byzantine, Early Byzantine Period, 5th–6th century A.D. ]

An ovoid lamp from Istanbul with two filling-holes that bears on the shoulders an inscription in Greek: “The Light of Christ Shines upon us all”.

Provenance: By date unknown: with Hesperia Art, 2219 St. James Place, Philadelphia, Pa.; purchased from Hesperia Art by Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Vermeule III, December 23, 1965; June 3, 1967: loaned to MFA by Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Vermeule III (as 156.67); gift of Mrs. and Mrs. C. C. Vermeule III to MFA, October 14, 1970 | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/lamp-with-greek-inscription-262143

Steelyard weight [ Roman or Byzantine, Late Imperial or Byzantine Period ]

Steelyard weight [ Roman or Byzantine, Late Imperial or Byzantine Period ]

 

Steelyard weight, in the form of the gloved hand of an emperor, grasping the orb of power (orbs domina).

Provenance: By date unknown: Collection of Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Vermeule III (loaned to MFA as 118.64: said to come from Constantinople; from the art market in Philadelphia); gift of Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Vermeule III to MFA, November 10, 1970 | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/steelyard-weight-262123

 

 

 

 

The next six limestone fragments on display are really interesting. When I look at the ancient artifacts I am reminded of Michelangelo. What comes to mind is Michelangelo’s experience during the High Renaissance and his Florentine commission of the sculpture of David for the city of Florence. Years before the original artist quit working on it leaving a giant block of marble abandoned outside. Marble was expensive but it did not hold up against the many years of weather damage. It was the 26 year old Michelangelo who saw this chunk of imperfection and envisioned something great inside. That is what I see in these fragments. Not the once grand monument that these pieces have broken away from but I envision the great architecture waiting to be expanded upon. All six pieces are Egyptian. At first glance you would never guess that. Maybe the curator was making an effort to heighten our senses in recognizing artistic characteristics, form and origin. Mind you these are fragments of an ancient empire. Could we be so brainwashed by media representations of Ancient Egypt that we are missing the entire spectrum of the Egyptian architectural design element? Taking a closer look you’ll notice a repetitive design that is symbolic of Egypt’s Greek influence. There is a very distinct and signature carving technique in all six fragments. Most are a variety of leaves and some have leaves and grapes. Very Julius Caesar with his golden leaf crown on while he lounges eating grapes.

Fragment of a capital? [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

Fragment of a capital? [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

This column features a series of highly stylized leaves.

Provenance: Findspot Information: From the Coptic Monastery of St. Jeremiah’s at Saqqara, Egypt, excavated by J. E. Quibell in 1905-1906. | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/fragment-of-a-capital-141996

Fragment of a panel [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period, late 4th–mid 7th century ]

Fragment of a panel [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period, late 4th–mid 7th century ]

There is a small basket (?) medallion in the center. There are large leaf scrolls around it. The iconograpghy of this fragment suggests it once belonged within an ecclesiastical context.

Provenance: Findspot Information: From the Coptic Monastery at Saqqara, Egypt, excavated by J.E.Quibell in | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/fragment-of-a-panel-141997

Fragment of a cornice [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

Fragment of a cornice [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

Fragment of a cornice. Limestone. Pointed leaves and scrolling stem.

Provenance: Findspot Information: From the Coptic Monastery at Saqqara, Egypt, excavated by J.E.Quibell in | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/fragment-of-a-cornice-142001

Fragment of a molding [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

Fragment of a molding [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

Corner piece of a molding. Border of grapes(?) and leaves.

Provenance: Findspot Information: From the Coptic Monastery at Saqqara, Egypt, excavated by J.E.Quibell in | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/fragment-of-a-molding-142002

Fragment of a capital [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

Fragment of a capital [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

This is a simplified, flat carving of an acanthus leaf, and it is likely a fragment of a column.

Provenance: From the Coptic Monastery of St. Jeremiah’s at Saqqara, Egypt, excavated by J. E. Quibell in 1905-6. | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/fragment-of-a-capital-142106

Fragment of a molding [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

Fragment of a molding [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

 

 

 

 

 

Corner piece of a molding. Border of grapes(?) and leaves.

Provenance: Findspot Information: From the Coptic Monastery at Saqqara, Egypt, excavated by J.E.Quibell in | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/fragment-of-a-molding-467914

 

Here we have another mosaic. Possibly from the same church floor in Edessa. I admire the crude letters. The aging gives it character. Greek letters can be very appealing to the eye depending on your taste in art. I definitely see a work of art. Now the inscription on the other hand didn’t really come together for me but I’m sure whoever designed it had a distinct purpose. In the next display is a stunning bronze lamp and stand. Very obviously well-crafted and probably very expensive at the time it was made. I am a huge fan of bronze and rot iron. It’s interesting to know that this is a piece that could have been used in a Byzantine home or simply part of a church’s relics and liturgy. I also assume that this was a one of a kind piece or made by special request based on the unusual lamp handles. It is also unique in that the handles are open looped with foliage and a cross. Very exquisite! I don’t think it is certain whether this basic lamp style was typical to the region and time. The earlier lamp was terracotta with no lid, two filling holes and a spout. It also did not appear to use a stand. Both are from the Byzantine Period around the 5th-6th century and are Mediterranean.

 

Mosaic [ Byzantine, Early Byzantine Period, A.D. 450–462 ]

Mosaic [ Byzantine, Early Byzantine Period, A.D. 450–462 ]

Inscription [inscription] “Oh Lord Christ Help Us. Marathus the Macedonian foundation (is responsible for this floor), in the name of Porphyrios son of Demetrios, paid for by one Niketa, from Philadelphia also a Macedonian city.” Colors: blue-black (letters) on white.

From the floor of a church complex near (at) Marathus or Homs (Edessa).

Provenance: Said to be from the floor of a church complex near (at) Marathus or Homs (Edessa); by date unknown: with George Zacos, Engelgasse 65, Basel, Switzerland; 1970: gift to Department of Classical Art, MFA from an Anonymous Source; accessioned by MFA as gift of Department of Classical Art, April 8, 1970 | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/mosaic-262647

Lamp and stand [ Byzantine, Byzantine Period, 6th century ]

Lamp and stand [ Byzantine, Byzantine Period, 6th century ]

Early Byzantine lamp with stand; either for use in a Byzantine household to be placed on a table or possible part of a church treasure including liturgical implements. Unusual design of lamp with open loop handles inspired by foliage sprays with a cross on top. A single nozzle lamp and hinged domed lid with a finial. Lamp stand is supported by three legs resting on claw feet. Several parallels which are assigned to Egypt or Syria are in the collections at Dumbarton Oaks and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Provenance: By 1980: London antiquities trade; 1980: purchased by David Miller, P.O. Box 711, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP2 4UH, England, in the London antiquities trade; date unknown: sold by David Miller to private collector in the United States; by 2001: with Robert Haber & Associates, Inc., 61 West 23rd St., New York, NY 10010; purchased by MFA from Robert Haber & Associates, March 20, 2002; accessioned as a museum purchase with funds donated by George D. and Margo Behrakis | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/lamp-and-stand-346539

 

 

 

 

The tour ends with my personal favorites. I would consider these must haves! The earrings are so darling and antique. I can appreciate the spiritual connection which really adds to the beauty. What is more interesting is that they give light to the transition in Egypt where these were located. Ancient Egypt was giving way to changes in Byzantine culture. Changes such as Byzantine dress in political, religious, and economic centers like Constantinople. Lastly is this delicate little bowl made of silver. It is precious for a few reasons. This container would have been used in an Early Byzantine church to hold incense. Four figures are designed on the outer round of the bowl. Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and two archangels are depicted and give the bowl a profound presence. I am a huge fan of silver and the colors and tones are very soft. Sadly the lid was not recovered with the container. If it had been found it might have had a dedicatory inscription.

Earring [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

Earring [ Egyptian, Byzantine (Coptic) Period ]

Bronze earring with a circle filled with a smaller circle and cross in center formed by scrolls. A piece is missing from the outer circle. The design of these earrings seems to be influenced by contemporary metalwork designs, especially in relation to liturgical furnishings like polycandelabra.

In general, these earrings reflect the adoption of wearing objects of personal adornment with Christian iconograpghy (whether narrative images from Christian myth or symbols from Christian art and cult) by women during the early Byzantine period. As these earrings were acquired in Egypt, we see how people living in Egypt were aware of, and perhaps responsive to, changes in Byzantine dress in political, religious, and economic centers like Constantinople.

For similar earrings, see UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptology and Archaeology UCL no. 58228.

Provenance: By 1909: purchased in Egypt by Joseph Lindon Smith; 1909: on loan to the MFA; 1911: purchased by the MFA through funds provided by Mary S. Ames.

(Accession date: August 3, 1911.) | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/earring-136974

Spherical small container (pyxis) with representations of Christ, Virgin and two archangels [ Byzantine, Early Byzantine Period, 6th–7th century A.D. ]

Spherical small container (pyxis) with representations of Christ, Virgin and two archangels [ Byzantine, Early Byzantine Period, 6th–7th century A.D. ]

 

 

This gilded silver pyxis of spherical form was a container for relics or incense used in Early Byzantine church rites. The four figures produced in repousse technique show a bearded Christ offering a blessing, the Virgin holding an emblem symbolic of her roles as Mother of God (Theotokos), and two archangels dressed in long sleeved tunics with segmenta on their shoulders and hems. The lid is lost but may have had a dedicatory inscription.

Provenance: By date unknown: in a private collection in London (thought to have been owned for a number of years); in 1990: purchased from the private collection in London by an American private collector; by November 2004: with Ward & Company, 962 Park Ave. at 82nd St., New York, NY 10028; December 21, 2004: purchased by George and Margo Behrakis from Ward and Company; gift of George and Margo Behrakis to MFA, April 27, 2005 | http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/spherical-small-container-pyxis-with-representa
tions-of-christ-virgin-and-two-archangels-458408

I was absolutely floored by my tour of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibit was a complete success. The curator did an excellent job of pulling together a variety of aspects from Byzantine Art and culture. Some people are attracted to flashiness and this can be used as a means of drawing their attention. In viewing artistic works I have found that, more often than not, less is more. As I said before there are six limestone fragments that the average person would not find a connection between them and the other period pieces shown. The limestone fragments also may not be as interesting to some. For me the entire experience was exciting and enriching. I learned a lot from the curator’s notations and I certainly have a great appreciation for the Byzantine Art exhibit as well as the things I learned. It really made a big impression for me that the notations were so detailed. It helped me to put together my artistic knowledge with what I experienced during the tour. I enjoyed myself and I look forward to future in depth study of Art History exhibition. This exhibit opened my eyes to the fact that there is so much more historical artistic expression out there with tiny details that have a profound meaning.

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Byzantine Art

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