Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Great Stirrup Controversy

  20120820Chicage Art Institute151839It’s surprising where an image can take one.  This is a cropped portion of a photograph I took at the Chicago Art Institute a couple of years ago.  Museum lighting is always ‘iffy’ and this image has noise that I have decided to ignore.  Looking at the detail, I notice again the stirrup-like foot-step fastened to the breast plate over the rib cage.  What purpose does it serve?   A Google search of “foot-step stirrup, medieval armor“, showed me a link to the Great Stirrup Controversy.  Did the invention of the stirrup represent a technological advance that forever changed warfare?  The argument is interesting, but not on point.  Another search link took me to the Medieval Life and Times website.  It seems to cover all things of that period, but there is neither a contact to ask nor an answer pertaining to my question: What is the purpose of this step? The Answer: A lance-rest dug out from  a diagram of medieval armor found on Google Images.  That Sir Galahad must have customized his armor to help a lady climb quietly back into her tower in the wee hours of the morning seems a better story.
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The Ingenious John Foster, Boston’s first printer

The headstone of John Foster.

The headstone of John Foster.

The Ingenious John Foster – aged 33 years, died September 9, 1681 I’ve photographed my share of old headstones but this one, in the Boston Museum of Fine Art, is, I think, special with the skeleton reaching to extinguish the candle while the angel attempts to hold back darkness.20130630Boston MFA140008

The caption reads:

“In life you dwelled among the stars. In death, Foster, I pray you ascend beyond the sky; may you measure the highest heaven.

I measure it and it is mine; the Lord Jesus has bought it for me; nor do I owe anything for it but thanks.”

Wikipedia cites Foster, a graduate of Harvard College, as one of the great men of his age, the first engraver in North America and the first printer in Boston.

Boston MFA -1180079-2edit6436         

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Mural Art

I love photographing murals, but don’t  seek them out. They are encounters.  And so it is with these taken on a recent trip to the Caribbean.  Murals that speak eloquently, in simplicity, to the lives of people and their world are not often encountered in sanitized tourist areas. One has to get off the main boulevards, walk the side-streets and turn down the occasional alley.  That’s where I came upon the first two painted on the same wall by, from appearance, the same artist.  

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At another location, I came across this one:

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Is that George Bush on horseback?

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