Prints by Rufino Tamayo at America Plaza.

It seems few people realize the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has a small “gallery” inside One America Plaza, the tall building that stands across Kettner Boulevard from the museum’s downtown location. Works of art are often displayed behind several windows in a passage connected to the office building’s lobby.

The artwork now on display is titled Sun: Prints by Rufino Tamayo from MCASD’s Collection.

According to a sign in one window: “Rufino Tamayo was a prolific artist working in many media, from oil painting and watercolor to printmaking and even sculpture. Tamayo was also a prominent muralist, and completed projects for museums, universities, and libraries throughout the world. Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, Tamayo emerged as one of the leading artists in his country and is recognized internationally as one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.”

This morning I enjoyed a look at the eleven pieces that are on display. To me they all possess a primitive, even elemental quality that seems mysteriously symbolic. These are representations of life that are both strange and intimately understood. They are visions that you might see in your dreams.

If you happen to be in downtown San Diego, or simply love the art of Rufino Tamayo, head into the main entrance of One America Plaza, then turn left to find this small treasure trove of fantastic art!

For the sun is in all his pictures, whether we see it or not; night itself for Tamayo is simply the sun carbonized. --Octavio Paz
For the sun is in all his pictures, whether we see it or not; night itself for Tamayo is simply the sun carbonized. –Octavio Paz

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Beautiful scenes around the Timken Museum.

My walk through Balboa Park today included a slow circle around the Timken Museum of Art.

While the building doesn’t really fit with the park’s nearby Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, the museum is quite beautiful in its own way. For a description of this masterpiece of Southern California Modernism, you can visit an earlier blog that I posted here.

Few people journey next to the Timken’s bright walls. The walkway can be a bit hidden.

Here are a few scenes from this afternoon…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Antonio Garra Day in Old Town San Diego.

This afternoon I attended Antonio Garra Day in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. The event, which comes on the anniversary of Garra’s death, was organized by the Pala Band of Mission Indians. I listened to several speakers, including authors and historians, talk about Garra and historical events in the mid-1800s, and I watched different Kumeyaay groups perform Bird Songs and Dances.

Antonio Garra was a leader of the Cupeño people in Southern California who sought to organize tribes of our region to resist unfair taxation. Even though Native Americans were not citizens of the United States, a tax was levied upon their animals, property and agriculture. This taxation without representation was considered by many fair-minded people to be illegal and unjust.

Garra was educated at Mission San Luis Rey and could speak English, Spanish and Latin. He was an influential leader who opposed the ill-treatment of indigenous people. According to Wikipedia: “In 1851, because of several issues of conflict, Antonio Garra, a Cupeño from Warner’s Ranch, tried to organize a coalition of various Southern California Indian tribes to drive out all of the European Americans. His Garra Revolt failed, and settlers executed Garra. The Cupeño had attacked Warner and his ranch, burning some buildings.”

Garra was blamed for the murder of four people at Colonel Warner’s Rancho on November 22, 1850, and he was sentenced to be executed. On January 12, 1852, he was brought to the El Campo Santo cemetery in Old Town and told to kneel down beside a ready grave in front of a firing squad. He last words were: “Gentlemen, I ask your pardon for all my offenses and expect yours in return.”

Antonio Garra Day arose because of a Wanted poster that has long been displayed in the First San Diego Courthouse museum. The poster does not provide the full story of the Garra Uprising and the suffering of indigenous people. Today, a plaque beneath the poster provides more historical context.

Between performances of Bird Songs, which honored Native American ancestors, elders and Garra, I listened to the words of Patricia Nelson. She is a descendant of Antonio Garra. As a youth she was incensed by the cruel treatment of her people. Today, she works to honor and proudly remember those people, their culture, their lives and humanity.

Antonio Garra Day has grown over the past 4 or 5 years, and next year it will be a much larger event, filling the plaza of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, with many Kumeyaay participants from all around our region.

A display of Kumeyaay artifacts at the event, by the Wa$xayam Pomki Museum on the Rincon Reservation.
A display of Kumeyaay artifacts at the event, by the Wa$xayam Pomki Museum on the Rincon Reservation.

Garra and his people assisted weary immigrants who had crossed the desert. He also gave aid and comfort to General Kearney and his troops during the Mexican-American war.
Garra and his people assisted weary immigrants who had crossed the desert. He also gave aid and comfort to General Kearney and his troops during the Mexican-American war.
Bird Singers sing of the world's creation and the first people.
Bird Singers tell of the world’s creation and the first people.
A crowd observes Antonio Garra Day at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
A crowd observes Antonio Garra Day at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Wanted posters in the First San Diego Courthouse museum include one concerning Antonio Garra.
Wanted posters in the First San Diego Courthouse museum include one concerning Antonio Garra.
The grave of Antonio Garra in Old Town San Diego's El Campo Santo cemetery.
The grave of Antonio Garra in Old Town San Diego’s El Campo Santo cemetery.

A horse came to Old Town for the event. Its rider represented Juan Verdugo, who participated in the Garra Uprising and was executed. He is also buried at El Campo Santo cemetery.
A horse came to Old Town for the event. Its rider (not visible) represented Juan Verdugo, who participated in the Garra Uprising and was executed. He is also buried at El Campo Santo cemetery.
Patricia Nelson, a descendant of Antonio Garra, talks about her memories, generations of her people, and their lives.
Patricia Nelson, a descendant of Antonio Garra, talks about her memories, many generations of her people, and their lives.
Bird Song and Dance honor a people who lived in our region many thousands of years before the arrival in 1769 of Spanish missionaries and soldiers.
Bird Song and Dance honor a people who lived in our region many thousands of years before the arrival in 1769 of Spanish missionaries and soldiers.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Shulman’s architectural photography in San Diego.

Ford Building, 1934, Digital reproduction of a photograph by Julius Shulman. The first known photo by Shulman in San Diego County.
Ford Building, 1934, Digital reproduction of a photograph by Julius Shulman. The first known photo by Shulman in San Diego County.

Today I headed to the San Diego Central Library Art Gallery to view some amazing photographs. Many images captured by famous architectural photographer Julius Shulman are on display free to the public for a couple more weeks. The exhibition, which concludes on January 19, 2020, is titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego.

Julius Shulman’s renowned work spans seven decades, from 1934 to 2007. He is best known for his photography in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but he did photograph a variety of projects in San Diego. He worked mostly for architects and publishers, and his images have appeared in many leading magazines.

I was interested to see photos of historic buildings that no longer exist, and other iconic buildings that I often pass during my walks.

Those who are fascinated by San Diego’s history and architecture should head to the 9th floor of the Central Library to experience this exhibition. Shulman had a discerning eye, capturing the lines, depth and essence of the structures he photographed. The dozens of images you’ll encounter are not only brilliant, but they will help you to travel back in time and see San Diego in a whole new light.

An exhibition of important architectural photographs, titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego, at the San Diego Central Library Gallery.
An exhibition of important architectural photographs, titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego, at the San Diego Central Library Art Gallery.
Shulman began as an amateur photographer using a Vest Pocket Kodak. His eventual career in architectural photography would span seven decades.
Shulman began as an amateur photographer using a Vest Pocket Kodak. His eventual career in architectural photography would span seven decades.
Cover of The Photography of Architecture and Design, by Julius Shulman.
Cover of The Photography of Architecture and Design, by Julius Shulman.
Capri Theater, 1954, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Frank Guys. The building, at Park Boulevard and Essex Street, was demolished in 2003.
Capri Theater, 1954, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Frank Guys. The building, at Park Boulevard and Essex Street, was demolished in 2003.
El Cortez Hotel, 1957, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. The 1956 building remodel added the world's first outdoor glass elevator--the Starlite Roof Express.
El Cortez Hotel, 1957, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. The 1956 building remodel added the world’s first outdoor glass elevator–the Starlite Roof Express.
San Diego State College, 1968, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Mosher and Drew. Interior of Aztec Center, which was demolished in 2011.
San Diego State College, 1968, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Mosher and Drew. Interior of Aztec Center, which was demolished in 2011.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

The art of Lomaland at San Diego History Center.

The Bard, Reginald Willoughby Machell, c. 1895. Oil on canvas. One of the Theosophical Society artist's allegorical works.
The Bard, Reginald Willoughby Machell, c. 1895. Oil on canvas. One of the Theosophical Society artist’s allegorical works concerning spirituality.

Until yesterday, I didn’t know very much about Lomaland. I knew it was a Theosophical community in Point Loma with several exotic buildings that were located where Point Loma Nazarene University stands today, but that’s about all.

After viewing the San Diego History Center’s current exhibition The Path of the Mystic: Art & Theosophy at Lomaland, and doing a little online research, I now know more about this unique utopian community that made important cultural contributions to San Diego in the first half of the 20th century.

Lomaland was established by Katherine Tingley in 1897. The home of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, the community became a haven for learning, culture and social reform. Artists and like-minded individuals from around the world came to Lomaland to lead spiritual, contemplative, idealistic lives.

According to the San Diego History Center website: “Tingley’s progressive Theosophical vision, which placed strong emphasis on cultural pursuits including music, dance, drama, literature and visual art, attracted artists from the United States and abroad. As the community developed, many artists came to live and work at Lomaland, including Marguerite Lemke Barton, Grace “Gay” Betts, Maurice Braun, Benjamin Gordon, Leonard Lester, Marian Plummer Lester, Reginald Willoughby Machell, and Edith White.”

I learned from Wikipedia: “Led by Katherine Tingley, the group came to Point Loma to establish a community that would model the philosophical and humanitarian goals of Theosophy. The “White City” envisioned by Tingley was to be located on the extreme western edge of the North American continent but oriented toward India, the spiritual center of Theosophical beliefs. The blend of new world confidence, Victorian morality, a love of antiquity, and Indian spirituality created a unique community …”

The buildings of Lomaland were completed in 1900, and the Theosophical community flourished in Point Loma until 1942, when it relocated to Covina. The main building and Temple of Peace, which often appear in Theosophical Society artwork, had domes of aquamarine and amethyst colored glass. They could be seen far out to sea, and as far east as Mt. Cuyamaca. They were destroyed by fire in 1952. The Spaulding house today serves as the administration building at Point Loma Nazarene University.

I took a few photos of the exhibition in subdued lighting, but my poor old camera doesn’t capture the full detail and beauty of this artwork.

Many more paintings, historical photographs and other works of unique art in The Path of the Mystic: Art & Theosophy at Lomaland will be on display through April 19, 2020 at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.

Katherine Tingley, founder of Lomaland, in her office.
Katherine Tingley, founder of Lomaland, in her office.
Roman Gate, entrance to Lomaland in Point Loma.
Roman Gate, entrance to Lomaland in Point Loma.
Marian Plummer Lester, Untitled drawing, c. 1908. Ink on paper. Small drawing of the Temple of Peace and Raja-Yoga Academy buildings at Lomaland when the artist was fifteen years old.
Marian Plummer Lester, Untitled, c. 1908. Ink on paper. Small drawing of the Temple of Peace and Raja-Yoga Academy buildings at Lomaland when the artist was fifteen years old.
Edith White, Landscape, 1917. Oil on canvas. Painting of foxglove from Lomaland's International Garden.
Edith White, Landscape, 1917. Oil on canvas. Painting of foxglove inspired by Lomaland’s International Garden.
Edith Whilte, Roses on a Fence, c. 1915. Oil on canvas. Close-up photo of a beautiful painting created in Lomaland.
Edith Whilte, Roses on a Fence, c. 1915. Oil on canvas. Close-up photo of a beautiful painting created in Lomaland.
The Prodigal or The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You, Reginald Willoughby Machell, c. 1895. Oil on canvas. Painted in England before artist moved to Point Loma in 1900.
The Prodigal or The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You, Reginald Willoughby Machell, c. 1895. Oil on canvas. Painted in England before artist moved to Point Loma in 1900.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A short story about a mysterious artifact.

Have you ever visited a museum and viewed an historical object that seems timeless? An artifact that might still belong in the hands of the living?

I’ve written a short story based on my own strange experiences. It has a surprise ending. It’s titled The Recovered Artifact.

To read it, click here!

I would like to express gratitude to those teachers who’ve introduced my story One Thousand Likes to students recently using Google Classroom. I observe my website stats and am stunned. I never imagined such a small story would be read by so many. It’s a writer’s wildest dream come true!

Now it’s time to start brainstorming again!

There are many more places to walk in San Diego and many more photographs to take. Unexpected new adventures await! Thanks for coming along!

Wishing all my readers a Happy New Year!

Richard

Newly collected artwork at the Athenaeum.

The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla is now showing their recently acquired artwork. A variety of paintings, sketches, books, collages, sculptures and other works are on display in several galleries of the elegant library. The pieces have all have been added to their permanent collection since 2016.

Yesterday, during a visit to the Athenaeum, I stepped into the light-filled Joseph Clayes III Gallery, Rotunda Gallery and North Reading Room to see these new acquisitions. Many styles are represented–something for every taste.

I tried to capture some of the artwork with my camera, but to experience it best you should see it with your own eyes.

The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library is open free to the public. This current exhibition of Recent Acquisitions comes to an end December 28, 2019.

Reading, Charles Glaubitz, 2017. Acrylic on paper.
Reading, Charles Glaubitz, 2017. Acrylic on paper.
Study for "Study of Rods, Holes, and Balls", Joshua Miller, 2016.
Study for “Study of Rods, Holes, and Balls”, Joshua Miller, 2016.
#9, Sue Whitman, 2018. Paint on canvas.
#9, Sue Whitman, 2018. Paint on canvas.
Restaurant Musicians, Hunza Valley Pakistan, Eloise Duff, 2016. Watercolor and ink on paper.
Restaurant Musicians, Hunza Valley Pakistan, Eloise Duff, 2016. Watercolor and ink on paper.
Platycerium Biturcatum/Cuerno de Alce, Mariana Magdaleno, 2018. Watercolor on watercolor paper.
Platycerium Biturcatum/Cuerno de Alce, Mariana Magdaleno, 2018. Watercolor on watercolor paper.

Patricia, James E. Lasry, 1999. Lithograph on Arches Cover, Bistre ink.
Patricia, James E. Lasry, 1999. Lithograph on Arches Cover, Bistre ink.
Maple, Marshall Weber, 2017. Signed by artist, one of a kind.
Maple, Marshall Weber, 2017. Signed by artist, one of a kind.
El juego del reflejo = The Game of the Reflection, Derli Romero, 2017. Signed by artist.
El juego del reflejo = The Game of the Reflection, Derli Romero, 2017. Signed by artist.
Waiting (London), Adrienne Joy, 2016. Oil on panel.
Waiting (London), Adrienne Joy, 2016. Oil on panel.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!