Friday, May 20, 2011

Baltimore Day 2: Part 1 Architecture And Walters Art Museum

On Friday of our trip to Baltimore Travis went off to his seminar and I set off as a tourist. Since I saw a lot of things as I walked all over the place I'm going to separate them into rough categories to even out the posts rather than just going straight chronological which, oddly, was making it harder to construct the posts.

So this post will cover most of the random architecture shots that I took, mostly from day two and my trip to Walters Art Museum on day two.

One of the interesting things about going back East as a Westerner is definitely seeing how much old architecture there is. Not that old cool buildings don't exist out West, but they're just not all over the place! Also, I thought it was entertaining to see buildings that had obviously been something prestigious at one time be converted to a modern use.

Like this Farmer's and Merchants National Bank with the beautiful facade... except now its The China Room and Uncle Lee's Harbor Restaurant.
Farmer's and Merchants National Bank

This is a law office now
law office

I like the golden eagles on this building but I don't know what's housed there.
golden eagles

Also interesting was the incredible juxtaposition of of the old vs new buildings like in this shot.
old meets new

We definitely don't have any Walgreens like this back home!

More beautiful work on the front of what was once Hotel Junker (engraven in the stone) but is now part lower end hotel, part cleaners.
Hotel Junker

This is the beautiful Hotel Monaco.
Hotel Monaco

This is 1st Mariner Bank and other offices.
1st Mariner Bank

On to The Walters Art Museum. This is a really wonderful museum and it's even free! This is just inside the front doors.
The Walters Art Museum entry

Beautiful, intricate wooden inlays on a desk.
The Walters Art Museum wooden desk

This is a huge wall mosaic of the major ancient cities.
The Walters Art Museum wall mosaic

The vase was carved from one giant agate! We collect agates on the beach in Oregon, but that is colossal! I don't remember exactly, but I think that vase was roughly, or at least six inches high. The other shot is obviously of the entrance to the Egyptian section.
The Walters Art Museum agate vase, Egyptian entrance

I'm not sure why, but I love this sculpture. There's just so much going on and it's a little mind bending
The Walters Art Museum hand sculpture

Sarcophagus... in a black room filled with them. The carvings were so intricate though.
The Walters Art Museum sarcophagus

The museum covered a wide variety of histories.
The Walters Art Museum

This was a really interesting installment on the ceiling in one room. They're illustrations of proverbs. The explanation and key follow this picture and it was interesting to see which of the proverbs are still very much in use today. Can you try and figure some out before reading the key? Counting left to right, line by line, try number 6, it's very well known.
The Walters Art Museum proverbs

The Walters Art Museum proverbs key

The Walters Art Museum

I'm not sure what this says about me since this is so gruesome, but I definitely wanted to know about the story behind it. It's "Judith Cutting Off the Head of Holofernes" by Trophime Bigot (French, ca. 1579-1650). The inspiration comes from the Book of Judith in the Catholic Old Testament. Virtuous Judith saves her people by beguiling the enemy General Holofernes into getting drunk and then cuts off his head.
Judith Cutting Off the Head of Holofernes

A beautiful stairway in the Hackerman House which holds the Asian Art portion of the museum
The Walters Art Museum stairway

From the top of the stairs
The Walters Art Museum stairwell

I still don't like alligators/crocs etc., even in taxidermy. This room aptly called the Chamber of Wonders did have a lot of interesting pieces straight from nature. Also, the portrait of two men and a horse through the door was massive.
The Walters Art Museum Chamber of Wonders

Some of the great old weaponry in the arms and armor room
Chamber of Wonders armory

I highly recommend The Walters Art Museum. It's a great place, beautifully done that's big enough to take several hours of inspection but small enough that it wouldn't take too long to stroll through it all which is all a great deal for the price of free.

Outside The Walters Art Museum is the Washington Monument and Museum at Mount Vernon Place. I'll cover Mount Vernon in my Churches post next.
Washington Monument and Museum at Mount Vernon Place

Around the circle of the Washington Monument are four corners with beautiful representative statues. Here's War and Peace...
War and Peace statues

And here's Order and Force.
Order and Force statues

I love love love that someone stuck a flower here on the Force stature.

Hm, giant (12+ inches) fingerprints on the road.

After most of my walking around on Friday I thought I'd head south of the Inner Harbor to eventually meet up with Travis after his day. I took the free Charm City Circular shuttle, the purple route, but the long way, heading north first, just to see more of the city and then stayed on past the stop I wanted to see the further south loop before finally getting off. After some time on Federal Hill overlooking the Harbor, I came down one side of it to get this picture of the American Visionary Art Museum.
American Visionary Art Museum

That's a giant screen for movies under the hand installment.
American Visionary Art Museum

The bird nest with a cello-esque bird and a giant mirror mosaic egg. Yup, this place has unique art.
American Visionary Art Museum

Another view of the museum. Strange place. I didn't go in, it cost money and I didn't have a lot of time left before Travis was going to be done.
American Visionary Art Museum

Right across the street from the American Visionary Art Museum is the Ritz-Carlton Residences where Travis' seminar was held. I went in a waited in the waiting room for him and oh, boy was it this ritz! After I took this shot I was just focusing on close shots of the floral arrangements. It was then that the guy at the desk asked that I be sure to keep my pictures of the flowers and not take any of the interior. Oops. Already done. But seriously, I get that those who reside here pay an arm and a leg and privacy should come with that but no one was in the lobby and it is after all the lobby.
Ritz-Carlton Residences

Still, I did keep to the flowers after that.





After Travis came out we walked back to our hotel for him to change and after some more wandering we ate dinner at Kona Grill which was a beautiful and yummy place. They serve Contemporary American and have a Sushi Bar. It's not Travis' typical place but I got him there because they did have one big burger (the Big Kahuna Cheeseburger) on the menu that would do for him and I had the delightful Pan-Asian Noodles.

Next up, churches of Baltimore.

This post followed the blue route and covered the blue markers.

View Baltimore Trip 2011 in a larger map
Map Key
red - pt 1 - Day 1 National Museum Of Dentistry
yellow - pt 2 - Day 1 National Aquarium
blue - pt 3 - Day 2 Architecture, Walter's Art Museum
aqua - pt 4 - Day 2(3) Churches
green - pt 5 - Day 3 The Inner Harbor and War Related Sites
Lines: my day tours, there are no lines for our evening/night outings or my day 3 afternoon shopping.

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