Thursday, June 30, 2016

Photographs of the Month

Every year, like clockwork, the first thing my old man God rest his soul, would say on the morning of June 21st was: "The days will be getting shorter." Summer had just begun and he was already proclaiming its doom. To balance that out, he would proclaim the days about to get longer every December 21st, but that cheerful thought could only last for so long as he would every year proclaim another Christmas being over by the time the last gift was opened on Christmas Eve.

Anyway, June is now coming to an end and indeed the days are getting shorter, Baseball, which I thought would be winding down with the end of my boy's high school season, has revived and he's now playing on no less than three different teams.  My daughter is happily enrolled in two summer camps and for my wife and me, summer as usual, is unlike most normal people, our busy season. In other words, no rest for the weary.

And here we are, one half year since I began the tradition of posting some of my favorite photographs of the month. Here goes:

June began sadly with the death of an old friend after a three year battle with cancer. After his funeral service, an even older friend, who introduced the two of us us took me behind the chapel at Graceland Cemetery to show me the stone marking the final resting place of the man who brought the famous German school of design, the Bauhaus, to Chicago. That school would become the Institute of Design where the three of us studied and worked.

June 4, Graceland Cemetery

Back to the land of the living, the following day at a game featuring my son's house league baseball team, I captured the fleeting moment that was famously described in the intro of a sports program from long ago as "the thrill of victory." If you're old like me and can remember what followed that line in the intro, I've got that covered too, see below. In case you're wondering, my son is not visible in the photograph.

June 5, Gompers Park

A case of life imitating art, the ornament of Louis Sullivan's Carson Pirie Scott Building is mimicked by the shadows of the honey locust trees that line State Street.

June 10, State Street

After passing this enigmatic sign for a good long time, I took its picture then looked up John Galt. In case like me you didn't know who he is, I encourage you to do the same.

June 12, North Pulaski Road

Coming up in the fall at the National Building Museum in Washington DC, there will be a retrospective of the work of the landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. For that exhibition, I was asked to document his Museum Campus, the green space that connects the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. I'm not a stranger to that architect's work as I photographed his FDR Monument in DC a few years ago. You can see those pictures (along with others) here. The following three pictures were made for the Halprin exhibition.

June 15, Museum Campus

June 15, Museum Campus

The photograph below features the great equestrian statue of Tadeusz Kościuszko that once stood in Humboldt Park and was an important part of my childhood. It was removed in the eighties after years of neglect and moved to the peninsula that contains the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium, along with the statue of influential Czech man of letters, Karel Havlicek. In front of the planetarium is a more recent statue of Nicolas Copernicus. This trio of tributes to pan-Slavic heroes was the inspiration for the renaming of the roadway that traverses the peninsula to Solidarity Drive. You can see a photograph of the Kościuszko monument in its original site on this post.

June 15, Underpass beneath Solidarity Drive
Here is yet another example of life imitating art in the Loop.

June 20, Monroe Street
8:23PM, sunset on the day of the summer solstice. As my father would say, now the days are getting shorter. Indeed they are.

 June 20, Skokie, Illinois

Visitors to my city on the front steps of my place of business.

June 21, Art Institute of Chicago

Light in the Loop on the longest day of the year.

June 21, State Street

The following two photographs are experiments with the panorama function of my iPhone, shot not as intended, with moving subjects,

June 23, Michigan Avenue

June 24, CTA Red Line near Fullerton

And finally as promised, "the agony of defeat", a post game - post mortem of a high school baseball game as presented to the losers of said game. Better luck next time fellas.

June 29, Lane Tech High School

Well you know as they say, in baseball as in life, somebody's gotta win and somebody's gotta lose. Let's hope we're all winners this summer. Happy July.

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