Saturday, March 30, 2013

Floor of the Americas

One of my favorite museums in Atlanta is the Michael C. Carlos Museum. The Carlos is not only phenomenal in its global collections, it's comprised of layer after layer of thoughtful detail. One detail that totally fascinates me is the floors in the Art of the Americas galleries.

Map Floors in Art of the Americas galleries, Michael C. Carlos Museum
Map Floors in Art of the Americas galleries, Michael C. Carlos Museum
The floors are absolutely brilliant...they tell you where in the world the artifacts you're viewing came from. Putting something into that kind of perspective, so simply and effectively, makes for an elevated museum experience.

You're guaranteed to be engulfed in the Americas galleries, challenging to not be given it's 2,300 artifacts. And they're separated geographically, keeping the artifacts' cultural significance intact.

Enjoy the Art of the Americas galleries at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, and remember to look down. The floors really are that cool.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Architecture Graveyard

There's a small "architecture graveyard" in the back yard of a domicile in Grant Park that once sat neighbor-less on 600 acres. This is not a post about that graveyard or that home, but it is an invitation to come back soon to learn more about both.

Architecture Graveyard at the L. P. Grant Mansion
Architecture Graveyard at the L. P. Grant Mansion
We discovered this graveyard on of the recent Phoenix Flies tours, presented by the Atlanta Preservation Center. The tour was of the L. P. Grant Mansion, which is also headquarters of the Center, which I didn't know before going, so that added to its cool factor.

There's lots and lots to share about this tour, but if you'd like to do a little research before that post is published, check out the Atlanta Preservation Center's website, where there is lots of information about the Center and the Atlanta properties they're trying to save.

See all of you architecture and history buffs back here soon!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blooms & Bubbly 2013

Earlier today I went to "Blooms & Bubbly" at the Atlanta Botanical Garden...not my first, but certainly one of the most beautiful. Here's the evidence:


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly


Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Blooms & Bubbly 2013, Atlanta Botanical Garden
"Blooms & Bubbly" was brilliant! A lovely event where everyone I saw was having a wonderful time. Check out the wanderlust ATLANTA Facebook Page for more photos from this year's Blooms & Bubbly.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Couture Cakes at MODA

The winners of The South’s Next Wave: Design Challenge have been announced, but the fun is not over! Lisa Humphreys of Couture Cakes, and a member of the winning team of Next Wave, will be featured at tomorrow’s Drink in Design event at the Museumof Design Atlanta (MODA)…and she’s sharing cake!

Lisa Humphreys of Couture Cakes
Lisa Humphreys of Couture Cakes
Last Thursday, the winning team was announced at a special MODA Spring Fling event (Which was fabulous, by the way!) where many of the exhibition's 40-plus designers were on hand. The winning vignette, Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully Blue, was created by an impressive team—including Caryn Grossman and Chris Buxbaun of cg creative—of which Lisa was a contributing member.

cg creative was featured at an earlier Drink in Design event, which did not include the vignette's cake design knowing that tomorrow's Drink in Design would feature Lisa and her sweet culinary creations.

But, we did get to hear a little from Lisa that evening and her enthusiasm for what she does radiated even brighter than the spotlights reflecting off the 35,000 silver flower petals lining the Beautifully Blue vignette floor. This is going to be a great program...and delicious! 

Oh...AND, we get to help create some sugar flowers for a cake as part of the demonstration. How cool is that?!

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and I recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time. One of the perks of membership—and I've enjoyed mine for more than two years now—is free admission to fantastic programming like Drink in Design, so consider a membership while you're at it.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tour: Atlanta First United Methodist Church

Part of an "organ crawl" during Phoenix Flies, presented by the Atlanta Preservation Center, was the Atlanta First United Methodist Church...as beautiful today as it was when it was built in 1903.


Atlanta First United Methodist Church, Tiffany Windows
Atlanta First United Methodist Church , Tiffany Windows
Unbeknownst to me and the friend I was touring with, this church has a pair of stunning Tiffany windows, which I didn't recognize but my friend did immediately. A lot of the windows were paid for by church members, not the church itself, so records of cost are not complete.

According to church records, a vast majority of the windows were not yet installed when the building was completed in December 1903.


Atlanta First United Methodist Church,  Organ Pipes
Atlanta First United Methodist Church,
Organ Pipes
Some of the organ pipes were bought over from a former church building. Turns out, that the Methodist's were the first denomination to build a church in Atlanta...back in the mid 1800s!


Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Atlanta First United Methodist Church
I didn't catch the capacity of the church, but it's huge! And it has massive windows. The windows were created by three different window makers, including Tiffany's of New York.


Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Even the benches are stunning, especially against a wall of stained glass.


Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Atlanta First United Methodist Church
This was one of my favorite windows. I think perhaps because of the color combinations I'd been seeing in other churches, heavy on the blues. This one, with its oranges, golds, and greens, really made an impression with me.


Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Atlanta First United Methodist Church
A closer look at one of the windows, actually a collection of windows, in the sanctuary.


Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Atlanta First United Methodist Church
The organ recital was beautiful and a marvelous experience given the locale of the playing.


Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Organ pipes...


Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Atlanta First United Methodist Church
I found myself nearly as mesmerized by the mill work in the church as I was with the stained glass windows, particularly the treatments on the balconies.


Atlanta First United Methodist Church
Atlanta First United Methodist Church
All of it was gorgeous...the entire building, all its stained glass, the organ playing, the tour guide hosts...it was a wonderful experience.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pan in the Garden

One of my favorite spaces at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is the Fragrance Garden. Not only because of its quaint beauty and serenity, but because of its origins.


Pan of Rohallion in the Fragrance Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Pan of Rohallion in the Fragrance Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Fragrance Garden was created even before the Atlanta Botanical Garden was formed in 1976. It was one of three already existing gardens at that time. The other two are the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden.

The Fragrance Garden was created so that the visually impaired could enjoy the Garden. A brilliant move, so many decades ago. I pause and wonder, how many botanical gardens created today would think to create something for the visually impaired...it really just makes good sense.

I'm grateful to the Atlanta citizens who did think to create something for those who can't visually enjoy the beauty of our flowers, plants and trees...but because of a few, they can indeed enjoy the smell and the quite of this charming little garden. 

And a bronze replica of 'Pan of Rohallion' is there adding to the garden's beauty. The sculptor of Pan of Rohallion, Frederick MacMonnies, allowed reproductions to be made, as long as they were smaller than his original.

When visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden, look for the Fragrance Garden tucked away between the Conservatory and the Orchid Center. You have to go inside either of those to get to the Fragrance Garden, but it's actually outside. 

Enjoy your visit and enjoy the fragrances of the Fragrance Garden!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The National Museum of Decorative Painting

Atlanta is a treasure trove of hidden gems! The National Museum of Decorative Painting is yet another hidden gem that I found quite accidentally during a random Internet search. And that it's right around the corner from my office was a bonus.


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
The Museum boasts an impressive collection of 1,500 artifacts and the range of painted items is equally impressive. And some of the artifacts date to the 18th Century!


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
The styles of painting also vary in range, although much of it is realistic in some fashion or another. You'll see lots of floral, people, and scroll painting, with lots of surprises mixed in.


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
When we went, we were greeted by the Museum's executive director, Andy Jones, who also served as our tour guide. He reminds me so very much of my brother Russell in Miami that I couldn't help but feel relaxed and had a great time.

Andy was very polite and quite funny. With a great laugh, his passion for the museum collection and its mission comes through with obvious grandeur.


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
To take from the Museum's website, the museum was created in 1982 "for the purpose of collecting, preserving, and displaying the art of decorative painting...the Museum also provides exhibitions and educational programs for the public to increase their appreciation and understanding of decorative painting, its heritage, methods, and techniques."


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
After we toured the main part of the Museum, which was more modest than I expected given the size of their collection, Andy invited us to the open storage area where they have the balance of the collection, sans any pieces that are at the time on a traveling exhibition.

Very tall rows and rows of artifacts...small, large, subtle, extravagant...and it's all painted!


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
Adjacent/part of the storage area is a very large catering kitchen—they have special events at the Museum from time to time—and the Museum's gift shop, which is nicely appointed.


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
The beauty in this Museum is surprisingly free of charge for all visitors. I was used to that when I lived in Washington, D.C., but not here in Atlanta, so that was a pleasant surprise. The one catch is that it's only open Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment.


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
The Museum also offers workshops, classes, and shows. I didn't ask about those, but I do know there's a classroom upstairs at the Museum, but for additional information, visit the Museum's website or just give them a call.


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
If you're a local tourist, it's quite possible you've seen artifacts from the Museum before...they do exhibit around town from time to time.


National Museum of Decorative Painting
National Museum of Decorative Painting
Next time you're in West Midtown, during the day, stop by the Museum and visit with Andy. If you're planning a trip and the National Museum of Decorative Painting is on your 'to see' list, call ahead to let them know you're coming—just in case they might be out installing an exhibition.

One word of caution, be careful parking. The parking is complimentary—again, a rarity in Atlanta—but the front parking lot is tiny, but there's some parking in the back.

Now, head over to the wanderlust ATLANTA Facebook Page for even more photos of this beautiful museum.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tour: The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus

You know how when a place piques your curiosity and how driving or walking by it more than a bazillion times only exacerbates that curiosity? I'd been like that about The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus for a number of years. Thanks to Phoenix Flies, presented by the Atlanta Preservation Center, my curiosity met a live and in person tour of the church...the sanctuary is stunning!

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The stained glass is some of the most beautiful I've seen...and thanks to Phoenix Flies, I'm seeing a LOT more recently. 

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus was designated a minor basilica relatively recently, February 2012, by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The church was formerly known as the Church of the Sacred Heart.

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Church had been entered on the National Register of Historic Places way back in May of 1976, recognizing its "artistically significant architecture." The notable Atlanta architect who designed the Church, and other Atlanta buildings, was W. T. Downing

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Our tour guide was brilliant and incredibly knowledgeable about the Basilica...she made us feel right at home and I thoroughly enjoyed all the tidbits of facts and factoids she shared, like the statue of Christ in the lobby used to be on a platform at the front of the church until it was discovered that the platform would not much longer support the marble sculpture. Fortunately, it was moved in time.

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
There's more detail in this church than I have space to write about, but rest assured, attention to detail and telling of biblical stories were paramount in the creation of this building.

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Like I said, the stained glass windows are breathtaking. You can see more over on the wanderlust ATLANTA Facebook Page...I wish I'd taken even more photos!

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The carved wooden doors of the confessionals are particularly captivating. I had no idea confessionals could be so incredibly beautiful. There were two of these at the rear of the Church.

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Mary, of course, holds a significant place in the Church. This statue is truly beautiful. Religious or not, one cannot help but admire the beauty and peace this statue gives.

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Terry and Travis at The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
I ran into Terry Kearns, fellow blogger and author of Architecture Tourist. Terry also recently created a "Stained Glass Bucket List" for Phoenix Flies...learn more about that at the Atlanta Glass Project!

Terry is an inspiration for me. During those times when I'm tired and feel like I want a break from blogging (which is relatively rare), I'm reminded of Terry's enthusiasm for the craft and it re-energizes and motivates me to continue...his example helps remind me of just how much I love doing this. Thanks, Terry!

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
This tour was part of an "Organ Crawl", part of Phoenix Flies, which meant we were treated to a marvelous performance on the Church's organ. You can see here just how remarkably beautiful it is.

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Everything about the sanctuary is stunning...the detail that went into creating it and I can't even imagine the upkeep that's required to maintain its beauty. I'm grateful that people have places like this where they can reflect on and plan their lives...present and future.

The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
There's still time to go on dozens more Phoenix Flies tours...I recommend going on as many as you possibly can. Some of these opportunities only come once a year! 

When you're done here, head over to the wanderlust ATLANTA Facebook Page for more photos of this incredible church, with a few more photos of its gorgeous stained glass too!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Desert House With Healing Properties

When you visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden, be sure to stop by the Desert House. It's easily missed if you go straight from the Fuqua Conservatory to the Orchid Center, but so worth the time when you explore the entire Conservatory, which includes the Desert House.

Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
One of the really cool aspects of the Desert House is that there's not a cacti in sight! Not a one! Well, unless you look out one of the nearby windows. The Garden does indeed have cacti, but they're all outside. 

The Desert House is home to succulents from Madagascar and Southern Africa. There are a lot of thorns, so you'll want to watch your step...and not just your feet, watch your shoulders, heads, and for goodness sake, watch your kids. One false move and what was supposed to be a fun, educational excursion is all of a sudden a Band-Aid Exercise.

Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Keep an eye out for blooms, too! They aren't going to be as big as they are in the Orchid Center or elsewhere in the Garden, but they're just as beautiful.

Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Although the many, many thorns are not something you want to become intimate with, they're definitely worth closer observation...these, for example, are stunning.

There's a lot more color in the Desert House than you might imagine, you just have to look for it.

Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
And you can't forget about the shapes. Succulents come in so many shapes and sizes. There are some that are spiraling as fast as they can toward the ceiling and others that are easily mistaken for stones!

Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
I hinted of healing properties in the headline of this post. It turns out that the Rosy Periwinkle, a relatively common and readily available flowing desert plant, is a source of alkaloids that are used in the treatment of some forms of Leukemia, such as Hodgkin's Disease.

There's some pretty cool stuff going on in the Desert House!

Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Desert House, Atlanta Botanical Garden
You know, I've been visiting the Desert House since 1989 when it opened, and I still see something new every time I go.

So, my advice...make time to visit the Desert House in the Conservatory...and remember the special exhibits room and the Orangerie, too!