Posted tagged ‘Art’

1909 Mural in Anderson House Shows Automobile Driving Through Park View

August 26, 2016

Here’s a connection to the neighborhood that I wasn’t aware of (though I’m sure many already do). In reading up on the history of the Anderson House — located at 2118 Massachusetts Avenue in the Dupont Circle neighborhood — I read a reference to murals inside by H. Siddons Mowbray that drew my interest. Today, the house is the national headquarters of the Society of the Cincinatti, and according to their Website, the Mowbray murals in the Key Room and Winter Garden are his only works in Washington, D.C.

I was particularly interested in the description of the two Mowbray murals in the Winter Garden, which are of Washington, D.C., and its surroundings. Between the two murals, they map Larz and Isabel Andersons’ favorite local driving routes and nearby landmarks — some of which include the National Zoo, Old Soldiers’ Home, Great Falls, Arlington House, and Mount Vernon. They were painted in 1909 so its a nice reference to car culture at the beginning of the 20th century. Its also an interesting representation of how much of D.C. was developed and where people would drive on outings at the time.

I’ve not had a change to go to the Anderson House yet (which is open to the public for free), but was able to find a blog post online here that provides more information on the house as well the image below of the mural that shows driving routes up Georgia Avenue, along Rock Creek Church Road, and through the Soldiers’ Home.

Anderson House mural soldiers home(Photo from Museum a Week blog.)

Admiring Painting of Brookland’s Trinity Washington University

May 5, 2016

Lately I’ve been trying to get more familiar with Washington art and artists. I came upon the image below that should be familiar to many in the neighborhood as it is of Trinity Washington University on Michigan Avenue.

Rolle Trinity

The view of Trinity appears to be from the area around the intersection of Franklin Street and Lincoln Road, NE, possibly from within Glenwood Cemetery. The artist is August Herman Olson Rolle (1875-1941) who was  and important D.C. Impressionist landscape painter during the early 20th Century. There is a fairly good biography of him here if you want to read more.

Painter Elaine S. Wilson’s McMillan Landscapes

June 19, 2015

During the Historical Society of Washington D.C.’s For the Record exhibition, I became acquainted with work of painter Elaine S. Wilson. I was particularly drawn to her paintings of the McMillan Sand Filtration Plant site. You can see a few samples of her work at her Website here.

449-McMillan-Filtration-Evening-sm(One of several paintings of McMillan Sand Filtration Site by artist Elaine S. Wilson.)

Having chatted with Wilson, I know that she has many more D.C. landscapes that one can see on her Website — and several others in progress. I look forward to seeing what her next paintings will be.

For the Record: Artfully Historic D.C. Exhibition Opens Wednesday, April 22nd

April 21, 2015

AFRH Gargoyle by Ann Elkington, one of the top five winning entries in the exhibition.

Tomorrow, April 22nd, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. will celebrate the opening of For the Record: Artfully Historic D.C., a juried exhibit of the 75 best original artworks that capture the changing urban landscape of Washington, D.C. Of local interest,  the exhibition includes several artworks depicting scenes at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, including two of my photographs.

The opening will run from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, and tickets are available online in advance.

From the exhibition Website:

For more than 120 years, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. has helped preserve depictions of the city’s built environment through paintings and photographs.

Over 100 artists submitted paintings and photographs to For the Record. A panel of nine jurors selected the top 75 artworks that will be displayed at the Historical Society’s headquarters in the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square.

The top five winning entries will be accessioned into the Historical Society’s permanent collection. All other works will be auctioned to support the organization’s collections. You can view the online auction to see all the works in the exhibition.

The competition “For the Record: Artfully Historic D.C.” was created in partnership with the DC Preservation League and the Capitol Hill Art League.

Pepco’s Beautiful Depression Era Frescoes

March 25, 2015

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit Pepco’s Headquarters at Edison Place (701 Ninth Street, NW), you’ll have noticed two large artworks that appear to be paintings. These are actually frescoes created by artist James Michael Newell and commissioned by Pepco in 1931 for their headquarters building at 10th and E Streets, NW. As the Pepco headquarters has moved, so have the frescoes. They now hang at the far end of the entrance hall and nearby in the ground floor elevator lobby on Ninth Street.

The first fresco that a visitor encounters shows linemen working along the Potomac River (below).


As one turns towards the elevators, the companion piece again shows linemen working with the Benning Power Plant in the background.


Both artworks are accompanied by the following informational plaque:


Artist Nekisha Durrett Screens Documentary of Her Mural, “The Wait”, at Mothership This Thursday

February 17, 2015

Artist Nekisha Durrett will be screening a short documentary film exploring her mural (“The Wait“), her creative process, and the ever changing Park View community this Thursday, February 19th, at Mothership from 6 -7 p.m.  “The Wait was funded by a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. This will be a bitter sweet event, as it will be one of the last times the community can gather at Mothership as they will be closing when the doors close on Sunday, February 22nd. But as that hasn’t happened yet, this is a wonderful opportunity to both celebrate the mural and show Mothership how much they will be missed.

The documentary is a collaboration between Durrett and local filmmaker, Lorie Shaull. Together they documented the production of the mural and its impact on the community. In addition to the screening, several photographs will be on display by two photography students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Museum Studies program, Kenyssa Evans and Tayvon Taylor.

Below is a trailer of the documentary, providing an idea of what to expect.


Checking out the Golden Triangle’s Haiku Project

February 13, 2015

haikumapfinalIf you happen to find yourself in the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, you’ll probably have seen their Golden Haiku project in many of the tree boxes. I’ve long been interested in how Business Improvement Districts add value to commercial districts, and have often wondered why we don’t have one on 14th Street in Columbia Heights. I think Georgia Avenue would benefit from one too, but I don’t think Georgia have the businesses to support one yet.

But back to the Golden Triangle area … this winter, the Golden Triangle BID The Golden has installed 60 haikus in tree boxes all over their district. The map above gives an indication of the area included in this project. Below are photos of four haikus from the 60 installed.

Haiku 1

Haiku 3

Haiku 2



Park View’s New Mural, “The Doors of Perception”, Completed

September 9, 2014

The mural at the Rock Creek Market appears to be finished. I first reported about the mural on September 2nd, and you can see what it looked like then here. The mural is part of the MuralsDC program and the artist is Juan Pineda, and according to him, the title is The Doors of Perception.

Doors of Perception

As a dog person, I was particularly taken by the portrait of the Scottie, which you can see in the lower right corner of the mural above, or just look at the detail below.

Doors of Perception detail

New Mural Coming to Park View

September 2, 2014

Last Friday, I noticed that a new mural is now in progress on the Warder Street side of the Rock Creek Market (corner of Warder and Rock Creek Church Road). The mural is the work of Juan Pineda (Website here) and is in collaboration with Murals DC. Murals DC had originally come before ANC 1A at their May 14th meeting to discuss the possibility of a mural coming to Rock Creek Market, but no design or artist had been selected at that time.

The mural’s design is a series of multicolored doors of various shapes and sizes. In speaking with the artist, I learned that the concept behind this is that these are doors of opportunity.

According to the Murals DC Website, the initiative “aims to help replace illegal graffiti with artistic works, to revitalize sites within the community, and to teach young people the art of aerosol painting. The goal of this initiative is to positively impact the District’s youth by providing them with the resources they need to engage in this project.”

The wall at Rock Creek Market where the mural is being painted has been tagged twice in as many years.

Below are photos of the mural in progress.

mural rock creek market(Entire mural in progress showing scale of work)

close up mural(Detail of section of mural)

1927 Watercolor of Sheridan Circle

August 21, 2014

Sheridan Circle

Several months ago I found this nice little watercolor painted in 1927 by Joseph Whitla Stinson. In the lower right corner its titled Sheridan Circle Wash. D.C.

Stinson appears to have been a very colorful person based upon what I’ve been able to find out about him. When he died at the age of 69 in 1954, he was described as an attorney, poet, and landscape artist with a “flair for sensational marital episodes and gaudy attire.” He was born in New York, where he studied architecture, civil engineering, and law at Columbia University.

He joined the State Department as an attorney in the Latin-American Division, a position he had moved on from by 1936. In a 1935 review of his work during an exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, it was stated that his work showed the influence of his master, Honorato Garlandi, noted Roman aquarellist and painter of the Roman Campagna, under whom he studied. Many of Stinson’s paintings showed scenes in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. In addition to exhibiting his work at the Corcoran, he also had exhibits in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

However, at the time of his death, it was his marriages that were notably remarked upon, and which had kept him in the headlines for weeks in 1939 and again in 1945. In 1937 he married as his second wife a wealthy widow, Mrs. William Livingston Crounse, at Bar Harbor, Maine. After five weeks of bizarre District Court proceedings in 1939, she won and annulment after she charged that she wed him while under the influence of a hypnotic drug.

Stinson married again on January 2, 1945 — at the age of 60 — to 75 year old Miss Violet Biddle, a member of a noted Philadelphia family. Yet only a few weeks after the marriage, Stinton was being tried to determine his lunacy. Suffering from manic-depression, Stinton was found mentally ill by the District Commission on Mental Health on January 29th, only later to be declared of sound mind by a District Court jury after six hours of deliberation on March 16th. Stinton was initially arrested in January and held for observation after allegedly sending letters to Government and police officials and following a night trip to the White House in a taxi.

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