DC -- Freer Gallery of Art -- Exhibit: The Power to See Beauty: Let Us Now Open Wide Our Eyes Video:
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Description of Subject Matter: The Power to See Beauty: Charles Lang Freer
October 14, 2017 – Indefinitely
Who has “the power to see beauty”? How much do you need to know to appreciate a work of art from another culture or historical era? Our museum founder Charles Lang Freer (1854–1919) asked himself these fundamental questions as he prepared to transfer his personal collection of Asian antiquities and American tonalist paintings to a new public museum on the National Mall.
Even though Freer left school after the eighth grade, he became a wealthy industrialist and world traveler. He had easy access to scholars, critics, and sophisticated advisors and appreciated “expert opinions.” Though he was never concerned with specific social, economic, and political circumstances affecting artistic production, he was keenly interested in how chronology, authenticity, quality, and cross-cultural interchange affected stylistic developments over the centuries.
Yet, Freer never renounced his conviction that a direct, emotional response was the highest form of aesthetic pleasure—and the most democratic, available to anyone willing to take the time to look closely. He believed quiet contemplation and intelligent (though often ahistorical and unexpected) comparisons of works of art would “induce concentration” and give all visitors “the power to see beauty.”
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2017 photos: Equipment this year: I continued to use my Fuji XS-1 cameras but, depending on the event, I also used a Nikon D7000.
Trips this year:
Civil War Trust conferences in Pensacola, FL, Chattanooga, TN (via sites in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee) and Fredericksburg, VA,
a family reunion in The Dells, Wisconsin (via sites in Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin),
New York City, and
my 12th consecutive San Diego Comic Con trip (including sites in Arizona).
For some reason, several of my photos have been published in physical books this year which is pretty cool. Ones that I know about:
"Tarzan, Jungle King of Popular Culture" (David Lemmo),
"The Great Crusade: A Guide to World War I American Expeditionary Forces Battlefields and Sites" (Stephen T. Powers and Kevin Dennehy),
"The American Spirit" (David McCullough),
"Civil War Battlefields: Walking the Trails of History" (David T. Gilbert),
"The Year I Was Peter the Great: 1956 — Khrushchev, Stalin's Ghost, and a Young American in Russia" (Marvin Kalb), and
"The Judge: 26 Machiavellian Lessons" (Ron Collins and David Skover).
Number of photos taken this year: just below 560,000.