Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday Information in late March of 2018.

Art is found worldwide. Art can be used to express cultural and ritualistic expression. One example involves the megaliths found in Stonehenge in the United Kingdom. Some researchers believe that the stones were situated because of astronomical purposes or religious significance. The Mississippian culture of ancient North America used many large mound building structures. From 3,000 B.C. to 1,000 B.C, during the time of the Neolithic and Bronze Age eras, art evolved to be more complex. Rulers, hierarchies, and empires flourished in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, the Americas, Australia, Oceania, etc. There were paintings and drawings of people working found in Ur. There were figurines found in the Cycladic culture of Greece. The early Harappan location in the Indus Valley civilization had many sculptures and complex city patterns.  One figuring of a person found in the city of Mohenjo-Daro appears to show a priest king. In Africa, there were hieroglyphics and pyramids in both ancient Egypt (with the Great Pyramid of Giza, statues of pharaohs, paintings of people, and many tools available. Ancient Egyptian art celebrate polytheism with their praise of Horus, Isis, Geb, and other ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses) and ancient Nubia. The ancient Hittites of Asia Minor had their own art too. During the Bronze Age era of China, we see pottery with complex designs. Later, ancient texts in China show Chinese characters and diverse, exquisite artistic images.

Ancient Central America with the Olmec culture, the Mayan civilization, etc. had large head structures, images of jaguars, and literature filled with complex languages. Ancient Greece and Rome used many forms of columns, paintings, and temple in celebrations of their deities. Ancient Rome copies mosaics from the Etruscans and other forms of art from ancient Greece too. The ancient great Parthenon (created during the 400’s B.C.) was a large temple with a state of the goddess Athena in the middle of it. It was found in Athens, Greece. The Persian Empire with its palace of Susa showed images of soldiers in colorful, court robes. The Ming dynasty of China from the late 1300’s A.D. had porcelain, the explorer Zheng He, and a huge amount of artistic expression. India incorporated Hinduism and Buddhism in its art too. The ancient Sanchi gate is representative of early Indian art. Early Islamic art used calligraphy, pendants, drawings, and other forms of expression. Sub Saharan art focused on bronze structures, bronze plates, various diverse structures, paintings, and other forms of art. One example is of the soapstone bird structure from the ancient Great Zimbabwe civilization. The West African terra-cotta head is found heavily in places like Nigeria. Oceania had art too in its large images of people. Today, art is more diverse during the 21st century with the advent on complicated technological advances (from the Internet to 3-D printing). We live in a new time, but we have the same love of artistic expression as the ancients did thousands of years ago.

Art museums are worldwide. Where I was born in Virginia, there is an art museum that I have visited before. For centuries and thousands of years, art museums have existed. Religious institutions and the wealthy organized numerous collections of art. During the Medieval period, royal palaces, castles, and large country houses had art collections. Some of them were inaccessible to a section of the public. The Palace of Versailles centuries ago allowed some of the public to witness art works. Today, times are different. More of the public can see art works. Some art museums are more expensive than others. The British Museum was created in 1753 and it allowed public viewing of artwork. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. is the world’s largest research and museum complex. It has 19 museums and galleries. It has more than 137 million objects that describe American history. It has tons of paintings and artwork. The Louvre in Paris, France is found in the shape of a pyramid. The pyramid was created by I. M. Pei. It has works like Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The British Museum in London, England has 8 million objects and many Ancient Egyptian paintings and other works like the Rosetta Stone. The Prado in Madrid Spain has a lot of art including classical masterpieces. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere. It has a collection of more than 1 million items. It has works from ancient Egypt. It also has works from Botticelli, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, Rodin, and other artists. Renaissance paintings and Baroque artwork are found in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. The Chrysler Museum of Art is found in Norfolk, Virginia. It was created in 1933. It is one of the major art museums in the Southeastern United States. It has places like the Glass Studio and Moses Myers House. It has works spanning over 5,000 years. It has works from Tintoretto, Veronese, Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, Salvator Rosa, Gianlorenzo Bernini, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Doré, Albert Bierstadt, Auguste Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Georges Rouault, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Edward Hopper, and other people. The arts of the ancient world, Asia, Africa, and Pre-Columbian America (particularly Maya ceramics) are also well represented. Art museums magnify our creativity and stir up our imagination legitimately.


Art is related to architecture and vice versa. The reason is that art signifies the development of creative expression of humanity. Architecture can be created not only for housing or building culture. It can be created for artistic purposes as well. So, there is always that linkage between architecture and art. The Gobeki Tepe in Turkey is an ancient structure and it is the earliest found place of worship being dated to the 10th millennium B.C.  The Longshan culture of China had advanced architecture. We already know that the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Pyramid of Djoser being constructed in ancient Egypt are very historic. They possessed great building properties. They have existed since the 2600’s B.C. Ancient Egyptian priests usually ordered or founded the creation of the city palaces and temples plus the rulers did it too. Back then, the priests were very powerful as they organized the religious rituals and influenced the pharaohs and the ruling class in ancient Egypt too. In essence, architecture deals with the planning, designing, and developing of buildings and other structures. Neolithic architecture is found all over Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia. One of the greatest forms of architecture in Mesopotamia was the ziggurat. This was a religious temple. It was created for the purpose of the worship of gods and goddesses of Mesopotamia. Leonard Woolley excavated the ziggurat at Ur. It was 64 by 46 meters at the base. It was originally some 12 meters in height with 3 stories. It was built under Ur-Nammu (in ca. 2100 B.C.) and rebuilt under Nabonidus (555-539 B.C.). It was increased to probably seven stories by that time of the 6th century B.C. Greek architecture used temples, public buildings, and the acropolis (or the buildings being on a hill). Greek architecture used the column styles of the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. Ancient Roman used amphitheaters, circus buildings, arches, bridges, domes, and other complex images. Byzantine architecture used many mosaics and complex domes upon massive piers. The Persians used buildings in a massive scale with carved stucco, floral motifs, and brickwork in many patterns. Islamic architecture is found in many lands from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, etc.

It is found with mosques, forts, places, and excluding illustrations of anything living (that means that there can be no human and no animal depictions in ancient Islamic art). Islamic art is also found in Sudano-Sahelian locations, Moorish areas, and in Iran plus Saudi Arabia. Large rectangular churches are found in Ethiopia on the basis of Aksumite style. The conical shaped enclosure in the Great Zimbabwe civilization outlines the largest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. Hindu temples existed back then during the Middle Ages throughout India. Southeast Asia with Khmer architecture has the Angkor Wat temple, which was huge. It is filled with durable brick, laterite, and sandstone. The Angkor Wat temple is a great example of Khmer architectural masterpiece, was built by king Suryavarman II in 12th century. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Oceanic architectures flourished too. The Forbidden City in China was created during the 15th century. It has yellow roof tiles. Mesoamerican architecture had stepped filled pyramids and temples. The Incas used suspension bridges. Ancient North American architecture had Native Americans using mounds, and buildings near caves (inlcluding pueblos) and other locations. Modern architecture in the 21st century is diverse. It relates to technological advancements, environmental concerns, large creativity, and other unique aesthetics. The Sydney Opera House was designed to evoke the sails of yachts in the Sydney harbor. 3-D printers have created artificial marble for construction and the development of architecture as well. 3-D printed buildings have been cost effective and environmentally friendly. We have new Urbanism, New Classical architecture, and Eco-cities. So, architecture continues to be awe-inspiring and diverse.

By Timothy

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