Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts from the ‘Arts’ category

1-dayer in the American Southwest (1): Georgia O’Keeffe Country

Above/featured: Ghost Ranch: Chimney Rock is in shadow at centre-right. Photo location: 36.31882 North, 106.48006 West.


This is the start of a series on day trips and drives from our time in the American Southwest. The following takes place entirely within day 7 (of 17).

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) is known as one of the best known modern American artists. Born in Wisconsin and educated in Chicago, her art came to light in New York City where her name and work became prominent. While teaching in Texas, she visited New Mexico for the first time in 1917. She fell in love with the landscape of New Mexico on subsequent visits in the early 1930s, and in 1949 she moved to the Abiquiú area where she would live for the rest of her life.

As fans of her art, we’re taking the day to drive up from Santa Fe to the town of Abiquiú. We wanted to see Georgia O’Keeffe country: the landscapes from which she drew inspiration, and the land that nurtured her spirit and fuelled her creativity.

Before our guided tour of O’Keeffe’s Abiquiú home, we stop at the Purple Adobe Lavender Farm next door to have a look. We like it so much we return after the guided tour to the farm’s café for a snack. We then make the short drive northwest onto the Ghost Ranch property to check out the ancestral lands of the Navajo Apache and Tewa pueblos. O’Keeffe recognized the importance some of that history, as she related in an 1967 interview for the Los Angeles Times’ “West” magazine:

When I think of death I only regret that I will not be able to see this beautiful country anymore, unless the Indians are right and my spirit will walk here after I’m gone.

On our return drive to Santa Fe, the sun sets over our section of the Southern Rocky Mountains, and I swear the late-afternoon breeze whispers the spirits of the Chama river, Georgia O’Keeffe, and all the souls who’ve inhabited the area.


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Georgengarten, Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm, Gartenreich, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dessau, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Dessau UNESCO WHS: George Gardens, Garden Kingdom

Above/featured: Guided Bauhaus tour stopping momentarily in the Georgengarten.

How times have changed: I wouldn’t have given Dessau a second thought a time ago. But after speaking with representatives from Saxony-Anhalt and after spending a few days in the city, I’ve better understood the historical and cultural significance, and those who feel strongly about culture and history should give Dessau a chance.

Dessau is a German city of about 80-thousand people in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, and is known as the second capital of Bauhaus in the early 20th-century movement of modernism for design and architecture which has been given inscription as World Heritage Site.

If you’re in town to check out various Bauhaus sites, there’s a 2nd heritage setting over a vast green space. East of the Bauhaus Masters’ Houses are a set of Roman ruins marking the edge of Georgengarten (George Gardens); further in the park is the Schloss Georgium (Georgium Palace). Since 2000, both Georgengarten and Schloss Georgium are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s shared with the neighbouring city of Wörlitz.

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Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka, Max Brod, Dům U Kamenného beránka, At the stone lamb, Staromestske namesti, Old Town Square, Prague, Prag, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

My Praha: Brod, Einstein, & Kafka at Fanta Salon

Above/featured: it’s as if I just pointed out a famous meeting place to her right (left for the reader).

Prague’s Old Town Square is one of the most visited landmarks, dominated by the two tall spires of the Church of our Lady before Týn, Old Town Hall, and a prominent sculpture dedicated to Czech icon Jan Hus at the centre of the square.

At the southeast corner of the square is a building called (Dům) U Kamenného beránka or “At the Stone Lamb” at address Staroměstské námesti 551/17 #. To the right of the building’s main entrance is a memorial plaque with an inscription in both Czech and English. The memorial plaque was created by Czech sculptor Zdenĕk Kolářský and unveiled in 1998. Looking closer, you’ll recognize Albert Einstein’s face and his famous physics equation stating mass-energy equivalence and written in cursive script: E = mc2.

Over a 16-month period from 1911 to 1912, Albert Einstein lived in Prague with his family and was full professor of theoretical physics at the German Charles-Ferdinand University. Einstein enjoyed hanging out at a number of cafes for conversations, exchanges, and music, and he was a frequent visitor to this building where Czech liberal and intellectual Berta Fanta operated a literary-philosophical salon or lounge. The salon saw visits by many intellectuals, both domestic and international. “Domestic” writers Franz Kafka and Max Brod would have come here for the discourse as well, but it turns out little is actually known about whether all three arranged to meet or would have met here at the same time.

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Imperia, Bodensee, Lake Constance, Konstanz Hafen, Konstanz, Constance, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday around Lake Constance: Imperia

She’s not looking at me; she’s looking through me.

Imperia, Bodensee, Lake Constance, Konstanz Hafen, Konstanz, Constance, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

The ”Imperia” statue stands 9 metres (30 feet) tall at the end of a pier in Lake Constance and is one of the most photographed landmarks in the city of Konstanz (Constance). The naked figures at left and right are the Emperor Sigismund and Pope Martin the Fifth, respectively. Peter Lenk’s scandalous and scathing sculpture memorializes the Council of Constance (1411-1414) which brought together Catholic church leaders from around Europe to decide once and for all a single pope from three.

“Römische Lebedame und Muse. Skulptur 9 m hoch, 18 to schwer. Erbaut 1993 vom Bodmaner Bildhauer Peter Lenk nach einer Geschichte von Honoré de Balzac über das Konstanzer Konzil, 1414-1418.” (Fremden-Verkehrsverein Konstanz e.V.)

I made both images on 21 September 2017. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-e7o.

My Praha: Jan Hus, Bohemian reformer and Czech icon

Above/featured: Jan Hus Monument, Old Town Square – 4 Jul 2008 (HL, 450D).

Most visitors to the Czech capital city of Prague will pass by and overlook the large sculpture near the middle of Old Town Square. The central figure in the monument is one of the most important historical figures for capital and country.

Although he may not be as well known outside of the European continent, Jan Hus is a massive historical figure within central Europe. Jan Hus was declared the greatest hero of the Czech nation in a 2015 survey by Czech Radio. In Konstanz on 6 July 1415, Jan Hus was sentenced to death on the charge of heresy. In recognition of his attempts to reform the Catholic Church and to foster and encourage Bohemian identity, July 6 is commemorated annually as a national holiday in the Czech Republic: the holiday is known as “Den upálení Mistra Jana Husa,” which translates to “day of the burning of Jan Hus.”

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