Fotoeins Fotografie

revisioning place and home

Posts tagged ‘museum’

My Kicks on NM State-68: Classical Gas Museum

I’ve always been mesmerized by highway signs and fascinated by the history of big highways. There’s also big nostalgia, because Dad loved highway driving and road trips. He was the sole driver on the Trans-Canada highway between Vancouver and Calgary or on US Interstate-5 to Bellingham and Seattle. How obvious is it then, that a deep yearning for open roads comes directly from my father.

The following is a part of day 8 (of 17) in our drive through the American Southwest.

We set out on a day trip from Santa Fe to Taos and Taos Pueblo, with a scenic drive on New Mexico highway NM-68, the “low road” or “river road” along the Rio Grande river between Española and Taos. With low light in the morning hour, we didn’t see it when we drove north to Taos. But on our mid-afternoon return on the low road, we found the Classical Gas Museum in the small town of Embudo. We pulled into an open sandy rocky patch, marvelling at the collection in front of rusting gas pumps and a wooden building resembling a historic gas station.

The Classical Car Museum is owned and run by Johnnie Meier who is a retired scientist and former employee at the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory. His interest and collection grew to the point where he needed more space. Reading about the museum is one thing, but it’s no match for seeing in person his extensive collection of memorabilia, including whole and partial gas pumps, highway signage, oil cans, gas company signage, license plates, a miniature-model gas station, a working vintage Coca-Cola cooler, a classic car or two parked on the premises, an entire pre-fabricated diner building, and a mascot for a once thriving restaurant-chain. From within the building, it’s the glow which provides further fuel for interest, and once inside, the neon and warm illumination of symbols and signs combine for the inevitable “wow!” Altogether, it’s a broad mix of elements from mid 20th-century American history which is all about highway-driving and open-road nostalgia. There’s a saying about how someone’s junk is somebody else’s treasure, but the entire collection deserves careful cataloguing and a larger permanent building. A new museum would be fitting somewhere along the old US-66 highway. Santa Rosa, NM is a leading candidate, but other cities in the state are also possible.

For now, the museum is located next to highway NM-68 in Embudo; the coordinates are 36.209102 degrees North, 105.951658 degrees West. The museum sits on 0.81 hectare (2 acres) of Meier’s land, and the museum building is 93 square metres (1000 square feet) in size. There is no admission charge, though donations are most welcome, especially for the local animal shelter. You might want to call ahead (505-852-2995) to see if Meier is around in case the building is closed.

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Würzburg: Röntgen, X-rays, & 1st Nobel Prize in Physics

On my list and map, I placed the museum’s location as a “possible” to visit in the city. If I had time, I’d swing by and have a look, appealing to my fondness for science and the history of science.

Many arrive in Würzburg to visit the Residenz UNESCO world heritage site. On a daytrip from Frankfurt am Main, I duly visited the Residenz, and easily completed my initial visit requirements, as I knew I would. That’s when my inner voice (a.k.a., the spirit of B.Sc. ’90) reminded me insistently the museum was “simply and conveniently” on the return walk to the city’s central train station to fully complete my visit requirements.

I walked north from the Residenz, and followed the signs into the building for the Röntgen-Gedächtnisstätte (Röntgen Memorial) where X-rays were discovered. Standing inside the former laboratory space, I’m surrounded by artifacts, books, papers, tubes, equipment, and photographs.

I also feel a part of my undergraduate physics education has come full circle.

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salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

My Halle (Saale): Making White Gold Since 3000 BC

What do the following six towns and cities have in common?

  • Hall in Tirol, Austria
  • Hallein, Austria
  • Hallstatt, Austria
  • Schwäbisch Hall, Germany
  • Bad Reichenhall, Germany
  • Halle an der Saale, Germany

Hall, more than a large covered room

With “hall” in their names, all six towns listed above are historically associated with salt production1,2,3. The word “salt” is represented in Greek as hals and in Celtic (Brythonic) as hal. In pre-Roman Europe, the towns of Halle, Hallstatt, and Hallein were three centres for salt-evaporation4 which eventually became salt-making centres for the surrounding regions of Prussian Saxony, Salzkammergut, and Salzburg, respectively. Archaeological finds around Halle and along the Saale river5 uncovered evidence of heated brine (at Doläuer Heide) from the mid-neolithic age (about 3000 BCE) and briquetage ceramic vessels from the late-Bronze age (about 1000 BCE).

Mark Kurlansky wrote1: “… Salt is so common, so easy to obtain, and so inexpensive that we have forgotten that from the beginning of civilization until about 100 years ago, salt was one of the most sought after commodities in human history.

Once a rarity, salt was a unique additive to improve quality of food preparation and consumption. Food preservation with salt also became a critical measure for survival, but also for improving the quality of food preparation and consumption. Whoever controlled salt production, sales, and distribution held power, wealth, and prestige.

German sayings with salt:

•   “Freundschaft ist des Lebens Salz.” (Friendship is the salt of life.)
•   “Das Essen ist versalzen, du bist verliebt.” (The food is too salty; you must be in love.)

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"Canoe/Waka", Preston Singletary, Tlingit, Lewis Tamihana Gardiner, Maori, Seattle Art Museum, SAM, Seattle, USA, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: 2 cultures, 1 ocean (Seattle SAM)

Something bright red and green catches my eye.

Imbedded in bright red, I see an elongated “eye” whose shape is familiar and prevalent within First Nations’ art from the Pacific Northwest (northeast Pacific). I’m also acquainted with that shade of green, not only from Chinese jade but also with the “pounamu” or “greenstone” from New Zealand.

In the Seattle Art Museum, the “Pacific Currents” display represents a variety of cultures across the big (western) ocean. I can’t say I’m surprised why I’m greatly attracted to this piece of art, a piece which represents my place of birth and a place of renewal.

The caption accompanying this beautiful green-red sculpture reads:

Canoe/Waka, 2007.

Blown and sand-carved glass, pounamu (New Zealand jade), red sealing wax.

Preston Singletary (Tlingit, born 1963) and Lewis Tamihana Gardiner (Māori, born 1972).

Collection of Preston Singletary.

“Revivals of traditional watercraft-building among Pacific Northwest indigenous people and Māori of New Zealand have become a catalyst for composing songs and dances, creating masks and regalia, and reviving oral traditions. In Canoe/Waka, the artists pay homage to the canoe as a vessel of knowledge. Gardiner carves pounamu – associated with chiefs and expressions of peace – as the canoe prow while Singeltary sand-carves the glass that forms the canoe’s structure.”

"Canoe/Waka", Preston Singletary, Tlingit, Lewis Tamihana Gardiner, Maori, Seattle Art Museum, SAM, Seattle, USA, fotoeins.com

“Canoe/Waka”, by Preston Singletary and Lewis Tamihana Gardiner


I made the photos on 9 February 2017. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9KT.

Alfons Mucha, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany, fotoeins.com

My Prague: Alfons Mucha & Slavic Art Nouveau

Above: “Amants” (1895), poster for actress Sarah Bernhardt and her Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg – 5 Dec 2015 (HL).

One of my favourite artists from the Art Nouveau period is Czech artist Alfons Mucha (“MOOTZ’kha”). He loved strong women, or at the very least, he loved drawing and painting images of strong women, from the unique perspectives of a professional nature (above, Sarah Bernhardt) and a personal nature (below, “The Slav Epic”). I also associate Mucha with Prague, and it’s fitting the Mucha Museum prominently features his 1911 painting of “Princess Hyacinth.”

The meeting at Krizky, The Slav Epic, Alfons Mucha, Narodni Galerie, National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Part of “The Meeting at Křížky” (from “The Slav Epic”, 1916). National Gallery Prague – 30 July 2013 (HL).

Princess Hyacinth, Alfons Mucha, Mucha Museum, Praha, Prague, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Princezna Hyacinta” (Princess Hyacinth, 1911). Mucha Museum, 31 July 2013 (HL).


I made all of the photos above in July 2013 and December 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-8S5.

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