Monday, February 16, 2015

Cincinnati - Lunch and the Taft

 I drove to Tom's on Sunday (02/15) and we went out for lunch, as is our usual custom, and then went to the Taft Museum, which has free admittance on Sunday's. But first, the food ...

 We went to the Parkside Cafe, formerly a Frisch's location. It still has some of the checkerboard-painted glass dividers between the seating.

 I ordered a four-cheese omelette. It nearly filled a large plate. And "Parkside potatoes" and wheat toast. Everything was great but for the potatoes ... too well done in my estimation, a little too dark (burnt?).

 Tom ordered French fried green beans, thinking he'd get them as an appetizer, but they came with the rest of the meal. It was too much, too late, so we asked for a box and took almost all of them back to his apartment so that he could have an evening snack. We tucked them away in his refrigerator. Did you remember them, Tom?

 Tom's main dish was a huge salad ... lettuce and spinach with crumbled blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado, bits of bacon and strips of chicken. Who knows what else was in there. This was a meal in itself.
 Then to the Taft ...

 On the way I was intrigued by this building which I caught a glimpse of as we drove. Tom said it was Cincinnati's newest skyscraper. Most notable is the open metalwork on top. I shot this through Tom's dirty windshield, thus the spots. The building is 41 stories (665 feet) tall and is located at Queen City Square.

As we got closer I was able to get a better view of the metal grid. It's the headquarters of the Great American Insurance Company. Considered postmodern architecture, the building was begun in July 2008 and opened in January 2011.

 This statue of Abraham Lincoln is near the Taft but in Lytle Park. We had to park about four blocks away and walk. I asked Tom what he thought the temperature was and a lady, walking nearby, said it was 15°. My guess would have been colder.

 Information on "Barnard's Lincoln" may be found by clicking here. It has hands and feet that are disproportional to Lincoln's size. And yet the face, in my estimation, is spot on.

With fingers a bit numb, we arrived at the Taft Museum. We were issued a sticker to place on our clothing ...

I'm not quite sure of the purpose. Since the museum is free on Sunday, it couldn't have served as proof that we paid for admittance. But on other days of the week, that's probably the purpose. Maybe Sunday it's continued out of habit? Or maybe it's some sort of souvenir?

 The Taft Museum, located in the Baum-Taft House, is a National Historic Landmark and was built in 1820.

... and here's the history of the house.
 I took pictures of just a few of my favorites pieces of art there. Some areas (the current exhibit called Wild West to Gilded Age: American Treasures from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, for instance) did not allow photography so I opted to take fewer pictures than usual.

 Rookwood Vase

 Will Rogers on Soapsuds - 1936
Sally James Farnham (1869-1943)

From the 1500's, wonderful, intricate  relief 

 A view into one of the exhibit rooms

 The lighting was dim enough that my camera had to take slight time exposures (I did not want to use the flash) so the pictures are a little soft and blurred at time.

Edward Satchwell Fraser, Jr. - 1803
Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823)

 I particularly liked this painting. This artist lived in the United Kingdom.

 Tom stops to admire a painting on one of the Taft's many hallways.

 Just beyond the front door of the house (the museum entrance is on the side), this is the view visitors would first see in the nineteenth century. Tom said Abraham Lincoln was a visitor here.

The Cobbler's Apprentice - 1877
Frank Duvenek ( 1848-1919)

 Pretty impressive, isn't it? Up close you can see the "boy's dirty fingernails and the ash of his cigar". Here, let me show you ...

 This was the home's dining room.

Another room of the museum. How do they keep all the carpet's clean?

 This Visitor's Guide shows on its cover Rembrandt's Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair (1633). I'd like to have photographed the original but thought perhaps it wasn't permitted. The fine detail of the lace about the man's neck seems exceptionally detailed from a distance (up close it is not). I suppose the mark of a great artist is being able to pull off illusions of this sort.

 Other artists worth seeing at the Taft include Gainsborough, Whistler and Farny.

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