Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday.
Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991), took the art of Surrealism and the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, combined them with childhood memories of early cars and machinery in New England and then the flora of his adult home in southern California, and created the famous illustrations for his over sixty books. (His Green Eggs and Ham is the fourth best-selling English-language children’s book of all time.)
His strange plants and landscapes — tops of mops, spikes, and feathers; elongated, twisty trunks; improbable angles, odd hills and rocks — form a visual vocabulary that we all understand and use routinely. These are just a few of the many, many snapshots I found by typing in “Dr. Seuss” and searching Flickr.com.
A 2010 article from the News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, has a list of plants that also look Seuss-y, here. Among others, they recommend weeping sequoia, Nootka cypress, and contorted hazelnut.
If you want to visit a Dr. Seuss-style landscape, the blog SPOTCOOLSTUFF has 10 “Places That Look Dr Seuss-ish” around the world, here.
To read . . .
Another birthday: The Tidal Basin cherry trees of Washington, D.C., are 100 years old this month. The Washington Post has a slide show of the trees over the century, here. This year’s Cherry Blossom Festival will be March 20 to April 27. The average peak bloom date is April 4, but it has been as early as March 15 (1990) and as late as April 18 (1958).
Versailles is a landscape as iconic as any of Dr. Seuss’s. The blog GardenHistoryGirl has an interesting post about the watercolors of Alexandre Benois (1870-1960) and how they capture the “bareness” of the palace grounds, here.
A New York Times article tells the story of two Greenwich Village buildings that have put up ivy, causing them to run afoul of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, here. Interestingly, in both cases, the ivy was fake.
A playground in the form of a ship, Amager Ark, looks almost poetic in the photos in VULGARE this week, here. It is the work of Alfio Bonanno and located in Copenhagen, Denmark. There’s more about the installation at PlayGroundology, here. Also, take a look at a wonderful play area in Cornwall, UK, made from a huge piece of an oak trunk, here.
This art installation in São Paolo, Brazil, by Tatiana Blass, is named for Penelope, the wife of Odyseus. It was featured in the blog Design Milk.