Philadelphia

“Crossing the painted road which extends east from The Philadelphia Museum of Art, August 1973,” by Dick Swanson, via the U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr (all photos and captions in quotes here).

“From the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art — looking down Benjamin Franklin Parkway toward City Hall and Center City.”

The road painting, “Big Stripes,” was created by Gene Davis in 1972. At the time, it was the world’s largest painting.  Davis was a leader in the Washington [D.C.] Color School.

“Fountains surrounding Philadelphia Museum of Art are especially popular in a heat wave.”

Swanson took these images for DOCUMERICA, a photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From 1972 to 1977, it hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.” They created an archive of about 80,000 images. In addition to recording damage to the nation’s landscapes, the project captured “the era’s trends, fashions, problems, and achievements,” according to the Archives, which held an exhibit of the photos, “Searching for the Seventies,” in 2013.

“The art of cooling off is enthusiastically pursued in the fountains of The Philadelphia Museum of Art.”

Põrnikate orkester

“Beetle orchestra,” artist and date unknown, via National Archives of Estonia Commons on flickr.

The pencil and watercolor drawing comes from an album of poetry and fanciful sketches of bugs and birds.  It was found in the 18th century manor house of the Saadjärve estate, which has belonged to several noble Baltic German families over the centuries. The album may be connected to the von Koskulls, who owned the property in the 19th century. There are more examples of the drawings here.

By the way, an Instagram post by @smithsoniangardens reminds us that although “[t]hey may be less elegant than other pollinators, . . . beetles have been providing their pollination services far longer than many of the well-known pollinators. Ancient and abundant in numbers, there are almost four times as many species of beetles as animals with backbones!” (This is Pollinator Week.)

As always, you can click on the image for a little better view.

Primrose box

Sakurasō (primrose: Primula sieboldii or P. japonica), ca. 1810, a woodcut print by Kubo Shunman, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Another way to display primroses. This also makes me think of photographer Sibylle Pietrek’s boxed flowers here.

To see how many garden bloggers have arranged flowers today, please take a look at “In a vase on Monday,” hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Also, the blog It’s About Time, is currently running a series of posts of paintings, “Arranging Flowers in 19C & Early 20C America.”

Arrangement in blue and pink

“Cornucopia of flowers,” between 1820 and 1890, an American watercolor by an unknown artist (possibly related to this?), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

I wasn’t able to make my own flower arrangement this week for “In a vase on Monday,”‘ but to see what other garden bloggers have created, please visit host Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.