Cultural Excursion: National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History

Inside the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
Inside the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
Beautiful sculpture inside the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
Beautiful sculpture inside the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
The main entrance room at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
The main entrance room at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science

As I mentioned in my last post, we got the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History in Chisinau yesterday.  The museum was quite large, and had some great exhibitions, but it also has little funding.  It is housed in a beautiful, old building.  The architecture was quite stunning but building is also in need of repair and such.

A topographical model of all of Moldova at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
A topographical model of all of Moldova at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
One of the beautiful murals at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
One of the beautiful murals at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science, showing the flora and fauna of Moldova
The Deinotherium, commonly called "hoe tusker" was a prehistoric mammal resembling an elephant- this is the largest skeleton of a Deinotherium in the world, and was found in Moldova
The Deinotherium, commonly called “hoe tusker”, was a prehistoric mammal resembling an elephant- this is the largest skeleton of a Deinotherium in the world, and was found in Moldova
Painted image of the Deinotherium at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
Painted image of the Deinotherium at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science

The museum had a pretty impressive collection related to natural history, which eventually led to the ethnography exhibits.  Essentially, as you wove your way through the museum, you first went through the natural history exhibits, and those led naturally to the ethnography exhibits.  There was a room of animals that once lived in Moldova but are now extinct, as well as an exhibit on the various types of soil that are found in Moldova.

A display in the ethnography section of the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science, showing a traditional casa mare (a special room in the house where the dowry was kept)
A display in the ethnography section of the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science, showing a traditional casa mare (a special room in the house where the dowry was kept)
An exhibit of a traditional Moldovan wedding at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
An exhibit of a traditional Moldovan wedding at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
An exhibit on the destruction of nature in Moldova caused by chemicals and pesticides, and showing mutated animals with two heads at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
An exhibit on the destruction of nature in Moldova caused by chemicals and pesticides, and showing mutated animals with two heads at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science

There were also exhibits showing how people have lived in Moldova from the Middle Ages forward, with traditional textiles, early ceramics, building techniques, furniture that was found in homes at different points in history, an exhibit on early musicians, and much more!  There was a large exhibit showing a traditional Moldovan wedding, as well as how Soviet rule affected many of the traditional aspects of Moldovan life.

A mural in the dinosaur exhibition room at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
A mural in the dinosaur exhibition room at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
Another great mural at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science, showing animals living after the extinction of the dinosaurs but before human arrival
Another great mural at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science, showing animals living after the extinction of the dinosaurs but before human arrival
Another symbolic mural at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science
Another symbolic mural at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science

Something that I found particularly interesting were the amazing murals that accompanied almost every exhibit.  Although some were realistic, many were quite symbolic.

Wall #1 of the mural room at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science (showing the big bang and the creation of the earth)
Wall #1 of the mural room at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science (showing the big bang and the creation of the earth)
Wall #2 of the mural room at National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science (showing the natural environment before human arrival)
Wall #2 of the mural room at National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science (showing the natural environment before human arrival)
Wall #3 of the mural room at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science (showing humans and nature living in harmony)
Wall #3 of the mural room at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science (showing humans and nature living in harmony- Mother Nature is the ghost-like white figure in the middle)
Wall #4 of the mural room at National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science (showing the destruction of the earth by humans)
Wall #4 of the mural room at National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Science (showing the destruction of the earth by humans)

There was even one room that was just a huge mural on all four walls!  The mural showed the progression of the earth’s history from the big bang to humans destroying the nature.  It reminded me a lot of some of the landscape paintings I learned about in my American Art class this past winter.

I really enjoyed my first museum visit in Moldova.  It was really interesting to see the natural history of the country as well as the human history of the country!

Film Photography (Round 2)

I can’t believe my final semester of college is almost over!  I only have three weeks of classes left!  We’re now wrapping up working with film in my photography course.  In the next few weeks, we’ll be putting together our portfolios, working on our digital portfolio (10 photos that have a common theme/color/etc.), and working on our website.  I’ll be sure to share the website once it’s set up and finished.  For now, though, I’ll share the rest of my film photos.

Roll 4:

wheelbarrow

Above: This was the only remotely save-able image from my fourth roll.  My camera no longer rewinds, so I have to take out the film in the dark.  I had brought two rolls of film home with me over one of my breaks, and therefore had to switch out the first roll in the dark.  I went in a bathroom with no window, and turned off the light, but the film must have been exposed to some light.  It kind of made this photo look quite old, which is actually a pretty cool effect.

Roll 5:

prospect ave 5Above: My family owns several properties (my dad owns a real estate business).  One of the places we own (but do not live in) was my great-grandmother’s house.  It’s a really old house (at least 150 years old), and has two really cool old wooden sheds, one of which you can see in the left of the photo.  I actually somehow flipped this image when I printed it, and didn’t realize until I was done.  If you were to actually look at this scene, the shed would be on the right.

prospect ave 4Above: This was also taken at the house my grandpa grew up in.  Walton is the town I live in at home, and the sign has been there for a very long time.  I love the texture in this photo.

prospect ave 3Above: Another photo from “Grandma Ogden’s house”.  If you look closely, you can make out some of the faded stickers on the mailbox, spelling out “Ogden”.

prospect ave 2Above: The two sheds I mentioned.  It was a very sunny day and I took this at mid-day.  Unfortunately, this picture isn’t great, thanks to the deep shadows across the front of the buildings.

prospect ave 1Above: The Walton sign, again!  I actually didn’t mean to print this photo.  I wanted to print the photo with the sign above, but got them mixed up in the darkroom, and printed this one by accident.  I ended up liking it a lot.  The wood tones in this one are just so pretty!

I’m really happy with how my fifth, and final, roll came out.  I had a lot of great photos to choose from.  My professor said that it’s always nice when your final roll comes out the best- that means you’ve learned something!  Now, I need to figure out what I’m doing for my digital project.

Film Photography

I’m taking a lot of art-related classes this term (1 music class, 3 studio art classes, and 2 art history classes).  One of the classes I’m taking is a photography class.  The class is primarily film, although we will do some digital photography towards the end of the term (which is actually fast approaching!).  I thought I would share the photos I’ve taken (the ones I’ve printed, at least!), as well as a photo collage I did for one of our assignments.

So far, I’ve really enjoyed working with film.  All of our photos are taken with a 35mm camera, without flash or any special lens.  We are only allowed to do black and white photography.  I’m using my grandpa’s old camera, which is a Canon from the 80s.  I’ve had some trouble with the camera- for the past couple of rolls, it thinks the roll is done after 27 photos (instead of the 36 it should actually take), and it also won’t rewind, which means I have to unload the film in a darkroom and immediately develop it.  The process is pretty cool, but can also be tiring.  So much time is required just to process the film, and then it takes even more time to print each photo.  It’s also expensive!  But I love the way the photos come out, and the pictures feel more valuable when you’ve put so much time and effort into them.  I’ve only printed about 2-3 photos from each roll I’ve taken.  If I have paper left over after our assignments are fulfilled, I want to print some others.

First roll:

photography002cropAbove: Architecture on my college campus- this beautiful gothic building is the one I lived in last year!

photography005cropAbove: This is the same building, and is actually the arch that is located just below the former photo.

Roll 2:

photography004cropAbove: My beautiful sister, Heather.  She came to visit me the weekend before she left for 6 months in South Africa, and I took this photo on a walk we took.

photography006cropAbove: A stream we saw on our walk.  I loved the way the stream reflected the trees.

Roll 3:

photography007cropAbove: The lounge in Tompkins Hall (Elmira College).  All of the photos I printed from this roll were from the same building (which is the same building featured in the two photos from the first roll- I’m sensing a theme here!).

photography008cropAbove: This beautiful window seat is located on the floor I lived on last year.  The windows in the building are just amazing!

photography009cropAbove: The hall I lived on last year.  The hallway is pretty dark, despite the bright window at the end, creating a somewhat eerie mood.

Collage:

photography010cropAbove: We were encouraged to create a collage from old discards that past students have left behind.  I combined parts from 5 photos to create my image.  Funny story: the whole time I made this, I was thinking that the “motel” sign was a cinema/theater sign, thus the “showing” sign.  It was only after the entire thing was finished that I realized my mistake- oops!  I still really like it, and think my mistake actually might make it more interesting.

So, there you go!  My first adventures with film photography!

Hand-Lettered Christmas Cards

For the past several years, I have made hand-lettered Christmas cards for several of my friends at college.  I’ve shared some of those here.  This year is the first year that the designs were 100% my own, and also the first year that I’ve incorporated color.  I went simple in the color department- black pen on white paper, with some bright red.  I’m going to apologize in advance for the poor camera quality- I didn’t finish the cards until just before our gift exchange, so I rushed to get pictures and they didn’t turn out well.2015-12-05 19.12.09This first design was quite simple and more graphic than the others.  I liked the idea of a somewhat “busier” background, with a bold message in the middle.

2015-12-05 19.12.40

I was really happy with how this one turned out- I played around a lot with the lettering for ‘night’ and love how it turned out.

2015-12-05 19.12.52

I really love this one as well.  I think this is the most “fun” of the designs, and it has a certain childlike feel to me.

2015-12-05 19.13.03

Although I like this one, it’s not my favorite.  It feels a bit too unbalanced to me.

2015-12-05 19.13.09

This is another favorite.  I actually wasn’t sure I liked it until I added the stripes to the “jolly”, then I discovered I really loved it.

2015-12-05 19.13.17

This is the design and lettering I’m most proud of!  I thought of the idea when laying in my bed last weekend, not wanting to get out of bed.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out!

Ceramics III

About a month ago, I shared the stuff I made in Ceramics II.  I finally got around to taking the last few photos I needed to take for my Ceramics III pieces.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Medium lidded pot
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Medium lidded pot
Medium plate
Medium plate
Medium flower pot and plate
Medium flower pot and plate
Medium-sized cup
Medium-sized cup
Inside of medium cup
Inside of medium cup
Small cup
Small cup
Small bowl
Small bowl
Small cup
Small cup
Medium cup
Medium cup
Medium cup
Medium cup
Medium cup
Medium cup
Medium cup
Medium cup
Small bowl
Small bowl
Medium bowl
Medium bowl
Medium bowl
Medium bowl
Large cereal bowl
Large cereal bowl
Small cup
Small cup
Bowl and cup set
Bowl and cup set
Medium cup
Medium cup
Medium pitcher
Medium pitcher
Medium pitcher
Medium pitcher
Inside of pitcher
Inside of pitcher
Pitcher and cup set
Pitcher and cup set