Thursday, March 20, 2008

Local history in art

Our local downtown library is a delight for the eye; for the would-be photographer, it is a challenge and a great frustration! First, you should know that one can spend a good afternoon just locating -- and admiring -- all the art work and artifacts on display. Today I saw bronze miniatures of local statuary. Old cameras. A beautifully carved bench. A fine collection of kachinas (impossible to photograph!) A dinosaur with temporary rabbit ears and a mountain lion plus a bronze girl sitting on a garden bench.

But the over-riding theme: local history in varied media. It took three pictures as well as awkward angles to capture the huge quilt which moves from the horse-drawn cart to the computer age. This quilt is only one of several that greet visitors who arrive via the main entrance.

Another fiber arts depiction of parts of Prescott history will be found in the lower level. It appears to be an applique project.

Detail: an Indian woman.

Detail: a member of the Walker Party panning for gold.

Detail: the arrival of the railroad.

Finally, the series of mural-style paintings of high points in our history by Paul Coze. And here I must apologize to the artist. The work is mounted at the landings of a 2-storey staircase starting at the lower level and going all the way to the administrative offices at the top. Shooting angles were very awkward and lighting was difficult; as a result, I cropped in on pictures to avoid showing the amount of distortion in my final images and had to play PhotoShop games to compensate as best possible for spotty flash.

The Mountain Men -- trappers and explorers.

The gold miners.

The first Ft. Whipple -- and the Indians.

Arizona's first territorial capital.

The first rodeo.

Whiskey Row, Shady Ladies and games of chance. I do believe it's all happening at the Palace.

A town growing up enough to entice more prosperous settlers from back East.

And a garden party to celebrate the taming of the land beyond the Bradshaws. As you can see, our history is a short one -- from roughly 1840 to the present day. (And, yes, I will have other pictures from the library soon!)

Linkage: I should have made mention much earlier of the thoughtful commentary written by Lucy (Box Elder) about how Mom enjoyed reciting poems, memorized as a school girl, up until her final days. Thank you again, Lucy.


Anonymous said...

A mighty effort by the artist. Of note, WA's first settlement was in 1829 so it's pretty young too.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I enjoyed the photos very much. And the history.

Anonymous said...

Very nice visual historical journey. I especially enjoyed the paintings form "Mountain men..." down.

Thanks, Granny.

Anonymous said...

Great collection of old Prescott art Granny J. Thanks for sharing them. I'm going to have to go see them in person now.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful introduction to the library downtown, GrannyJ, thank you!

I will visit the next time I'm in town to see sis and b-i-l. The artworks are "eye candy"!

Avus said...

Your tpwn sure seems to put on interesting events. Nice photos and I was particularly taken with the "Fisrt Fort Whipple" (who was Whipple, I wonder?)

Granny J said...

anon #1 -- The Arizona exception to youth is, of course, Tucson...

steve -- Prescott specializes in history!

ad -- pretty 4-square compared to your on-line imagineering

style -- plus the rest of the art and the displays!

anon #2(av?) -- it's well worth the visit.

avus -- Lt. Whipple headed the survey party for the 1st railroad route which crosses Arizona (about 1853) at the 35th parallel. It's also roughly the path of famous Route 66.

meggie said...

Another great post! Wonderful quilt, & the art work is lovely.

Anonymous said...

Hope you can post pics of Tippy the dinosaur in the Kidspace of the library in the future. She is quite the fashion bug and wants to be a star!

smilnsigh said...


But wow, that first quilt!!!!!!

Granny J said...

Thank you, meggie, for your appreciation.

anon #3 -- after reading your comment, I figure I've got to get pix of Tippy in some of his/her other guises before I post! I did get pix of Tippy with the rabbit ears, however.

SnS -- I figured you might appreciate the history... and I'm collecting some restored houses and towers, just for comparison between upstate NY and mountain AZ...

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