Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA California USA, 1 October 2016

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The previous post was at the Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA; this is from our viewing of the rest of the Art Museum.  (Click images for larger size).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Royal Peacock Barge, West Bengal, India, late 19th century.

Miniature ivory depiction of pleasure boat of the Nawab of Bengal.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

This is a very modern installation, dated to just before the time we were visiting.  It is perhaps somewhere between pop art, dada and surrealism.  The artist is not credited.

The assemblage is somewhat anachronistic amongst historical exhibits but does include some references to 19th century Indian works.  It is perhaps intended to depict the sense of wonder at the extent to which modern art styles can sometimes diverge from the traditional.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Panel, Gururat, India, early 18th century.

Wood applique with bone; brass roundels.

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Altar cabinet, Kham region, eastern Tibet, 19th – 20th century.

Wood with mineral pigments and gilding; brass fittings.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Hindu God Vishnu, Angkor, Cambodia. c. 950AD (sandstone).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Folio from a Buddhist manuscript illustrated with Buddha’s birth stories (Thailand c. 1860-80), atop Sutra Box (Thailand 1920-40, wood laquer and gold leaf).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Buddha Shakyamuni, Sukothai, Thailand, 14th-15th century (copper alloy).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Maharishi (Great Sage) Agastya, Lakhi Sarai, Bihar, India, 12th century (chloritoid phyllite).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Dancer’s headpiece in the form of Hindu Godess Kali, Kerala, India, late 15th century (wood with paint).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

The Goddess Sarasvati, Gujurat, India, 1153 by Jagadeva.

Sarasvati, goddess of wisdom and knowledge, embodies the mediæval Indian concept of feminine beauty.  Jagadeva was commisioned to create this sculpture to replace an earlier sculpture of Sarasvati that was dedicated in a Jain temple in 1069 but damaged in 1152.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

The Hindu Goddess Kali, Kerala, India, 17th century (wood with traces of paint).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Athena, 2nd century Roman copy of Greek original from the late 5th century BC School of Pheidas.

Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom and of war waged for just causes.  She wears a breastplate decorated with the heads of gorgons, the monsters whose piercing gaze turned people who met their eyes to stone.  The hollow eye sockets indicate that eyes were originally inlaid and of course, as with all ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, she would originally have been painted in bright colours.  The statue was excavated at Ostia, the port of Rome, in 1797.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Portrait of Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574), c. 1572 by Giovanni Bandini (also called Giovanni dell’Opera) (marble).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Madonna and child in a landscape c. 1496-1499 by Cima de Conegliano (Oil on panel).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Saint Crispin (France, c. 1500 (limestone with traces of polychromy).

Saint Crispan is the patron saint of shoe makers.  He and his brother Saint Crispian were tortured for their Christian beliefs and beheaded in 285AD.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

The Swineherd, 1888, by Paul Gauguin (oi; on canvas).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

La Place du Théâtre Français, 1898, by Camille Pissaro (oil on canvas).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Le Havre, bâteaux de peche sortant du port (fishing boats leaving the port), 1874, Claude Monet.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Cabinet, c. 1650-75, from Grand Ducal Workshops (Galleria dei Lavori), (ebony, marble, jasper, lapis lazuli and various hard stones, and bronze with gilding).

The birds and flowers that appear to be painted are actually hundreds of pieces of richly hued pietre dure or hard stones, so the designs are laboriously painted in stone.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Eagle-headed demon ritually expelling sickness and evil spirits from the house, possible purifying anyone entering the King’s living room.

This and following reliefs once adorned the interior walls of the palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BC).  They are from ancient Kalhu (now called Nimrud).  He was the first Assyrian king to use stone panels on the interior wall of his palace which was built in mud brick on a stone foundation.  The reliefs were originally painted in black, white, red and blue.

In 879 BC Ashurnasirpal held a large festival to celebrate the construction of his new capital which remained the centre of the Assyrian Empire for 150 years.  It was surrounded by a massive city wall forty-two feet high (thirteen metres) and five miles long (eight kilometres).  At that time it bordered on the Tigris River.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

A winged human-headed genie wearing a double bull horn mitre that may be a supernatural projection of the king.

He holds a conical fruit that he has presumably dipped in the bucket of pollen held in preparation for fertilisation of the Tree of Life, an important symbol in Assyrian religious belief.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

The king holds a libation bowl and a bow, and he is accompanied by a human-headed genie carrying a bucket.  Both are engaged in ritual ceremony.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Fragment of a painted Assyrian relief, Neo-Assyrian dynasty, Northern Iraq, 7th century BC (limestone).

It probably depicts King Sargon (reigned 722-705 BC) and still shows traces of the colourful paint that once adorned all Assyrian reliefs.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Head of a Royal Guard from Persepolis, Achæmenid period, Southern Iran, 5th century BC (limestone).

This fragment once belonged to the inner decorated panel of the eastern staircase of the Apadana, the sumptuous audience hall of the Achæmenid kings at Persepolis.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

20th century sculpture but I missed the label.  Giacometti maybe?

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Netsuke Gallery, LACMA

Netsuke Gallery, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA California USA, 1 October 2016

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Close by La Brea Tar Pits, we next visited the Pavillion for Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (ACMNA).

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Haniwa Horse from 6th century.

Haniwa are terracotta clay figures buried with the dead as funerary objects.  They are from the Kofun period of 3rd to 6th century AD, when horses were first domesticated in Japan and this would have been from the grave of an important person, probably in Southern Honshu.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Chest of drawers from the 18th century.  Lacquer over wood with gold and silver flakes.

It is decorated with several views around Lake Biwa and was made for the lord of Hikone Castle.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Jar from Kamakura period, c. 1200-1400AD.

Tokoname ware; coil-built stoneware with ash glaze.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Female Shinto deity, 14th century.

Due to a close association of Shinto with the Imperial Court, such figures were shown in court robes as real people and were kept in close shrines, not viewable by devotees.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Sake bottles, 17th to 19th centuries.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Contemporary vessel by Shimizu Ichiji, 2012.

Stoneware with sprayed slip decoration.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

(No description.  I didn’t photograph the label).

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Daruma by Torei Enji, hanging scroll, ink on silk, 18th century.

Daruma was the semi-legendary Zen Master who brought Zen from China to Japan in the early 6th century.  Torei Enji was himself an eminent Zen Master who wrote a description of Zen practice, still read today, entitled “The undying Lamp of Zen”.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Kanzan and Jittoku by Shunso Shoju, ink on paper, late 18th or early 19th century.

Kanzan and Jittoku were enlightened people who lived on Cold Mountain (Hanshan) in China in about the 9th century and they are symbolically represented in this drawing.  Here is a poem by Kanzan (or Hanshan to the Chinese):

Men ask the way through the clouds,

The cloud’s way dark, without a sign.

High summits are of naked rock.

In deep valleys sun never shines.

Behind you green peaks, and in front,

To east the white clouds, and to west –

Want to know where the cloud way lies?

It’s there, in the centre of the Void!

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

(No description.  I didn’t photograph the label).

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

This is the first of the netsuke.  Three others follow.  They are unique to Japan and because kimono had no pockets.  Instead, the Japanese used inro or segmented hanging boxes.  They were on a cord which went through the netsuke and attached to the obi or kimono sash.  The netsuke prevented the inro and cord slipping out from beneath the obi.

They needed to be light and small yet strong and support a hole through them so they are masterpieces of miniature design.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel .

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel .

Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

European archer, 18th century.

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La Brea Tar Pits

Los Angeles, California USA, 29 September 2016

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

I had long been interested in visiting the La Brea Tar Pits.  It’s a place where oil oozes to the surface and forms asphalt.  This in turn becomes covered with water and leaves.  Animals wander in and become trapped and then predators come and they are trapped too.  This has been happening for up to 38,000 years and still happens to some extent today although the areas are now fenced off.  The bodies of the trapped animals are preserved in the asphalt.

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

This is Harlan’s Ground Sloth ((Glossotherium Harlani).  It was a little under two metres tall and 700 kilos in weight.  The largest giant sloth was six metres long (including the tail) and weighed four tonnes.

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

Antique Bison (Bison Antiquus).  It had a larger body, larger hump and larger horns than the surviving species.

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

On the left and centre, American Mastadon (Mammut Americanus).  They had shorter legs, a longer body and tusks up to five metres long, as compared to modern elephants (not close relatives).  On the right is an extinct camel, Camelus Hesternus, a bit larger than modern camels and probably with one hump.  Camels evolved in the Americas and this species was likely exterminated by the arrival of humans.

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

Colombian Mammoth (Mammathus Columbi), up to four metres tall and ten tonnes in weight.  Tusks could be up to five metres long.  It is not clear to what extent climate change or human hunting was responsible for their extinction.

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel .

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

Large Game of Thrones puppy, or alternatively, Dire Wolf (Canis Dirus).  It was probably a little larger than the largest wolves today but had stronger jaws and bite.

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

Big Pussycat or Naegele’s Giant Jaguar (Panthera Atrox), also known as the American Lion.  It was larger than both a Siberian tiger and a Sabre-Toothed Cat.  There is some doubt as to whether it was closer to today’s lions or jaguars.  Jaguars, though, have one of the strongest bites of all animals behind only some crocodiles and hippos, stronger than tigers, so if it was more like a jaguar it wold have had a fearsome bite.

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

Sabre-toothed Cat (Smilodon Fatalis), about the same size as a African lion but much more heavily built.  It was an ambush predator and died out due to climate change.

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

An exposed section of tar pit.

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Cuba and the Caribbean

14 August to 7 October 2016

Another trip beckons, this time to Cuba and the Caribbean and some other places as well.

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Antigua, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Flinders Ranges, Flores, Guatemala, Havana, Jamaica, Los Angeles, Mexico, Montserrat, Salton City, Santo Domingo, St Martin, USA

First, I am attending a photographic workshop in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, organised by Keith Seidel, who I met in the Southwest Canyonlands trip in 2014.

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Antigua, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Flinders Ranges, Flores, Guatemala, Havana, Jamaica, Los Angeles, Mexico, Montserrat, Salton City, Santo Domingo, St Martin, USA

After returning to Canberra, I head off with my partner Jools to Mexico City, Flores in Guatemala, Cancun overnight, Cuba including a 7-day photographic tour, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Saint Martin/ Sint Maarten, Antigua, Montserrat, Jamaica and finally Southern California staying with Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul in Salton City by the Salton Sea.

Click on the maps for a larger size if you need to see more detail.  A few of the pins are spurious, just to create straight lines (so the route doesn’t follow roads).

I made temporary posts as I travelled or just after I returned and am now replacing them with permanent posts.

Flinders Ranges, South Australia (14 to 21 August)

Mexico City, Mexico (22 to 25 August)

Flores, Guatemala (25 to 31 August)

Cancun, Mexico (31 August to 1 September)

Cuba (1 to 12 September)

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (12 to 15 September)

St Martin/ Sint Maarten (15 to 18 September)

Antigua (18 to 22 September)

Montserrat (22 to 25 September)

(Antigua overnight 25 to 26 September)

Jamaica (26 to 30 September)

California, USA (30 September to 5 October)

Canberra, Australia (7 October)

Queen Mary

New Orleans, USA, 2nd to 3rd November 2014.

Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Our time in New Orleans has passed and we are now heading back to Australia by plane.  The above and following images are somewhere over the skies of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Floating above the sea of clouds….

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

A mysterious desert landscape that includes a solar power grid.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Another mysterious desert landscape with no solar power grid but the edge of a town or city.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA .

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA .

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

That must be the top of a mountain just poking up above the cloud.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA .

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Los Angeles.  Cars, freeways and suburbia.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

We had six hours between flights in LA and LA airport is not the most congenial place to hang around.  We had in mind to go to the La Brea Tarpits but it was too close to closing time, so we jumped into a taxi and asked him to take us somewhere.  He took us to the Queen Mary, retired and converted to a hotel fixed to the coastline at Long Beach.  This is inside a cafe looking out.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

One of the mighty funnels.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA .

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

The Captain’s cabin.

Panelled in maple and mahogoney and off-limits to everyone except the Captain’s Steward who kept it ship-shape, this area served as the Captain’s retreat from the demands of running a vast luxury liner.  Even here, the Captain was on call at all times in case of an emergency.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

The Captain’s Dayroom

Twice a day, barring heavy weather, the Captain entertained the elite of world travellers.  Throughout the ship’s disinguished reign, cocktail parties in this room were attended by nobility, statesmen, financiers and stars of stage and cinema.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

The wheel house.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Looking forward as the ship prepares to gather steam and lurch off into the city.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Radio operator’s room.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

This is the switchboard of the Queen Mary’s mobile phone system.

In other words, when the ship was mobile, there would still be a phone system.  This wouldn’t include the ability to call the shore (other than ringing the telegraph operator) unless the ship was trailing a very long cable.

Even if you click on the image for a larger version you won’t be able to read the labels on the board because that requires the full-sized file.  The plug holes on the wooden board on the far left are for various stewards or are blank.  The rows of hole on the wooden board at the left of the main console are for shore exchange or coin box (whatever that is).  Then at the very top of the console there are plug holes variously marked shore lines, radio services, radio order wires, service, transfer and staff.  The rest are all ordered by deck for individual cabins.  Presumably only the more expensive cabins had phones.  The operator had just stepped out some decades earlier and therefore was unable to provide further information.

For those unfamiliar with this system, you would call the operator who would plug your line into a specific hole according to your request.  These days, this service is provided by very small people hidden inside mobile phones.  They are not unionised and have very poor conditions of employment, especially at the time of termination of services.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Looking towards the bow from the “gangplank”.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Many hours later, we have landed in Sydney, taken off again and are heading for Canberra.  This is still in Sydney, somewhere around Botany Bay.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Botany Bay.

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA .

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA .

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Australia, Clouds, Landscape, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Photography, Queen Mary, Sydney, Travel, USA

Countryside not far from Canberra.

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This has been the last post for South-West Canyonlands and New Orleans.   There have been 35 posts with 590 images and 6,500 words for South West Canyonlands, and 34 posts with 640 images and 8,500 words for New Orleans.  It has been ten months since my first post for South-West Canyonlands but I have been to and posted on Hawaii and Boolcoomatta in the meanwhile.

Next I go back to my North Atlantic trip in 2013.  It’s been eleven months since I finished posting on Scotland prior to my trip to South West Canyonlands.  I will pick up again with the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway and then move on to Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland.  We will see how far I get on that before the end of September.  I’ll definitely complete Lofoten and Spitsbergen.  Maybe I’ll finish Greenland and not start on Iceland.