Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Visting Buffalo, NY -- Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens

Last Saturday we decided to visit Buffalo.  Our first stop was the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on Elmwood Street in Buffalo.  We didn't get to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin House as the line was too long and we didn't have a reservation.  The next stop was the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens.  Our first priority at the botanical gardens was to see the cactus & succulent house.  We were not disappointed

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens tickets
This is the entrance to the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens.  The architecture is absolutely stunning.
Entrance to the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardnens
Conservatory -- looking up!
Cute Statute in the Cactus/Succulent House

 Here is a collection of some of the pictures I took.  We finished the Cactus/Succulent house and then proceeded to go through all of the other houses as well. Very enjoyable time.

Rattlesnake Plant
Rattlesnake Plant
Close Up of leaves
 There were a lot of plants in flower when we where there which was rather nice.  I have seen many bonsai but have never seen one in bloom so I took photos.  They looked lovely.

Bonsai flower
Unusual flower
Cactus in bloom
Another Cactus in bloom
I love these Living Stones.  I would like some for a succulent garden but Bruce says they are too hard to grow.  I do not have a green thumb.  That's one of the reasons I keep Bruce! LOL!  I can kill a Hoya!!  Enough said.

Living Stones
Living Stones
Living Stones
This cactus is aptly named, Brain Cactus.  It looks like a brain.  These are quite easy to grow, so we may have one of these instead.

Brain Cactus
I really liked this round cactus.  It was quite large, like a giant pincushion.  Flowers were nice as well.
Round Cactus in bloom
Close Up of the Round Cactus bloom
This was quite a large hibiscus bloom on a bonsai hibiscus.  I thought the flowers would be smaller, in scale with the plant.

Hibiscus bloom on a Bonsai
This bloom was like a cup.  Very unusual. Really liked it.  The pictures below are the front of the flower and the back as well.

Very unusual flowers
Back of the unusual flower above
This looks like the bloom of the Hoya that I killed.  I had that Hoya for years but it was so pot-bound that Bruce had to re-pot it.  I never did get the watering right after that.

Hoya bloom
This plant flowers were hanging from what looked like string.  Very interesting.  You had to be careful when you walked on the path, not to run into them

Thunbergia mysorensis
Clock Vine
Close Up
Clock Vine
This is a seated area in one of the houses.  It is enclosed by plants--great place to sit & your view is the fountain below
Girls sitting in the enclosed area
View from where the girls are sitting
 While in this area you can have an impromptu game of giant checkers

Giant Checker Board
We rounded the corner of one house & thought we had traveled back in time to the dinosaur era.  This dinosaur topiary is completely covered with a vine.  In the bottom of the picture is a baby dinosaur as well.

Mama Dinosaur & Baby Topiary
Magnificent Waterfall

Side of the waterfall with vines growing all over it.
Mossy rocks with Koi pond below
Well fed Koi
The girls absolutely loved the architecture of the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens that they bought a print.  The artist is Daniel Predmore.

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens
Daniel Predmore
The only other stop we had after the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens was Wegmans on McKinley Road.  We stocked up on the gluten free food we cannot buy in Canada then headed for the Peace Bridge.  There was a Buffalo Bison's game that night so I am glad we headed for the bridge around 7 pm.  We breezed through customs as there was absolutely NO line-up--a first.  Would not have wanted to try to get back to Canada later in the evening. 

Had an absolutely wonderful time in Buffalo so will definitely be heading back in the future.  We are already looking at the 'Upcoming Exhibitions' at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  Definitely a stop next time we go to Buffalo.  Loved it.  Also have to make a reservation for the Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin House along with the Graycliff House as well. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Visting Buffalo, NY -- Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Last Saturday we decided to visit Buffalo.  Our first stop was the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on Elmwood Street in Buffalo.  We made our way from the Peace Bridge, after about 20 minutes crossing the border--not bad.  We ended up driving all the way down Elmwood Street, what a lovely drive with all the quaint stores.  We went by the Blue Monk where Bruce had lunch last year when he visited Buffalo with Ken Brown for the Buffalo Garden Walk.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Tickets
Once inside the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, we made our around the art gallery.  We opted for the audio phones that you punch in the number beside the painting and you get a recording of what the artwork is about--really interesting.

Using the audio phone.
We started around the art gallery & one of the first paintings we viewed was this one, "The Transparent Simulacrum of the Feigned Image" by Salvator Dali.  You either see a beach with a towel on the sand or a table with a cloth on the top.  It is rather interesting.

Salvator Dali
The Transparent Simulacrum of the Feigned Image

About half way round the gallery I came across this painting by Pablo Picasso.  I have never liked Picasso but this one I absolutely fell in love with.  It was my goal to go home with a print of this painting but sadly it was not to be.  The AK Shop did not sell this print.  I was very disappointed. It is my absolute favourite painting in the whole gallery.
Pablo Picasso
Harlequin (Project for a Monument) 1935
This is another painting by Picasso.  I am not fussed on it but took a picture of it to show the different phases that Picasso went through.

Pablo Picasso
La Toilette 1906
 I do like Paul Cezanne, this was to one I like best.

Paul Cezanne
Le Bassin du Jas de Bouffan
These three photos are the same piece.  This is in the illusion area of the gallery.  The photos are taken from different angles.  Some of the pieces are rather trippy!  I don't remember what this piece is called.

Photo taken straight on
The stairs were also painted in an illusion.  You definitely had to watch your step.

Close-Up of the painted illusion stairs
Stairs painted in a illusion.  Interesting.
Jackson Pollack "Convergence" at the top right.
Jackson Pollack's "Convergence" was at the top of those stairs to the right.  It is a very different painting.  I really liked it.

Jackson Pollack
We went upstairs to the current exhibition "Sweet Dreams, Baby!"

Current Exhibition
This is what we saw when we walked up the stairs.  Also the walls are 'haunted', if you get too close to the walls a recording will say "Please move away from the walls"

Sol LeWitt
Scribbles: Staircase
The walls are called "Scribbles: Staircase".  It was designed & planned by Sol LeWitt but he never go to see it.  It is made by graphite & just scribbling on the wall.  The darker areas there are more scribbles & the lighter ones are less scribbles.  The wall is FLAT!! It is an illusion that there are pipes on the wall.

This is the view from the top of the stairs looking back.

Sol LeWitt
Scribbles: Staircase

The lighter area up close of the scribbles on the wall.

Sol LeWitt
Scribbles: Staircase
Once upstairs we were in the current exhibition of 'Pop Art'.  Pop Art is definitely an acquired taste.  Here are some of the pictures I took of this exhibition. 

Andy Warhol
Marilyn Munroe
Andy Warhol
Portrait of Seymour H. Knox
Andy Warhol
100 Cans

This is Roy Lichenstein & I really liked his take on comic book art. 

Roy Lichenstein
Head-Red & Yellow
The other current exhibition on display was Robert Therrien.  This exhibition was interesting in the fact that all pieces were over-sized so you had a different perspective of the world.  I could walk under the chairs.  The detail was perfect & they actually folded.  There was a folded chair leaning against the wall.  Very interesting perspective!

No title (folding table and chairs, beige)
I really enjoyed the time we were at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  We will be looking at what the Upcoming Exhibitions are and definitely be going back.

Next stop was to be the Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin House but the line was extremely long & as we found out later, reservations are highly recommended so we just drove by--maybe next time.  Onto Betty's Restaurant on Virginia Street for lunch.  Wonderful place and it has gluten free options as well.    Next stop the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens.