Monday, June 29, 2015

A Few Photos from Kansas City

I just spent a couple of days in Kansas City, Missouri, mostly in the Westport neighborhood and the nearby area around the art museums. As usual, I notice more things when I am away from home than I do when I'm in familiar settings.

First, a few images from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Outside the main door, in the 20+-acre sculpture garden, are four giant sculptures by Philip Haas, who renders the works of Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo into three dimensions.

They're about 15 feet tall.

The museum had a special exhibit of American folk art. It was heavy on 19th century work, and dominated by portraits, which aren't my favorite kind of folk art. But it did have this cool carved set of dentures, which were a dentist's trade sign from about 1890.

Moving on from the art museum, a few shots from the street:

First, this ineffective logo. Am I the only one who sees it as a reference to flames more than blood, and even to tortured souls burning in hell? Yes, I know it has the stereotypical "drop of liquid" shape, but the oval at the bottom reads as a head. I think it's meant to read as a head, in fact -- representing the "human element" that clients always seem to ask for when they're getting a new logo. But in this case, it looks like the human element is being tortured for all eternity.

I know that I am one of the few people who is this sensitive to kerning, but when I look at this sign I read it as the "SAY LES" Building, rather than the Sayles Building.

Finally, two shots from another building:

First I noticed the metal "plants" and made a joke that this is what they should be growing out in California, given the drought.

But then I realized that the brick wall is topped with triangular metal protrusions that are clearly meant to keep people from resting on the wall. And then I thought, wow, that's just unfriendly. Who wants to sit on their skinny wall anyway?

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