On arriving in Austin, we walked out of our hotel to find a place to eat, and found a local tavern reminding us that, in spite of the big city, cosmopolitan feel of Austin, we were still in Texas. An interesting, life sized and life like wood sculpture sits in the art district.
Austin seemed pretty quiet while we were there. We stayed near the state capitol as well as the University of Texas. We were reminded that no only were students still on summer vacation, but the Texas State Legislature was not currently in session. In fact, we discovered that, curiously, the Texas legislature is only in regular session in odd numbered years. A taxi driver told us that the rest of the time, politicians do business in restaurants and saloons.
Austin does have a thriving music and art scene; and lots of interesting shops and signage.
Signs, sculpture & statuary :
Cigar Store Second hand store
Clash of cultures?! And I thought Jesus was a carpenter??
6th Street entertainment scene:
The Blanton Museum of Art - University of Texas at Austin:
We found it interesting that the Confederate flag (NOT the familiar battle flag) still flies outside the Blanton Museum alongside the Stars & Stripes and the state flag of Texas (see below). The state capitol is only a few blocks away and can be seen from the front of the museum. Please note that the placement of the flags makes it appear that the Confederate flag flies above the Stars & Stripes and the Texas flag. All three flags actually fly at the same height.
The skylights in the Blanton's main lobby provided some interesting abstract views.
Inside the Blanton Museum we found a delightful collection of both classical and modern art.
The photo below is a detail shot of a favorite of mine from the many wonderful abstract works at the Blanton. The artist Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) was described by critics as an "architect of shadows". This wooden assemblage is titled "Dawn's Presence - Two Columns" 1969-75. I particularly admire the way she used the play between form, light and shadow to '... mimic the complexities of the built environment.'
Finally, one of the most striking aspects of Austin is the large amount of construction going on throughout the city. Near the University, among the many cranes dotting the city skyline, quite a few are involved in the construction of a huge, new medical center around the new Dell Medical School.
Hope you enjoyed this week's photos.