Tag Archives: Modern

Long time no see, D.C.

Related Post: Plans for SPX 2013.

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As you already may know, I was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the Potomac/Rockville/Bethesda area of Maryland. I haven’t had a chance to go back since 2011, so SPX (Small Press Expo) was a perfect excuse. :)

I had a little bit of extra time on Friday to visit the National Gallery of Art — and I am SO GLAD that I did. Ever since watching Nodame Cantabile, I discovered a great interest in Igor Stravinsky’s life and music, especially his ballets like The Rite of Spring and Petrushka. My interest became even greater with the film Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (starring my beloved Mads Mikkelsen). So I was very excited to get a chance to see the exhibit “Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929: When Art Danced with Music.” I really learned a lot from this exhibit — about how the Ballets Russes commissioned so many amazing artists including Picasso, Matisse, Cocteau, de Chirico, etc. — and enjoyed seeing the original costumes and amazing costume designs. I was also excited to see Alexander Calder’s magnificent, ginormous mobile again — a childhood favorite.

Below are some photographs I took and images from the exhibit to give you a taste of my experience!

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Outside my friend Tina’s apartment complex.

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The Washington Monument, under construction.

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The National Gallery of Art, East Building.

Diaghilev 1

Design for the front cloth from Petrushka (Copenhagen revival), 1925, by Alexandre Benois.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Diaghilev 2

Costume design for Vaslav Nijinsky from The Afternoon of a Faun, 1912, by Léon Bakst.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Diaghilev 3

Costumes from The Rite of Spring, 1913, by Nicholas Roerich.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

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Costumes from Le Bal, 1929, by Giorgio de Chirico.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

SPX 2013 07

Alexander Calder sculpture right outside the gallery.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Note on the Taishō Period

For many years, I have been fascinated by modern Japan — everything from the Meiji period (1868 – 1912) to current day. One of my favorite periods is a rather short one known as Taishō (1912 – 1926). What strikes me most about Taishō is the amazing blend of Japanese and Western aesthetics.

I think my interest in Taishō really began when I read Yukio Mishima’s novel Spring Snow (Haru no Yuki). This novel is actually a period piece — published in 1969, but set around 1912 – 1914. Mishima gives a detailed look at the Japanese class system of the period through a romantic tragedy (although I’m not sure Mishima saw this story as such).

My interest in Taishō developed further through a series of college courses on modern Japanese literature. I even did a project involving costume designs for a Taishō-set short story, involving research on fashion of the period from Kimonos and beyond.

I also find advertisements from this period interesting. Actually, the Shiseido ads from the 1900s through the 1930s are really remarkable! You can find out more about these ads on MIT’s Visualizing Cultures website.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a number of my favorite images:

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the following images!!

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1925 shiseido

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Brainstorming: Web Series, Etc.

This list was originally intended for web series ideas, but has gotten off track a bit. So it’s more of just a brainstorming list intended for various mediums.

(This is just a rough list of ideas for my personal use. In no particular order!)

To be continued…

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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