Friday, June 12, 2009

Art fort

The first photo is what I saw in front of my desk when I walked in this morning. (Actually, it's still what I see right now!) It's a piece of art strapped onto a rolling A-frame, which is what museum workers use to safely transport pieces within the museum.

I walked around to the front and saw that it was a very large oil painting!

This piece is called The Last Civil War Veteran and was painted by Larry Rivers in 1961. He is considered a Godfather of Pop Art and was acquainted with Jackson Pollock. I was told it's a new acquisition and an important piece.

It's really neat that it's here for the time being, but it's also like an extra wall in my office!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ah, love

This photo was taken in my neighborhood. I don't know about you, but I think there is nothing more romantic than an apology/love letter, written in silver pen on a sidewalk sale sign....

It says: Amy, I love you (heart), I miss you. I trust you. I want to tell you I'm sorry for saying your name. It's just hard to talk to people about personal issues. I want us to kick it on the beach?? or do you have any throw backs?

Questions: What is a throw back? Why/how would Amy see this?
Hey Amy, I just want to let you know how I feel. Go to this sign that's taped up on a pole, yeah, the one for the sidewalk sale....I totally left you a note.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Illustrious David Scannell

This is a bust of David Scannell, who had been an early San Francisco Sheriff, as well as one of the first Chief Engineers (the old term for Department Chief) of the San Francisco Fire Department. Scannell was a pretty interesting guy and was much loved by the people of San Francisco. 

While doing some research, we found a funny story about him.

Apparently in 1887, Queen Kapi'olani and Princess Lili'uokalani of Hawaii made a trip the Bay Area to visit family and to look at San Francisco's firefighting equipment. Chief Engineer Scannell had fought a fire early that week in which an acid explosion had turned his hair green (?!). So, in anticipation of the royal family's arrival, he wore a derby hat to hide his weird hair color. However, as a proper Victorian gentlemen, he bowed when they entered, and removed his hat, momentarily forgetting the reason why he had the hat on in the first place. Embarrassed, he quickly replaced it, forgot what he was supposed to say and stammered an apology-- which greatly amused the Queen!

(There is a nice account of the Queen's visit here:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Good point

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. --Robert Frost

This quote made me laugh and makes me feel pretty good about being in school right now.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Little Mascot

I am working with the San Francisco Fire Department Museum. They have a wonderful collection that dates from the Volunteer Era of the 1850s to the current SFFD. I've taken photos (not great quality, I know) of the objects in the collection for inventory purposes.

This is a portrait of a little girl whose father was a fireman during the Volunteer Era, before the paid department was established in 1866. She is wearing a parade uniform which would have consisted of a red shirt, parade belt, scarf, pins, a miniature helmet, and a ribbon from the event in which she and her father were participating. Her belt has the number 1 with a crossed ladder and pike pole, the symbol of the St. Francis Hook & Ladder Company No. 1. According to our records, her name was Nellie Connell.

At the time, children of firemen would often proudly serve as mascots for their fathers' companies, riding atop apparatus in parades and posing in group photos, in miniature versions of firemen's uniforms.

We don't know much about this particular portrait and this little girl--at least not yet-- but I really love it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

6th Avenue and Clement Street

The photo in the header is courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke, who sent it to me. It shows 6th Avenue and Clement, looking down 6th. On the far left, you can see a sign for the Lincoln Bowling Alley that is now a bank. It'd be nice to have a bowling alley across the street from your house....
I believe this photo was taken in the '60s, by Dennis himself.