A Walk in the Park

It drizzled a bit this morning and the sky was generally grey. This subdued our already adequately subdued demeanor. The after effects of yesterday’s exertions were still with us today. I was content to sit around all day and civilize, but the sun came out and Anne wanted to do something. I fawned her off for a bit, when she went shopping at REI, but soon she was back with a vengeance. She had bought a new sun hat and needed to be taken out in the sun to use it.

We drove over to the DeMun neighborhood and walked into Kennedy Forest. In this wooded southwest corner of Forest Park is a meadow. Now at the tail end of high summer some of the plants in this meadow are now taller than us. We strolled through the meadow looking at the flowers and also looking for birds. Then we plunged into the forest and then popped out on the other side, the art museum side. We had to circle the museum because the south entrance was closed for construction. I guess that they didn’t get everything done last year in their race to meet their July 1st opening deadline. We tooled around the museum for a couple of hours doing selected galleries on all three floors, but soon it was time to go.

We had entered through the new wing’s front entrance, but left through the main hall’s entrance that fronts on Saint Louis, the king of France, not the city and Art Hill. The mottled clouds filtered the sunlight and painted the Grand Basin’s landscape below with a patina of otherworldly colors. See what two hours of reading artwork descriptions can do.

A man was flying a kite from just below the dais that Saint Louis and his horse look down from. The kite looked to be a long way up there and I asked him how much string he had out. He explained that each ribbon was 100’ apart. Anne counted ten ribbons. You do the math. His spool of string was of the size that the electricians use at work, big enough to require a cart to haul it. We circled the west side of the museum and came upon Placebo, a stainless steel tree. If you look closely, you can see that it has shelf fungus on it, not sulfur shelf, but silver shelf. The following is the museum’s description of this art:

Situated among the trees of Forest Park, this monumental sculpture interacts with the surrounding built and natural environments. Through its form, the work relates to the real trees nearby while its precise and reflective stainless steel surface poses a contradiction. As Roxy Paine explained, “I take this organic majestic being and break it down into components and rules.” Made by welding together standard industrial piping, Placebo highlights the complex relationship between man-made and the natural world.

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