Monday, May 19, 2008

Gargoyles of Paris via Chicago

At the time of his death from a brain tumour in 2002, University of Chicago art historian Michael Camille was completing a book on the gargoyles of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It's said to be the first comprehensive history of these world-famous gargoyles - which most people think were part of the original building, construction of which began in the 12th century. In fact, they weren't added until the building's restoration in the 19th century.

I've been waiting and watching for its publication, so imagine my delight when I saw on that Monsters of Modernity: The Gargoyles of Notre Dame was scheduled for release this month. I checked the University of Chicago Press Website which also said its release was scheduled for fall of 2007, and then when I checked again, it showed a re-revised release date of January 2009.

The University of Chicago Press confirmed that there was "a significant delay in the production of Gargoyles of Notre Dame," and that the current date they expect to receive stock is next January.

So I've pre-ordered my copy and you can expect to see a review here, whenever the book finally makes an appearance.

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Chicago

But not the University of Chicago, which actually has way more gargoyles than I posted here.

This architectural doodling (above) is on the former Richmont Hotel, now a Red Roof Inn. (How could they stick a class joint like this with the name "Red Roof Inn"? Even if it is a Red Roof Inn?)
The fellow melting into the awning down at the bottom can be viewed better here:

I didn't actually stay at the Red Roof Inn. Not on this trip anyway. (I stayed there when it was the Richmont back in aught-84 or so.) Nope, this time I stayed around the block. But it struck me that the Richmont/Red Roof guy looked a bit like he might be related to these guys up in Lincoln Park:

Maybe. Then again...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

University of Chicago: Gargoyle Central (part 2)

So I strolled along 57th Street from the Medici, truth to tell, looking for a pay phone so I could call a taxi to take me back to my hotel and then to the airport. (There didn't seem to be any taxis just cruising by.) A cell phone was forced upon me by my sister last fall, but alas, it works in only Ontario and Quebec. (Yes, yes, it probably works elsewhere, but I haven't figured out how.) When I arrived at Regenstein Library, I though, "Surely there will be a pay phone here." Not so. But a kindly woman at the information desk let me call on her phone.
As I waited outside for a taxi that never showed, I noticed the U of C's Hull Gate across the street, with its procession of undergraduate gargoyles, aspiring to the status of graduate.

Here is the terrified freshman. I almost looked like this when the taxi did not arrive. Then I became apoplectic. Then I grew resigned. I am still sitting outside Regenstein.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

University of Chicago: Gargoyle Central (part 1)

I was in Chicago a week or so ago for a neurology conference (no big deal - it's not like it's brain surgery!), and decided to swing by the University of Chicago neighbourhood to take a look at Walter Arnold's gargoyles on the Medici on 57th, a campus pizza restaurant. I particularly wanted to see his coffee drinker, but the caffiend also has a pizza-eating brother.

Walter is a busy stone carver/sculptor whose work also appears on Tribune Tower in Chicago and National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

More on the University of Chicago gargoyles to follow...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I've been tagged!?!?

I have been tagged by Chicago architecture writer Lynn Becker, bless him, which requires me to:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

So, here goes:

1. The nearest book - literally, the closest book to me as I type this - is Perspective! For Comic Book Artists, by David Chelsea.
2. Okay.
3. I've found the fifth sentence, but am I supposed to post that? Or just the next ones? I guess just the next ones. Here goes:
4. "So, do you think you're ready to do some three-point drawing? Am I! Here, hold this."
5. I am tagging:

Walt Taylor because I wonder what he's reading.

Ros Went because I know she looks in on my blog and so will see this.

George Murray to whom I am not related.

Colette Copeland because I haven't seen her in a while.

Armand Frasco because he's a good guy.

I've already said it was Lynn who tagged me. If you missed the hyperlink above, he's also listed in my Links.

Now what? I noticed that Lynn also tagged Donald Trump and Mark Cuban, but so far, they haven't done the fifth sentence thing.