Tag: Abstract

Wellington Museum

Wellington Museum

Wellington, New Zealand – June 28, 2018

I wanted to visit the Wellington Museum.  For some reason, the timing never seemed to be right.  That changed yesterday.

Leslie and I walked to the train station near our home and rode the light rail to the central Wellington railway station. Exiting the train, we walked to the waterfront and then mainly south toward the museum. Just before gaining the harbor, I stopped to photograph the Hotel Waterloo building. The building, finished in 1937, has a definite art deco style. It is one of several art deco style buildings in the Wellington CBD.

The Hotel Waterloo building. It dates from 1937.

The first business we walked by was MADINZ. It is a store selling New Zealand tourist items and collectibles. What caught our eye were the two Shih Tzu dogs inside by the front door. When we walked in, the younger of the two, Oscar, became very excited. Leslie stopped and petted Oscar. As we began to wander around the store, the dog settled down. The items for sale were very high quality. We did not buy anything only because we already have a lot of New Zealand souvenirs.

As we walked farther, we came to the building at 1 Queen’s Wharf.  It is an old harbor office building dating from 1896.  Maybe the most well-known business there today is the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.  We did walk in and take a quick look at the items on display at the Academy.  We did not spend much time because much of what we saw was too modern for our taste.

The building at 1 Queen’s Wharf. It dates from 1896.

At the south end of 1 Queen’s Wharf, in between that building and the Wellington Museum, one can see a set of entry gates to the wharf area. The gates date from 1899. I found the seal on the entrance to be quite whimsical.

The 1899 gates to the Queen’s Wharf area.

Finally, we had reached our goal; the Wellington Museum. The museum is in the 1892 Wellington Harbour Board Head Office and Bond Store. It is a Victorian-style building designed by the same architect as 1 Queen’s Wharf. The bond store was a warehouse that stored goods imported to New Zealand as the customs fees and paperwork process was complete.

The Wellington Museum. The Bond Store dates from 1892.

As with so many of the museums in this country, there is no set entry fee. There is simply a place to leave a donation. The quaint museum does an outstanding job of taking one through the maritime history of Wellington from the mid-to-late nineteenth century up to today.

The ground floor houses exhibits in a timeline fashion, highlighting many years past. A few of the exhibits that caught my eye included replica crown jewels, a 1958 diorama, and several peace sign emblems. The gems were reproductions made for display at the 1939-1940 Centennial Exhibition. I do not recall the significance of the diorama other than it depicted 1958…say no more. The peace signs date from 1982. They were part of the nuclear-free New Zealand protests at that time. The protests came to a head with the visit of the USS Truxtun. The United States at the time would neither confirm nor deny any nuclear capabilities of the cruiser. Decommissioned in 1995, we now know the boat was nuclear powered. The Truxtun was the last U.S. ship to visit New Zealand until the USS Sampson visited in 2016.

Replicas of St. Edward’s crown and the Sword of State.
The 1958 diorama.
The nuclear-free peace symbols.

The first and second levels delve into the maritime history of Wellington, New Zealand. The most poignant area of the museum deals with the Wahine sinking on April 10, 1968. The movie in the museum is painful to watch. At least 51 people lost their lives that day. An additional two died later, bringing the toll to 53. The disaster happened during one of the worst cyclones to ever hit New Zealand.

A depiction of the Wahine sinking in 1968.

As Leslie and I walked up the stairs to the Attic level of the museum, I stopped to take a photo of the diagonal bracing of the building. I may very well be the only person ever to do that!

The Attic is a beautiful, hands-on portion of the museum. I believe we enjoyed those exhibits the most. If we had visited the Wellington Museum earlier in our posting, I am sure we would have returned. It is well worth the visit.

Detail of the diagonal bracing at the Wellington Museum.
Touching the plasma globe in the Attic.

Leaving the museum, it was time for lunch. We ended up at the München Food Hall and Bier Haus. We both opted for a rueben sandwich on rye and a liter of beer. Yes, you read correctly, a full liter of beer each. That may not have been the best decision we have made lately… Regardless, I thought the food was excellent.

The interior of the München Food Hall and Bier Haus.

When we left the restaurant, I wanted to walk to a photography store nearby. On the way, we passed near Wellington’s Civic Square. As we got closer, I remembered that a new Ferns orb sculpture was erected the previous day. I walked into the square, and sure enough, the orb was there, suspended above the square. It is an impressive sculpture. The artist is Neil Dawson. He had a similar sculpture in place earlier, but it was taken down. This new sculpture has a stronger internal structure.

A second view of the Civic Square.

After visiting the photography store, we walked back to the Wellington Railway station to catch a train back home.  The railway building is another from the art deco era.  It dates from about 1937.  The front of the station is easily recognizable by the tall Doric columns at the main entry.

We found a train leaving in about five minutes.  We got on and rode the 20-minutes or so to our train station.  Then it was a short walk home.  All totaled, we walked about four miles, so we were both ready for a nap even though it was late in the day.

The Railway Station from ground level.
A docking area at the Queen’s Wharf waterfront.
A very seaworthy police boat.
Model of a German ship that commandeered by New Zealand.
The captain’s cabin from the ship Te Anau.
A wooden mermaid.
Poupou (carved posts) and tukutuku (woven panels) made by Rangi Hetet, Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, and their family.
A firetruck passing by the gates to Queen’s Wharf.
The Fern orb above the Civic Square.
The Fern orb.
Half-off sale???
The building at 1 Queen’s Wharf. The Wellington Museum is at the far right.
Pedestrian II.
Pedestrian III.
Boys on scooters.
Pedestrians IV.
The Railway Station.
Awaiting trains.
A passenger finding a seat.
Waiting for the departure.
Our driveway, the entry to a secret garden…
Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago, Illinois – December 7, 2014

On a sunny but cold day, we drove back to Chicago to go to the Museum of Science and Industry. Tyler wanted to see the museum. I remembered seeing the museum in the mid-1980s. One of the exhibits I never forgot was the captured German U-boat. Tyler could not wait to see it for himself.
Upon arrival, since Tyler was in uniform, he received complimentary admission. Once we were in the museum, we stopped for the obligatory family photographs.

The new Navy Seaman with mom.
The new Navy Seaman with mom and sister.
The new Navy Seaman with the papa.

As we began our tour of the museum, one of the first things I spotted was a drawing by Salvador Dali. Because of our time in Spain, I found that very interesting.

A Salvador Dali drawing signed to the Museum of Science and Industry.

One of the exhibits had to do with the circus and side-shows in small-town America. Tyler and Hillary got a lot of enjoyment out of the exhibition and the photo ops.

I think our kids may be clowns…
…yep! It is confirmed!!
Two movie posters from the silent film era.
What?! A Navy Seaman at the helm??
I may have mentioned that our children are clowns…

We made our way to the U-505 exhibit. The exhibit centers around the German u-boat captured by the Americans during World War II. It is vastly different from when I initially visited the museum. Most notable is the fact that the submarine is now inside. Installations were showing the period newspapers and dioramas of sailors clinging to life after u-boats torpedoed their ships.
About halfway down the ramp toward the submarine, a young man met us to take our photo that we could purchase later. We allowed the picture.
Our submarine tour began at about 11:00. I did not recall a tour when I visited previously. I remember walking through the submarine. Regardless, the tour added a lot to our experience. There is not a great deal of space in the sub. One of the facts from the tour that stuck with me regarded the number of men on the submarine, 59, with only one working bathroom. I can only imagine the stench there must have been when the capturing American forces opened the submarine. One of the Americans haled from Grand Junction, Colorado according to the documents on display outside of the submarine.

This silhouette made on December 7 has an element of irony.
Various headlines in the U-505 exhibit.
A diorama in the U-505 exhibit.
A recruiting poster for the WAVES.
Another recruiting poster for the WAVES.
The u-boat U-505 as seen from the bow.
The starboard side of U-505.
Projectile holes near the insignia on the conning tower of U-505.
Onboard the U-505. This bunk area is shared with torpedoes.
The galley area of U-505.
The captain’s quarters on U-505.
The chadburn or engine order telegraph on the U-505.
The way to the top of the conning tower on the U-505.
Various communication tubes on the U-505.
Walking through the engine room of the U-505.
A small lion head on the U-505 caught my attention.
Another sleeping area on the U-505.
An epaulet on display on U-505.
The lead-weighted secret codebook from the U-505.
Sleeping may not have been so comfortable for this Navy Seaman on the U-505.
The captain’s log from the U-505.
One of the twin anchors on the U-505.
I noticed this medal of honor recipient, Philip N. Trusheim, is from Grand Junction, Colorado. The medal was for his part in the capture of U-505.
A Nazi flag from the U-505.

The main exhibit at the museum during our visit consisted of Christmas trees, each sporting the decorations of the country sponsoring the tree. For example, the tree sponsored by Brussels had waffles for decorations.

The Belgian-themed Christmas tree.
Christmas trees everywhere.
The Christmas trees were decorated in motifs from various countries.
Detail of a cross and ornament.
An ornament of Mary and Jesus.
There was nearly too much for the eye to take in at the museum.
Mickey Mouse decorating a Christmas tree with Pluto.
A central lobby in the Museum of Science and Industry.
Share the Magic with Pluto.
Marveling at the Christmas trees.
Share the joy with Goofy.
Share the tradition with Donald and Daisy.
Share the season with Mickey and Minnie.
The Holiday Shop.
The expanse of the central lobby filled with Christmas trees.
Looking down on the Christmas tree.

A Walt Disney Treasures exhibit also vied for the top spot of viewing pleasure.

Walt Disney’s book of Sleeping Beauty.
Portrait of Mickey Mouse that once hung in Walt Disney’s office.

There was so much on display in the transpiration area of the museum that it was hard to focus on the exhibits.

Model of a town in the transportation area of the museum.
Tail section of a United Boeing 727.
Detail of a diorama in the travel section of the museum.
The Spirit of America.
A German Messerschmidt.
The nose of the United Boeing 727.
A racing plane.
The racing plane and the Christmas trees in the central lobby.

We opted to have lunch in the museum cafeteria. I believe the quality of the food surprised us all. Shortly after lunch, we drove back north for a well-deserved nap.

Ahhh…the pause that refreshes!!

Below are some additional, random photos from our visit.  If the reader has not visited the Museum of Science and Industry, it is an absolute must-see if in the Chicago area.

A central staircase in the Museum of Science and Industry.
THINK. Part of a display at the Museum of Science and Industry.
A pendulum at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Interacting with the large circular disk full of sand.
The large disk filled with sand.
THINK about that photograph…
Purple silhouette.
Green silhouette.
Blue silhouette.
Some young women singers readying for a performance.
The young women meeting prior to their performance.
Green mirror maze.
Be careful in the mirror maze.
The blueish-purple mirror maze.
Tyler in the mirror maze.
The entry to the U-505 Submarine exhibit.