Saturday, December 13, 2014

2014 ARTSnFOOD Holiday Gift Guide + Food: Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing

The Thinker, by August Rodin 
(French, 1840-1917)

this version from

The Baltimore Museum of Art
11.75" tall   Bonded Bronze 
The Thinker is a statue by Auguste Roden, intended to represent Dante himself at the top of a monumental sculptured door based on his Divine Comedy. He is reflecting on the scene below. However, many speculate that Rodin thought of the figure in broader, more universal terms, The man is in sober meditation, battling with mankind's constant internal struggle.

2014 Holiday Gift Guide

There are many museum shops with fabulous merchandise for holiday shoppers. Usually ARTSnFOOD selects several museums to feature. This year we are doing something different, we are showing a selection of gifts from one source, "The Museum Store Company" online.

The Museum Store Company is not associated with any museum, but sells art related merchandise that be found in various museums or world heritage sites around the world. Their selection is gigantic and their prices are generally less expensive than museum shops associated with museums. 

This small selection will give you an idea of what they have. There is bound to be a stocking stuffer somewhere in this companies vast collection.

Enjoy, and happy holidays!

Mask of Death & Rebirth, Tikal, Mexico. 900 AD, Maya

Was $58.00
Now $37.85

This Mayan mask shows the different stages of life as part of a never ending circle of human evolution through life and the after-life as it was understood by the Mayans. The mask has three layered faces, each representing one particular stage of life. The inner face represents the beginning of life at birth. The middle face is the most important one since it represents the adult stage when the person comes into his full potential and most of his life experiences happened. The outer or third face represents the end of earthly life. This sacred time was viewed by the Maya as the end of one cycle and the beginning of another one. Death was followed by lavish preparations for the next life.

Venus of Willendorf, Museum of Natural History, Vienna, 30,000BC : 8"H on Marble Base

Was $64.00
Now $38.00

The Venus of Willendorf was found by the researcher Szombathy on the 7th of August, 1908. It is made out of limestone and still has some signs of red pigmentation; it fits in the palm of a hand. It is one of the most obese representations of the Paleolithic statuary. She represents the Earth and its fertility and continuation of life, the Mother Goddess, the universal female principle even if it is in its most primitive conception. Women were recognized as the life-givers and sustainers. They were revered as priestesses. Upper Paleolithic female figures, such as this one are found from the Pyrenees mountains to Siberia, indicating that East and West were once united in honoring the Goddess. The vast majority (over 90%) of human images from 30,000 to 5,000 B.C. are female.


Vitruvian Man Wall Plaque - Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487

Was $75.00
Now $58.00

EXCLUSIVE for MUSEUM STORE COMPANY : The Vitruvian Man is on of the most famous and notable drawings and accompanying notes from Leonardo da Vinci's journal entries of around 1487. It depicts a naked male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. Also know as the Canon of Proportions or the Proportions of Man. It is held in the Gallerie dell' Accademia in Venice, Italy.

The Virtruvian Man provides insight into Leonardo's keen interest in proportion. Leonardo believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe. According to the accompanying notes, the work was made as a study of the proportions of the (male) human body as described in a treatise by the Ancient Roman architect Vitruvius (Vitruvius De Architectura), who wrote that in the human body:

- a palm is the width of four fingers & a foot is the width of four palms
- a cubit is the width of six palms & a man's height is four cubits (and thus 24 palms)
- a pace is four cubits & the length of a man's outspread arms is equal to his height
- the distance from the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of a man's height
- the distance from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin is one-eighth of a man's height
- the maximum width of the shoulders is a quarter of a man's height
- the distance from the elbow to the tip of the hand is one-fifth of a man's height
- the distance from the elbow to the armpit is one-eighth of a man's height
- the length of the hand is one-tenth of a man's height
- the distance from the bottom of the chin to the nose is one-third of the length of the head
- the distance from the hairline to the eyebrows is one-third of the length of the face
- the length of the ear is one-third of the length of the face

da Vinci's Vitruvian (Vetruvian, Vertruvian) drawing  symbolizes the essential symmetry of the human body, and by extension, to the universe as a whole.

4.5 lbs, 13.5"H x 9.8"W x 0.5"D, Cultured Marble / Stone : Antique Stone Finish


Nike - Winged Victory of Samothrace (200 BCE) - Life-Sized & Large Format Sculptures


The marble statue of the Winged Victory of Samothrace (Nike of Samothrace) was discovered in 1863 on the island of Samothrace  by French consul and amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau. The statue is now displayed in the Louvre in Paris .

In Greek mythology, Nike was regarded as the bestower of victory, both in war and in contest. As a war goddess she was often represented standing alongside Zeus, Athena and Ares. As goddess of  contests, she typically is portrayed adorning the winner with a victor's wreath and/or sash.

The statue of Nike is one of the greatest surviving sculpture masterpieces of the Hellenistic period, even though it is significantly damaged - most significantly missing its head and outstretched arms. Since its original discovery in 1863 is has been reassembled and rebuilt, with the right wing being a symmetrical cast plaster version of the left. Many pieces, including a hand have been found at the site, but neither the arms or the head have ever been located.

Created by an unknown sculptor (Rhodian in origin), the piece is dated between period 220-190 BCE, though certain scholars think it could have been created as early as 250 BCE (or even 288 BCE) or as late as 180 BCE .

An inscription on the base of the statue includes the word "Rhodhios" (Rhodes), indicating it was commissioned to celebrate a naval victory by Rhodes, but again other scholars believe it was an offering donated by the Macedonian general Demetrius I Poliorcetes after his naval victory at Cyprus, however this would date the statue an even earlier 288 BCE.

Collection of Life Sized & Large Format Statues.  Perfect Outdoor Statue fit for Royal Ground or Regal Gardens

PLEASE NOTE: This item is a Special Order Item. Please allow 4-6 Weeks for Delivery (Truck Delivery).
Size: 27 x 60 x 72"
Base Size: 20 x 27 x 5"
Materials: Fiber glass and resin
Weight: Approx 200 lbs, hollow
Location: Good for Indoor and Outdoor Locations


The Thinker, by August Rodin (French, 1840-1917), The Baltimore Museum of Art

Was $128.00
Now: $89.85

Of all the works by Rodin, the most famous one is unquestionably the great Thinker. The Thinker was the first work by Rodin to be erected in a public place. The Thinker was modeled in 1880 - 1882 as part of a commission by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris to sculpt a monumental door based on The Divine Comedy of Dante called The Gates of Hell. Each of the statues in the piece represented one of the main characters in the epic poem. The Thinker was exhibited in its original size (H. 71.5 cm) in Copenhagen in 1888. It was enlarged in 1902 and exhibited in this form at the Salon of 1904 where it aroused strong reactions from the press during a period of intense political and social crises which turned this sculpture into a socialist symbol. In 1922, using as a pretext that the statue created an obstacle during ceremonies, it was transported, with its pedestal, to the garden of the Hotel Biron which had by then become the Rodin Museum. Another example was placed over the tomb of Rodin in Meudon. Initially named the The Poet, The Thinker statue was intended to represent Dante himself at the top of the door reflecting on the scene below. However, we can speculate that Rodin thought of the figure in broader, more universal terms. The Thinker is depicted as a man in sober meditation battling with a powerful internal struggle. The unique pose with hand to the chin, right elbow to the left knee, and crouching position allows the statue to survey the work with a contemplative feel.
11.75", Bonded Bronze 


Small set of Foo Dogs

Was $49.00

Foo dogs or lions are found near temples, gardens, entrances and homes . They are considered protectors of buildings and guard against evil spirits. Foo lions are always displayed as a pair and the male lion has a ball under one of its paws while the female has a pup under its paw.

7"H (11 cm) : Bonded marble, Antique bronze finish


Circle Square - Abstract Art Mobile, Denmark


Mobiles are a traditional Danish craft. Our suspension, hanging Mobiles are created so that the elements are in constant motion while the entire mobile maintains a harmonic balance. Each mobile is carefully assembled, and balanced by skillful hands. They are packed so that they are ready to hang. Our mobiles make terrific additions to any home and are perfect gifts from newborns to all ages. With themes from the abstract arts to animals and nature, placed in an apparently still room the mobiles catch the slightest current of air, providing hours of relaxing memorization. From Denmark.

Material: Fiberboard, 14" x 36"


Charles Dicken's Reproduction Desk


Own a piece of history. Write at Charles Dickens Desk

PLEASE NOTE: Special Order Item - Truck Delivery Required. M. 42.5 x 20.5 x 41.75".


Degas Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, Cloth Skirt and Fabric Bow

Was $49.00
Now $39.85

Although Degas is mainly known as a painter, sculpting was almost as important in his life. He began seriously to sculpt when he was in his early forties and, although he probably had no thought of exhibiting most of his sculpture, his modeling increasingly became a major part of his work. At the time of his death his studio contained more than one-hundred and fifty wax models which he had made of dancing girls, race horses and women working or bathing. With failing eyesight, sculpting became his principal medium of expression at the end of his career. "Everyone has talent at twenty-five. The difficulty is to have it at fifty." Edgar Degas (1834-1917.). The only sculpture exhibited by Degas in his lifetime, the wax version of the Little Dancer caused a furor when first exhibited in 1881 because of its stark realism as Degas was clearly using the sculpture to question accepted ideas of art. A sympathetic critic observed: "The terrible truthfulness of this statuette is a source of obvious discomfort... all their notions about sculpture, about that cold, inanimate whiteness, those memorable stereotypes replicated for centuries, are demolished. The fact is that, on first blow M. Degas has overturned the conventions of sculpture."

Size : 8" x 2.7" x 2.7" : Casting Stone : Hand Detailed / Hand Finished


Standing Buddha in Pose of Dispelling Fear, Bronze Finish


Here Buddha is represented in the dispelling fear - blessing pose with the palm of his right hand facing out to give blessing or dispel fear. That hand position is known as abhaya mudra. He usually faces the north. His is also known as Amoghasidhi, one of the five Celestial Buddhas. Buddha was born in 563 B.C. in northeast India. The Buddha was the son of the King of the Sakyas. Suddhodana, who ruled at Kapilavastu, on the border of Nepal. His mother was Queen Maya. He was named Siddartha. He lived amidst the pleasures of palace life and at age 16 he was married to Princess Yasodhara. They had a son named Rahula. After seeing a decrepit old man, an invalid, and an ascetic beggar, he learned of suffering and decided to embrace asceticism. Soon afterward, at age 29, Siddhartha left the palace and his family and went to a hermitage where he became monk Guatama, or, as he is still called, Sakyamuni (The ascetic of the Sakyas). One day, meditating under a sacred fig tee, he attained perfect illumination (Bodhi). He had become a Buddha. From there on he traveled and preached for 44 years what was to become one of the main religions of the world. He died at Kusinagara at age 80.

Size : 9.75"H x 3.25"W x 3.25"D : Casting Stone


Loire - Black / Gold Rug : Persian Tufted Collection


Persian Tufted Collection. Our Persian Tufted rugs are made in centuries old traditional designs using blended New Zealand wool. The rugs in this collection are hand tufted in villages of North Central India. After the tufting is complete, a canvas backing is placed on the reverse of the rug and the edges of the rug are bound. Then each rug is hand sheared to our specified pile, and washed of loose fibers.


Tribal - Brick / Rust Rug : Wool Flat Weave Collection

Hand Made Tribal - Brick / Rust Rug  (detail)
Wool Flat Weave Coll

4'x6' = $98.00
5'x8' = $162.00

Wool Flat Weave Collection. Our Wool Flat Weave rugs are a mix of old tribal motifs and new contemporary designs. The rugs in this collection are all hand woven into a flat weave by our weavers in and around the province of Agra, India. These rugs are woven rugs are made using an 80% Jute / 20% Wool mixture to give the rugs an antiqued look.


Shrimps - Chinese Painting on Rice Paper


The tradition of Chinese painting is one of the world's oldest traditions, which goes back to 481-221 B.C., which is the period of the earliest Chinese paintings seen. One of the most popular styles in Chinese painting is called "Mountain and Water", commonly understood as Chinese Landscape painting. That style involves scenes of natural landscapes of China - woods, waterfalls, mountains, and rivers - that represent five elements of the natural world. Each of the five elements has a particular color and interacts with other elements in a holistic positive interaction. Interactions such as: Wood (green) produces Fire (red), Fire produces Earth (yellow), Earth produces Metal (white and gold), Metal produces Water (blue and black), and Water produces Wood. 

Dimentions: 27.5" x 15.5"

The Rosetta Stone - Rosetta, Egypt. 203BC

Was $78.00
Now $57.85

When the last temple was closed in the 6th century A.D., the skill of reading hieroglyphs was lost until the discovery of this slab of basalt stone found at Rosetta in the western delta in 1779. On the stone are three scripts. The bottom section is in Greek, the center in demotic (popular script originated in the XXVI dynasty, 700-600BC and widely used for the next thousand years), and the top in hieroglyphs. The stone was first set up in a temple. It was an elaborate "thank you" to the Greek ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy V, who reigned in the 2nd century B.C., for favors that he had given to the priests. The three scripts contained the same text, allowing the hieroglyphs to be translated. French archaeologist, Jean-Francois Champollion spent many years deciphering the symbols of the Rosetta stone. Champollion's work in the Rosetta stone was an important breakthrough in the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The stone was taken by the French, and upon Napoleon's defeat was transferred under the Treaty of Alexandria to  Brittan which has held the stone in London's British Museum ever since. However, the Egyptian government claims the Rosetta Stone as property of Egypt and has requested what it believe should be its rightful return.

Size: Approx. 14"H, 10"W, with a hanger on the back


 Gatti Originali Cards


A limited edition series of 22 small black and white drawings depicting cats as traditional Major Arcana characters. Card titles in Italian. Packaged in a hardcover case with tie ribbon. 

2" x 2 15/16"


Stonehenge (restored reproduction) : Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England, 2950 B.C.

Was $68.00
Now $48.85

Around 3000 B.C. (middle Neolithic) the semi nomadic peoples that populated the Salisbury Plain began to build Stonehenge as the center of a ceremonial site. We know almost nothing about who built it. A popular theory attributed it to the Druids but modern dating shows it to be at least a 1000 years before the Druids came to power. Stonehenge was built as an astronomical calendar aligned with lunar and solar events such as the summer solstice where the sun rises directly over the Heel Stone and the first rays shine into the center of the monument between the open arms of the horseshoe arrangements. Built in three phases between 2950 B.C. and 1600 B.C., the original construction was a circular ditch and mound with 56 holes forming a ring. The first stone placed at the site was the Heel stone erected outside of the entrance to the site. 200 years later 80 blocks of blue stone were erected forming two concentric circles. At some point this construction was dismantled and the final phase of the site begun. The blue stones were moved within the circle and the gigantic stones and lintels that give Stonehenge its distinctive look were installed. Some of these stones weigh 26 tons. It remains a mystery how such huge stones were moved from the quarry by a supposedly primitive people.

9"D (23cm) : Bonded marble, Stone finish


Rocking Horse, Small


Our petite rocking horse has all the same features as our larger masterpiece. Hand carved and just the right size for mantel, desk, or pedestal.

M. 29.5 x 5.25 x 18"

Thomas Jefferson - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness Key ring


Thomas Jefferson inspired key ring inscribed "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". The man destined to be Governor of Virginia, Revolutionary leader, Minister to France, Secretary of State and ultimately Third President of the new Republic: Thomas Jefferson, was born in 1743 in Virginia, the heir to a substantial estate. The subject of the liberty of the individual was one central to his personal philosophy. Remembered for so many achievements as statesman, diplomat, philosopher, architect and humanitarian; Jefferson is perhaps best remembered as the draftsman of the Declaration of Independence. He died in 1826, fifty years to the day since the Declaration he authored was signed. Few passages in the English language ring out with such timeless clarity, conviction and universal meaning: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Sterling Silver


RMS Titanic Photo with Coal Fragment Signed by Survivor Millvina Dean


Steaming out of the White Star Dock at Southhampton, England, Titanic begins its ill-fated voyage. All of her passengers are on board, including two-month-old Millvina Dean. Her father would perish when the great ship went down; she, her brother, and their mother would survive on lifeboat 10. Hand-signed by Millvina, now 94 and one of two living survivors, black-and-white photograph is matted and framed in wood under glass. Limited to an edition of 1912, the year of the tragedy, Each includes a certificate of authenticity.

Photo size 8x10, Framed piece with matting 11 x 14


Explore "The Museum Store" online for yourself. It is like the "Holiday Wish Book" (Sears Catalog) of Christmas Past, except for art lovers. 

Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing

Cornbread Dressing for the Holidays!

This is not a complete recipe because the passed down recipe does not include quantities. It is just a formula for creating old fashioned cornbread dressing, Southern cooks have made for generations. Each cook has developed their own quantities for perfect dressing through trial and error, and I guess if we want it, we have to try and try again, too.
Once made correctly, you will never want anything more than roast turkey & dressing served with turkey gravy with giblets.

(Dressing is not cooked inside the turkey, that would be called stuffing. The problem with stuffing is cooking the bird and the stuffing may not take the same time in the oven for both to be their best. That is the reason to serve perfectly cooked to perfectly cooked turkey. )

The Verbal Recipe for Sothern Cornbread Dressing:

Bake a few cast iron skillets of southern cornbread (no sugar).
Crumble it into a huge bowl when it's cool enough. if moist and fresh, leave the bowl out, uncovered, to dry overnight.
Tear up an equal amount of cooked biscuits or white bread to match the cornbread. 
Chop onions in a med dice, and celery in a med. dice, then simmer the combination in butter until the onions are clear (try not to brown too much). 
Mix the breads and sautéed veggies together in a huge bowl.
Pour in chicken stock and stir well to coat every piece.
Add chopped hard boil eggs, coursly chopped pecans and peeled / diced red apples.
Mix raw eggs, dried sage, salt & pepper into the mixture. 
You want the mix kind of wet, so it doesn't dry out while cooking.
Pour into a high walled casserole dish.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook (later that day).
Bake the stuffing at 350º F for 1 hour, or until done. 

Serve as a side dish.

Until later,

ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness through the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved for all content. Concept, Original Art, Original Text & "Original or Assigned Photography" are © Copyright 2014 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All photographs were taken and/or used with permission. Artworks © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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