Tag Archives: history

Nature and Man in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

9 Apr

Pidgeons take flight off of one of the towers at the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always enjoy the juxtaposition of manmade objects of whatever and nature and the interaction between. Man’s hand print is everywhere now. Overpowering in some places and definitely taking up space in others. But nature adapts and birds use some objects or structures to their own advantage. And on a beautiful spring day with temps in the 60’s and a little sunshine, what a wonderful time to do a little soaring with your friends and then take a break on a structure courtesy of man.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Pidgeons roosting around one of the towers on the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, also enjoy a nice day in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Experiencing Museums Around Siouxland, Omaha, NE and Council Bluffs

7 Apr

An art installation hanging above the cafe area at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It doesn’t need saying that museums of all stripes are wonderful places to spend time. Whether it’s paintings, sculptures or history, I enjoy how most utilize its art or aspects of telling a story to engage visitors. And around the Siouxland region there are plenty of these places to enjoy. The Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha has art work in a public eating space, so one can marvel while enjoying a snack at the same time. The Union Pacific Railroad museum has an interactive railway agent that talks with visitors through a projection set up.

An almost real life looking ticket teller projection gives some history about the railroad while trying to sell you a ticket for the next train out at the Union Pacific Museum in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Friday, Aug. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

At the Durham Museum in Omaha there is a trolley display to show visitors what early transportation was like in the community. And a background mural was painted to put the trolly display into context, showing school children how these early day “buses” were used to transport city residents to other destinations. Sometimes it’s in the telling that also helps inform a viewer and put history into a context for understanding past events or experiences.

Replicating what an early days trolley car scene in Omaha appears like at the Durham Museum, formerly a Union Station, in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Understanding the past hopefully will make the future a better place for all of us and a little wiser in decisions going forward.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Enjoying a Day out of Siouxland, Joslyn Museum, Omaha, NE

10 Mar

One of the Joslyn Museum’s docents who keeps a roaming eye on exhibits almost seems like one himself while standing in a doorway at the in Omaha, NE Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always enjoy visiting art galleries, museums and other places around Siouxland where the visual arts is on display. Somedays it’s a struggle to leave my camera in the bag as I wonder about looking at various paintings and sculpted pieces, enjoying what’s before my eyes as opposed to making images. The Joslyn Museum is a very pleasant place to visit. Especially on a winter’s day when it’s more inviting to stay indoors.

This particular visit I couldn’t resist the draw to make images. I have visited the museum a number of times and am always inspired by what I see. Works of art dating from the 1600’s with their use of light and shadow to create significant scenes of a time and place that is really no longer in existence. As it once was. And it is through looking at this work that inspires me to create images utilizing light and shadow. Learning to see opportunity, and the museum’s use of lighting to highlight its treasures helps a photographer create his/her own images. This time I strove to do more than what I was seeing, but look a bit further.

A reflection of a sculpted piece of art on marble at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A closer view of a fountain in the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Looking for details and the seen but not seen images that surrounds one. It’s tough because my eyes kept drifting back to the magnificent images hanging on the walls.

One of the Joslyn Museum’s docents who keeps a roaming eye on exhibits almost seems like one himself as he walks through the exhibit areas in the museum in Omaha, NE Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And what a better way to spend a day than immersing oneself in art and all that it has to offer as well as staying out of the cold and snow. As spring gets closer, and hopefully warmer weather with it, I will be spending more time outside driving about Siouxland and exploring other areas I have not been to before. But I will always make time to go to a museum simply it’s always time well spent.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A sculpted stag on display shot with an arrow by another sculpted piece not seen but across the room looks ready to jump away at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Wistful Christmas Memories in Siouxland, Durham Museum, Omaha

6 Mar

Celebrating Christmas in a big way at the Durham Museum, formerly a Union Station, in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Although spring will officially start soon here in Siouxland, winter still has its grip on the region with air temperatures hovering just above zero and for a few days below zero without any windchill. Which makes me a little wistful for the Christmas holiday season because it was relatively “warm”, all things considered at the moment. It’s hard when cabin fever sets in and one wants to get out and photograph, but that darn cold air somewhat takes the fun out of it.

When visiting the Durham Museum this past December there was a magnificent Christmas tree on display. And looking at a photograph doesn’t quite give it justice, unless of course there are people seen in the photo.

Perspective sometimes gives one pause, like seeing a giant Christmas Tree at the Durham Museum, formerly a Union Station, in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I enjoy the re-enacted scenes in bronze that grace various areas around the what was the grand hall or waiting room at the former Union Station in Omaha, NE. And enjoy it even more when serendipity allows one to capture life imitating art imitating life. Sometimes it’s just good to be lucky.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Feeling at home with a display at the Durham Museum, formerly a Union Station, in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

History Around Siouxland, Nebraska History Museum, Lincoln, NE

22 Feb

The Nebraska History Museum sits a few blocks outside of the the Haymarket District in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I find it nice that most communities around Siouxland have at least one or more museums that help visitors understand something about that particular area’s past. In Lincoln, NE, the state’s capitol, there are a few, and the state’s History Museum is a nice amalgamation of many pieces that creates a whole and tidbits of the state’s past.

The Nebraska History Museum houses a wide variety of historical exhibits, Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Nebraska History Museum houses a wide variety of historical exhibits, Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Nebraska History Museum houses a wide variety of historical exhibits, Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A look at small areas of history that combined, tell a story of a state that covers a large area and diverse in its land mass. Mostly prairie with some land not suitable for farming in the western portion of the state but important in the development of the nation. And it’s in the telling of many “small” stories that helps paint the picture of the development of this area.

The Nebraska History Museum houses a wide variety of historical exhibits, Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As it’s been stated, one never knows where you are going if you don’t know where you have come from. While it’s true of all states and the changes that have occurred over a couple centuries, the Nebraska History Museum is helping to tell the story of its past to better inform its future.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Nebraska History Museum houses a wide variety of exhibits such as the Federal Emergency Relief Action which later became Works Progress Administration both of which put millions of people to work during the Depression Era, Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring Outside of Siouxland, Lincoln, NE

18 Feb

Many times when I visit a place to explore and see what’s there, especially when I haven’t been there previously, I find myself photographing a lot of subjects that are not directly related to one another, but which I find appealing because it reveals something about the place. Visiting Lincoln, NE a couple of time this past year and hanging out in the Haymarket area and surrounding blocks gives one a sense of the place and the people that live there.

A mural on a building in downtown Lincoln, NE Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are outside murals and indoor murals that depicts history about a place. Showing visitors something about an area in which people live and work.

A mural inside the visitors center in the old railway station at the The Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I like seeing these things because one can get a sense of where you are. In Lincoln, probably the majority if not all residents and university students are supporters of Big Red, the Huskers many varied sports teams. And that gets reflected in the neighborhoods that are adjacent to the UNL campus there.

Nebraska Big Red fever can be seen around the area bordering the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it’s also nice to see the whimsical and unexpected, and even better when one can “touch” a piece of art, or sit on it and relax after walking about getting to know a place.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Various sculpture pieces dot the area around the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Art Around Siouxland, Great Plains Art Center, Lincoln, NE

12 Feb

The Great Plains Art Collection and exhibit space sits just a few blocks from the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am always an enthusiast to enjoy art galleries when I visit new places in and around Siouxland, and for that matter, those places I frequent more often. I accidentally walked by this exhibit space a couple of times knowing I was close, but not seeing the hanging signs from the direction I was coming from. The exhibit I saw featured a number of local or Nebraskan artists, in all different mediums. While not a big fan of sculpture, there was plenty of hanging art to view.

The Great Plains Art Collection and exhibit space shows off regional artists, Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the next time I am in Lincoln, NE I now have a landmark that should make it easy for me to remember this place, as well as the history of the Siouxland area because of an expedition a couple of centuries earlier.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Statues of the Lewis and Clark explorers sit outside the entrance to the Great Plains Art Collection and exhibit space sits just a few blocks from the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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