About W Brian Duncan

HDR Photographer, techie, vegetarian, fitness enthusiast, dreamer, creative and all around nice guy. Lover of wine.

The Usonian House at Crystal Bridges

Homes

I love homes, old ones…the one’s people design with intent and artistic panache. Pamela and I first learned an original Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian home was coming to Crystal Bridges on a trip to visit the museum over a year ago, it was a brilliant surprise! Wright, a native of Chicago (Oak Park is a complete Joy) didn’t often visit my part of the country. There are a few notable exceptions like Price Tower in Oklahoma (Wright’s only skyscraper), but the best work is not close…until now! There are obvious restrictions, but you can schedule (you need an appointment before hand complete with time of entry) a tour of the Bachman-Wilson House, either guided or self-guided. The symmetry and detail here are completely thought out and elegantly executed. The engineering feet to completely deconstruct a home and build it a new is also quite impressive. I say it all the time, but Crystal Bridges is a Gem of the Ozarks!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 4 June, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • Title: The Usonian House at Crystal Bridges

Orchid in Bloom at the Philbrook Museum

In Bloom

Orchids are one of my favorite flowering plants. They are so unique, so diverse. One of our early trips together, Pamela and I went to Tulsa, OK and visited the Philbrook Museum. If you haven’t been, it’s another of those treats in the mid-west. Anytime you blend the 20’s with Italian Style villa’s and sprinkle a ton of art and nature on top, you will find me having a brilliant time. This orchid was found in bloom inside the greenhouse on the grounds.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 20D
  • Taken: 4 July, 2010
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s
  • Title: Orchid in Bloom at the Phillbrook Museum

Mechanized Horror

It’s Why I Love Art

I, like everyone, am drawn to certain kinds of art. I generally am drawn to, photography, abstract expressionism, impressionism, expressionism generally. I tend to dislike realistic depictions and prefer abstract, often obtuse allegory. When I go to museums, I tend to spend most of my time in these areas, but I try to spend time leisurely perusing though other galleries seeing what strikes my fancy. I especially tend to appreciate the depth afforded to special exhibits, but I always to the same thing. I see something I don’t care about and start to discard this event as boring. Almost always I push though this and am nearly universally rewarded with the unexpected. So was the case when I visited the Stedelijk and saw this massive collection of animated sculptures and automated art machines by Jean Tinguely! Not only was this show incredibly put together with a HUGE space dedicated to so many of his Machines, it was also interesting to see the decay of these monsters.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 27mm
  • ISO: 6400
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s
  • Title: Mechanized Horror

William J Clinton Presidential Library

Presidential

Pamela is always been into government. Before we started dating, I had never voted (what was I THINKING!). We took a short trip recently that was coupled with our viewing of the Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges. This is the main public exhibit of some of the documents, a fraction of the total library. It’s a beautiful space complete with a replica of the White House Cabinet Room and The Oval Office. There are also multiple multi-media displays recanting the accomplishments and difficulties of Bill Clinton’s two terms. If you like history (and/or the Clinton’s) it’s totally worth a trip!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 2 June, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 1250
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s
  • Title: William J Clinton Presidential Library

Chihuly in the Woods

Something New

Crystal Bridges is an amazing space. It’s not because they have my favorite art. It’s not because of the founders. It is honestly about what appears, at least to me, to be part of their core philosophy around art and nature. The degree to which these two are inextricably tied, how one complements…feeds the other. Both elements speak strongly to me personally. I find the best of humanity though art. I find the best of myself in nature. I think that is what I liked so much about this Chihuly show. The jaring nature of glass in the wild. These delicate creations interwoven among the trees and rocks and fallen leaves.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4.5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 3 June, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 640
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s

Red Glass Chihuly Bowls

Chihuly Bowls

This is perhaps a more familiar form explored by Dale Chihuly and on display at the Crystal Bridges of American Art. You should go visit the display and the museum if you haven’t been in a while (of have not been at all). The have some wonderful pieces and one of the few museums in the world where you get to listen to people regularly exclaim, “Well I do that”!

(not something you regularly hear in the Chihuly show)

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 3 June, 2017
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 2000
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Red Glass Chihuly Bowls

Glass Alien Chihuly Outdoors

The Lunchbox Has Landed

One of the great artistic resources living in the Ozarks is The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. It is arguably one of the finest American Art Museums in the world, and I am flabbergasted how often I run across people who don’t even know of its existence. Pamela and I recently made a trip down to Arkansas to visit the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock and on the way home we stopped in to see the Usonain house newly relocated to the grounds. We just so happened to coordinate our visit with a fun Dale Chihuly Outdoor display (another of our favorites). This is the first of a few I will be posting over the next few weeks. It reminded me of some sort of alien form (or if you are into Magic…Emrakul).

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 3 June, 2017
  • Focal length: 22mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s

Instagram Favorites

Instagram Favorites

Stay Strange

I figured since experimental was the theme I might stick with it a little longer. Here are a few of my favorite out of the box Instagram photos.

It almost seems we need some creative interpretation. #torii #shrine #shinto #Kyoto #japan #slowshutter

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In all the thousands of Buddhas at the temple. I let finding this one. #Buddha #temple #chains

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A last look before leaving the mystical Machu Picchu lost city of the Inka. #journey #quest #machupicchu

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I sometimes think people in The States don't quite have an accurate view of modern China. #china #shanghai #cartier

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The view from breakfast was almost perfect. #missingMyWife #hyatt #kauai #hyatt #beach

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Everyone loves an Italian bicycle high contrast black and white photo! #iphone #iphoneonly #italy #florence

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Arts et Metiers Paris Subway Station

Steampunk Subway Station

I have been to Paris a number of times. I knew about this subway station. I LOVE interesting subway stations. How have I not been here until recently? It’s a bit like Jules Verne and some Steampunk designer got together and designed this place. It’s a fun place to gawk and there are always a bunch of artists photographing, sketching, thinking…tres Parisian!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 27 January, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 6400
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: Arts et Metiers Paris Subway Station

Phantom From Afar, The Vienna Opera House

Hopping Over

It seems a world away now. It wasn’t long ago that I would pop over for a night or two in a far away land. A stranger, visiting ever so briefly, that you might not even learn my name. These days, I seem spooked to go. Not because of anything specific, but more because the world has changed. I am still trying to feel out where and how I fit in it, but I yearn to once again find my music.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 March, 2014
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 2.5s
  • Title: Phantom From Afar, The Vienna Opera House