Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quito Museums and Churches

We went to lots of museums and churches on a couple of different days.  It was great fun.

Enjoy the photos:
This is one of the huge churches in the old part of town.  This is one of the side areas--it's not even the main altar.  Wow!
Another one of the side areas in the church.  Take a look at the pews.  This is what they look like in all the churches, from the little ones to the giant cathedrals.

There's the altar--oh my.  It's quite spectacular.

A close-up from the picture above.  There are two circular places to either side of the flowers at the very bottom of the photo.  That's where the priest stands.  I wanted to point that out because the scale is so hard to grasp with something this huge.

On to the museums.  We went to two of them this first day and for the life of me I can't remember the name of either one of them.  The first one is in what was once a private home.  Rich people used to own lots of pre-Columbian art (and other eras that I don't know the names of) and then the government decided that if it wasn't in a museum, you couldn't have bunches of it anymore.  OK, not exactly technical or probably even accurate but there were people who owned art that they needed to do something with and some of them donated it to museums and others turned their homes into museums.  The first is one of those.  It was absolutely amazing.  I have so many more photos that I didn't include but I figured you were going to be bored to tears as it is, so I kept it to a minimum.

I loved these "owl" guys.  This is very, very old carving and I just think they're cute.

I loved the "rubber stamps" they used for inking fabric and such.  You may want to enlarge this one a little to see some of the details.

The thing attached to the board in the back is a drop spindle for spinning thread.  In front of that are some kind of decorative needle.  I wish I could remember what the use was but it doesn't really matter--just the fact that they made such delicate things that were so beautiful is pretty fabulous.  In the front are needles and a button on the left and on the right are preserved pieces of woven fabric. The weaving was amazingly fine and lovely.

Nose rings aren't new but these take the whole concept a little further than what I've seen recently. The one on the top is the most amazing. That little part in the very center where there appears to be a kind of cut out is the part that went inside the nostrils.  That sucker is huge!


More ceramics (I love this kind of stuff)

Family life depicted in sculpture.

Here's a little guy wearing one of those nose rings I was talking about earlier--we got nothing on these guys.

This is pounded solid gold.  I know it may look like a bracelet but it's large enough to put around someone's waist.

Lots of reflection going on here but this is a two-story vertical garden outside the museum's windows.  It was spectacular.  One of the benefits of living in eternal spring is that something like this is always in season.

Of course if there's fiber art to be found, I was the one who was going to find it and I did.  Since I wasn't able to use my flash in any of the museums, I had a very hard time holding the camera still enough to get a steady shot but it still looks good from a distance.  It's amazingly well-preserved.

On to the wax museum.  These fellows were the ones who determined where zero latitude was.  Considering the tools they had, it's pretty amazing how close they got to being right.  You can measure the difference in yards, not miles.

I have absolutely no memory of who all the people below are but the craftsmanship is fabulous.

My favorite--if you were just walking past and not really paying attention, it might not strike you that two of these people aren't actually people but models.

In the gift shop, on the way out, this woman was doing something that reminded me of something we did when I was in grade school.  You color lots of colors of crayon on a piece of paper and then cover it very heavily with black.  Then take a sharp stick of some kind and draw on it so the colors can be seen as the black crayon is scraped away.  This very intricate piece of art started with the blue waxy substance over the beautiful gold and this woman is making amazing designs by removing the blue to show the gold under it.  I could have watched her for ages but I was getting pretty tired by then.

On the way out I managed to capture a shot of two of the guards at this museum.  Pretty impressive, aren't they?  I think they may actually be military or something since this one was a cultural museum owned by the government.

Another lovely day in Quito.  More to come.

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