Monday, August 29, 2016

Antiquities: Art & Design During the Time of Alexander the Great + FOOD Fall for Mixed-Drinks

Limestone metope with battle scene.
Greek, Hellenistic period, late 3rd-mid-2nd century b.c.

Art & Design
during and after 
Alexander the Great
(From the Met Museum of Art NYC Exhibition: 
Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms 
of the Ancient World)

The Hellenistic Age that followed the conquests of Alexander the Great witnessed unprecedented cultural exchange and a burst of creative activity. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C., his generals, known as the Diadochi (Successors), divided his vast empire, which stretched from Greece and Asia Minor through Egypt and the Near East to the Indus River Valley, into multiple new kingdoms. Over the next three centuries, the concentration of wealth and power in these kingdoms fostered an unparalleled growth in the arts, while the melding of traditions led to new standards and conventions in style. Hellenistic royalty were major patrons of the arts and sciences, and formed the first great libraries, art collections, and museums. It was primarily through the Hellenistic kingdoms and illustrious city-states such as Athens that ancient Greek art was transmitted to the Romans.

The Acropolis of Pergamon

This above graphic shows a photograph of the ancient Greek Acropolis and citadel of Pergamon: "Today" and with an overlay drawing, then a digital recreation painting of what it was like at  "Pergamon while it flourished." 

(Pergamon Panorama, by Yadegar Asisi for Met Museum NYC)

The only known ancient illustration of the famous altar to Zeus and Athena
that was once considered one of the wonders of the ancient world.
Roman Medal, Severan period, a.d. 193-211

(Above) Bronze medal with image of the Pergamon Altar

This bronze medallion is part of a series of coins that celebrated the city of Pergamon in the Roman period. The reverse side represents the Great Altar with a central vaulted element on a high podium accessible by a wide staircase and flanked by two porticoes. Although miniature in scale, it is the only known ancient illustration of the famous altar to Zeus and Athena that was once considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. 

Alexander astride Bucephalos

Roman, Late Republican or Early Imperial period, 
second half of the 1st century b.c.; 
a copy of the Greek bronze statue c. 320-300 b.c.
(Above) Bronze small statue of Alexander astride Bucephalos
This dynamic sculpture is thought to be a miniature copy of the statue of Alexander in the life-size equestrian group made by Lysippos commemorating the Macedonian horsemen of Alexander’s elite cavalry who fell during battle of the Granikos against the Persians in 334 b.c. The original monument featured twenty-five men on horseback and was set up in the sanctuary of Zeus at Diaon on the slopes of Mount Olympus.

Philetairos of Pergamon

Philetairos of Pergamon
(Roman, late 1st centry B.C. copy of a Greek state of c. 250 B.C.)

Philetairos of Pergamon

(Above) Marble herm of Philetairos of Pergamon
A Roman copy of a full length Greek State, this portrait depicts Philetairos, the founder of Attalid dynasty that governed Pergamon from 282 to 133 B.C. The thick neck and powerful jaw emphasize his role as a military commander, while the intent gaze of his deep-set eyes speaks to the shrewd maneuverings of an unlikely dynast who secured power by retaining an immense treasury on the citadel of Pergamon.

Greek Funerary Vase

Greek Funerary Vase
Terracotta, Late Classical period, 
last quarter of the 4th century b.c. 
Found in the cemetery of Amphipolis.
(Above) Terra-cotta hydra with cover
In Greece, hydra traditionally contained water but often also ashes. The scene depicted here is the Amazonomachy, the mythological battle between the Greeks and the Amazons. The Amazons were warrior women believed to reside far to the northeast of the Greek heartland. Amazonomachies became popular after the Greek defeat of Persia in the Persian Wars (490-479 b.c.) providing a metaphor for the historic confrontation. The vase is extraordinary for its lead cover, dynamic composition, and superbly preserved polychromy and gilding.

Plate with Elephants
Greek, Hellenistic period, 3rd century b.c.
Discovered at the Necropolis of LeMacchie, Capena, chamber tomb #233, in 1917.

(Above) Terracotta plate with elephants
Exotic animals such as elephants were among the novelties that the Greeks encountered in the course of Alexander’s campaigns as far away as India. Here, the adult animal equipped for battle advances with a baby in tow. Recent research has shown that this and several other comparable scenes commemorate the defeat of the Greek general Pyrrhos by the Roman consul Marcus Curius Dentatus — and his elephants — at Beneventum (Italy) in 275 b.c.

The Darius Krater

(Above) Terracotta volute-krater
(The Darius Krater) 
Greek - South Italian, Apulian - Late Classical or Early Hellenistic period, c. 330-320 b.c.


(Above) Heracles
Greek, Hellenistic Bronze 3rd century b.c. 

Wreath with myrtle leaves.
Wreath with myrtle leaves
Greek, Hellenistic, gold crown, 325-300 b.c., Greek, 7 1/2" diameter.

(Source: Photos by ARTSnFOOD staff and supplied by the Met Museum NYC, Text came from the Met Museum press dept. and the wall plaques next to each work of art at the exhibition. All photos were taken with permission.)

FALL for

1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon water
Two dashes angostura bitters
One slice orange rind
2 ounces Canadian Club whiskey
One maraschino cherry
Preparation: In an old-fashioned glass, muddle the sugar, water, bitters, and orange rind together until the sugar has dissolved. Fill the glass with ice, add the whiskey, and garnish with the cherry. Serve with a cocktail straw.
Bloody Mary
1-1/2 parts Grey Goose Original
3 parts Bloody Mary mix
1/2 parts lime juice
Preparation: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled collins glass filled with ice and present with cocktail onions.
Dry Gin Martini
2 parts Plymouth Gin
3/4 parts Dry vermouth*
One olive (optional, to garnish)
Lemon zest twist or pickled and green olive
Preparation: Shake ingredients with ice and pour into a very chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with either a lemon twist or an olive.
*Experiment with your quantities of gin and vermouth as desired—more vermouth makes a “wetter” drink; more gin dries it out.
J&B Sour
50 ml J&B
20 ml lemon juice
20 ml sugar syrup
Half egg white (optional)
Dash Angostura bitters
Preparation: Add all ingredients, apart from the bitters, to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake hard. Strain into a 10-ounce tumbler filled with fresh ice. Add the dash of bitters and garnish with a lemon wedge.
Vodka Gimlet
3 parts Stolichnaya 80
2 parts lime juice
1 part simple syrup
Preparation: Shake and pour into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with lime.
Mai Tai
1 part Bacardi Superior Rum
1 part Bacardi Gold Rum
1/2 part orange curaƧao
4/5 part freshly squeezed lime juice
4/5 part orgeat syrup
Several cubes of ice
Scoop of ice
Hawthorne strainer
Fine Strainer

Preparation: Put all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice, and mix well. Strain into a glass full of crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and orange wedge.
(Source: Six Mad Men inspired cocktails,

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD is an online magazine dedicated to providing artists and collectors around the world with highlights of current art exhibitions, and to encourage all readers to invest in and participate in "The Joy of Art"® and culture. All rights reserved. All Concepts, Original Art, Text & Photographs in this posting (which are not credited) are © Copyright 2016 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery, event, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mid-America Road Trip - A Photo Essay by Jack A. Atkinson + The Pros and Cons of Cooking at Home vs Eating-Out

"A Mid-America
Road Trip"
Photo Essay 
by Jack A. Atkinson

As summer comes to an end, most Americans have done some sort of recreation, taken some time off from work, or gone on a vacation, to recharge their batteries and to attach a memory to the 2016 summer season. ARTSnFOOD's editor / publisher Jack A. Atkinson shows some of his snaps from the mid-American road trip, he and his wife took last month.
(Presented here as "Untitled" Art Photography, without captions.)

(Source: All photos were taken by ARTnFOOD's editor/publisher Jack A. Atkinson © 2016, all rights reserved, ask pemission before use.) 

The Pros and Cons 
of Eating-Out or 
Pre-Packaged Meals 
Cooking Meals at Home!?!

With the price of eating-out being so high, including taxes and gratuity, one would think all of us would be cooking at home for every meal, but that's not the case in today’s modern world. 

Here are the Pros and Cons of a home-cook meal vs eating-out or settling for a pre-packaged, microwavable meal. There will not be a verdict here, except for consideration regarding how this impacts the quality of our lives. ARTSnFOOD thinks this subject is worth discussing, since cooking at home is often our last option!

PROS of Eating-Out and Pre-Packaged Meals!

# 1) It's faster! The world moves quickly, we all seem to be constantly going and doing. By taking advantage of eating-out and pre-packaged meals, our time is spent only on eating, not on food preparation or clean-up. This is the #1 reason most people are eating-out or buying microwaveable meals at the store.

# 2) Cost! Fast-food restaurants can be an inexpensive choice and we always have an idea of what we are going to order, before we even walk through the fast-food door. The biggest changes in diets around the world and in the USA have come as a result of fast-food chains. Each diner knows what is available on the menu for each chain and their offerings are consistent almost everywhere! We humans have a bias toward consistency, especially with our food. Few people enjoy experimentation when they just want something to eat.

# 3) Life is easier! Eating-out is all about service - none of the hassles, just the eating. We can decide at a moments notice "I want to eat!" and you can! Either go to the drive-through window, or take a seat inside, then let someone else do all of the work, including the wait-service in more formal restaurants. 

# 4) Microwaveable Food is Fast & Easy! Pre-packaged foods offer a similar convenience as fast food restaurants, except we go to our freezer to pull out a meal. Simply remove the packaging, punch a hole in the plastic film and a few minutes later we have a meal in its own disposable dish.

CONS of Eating-Out and Pre-Packaged Meals!

# 1) EATING OUT AND PRE-PACKAGED FOODS CAN BE EXPENSIVE! When we go out to eat, we realize we are paying others to do much of the work for us. But think of how expensive eating-out is, vs eating at home. The difference is like comparing buying items for wholesale prices vs buying them at retail, plus in sit down restaurants we must pay for table service (gratuity), in addition to the cost of the food.

# 2 through #100) WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL: The nutritional value of the food and the calorie count, fat, carbs, sugars, salt, and flavor are left-up to someone else, usually it’s left-up to corporate executives with a PROFIT MOTIVE as their only purpose for offering us the food.

This business emphasis based on convincing us to spend our money on their food, in that moment, and their desire to have us come back for more food another day, means they use hooks like "fat", "salt", "sugar" and "rich calorie counts" to make us love their food. This does not take into account their choice of drinks (sweet or with alcohol) offered. All of these tools generally contribute to a poor diet.

# 101 through #1000) Microwaveable Pre-Packaged Foods: Let's be honest, these meals taste horrible! 

PROS of Cooking Our Meals at Home!

#1) WE ARE IN CONTROL: At home we are in control of every aspect of what we put into our bodies: the fat, salt, sugar, calories and the nutritional content of our meals.

#2) INEXPENSIVE! The price of a meal at a restaurant can be expensive, especially if you add in drinks, tax and tip. Think about a meal where you fed your family at a sit-down restaurant, for that same price you could have eaten three meals a day for several days. Eating at home is eating at wholesale prices!

#3) HEALTH COMES FIRST! Since our motive is to make the best life possible for ourselves and our family, we are focused on the proper aspects of eating: flavor, nutrition, cost and health concerns are taken into consideration. We decide what is best for us, vs the restaurant's profit motive figuring into the meal we are eating, even if the food is unhealthy.

CONS of Cooking Our Meals at Home!

#1) - Time and Effort are the Concerns: There are many steps involved in creating a nutritious and tasty meal at home and those steps take time, work and planning.

Working-out creates a healthier body, working at a job provides for our needs and working to create good, nutritional and tasty meals all have a consistent element: WORK! Like everything worthwhile, it takes work and time for a good result. 

All of this work is often over-looked by those who are gathered just long enough to eat a meal. Please “THANK” whom-ever is preparing the food!



#1) Planning the meal. All food starts as a thought process - first as to what we want to eat, then as a list of what we need to buy. Sometimes these are formal decisions, but often they are made in the grocery store as we shop.

#2) Shopping for the food. All cooking at home starts with buying the food at the store or delivered to your door, via online shopping.

#3) Putting away the food for healthy storage until we are ready to cook.

#4) Gathering the knowledge: Knowing how to prepare a certain meal, from experience, a cook book or other instruction.

#5) PREPARATION: Preparing the food before you cook it. Organizing the ingredients, chopping, slicing, marinating, rinsing/cleaning the food, pulling out the cooking utensils needed to prepare and cook the meal. 

#6) COOKING THE MEAL. Often it takes planning if three or four elements need to be ready at the same moment when preparing a balanced meal. Cooking can take 10 minutes or several hours depending on what is to be served.

#7) DINING AT HOME! This is the fun part of the eating experience and dining at home has many benefits that have been proven over the centuries. It provides time for conversation and being together, often the evening meal is the only time a couple or family are gathered together. THIS COULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON TO COOK AT HOME.

#8) CLEANING UP THE DISHES! The dishes and silverware must be cleaned. Even if you have a dishwasher, rinsing off food, loading and unloading and putting in the soap, plus the proper adjustment of the dishwasher is the least appreciated work we do, when cooking at home. 

#9) CLEANING-UP THE COOKING AREAS AND THE TABLE. Everywhere there was preparation and cooking, some clean-up can take quite a bit of work.

#10) PUTTING EVERYTHING AWAY FOR THE NEXT COOKED MEAL. The final stage of a meal is putting away all of the dishes, pots, pans and utensils, so we will be ready for the next meal, again this takes real time and effort.

THE BEST THING WE CAN DO FOR OUR HEALTH IS TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE NUTRITION WE PUT INTO OUR BODIES! Cooking at home allows us to know exactly what we are eating (how much fat, salt, sugar and calories) and it allows us to control the flavors we crave and enjoy!

A good trainer will always tell us: “Nobody can out-train a poor diet!” So if we want “The Good Life”, we must cook at home! It takes extra effort, but the benefits can improve your health, improve your wealth and improve your relationships! 


Remember, appreciation is in order and everyone in a family benefits from good home cooked meals.

(Source: Orginal text by ARTSnFOOD.)

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD is an online magazine dedicated to providing artists and collectors around the world with highlights of current art exhibitions, and to encourage all readers to invest in and participate in "The Joy of Art"® and culture. All rights reserved. All Concepts, Original Art, Text & Photographs in this posting (which are not credited) are © Copyright 2016 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery, event, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Norma Jeane Mortenson is Very Photogenic - Images of Marilyn Monroe + FOOD: Dinner Party Seafood Pasta

"Marilyn" by Andy Warhol


Marilyn Monroe has become as much a part of the art scene as the contemporary art stars who are featured at major art galleries and art auctions. As a "Madonna figure", a beautiful symbol of the perfect female body, as a model for photographers in the 1950s & 60s, or just as a contemporary image of fame and stardom, Marilyn's image has grown to become a major player in art today! 

Artists are drawn to Marilyn Monroe images.

Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress and model. Famous for playing "dumb blonde" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s, emblematic of the era's attitudes towards sexuality. She continues to be considered a major popular culture icon.

There are hundreds of thousands of art images using Marilyn as the subject.
It's like: "Oh, here's a Marilyn 
technique no-one has thought of yet!?!"
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage and married for the first time at the age of sixteen. While working in a factory as part of the WWII war effort in 1944, she met a photographer and began a successful pin-up modeling career. The work led to film contracts. After a series of minor film roles, she signed a contract with Fox in 1951. Over the next two years, she became a popular actress with roles in several comedies, including As Young as You Feel and Monkey Business, and in the dramas Clash by Night and Don't Bother to Knock. Monroe posed for nude photos before becoming a star, but rather than damaging her career, that story increased interest in her films.

Marilyn Monroe images.

By 1953, Monroe was one of the most bankable Hollywood stars, with leading roles in three films: the film noir, Niagra, which focused on her sex appeal, and the comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, which established her star image as a "dumb blonde". Although she played a significant role in the creation and management of her public image throughout her career, she was disappointed at being typecast and underpaid by the studio. She was briefly suspended in early 1954 for refusing a film project, but returned to star in one of the biggest box office successes of her career, The Seven Year Itch (1955). When the studio was still reluctant to change her contract, Monroe founded a film production company in late 1954, Marilyn Monroe Productions (MMP). She dedicated 1955 to building her company and began studying method acting at the Actors Studio. In late 1955, Fox awarded her a new contract, which gave her more control and a larger salary. After a critically acclaimed performance in Bus Stop (1956) and acting in the first independent production of MMP, The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for Some Like It Hot (1959). Her last completed film was the drama The Misfits (1961).

Monroe's troubled private life received much attention. She struggled with addiction, depression, and anxiety. She had two highly publicized marriages, to baseball player Joe DiMaggio and to playwright Arthur Miller, both ended in divorce. She died at the age of 36 from an overdose of barbiturates at her home in Los Angeles on August 5, 1962. Although the it was ruled a suicide, conspiracy theories still surround the details of her death.
Digitally painted portrait, composed entirely of dots.

When she was Norma Jeane

 (Source: Text adapted from Wikipedia - Photos from many online sites.)


ARTSnFOOD is an online magazine dedicated to providing artists and collectors around the world with highlights of current art exhibitions, and to encourage all readers to invest in and participate in "The Joy of Art"® and culture. All rights reserved. All Concepts, Original Art, Text & Photographs in this posting (which are not credited) are © Copyright 2016 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery, event, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists,