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  1. A Basilica Carved Wood Nativity

    The predella of the altar of the Blessed Virgin of St. Francis Xavier Basilica, Dyersville, Iowa, is adorned by polychrome wood carvings of the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, and the Finding of the boy Jesus at the Temple.A testament to faith and art — a magnificent Gothic Basilica set amidst the corn fields of Iowa

    One expects to see cornfields and rolling hills in Iowa — but a Basilica?

    Yet, that's what the small sign on Highway ...
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    Alexis' Blog
  2. An Antique Crèche, A Gift from Svatava Vizinová

     This "Antique" crèche is a reprint of a 1900 vintage nativity, and features a new back, complete with Gothic window, courtesy of Crechemania.com After my Basilica videos, I decided to give up all the Photoshop cutting and pasting — and try an X-acto knife, instead.

    The reason? Creating a new back for a lovely Czech nativity that my friend Svatava Vizinová sent me for Christmas.

    "It was printed in 1900," she writes, "in Vjperty Town. This is a reprint, of ...
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    Alexis' Blog
  3. The Ayala Altarpiece, a Gothic narrative of the Nativity

    The Ayala Altarpiece, a pictorial narrative in the Gothic linear style by an anonymous 14th century artist, is one of the Medieval masterpieces of the Art Institute of Chicago.

     The photographer/blogger is ithere to provide scale: the large Ayala Altarpiece fills a gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago. I was fourteen when I first saw the Art Institute of Chicago. I arrived in the Windy City by train from New York with my adoptive parents who brought me to America. ...
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    Alexis' Blog
  4. Vojtěch Kubašta's No. 1 Fans in Berlin: Sebastian Koepcke & Thomas Gubig

    (Above, upper right) Graphic and exhibition designers Sebastian Koepcke and Thomas Gubig with Dagmar Kubastovà Vrlkjan at the opening of their Berlin Kubašta Exhibition. (Above, bottom right) Sebastian and Thomas' Pop-up Buecher (Pop-Up Books) catalog, available online. (Kubasta exhibition and catalog photos courtesy pop-up-buecher.de.) 
     Sebastian showing me the sights — Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate. I've been in the presence of royalty before, in Ravenna's San Vitale. ...
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    Alexis' Blog
  5. Die Anbetung der Könige (The Adoration of the Magi), Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

    Die Anbetung der Könige (Worshipping of the Kings) — The Adoration of the Magi — Antonio Vivarini (in collaboration with Giovanni d'Alemagna), 1419-20, Murano. (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. [/B]One reminder of Berlin's tragic history of partition into West and East lies in a memorial a few hundred yards from its famous Brandenburg Gate. Under the shade of linden trees, black-and-white, poster-size photographs depict those who died at the hands of their compatriots in pursuit of freedom.

    ...
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    Alexis' Blog
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