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Mary Cassatt: The Bath

One of my favorite paintings. Even, in the abstract consider the symmetry of the woman, the girl and the tub. The composition is perfect.

Art History & the Art of History

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) was a very well-known and well respected female Impressionist artist. Cassatt was heavily influenced by Edgar Degas, and she often exhibited her works alongside his. She was an American artist who later moved to Paris to study French and Italian masterworks. Because she was a woman, Cassatt could not frequent cafés like men could. Thus, she painted very different subject matters, often women and children. Cassatt’s The Bath is a good example of her works.

Mary Cassatt, The Bath, 1892

In The Bath, shows a mother taking care of her child, washing the child’s feet. The consolidation and solidity of the figures of the mother and of the child greatly contrasts the flowery designs in the foreground and in the background. In this painting, it is evident that Cassatt drew from Degas’ influence in its composition as well as from the influence of Japanese prints in…

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Johann Georgi, Polymath

English: Lake Baikal in Springtime (Listvyanka...

English: Lake Baikal in Springtime (Listvyanka) Deutsch: Baikalsee im Frühling (Listwjanka) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The great Polymath Johan Georgi was born in 1729 in Pommerania, then part of Sweden. Although of German heritage, he spent most of his life in Russia. He took his degree in Uppsala in Sweden. Studying Pharmacy, he worked with Botanist Carl Linnaeus. The Baltic has always been a tangled web of nationalities including Swedes, Russians, Estonians, Finns,  Poles, Latvians, and Germans.

Johann Georgi

Johann Georgi

He is known for many geographic journeys, although his greatest discovery is  the omul, a type of white salmon unique to Lake Baikal in Siberia. He was a distinguished member of the Russian academy of Sciences in 1770.

He is also known for travels to Astrakhan, Central Asia, the Urals, and the Bashkirs.

Although born in Pomerania, Johann Georgi studied at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, where he qualified as a doctor, studied with Carl Linnaeus, and worked as a pharmacist. Georgi came to Russia at the behest of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in 1770.



Omul fish, endemic to Lake Baikal (Russia). Sm...

Omul fish, endemic to Lake Baikal (Russia). Smoked and on sale at Listyanka market. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More trains Calif Zephyr 2010 and Sunset Limited 2010 Texas Eagle

English: Union Station (Los Angeles)

English: Union Station (Los Angeles) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Map of El Paso

Map of El Paso (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: El Paso Skyline from the north.

English: El Paso Skyline from the north. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Paso Museum of history, El Paso, Texas

El Paso Museum of history, El Paso, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Paso, Texas in 1886. Bird's Eye View of El ...

El Paso, Texas in 1886. Bird’s Eye View of El Paso, El Paso County Texas, 1886. Lithograph, 20 x 30 in. Lithographer unknown. Private Collection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Downtown Reno, including the city's famous arc...

Downtown Reno, including the city’s famous arch over Virginia Street at night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Donner Pass : California Zephyr

Donner Pass : California Zephyr (Photo credit: Loco Steve)

English: lobby of Union Station in Los Angeles

English: lobby of Union Station in Los Angeles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The abandoned Track #1 CPRR/SPRR/UPRR...

English: The abandoned Track #1 CPRR/SPRR/UPRR railroad grade over Donner Pass. (2003) ©2003-2007 DigitalImageServices.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Donner pass Ca.

Donner pass Ca. (Photo credit: Loco Steve)

donner pass scenic overlook

donner pass scenic overlook (Photo credit: Slideshow Bruce)

I presented my paper at the ACS national meeting in San Francisco. Although I flew out I decide to reduce my carbon footprint and take the train back to St. Louis. Although I had ridden the train in Europe many times, it was my first overnight trip in the States. I was excited.

The California Zephyr leaves from Emeryville between Oakland and Berkeley Calif. It takes 48 hours. For the first hour the train hugs the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. We cross the Sierra Nevada during  March the Donner Pass was still covered in snow.

Reno  The trip through the desert was fascinating. It was just light enough to see something. The best part of travel on the train is the people you meet. The Zephyr goes thorough Salt Lake, Denver, Omaha, and Iowa.

Crossing the Missouri the Mississippi Rivers in the same day. There was one glitch, the train doesn’t go to St. Louis. I got off in Galesburg where my kind wife was waiting for me. We drove back on Route 61 and back home after a stop in Hannibal. A very worthwhile trip.

Three days in a train I took the train twice that year

My daughter and I drove my son out to LA to graduate school at UCLA. Marion had heard about my trip on the Calif Zephyr. She wanted to try the train herself. I was reluctant at first, but she talked me into it. It turned out to be a great idea.

Official seal of City of El Paso

Official seal of City of El Paso (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The train from LA to St Louis takes three days with an over night stay in San  Antonio. Although the Southwest Chief was shorter, we opted for the more southern route hugging the border with Mexico Sunset Limited as we had stopped at the Grand Canyon on the way out. We boarded the train in Los Angeles Union Station in the afternoon. The first stop is Pomona then Yuma. After a brief trip through Tucson and New Mexico we spent the next three days  in Texas including El Paso, the Alamo, Austin and Dallas. Yes, it really is a big state. After three days we arrived home in St. Louis. The train continued on to Chicago. With the addition of an additional wagon. Trains are popular now.


Reno (Photo credit: ChrisYunker)


English: Pioneers Organization member pin depi...

English: Pioneers Organization member pin depicting Vladimir Lenin. Français : Insigne de membre de l’Organisation des Pionniers montrant le visage de Lénine. Русский: Пионерский значок с изображением Владимира Ленина. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve all known some Litvaks. They’re like Hutsuls only better. They are another forgotten minority. Crazy you say. What about Curly, Moe and Larry? Ever hear of Vladimir Lenin or Putin? That’s right, all Litvaks. A Litvak is a jewish person from Lithuania. Did you say former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal columnist Robert NOVAK was a Litvak? What about Bob DYLAN and the 3 STOOGES?


Lenin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mostly, Litvaks spoke Yiddish, but with a distinctive accent.When I was a boy the Wilno kosher deli in University City. Now the building is part of the Pasta House. One of my family’s favorite restaurants. Not a Litvak, then maybe you’ve known some Galician jews?

English: Cathedral in Vilnius (Wilno)

English: Cathedral in Vilnius (Wilno) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)