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"Barry K. MacKay" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 12 Feb 2009 13:59:33 -0500
text/plain (122 lines)
I really loved reading this and I hope I get to visit the famous Down House,
some day.  I have been to the Galapagos Islands, which are so very much
associated with Darwin, but it's hard to get that sense of "I'm seeing what
he saw" that you so eloquently describe.

BTW, Google, at least in Canada, has an artist (who I've heard interviewed;
to him it is a dream job) who from time to time writes the word "Google" or
puts in in a surrounding that indicates a special day.  Today he has tiny
images of Darwin's Finches dancing about the lettering.  What is cool is the
assumption that we who go to the home page will know the significance...I'm
guessing quite a few won't.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science 
> Illustration- [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of 
> Linda Feltner
> Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 10:59 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [SCIART] February 12 birthdays
> Yes! Merry Darwin Day to All around the World:
> And Happy B-day to Abe as well, of course. Two men who were 
> significant in history.
> The British mint coined a very nice commemorative to honor him.
> A few years ago, we made a point to travel to Charles 
> Darwin's Down House, near the village of Downe (south of 
> London). It was our last day in England, and we saved the 
> best for last. However, there was a temporary sign on the 
> front door stating "Closed for Maintenance". We stared 
> forlornly at the sign, then tried to peek in through the 
> windows, it was hard to get close to peer in.  A man came out 
> the door and told us they were unexpectedly closed due to 
> vaccuuming and lawn mowing, and suggest we come back 
> tomorrow. We explained that we would be gone by then, and 
> came from the States, in hope of seeing his study.  And, 
> could he please tell us which window was his study, we might 
> could peer in. He told us, went inside, coming out in only 
> minute, saying that the Director invited us in to tour the 
> home, as long as we didn't mind the housekeepers doing their 
> job. Well! No problem there!
> It was very nice of them to let us in. They gave us the audio 
> wands, that allows each individual to listen to an 
> interpretive talk. It was very well done (seeing that I am in 
> the interpretive business.). You could press a number, and 
> hear a talk about the paintings and furnishings in a 
> particular room, or press another and that would talk about 
> the natural history, or his life there...
> We toured the entire house with no other public there at all. 
> It was as if we were walking through a private residence, and 
> expected their kids to run through, or hear Emma playing the 
> piano. Viewing his study was a profound experience.
> We walked the grounds, stood by the greenhouses where so many 
> experiments took place; strolled the Sand Walk, where he 
> contemplated the world. Words cannot describe the experience.
> The English Heritage has re-furbished the house, as the 
> Darwin's lived it. It is an amazing feat of Interpretation, 
> and very well done. It was a fortunate that one of Darwin's 
> sons (if memory serves), had taken an interest in early 
> photography. He took pictures of each room of the house. 
> After Emma Darwin died and the house was sold, all the 
> interior furnishings were spread throughout the family, and 
> (I believe) his scientific library, tools, specimens and 
> other belongings had gone to the Museum.  Later on, it was 
> decided (by the historical society - I
> think) to try to collect all the furnishings to restore the 
> house interior. It was due to the son's photographs that they 
> were then able to duplicate the rooms as they are today. The 
> paintings, the piano (with the pot of earthworms on it), the 
> chairs, bookcases, his study...... 
> It's Amazing. The authenticity strikes you. The large, old 
> photographs are displayed in the hallway upstairs, so you can 
> see for yourself. What fortune.  Knowing that, made the 
> experience much more real, as if you were walking in 
> someone's private residence, Charles Darwin's no less.
> Thanks to the ListServ for bringing all this back to mind for 
> me. It was a pleasurable trip down Memory Lane.
> Best,
> Linda
> _______________________
> Linda M. Feltner Artist, LLC
> P.O. Box 325
> Hereford, AZ 85615
> (520) 803-0538
> Glendon Mellow wrote:
> > Hi Barb,
> >  
> > There are so many events happening online today for Darwin' big 
> > anniversary (this year is also the 150th anniversary of The 
> Origin of 
> > Species 1st publication).  You can follow lots of them easily:
> >  
> > -Watch for and use the #Darwin hashtag on Twitter to see 
> what people 
> > are tweeting about.
> > -The BlogForDarwin blogswarm can be found here:  
> >
> > -The folks at The Beagle Project will be reporting on many events: 
> >
> > -For myself, I'll be live-blogging a new speed-painting of 
> our friend 
> > Charles beginning about 3 pm eastern standard.
> >  
> > Merry Darwin Day everyone!
> > --
> > --
> > Glendon Mellow
> > The Flying Trilobite <>
> > Art in Awe of Science