Saturday, February 13, 2016

Museum Visit


As a Valentine's celebration, Doug and I went to the SC State Museum for "That's Amore´ Y'all" last night. After a rather bland planetarium program on the constellations, it turned into an adventuresome night.

Through the museum's telescope, we got a better look at stars in the Orion cluster. I admit to getting a bit heady at seeing a light that has taken thousands of years to reach the earth. 

The Roman exhibit is a reminder of that age's ingenuity in engineering. Their developments in war machinery, the conveyance of water, and construction of roads is well known. I was surprised to see an odometer on display.
Beside me is a replica of an ancient Roman odometer, used especially in building roads.
The TV series, I Claudius, based on the book by Robert Graves, is many years old and not technically sophisticated. At the same time, it is one of the most fascinating dramas about the era of the Roman emperors. For relatives near the emperor, staying alive took not just cleverness and intelligence, but treachery and duplicity. Ambitious brothers, wives and other relatives poison, garrote, and otherwise eliminate one other to elevate their chances of becoming Caesar. The series/book recounts the life of the emperor Claudius, but Julius Caesar makes an appearance. 

I'm standing beside the bust of a young Julius Caesar.
Some of the most interesting book illustrations are etchings. I don't know why they aren't more popular. The etchings of James Fowler Cooper are on display. Wish I had a book of his works, but the museum gift shop didn't have one. I went online, and the cheapest one I could find was $500. Cooper isn't listed in Wikipedia, an oversight.

James Fowler Cooper took as subjects for many of his  etchings  SC locales and images of our antebellum history.

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