Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 16, 2012. Bloomington, Indiana. Part 2 Of 3. Indiana Memorial Union.

The Hawthornes are in Bloomington, Indiana,
visiting my dear friend Mar, of Foodies Untie blogdom.
Knowing of Mr. Hawthorne's dietary restrictions
(and knowing I haven't had anything decent to eat in three days),
Mar did her research and took us to Upland Brewery
for a fantastic meal.
See my post about it here.

After lunch, Mar, the hostess with the mostest,
took the Hawthornes on a personal guided tour of the
the gathering place for Indiana University since 1909
and one of the largest student unions in the world.
What an amazing place!
First, it's HUGE -
about 500,000 square feet.
And it houses a bowling alley,
a pool hall, an arcade, a beauty salon,
stores, meeting spaces, several restaurants,
one of the largest hotels in Bloomington,
and many study areas,
where I saw students hunched over their computers,
or texting furiously,
or spread out sound asleep on couches.
Did I mention that it also houses
a priceless collection of artwork?

In the lobby of the IMU 
stands a plaster replica of the Aphrodite of Milos,
AKA the Venus de Milo.

In the Memorial Room at IMU,
there is a hefty tome, the Golden Book,
in the process of being digitized,
 that records the names of military veterans
connected to Indiana University as far back as the War of 1812.

Photo courtesy of Mar of Foodies Untie.

This is a brass seal in the floor of the Memorial Room.
The seal was designed by an IU alumnus, John Carlisle Bollenbacher,
who was also one of the architects of the Memorial Union.
Tradition decrees that the seal never be stepped on,
but I guess it's OK for a little boy and his grandfather
to set up a makeshift airport on it.
The seal bears the words,
"In memory of the sons and daughters
of Indiana University who have served in the wars
of the Republic."

The Memorial Room also features two stained glass windows,
acquired by American novelist and dramatist, Booth Tarkington,
from the collection of an Austrian count.

"The Flight Into Egypt"
dates to 1290 A.D.
and depicts Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.

"The Adoration of the Kings"
dates to mid to late 15th century
and depicts the Wise Men offering gifts 
to the Madonna and the Christ Child.

Outside the entrance to the University Club
is a plaster replica of "Ugolino And His Sons"
by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux.
The statue derives from Dante's Divine Comedy,
where Dante describes the 1288 imprisonment and subsequent death
of the Pisan Count Ugolino della Gherardesca and his offspring.
Carpeaux's statue depicts the moment
when Ugolino, who was condemned to die of starvation,
yields to the temptation to devour his own children and grandchildren,
who cry out to him:

But when to our somber cell was thrown
A slender ray, and each face was lit
I saw in each the aspect of my own
For very grief both of my hands I bit,
And suddenly from the floor arising they,
Thinking my hunger was the cause of it,
Exclaimed:  Father eat thou of us, and stay
Our suffering:  though didst our being dress
In this sad flesh; now strip it all away.

Painting of The Constitution Elm,
jazz musician, songwriter, American composer,
pianist,singer, actor, and bandleader,
best known for composing the music for
four of the most recorded American songs of all time.

In 1816, Indiana delegates met under the spreading branches
of one of the largest trees of its kind in the world,
in Corydon, Indiana,
to draft Indiana's first state constitution.

Constitution Elm

An oil painting by famed Hoosier composer Hoagy Carmichael.

Entitled "Constitution Elm," the 5x7 foot oil painting captures on canvas the historic elm tree which shaded Indiana legislators as they shaped the state's first constitution in Corydon in 1816.  

Carmichael created his painting from a small black and white photograph taken of the tree in 1911.  On the back of the painting is the following statement written by the composer:
"Constitution Elm and the Daniel Lane House, Corydon, Indiana, August, 1911.  In the shade of a huge elm tree, five-foot diameter trunk and 132-foot spread, the first legislature gathered at times in June, 1816 to help frame the constitution of the newly admitted state.  Painted by me from a small black Kodak film.  Corydon was the first State Capitol and the small state capitol building still stands.  The tree died in 1925.  Yours truly, Hoagy Carmichael."

Before undertaking the painting, the Bloomington native made a pilgrimage to the Corydon site.

"Most all of the painting was done little by little on summer vacations...  I would paint a bit one day, change things a bit another day, play golf and go to the races...  So you might say it took me three years (to complete the painting)" says Carmichael in explanation.  "Oh yes, about the leaves.  There are no leaves although it is August...  I think the trunk and the naked majestic branches of such a famous tree should be seen to give the viewer a more striking display of greatness and a knowledge of what age has done to its formation."
The site of the Constitution Elm is now a portion of the Corydon State Memorial complex, along with the the first state capitol building and the Governor Hendricks home.  The memorial is administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Division of Museums and Memorials.

An oval shaped cross section of the Constitution Elm is on permanent display in the Student Activities Center lobby of the Indiana Memorial Union.  This section of wood measures 37 1/2 
inches long, 24 inches wide, and 9 inches high and has been on display in its present location since September 1961.

Outside, the tulips are in full bloom.

For some unknown reason,
there's a giraffe out here.

Rosie and Mr. Hawthorne.

Mar and Rosie.

Jordan Creek.

I love these old stone walls.

Beck Chapel.
Completed in 1956, 
the Chapel is located in the heart of the IU campus.
It is made of Indiana Limestone
and wood from South Central Indian forests.

Pilgrim, whosoever thou art that enterest this church
Leave it not without kneeling down and saying a prayer to God
For thyself, for those who minister here
And for those who worship here.
Stained glass inside Beck Chapel.

I asked Mar about the thingies on the roof.
They're there to control the snow and ice accumulation.

I saw this while we were stopped at a light.

Mar, I want to thank you for a most informative,
educational, and fascinating tour of the Indiana Memorial Union.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Glad you and Mr. H had fun.