We have had it in our plans to visit Cleveland for several years now, but kept putting it off as other travel opportunities or priorities came along. The impetus that finally drove us to take the road trip came up during our winter trip to New York City. We were touring the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in upper Manhattan and were extremely disappointed to find out that we missed seeing an extensive Art Deco exhibition called "The Jazz Age" by one week. Rich and I really love the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, so when we realized that the exhibit would travel to Cleveland next, this gave us the urgent reason to finally visit that city.
ère" is an armchair by French designer Robert Bonfils. It is made with a gilded wooden frame that is covered with wool upholstry featuring silk tapestry depicting a WWI fighter plane patrolling the skies, surrounded by floral motifs on the arms and seat. Austrian-American Joseph Urban's 1921 "Gondola" Chair is made from painted wood covered with silver leaf and mother-of-pearl ornamentation with colourful striped upholstery. Also considered "gondola-shaped", Frenchman Marcel Coard's 1925 velour-covered sofa boasts a frame made of carved Indian rosewood with decorative trim that invokes an African feel. There were several pieces that were inspired by the contours of a skyscraper, including the armchair made of brass, aluminum and leather, where the geometric cutouts of a stepped tower decorate the sides and back of the chair. This chair by French designer Jean Dupas was displayed at the International Exposition of Art and Industry in 1928. Another such chair by Austrian-American designer Paul Frankl is accompanied by a magnificent "Skyscraper Bookcase-Desk" made of California redwood and black laquer. Part of a series of Skyscraper furniture designs, Frankl's use of contrasting shades of wood and stacked forms add to the illusion that you are looking at a tall tower.
ément Rousseau, made of rosewood, shagreen and ebony, with a rotating inner core used to hold a selection of books. The table is decorated with tinted and polished sharkskin, exemplary of the exotic materials used in this period of design. The 1929 red-laquered wooden dressing table with the triangular legs and drawers and its accompanying bench is an American creation inspired by an earlier Parisian design by Léon Jallot. I loved the shade of sage green used for the sideboard and matching chair by German-American designer Kem Weber. It has decorative details on the front edges and drawer handles that were inspired by Mayan temples. A mahogany, satinwood and thuyawood armoire is decorated with plastic "Ivorine" and ebony inlays. It sits beneath a chandelier made of steel and wrought iron that features shapes of goats which throw an interesting shadow against the wall.
ér features floral motifs inspired by Viennese design and the figure of a nude playing the violin. The beautiful green laquered wooden doors covered with mother-of-pearl, gold and cast bronze designs portraying the images of warrior-like angels standing on skyscrapers was created by Russian-French designer Séraphin Soudbinine on behalf of Solomon Guggenheim. Many other decorative screens, gates and mirrors were on display.
é is decorated with emeralds and sapphires, and made from silver, enamel, and a mineral called rhodenite that gives it the stunning pink-rose colour.
A Christmas Story" that has become a cult classic and an annual viewing event for us during the yuletide season. Set in the 1940s and told through a series of vignettes, the movie follows the lives of Ralphie Parker, his brother Randy and their parents "Old Man Parker" and "Mother Parker" in the months leading up to Christmas. Ralphie schemes to receive a "Red Rider BB Gun" as a present, but is told by every adult that it is too dangerous with the warning "You'll shoot your eye out". Based on the collection of short stories called "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by humorist Jean Shepherd who also acts as the voice of the adult Ralphie, narrating the scenes as a series of reminiscences, much of the movie is set in a quiet neighbourhood in southern Cleveland. In 2005, the actual house used in the filming of A Christmas Story was purchased by avid fan Brian Jones for $150,000. Jones then launched a massive renovation and restoration effort to lovingly recreate the home to be exactly as depicted in the movie. A house across the street was also purchased and turned into a museum and gift shop in support of the movie. Now a tourist attraction, you can take a guided tour of the home and museum, and hear interesting trivia about the filming of the movie.
We learned that the director Bob Clark only got support from MGM
studios to make A Christmas Story, if he agreed to also make the sequel
to his previous hit movie Porky's. Clark received 2.5 million from the
studio and put up 2.5 million of his own money to get his passion film
made. MGM originally wanted Jack Nicolson to play Old Man Parker, but
Jack's asking price would have taken the entire budget of the movie, so
Darrin McGavin was cast instead. The movie flopped at the box office
and was panned by the critics but has since become a cult hit and
holiday favourite. Not realizing what they had, MGM gave the rights to
Ted Turner for free and none of the actors or crew negotiated for any
residuals from the movie. Needless to say, the Turner empire is
continuing to make a killing from this film. It is interesting to note that the IMDB rating for A Christmas Story is 8.0/10 while Porky's II has a 4.9 rating.
é-ish black and white striped "bad guy" outfits warn by the villains in Ralphie's imagined gun battle, and the stereotypical Chinese jackets warn by the waiters at the Chinese restaurant that the family goes to after the neighbour's dogs destroy their Christmas turkey. The exterior of the restaurant was actually a bowling alley where the "W" was burnt out, resulting in the Chinese sounding "BO LING".