January 27, 2011

"Wisconsin isn't actually the center of the universe. A convergence of events has just made it seem that way."

Writes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
This week alone, President Barack Obama visited the state, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gave the Republican response to the State of the Union address, and the Green Bay Packers were on the fast track to becoming America's sweethearts.

Wednesday night's "American Idol," spotlighting auditions it conducted in Milwaukee in the summer and fall of 2010, was just icing on the cake....

Performers stood in front of a blue scrim with the "Idol" logo, judges sat at the prow-like front of the [Windhover Hall of the Milwaukee Art Museum] and interviews were conducted in the museum's whalebone white hallways.

A stormy Lake Michigan was a feature throughout and could be seen dramatically changing colors and textures behind the judges....
Jennifer Lopez referred to it as "the ocean."

Hey, we were already planning to go to the Milwaukee Art Museum this weekend. So don't think, when you see my photographs, that we only went there because of "American Idol." We're going there because we're excited about seeing Masterworks of North Carolina Earthenware:
The exhibition explores, among others, work... by Moravian immigrant potters who...  found a home in the North Carolina Moravian missionary settlement. Superior in quality to the pottery the early American colonists were creating, the slip-decorated earthenware, though utilitarian, represented the religious beliefs for which their makers had once been persecuted, and allowed the settlers to maintain a sense of cultural identity in the new world.
I'm a descendant of Moravian refugees from persecution, and maybe the mysterious Meade will tell you why he's interested in the show too.

46 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Okay, different lake but similar conditions.

Richard Dolan said...

An exhibition of earthenware pots from North Carolina? Such wonders on offer to see in Wisconsin! What next -- slipcovers from Tennessee?

De gustibus, etc.

PaulV said...

Morvaian Love Feasts?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...and maybe the mysterious Meade will tell you why he's interested in the show too.


He's been trying to get you to reenact that scene from Ghost, right?

traditionalguy said...

This reminds me of Antiques Road Show. The have had those large Moravian pots on the show. The religious faith brought here by the earliest settlers in the frontier areas, where land was often free, remain the source of our strength today. Courage never goes out of style.

Phil 3:14 said...

Wisconsin isn't actually the center of the universe

That says it all

Triangle Man said...

Do you make Moravian cookies, or buy them?

CJinPA said...

Moravian, eh?

Consider a visit to Bethlehem, PA. Founded by Moravians, home to Moravian College and Moravian everything, including an 18th century Moravian industrial area.

Superdad said...

I would imagine that you already are aware that much of the Door Peninsula was settled by Moravians.

Leo Ladenson said...

It's a very cool museum.

traditionalguy said...

Wisconsin has too many advantages: the Mississippi River, Lake Michigan , winter sports, a great University, NFL and college Championship teams, and Queen Ann of the Bloggers and her consort Meade. We demand a re-distribution. But keep the Obama visits.

Ann Althouse said...

My Moravians are the Pennsylvania ones.

Ann Althouse said...

Centered in Lititz.

Meade said...

Don't forget - we also have Reince Priebus!

Gabriel Hanna said...

My sister lives in North Carolina. She was driving around in an unfamiliar place, and it got foggy, and she got lost, and she ended up in a Moravian reenactment village. For a few minutes she thought she got lost in time.

pst314 said...

Ann,

Did you ever see the Milwaukee Art Museum before the big additions were added? At one time, there was only the original building designed by Eliel Saarinen, perched on top of a grassy hill. Now the hill has been dug up and the original building sits on top of a big concrete box. Too bad, as the removal of the grassy surroundings harms the character of the original building. The original building has been whimsically described as a bird perched on the hill looking over the harbor.

Ralph L said...

My g-g-grandmother Devin nee Transou was a Moravian from Bethabara, just north of Winston-Salem. Her brother was a founder of Wachovia Bank in the 1870's. Their ancestor Jacob Loesch was one of the 15 men sent from PA to start the migration to NC in 1752. No potters in the family that I know of.

They still make those paper-thin cookies by hand, without Mexicans. My sister and I made some, once. A pastry cloth is required, and they're easy to overcook.

Ralph L said...

she ended up in a Moravian reenactment village
Old Salem?
Unmarried adults had to live in segregated, communal housing. Loads of fun.

SteveR said...

If only there were high speed rail.

Trooper York said...

I thought only Moronvaians lived in Wisconsin?

My mistake. Carry on.

ricpic said...

Mira! Mira! Meechiga Ocean!

Trooper York said...

By the way great American Idol last night with two contenders for the top ten introduced.

Randy Travis voice guy and wheelchair fiance guy.

Wheelchair fiance guy is gonna ride her all the way to the top ten. What is it with people form Wisconsin and sad stories begging for sympathy like Danny (Dead Wife Guy) Gokey who was also from Wisconsin?

Trooper York said...

Isn't living in Wisconsin punishment enough?

Hello....garage...garage...bueller.....anybody?

edutcher said...

Wisconsinites!

There'll be no living with them if the Pack wins the Super Bowl.

Ann Althouse said...

My Moravians are the Pennsylvania ones.

Did you ever visit there when you lived in DE?

From Philadelphia, it's a half day trip out there. From DE, you'd probably take a day (or close to it).

Trooper York said...

American Idol had the typical Packers fan on last night. She was all "GO PACK" and Jennifer Lopez was all "What you talkin about Willis."

She was very bouncy and happy with a very very high voice and tried to sing opera. It didn't go over so well.

She got a bit NO!

Sort of an omen for the Super Bowl?

Meade said...

"I thought only Moronvaians lived in Wisconsin?"

Tarder York

Quaestor said...

So J-Lo referred to lake Michigan as "the ocean," eh? I believe it. She's stupid enough

Scott M said...

So J-Lo referred to lake Michigan as "the ocean," eh? I believe it. She's stupid enough

An ocean that's on the surface of a planet core that's several million degrees hot.

Trooper York said...

What we can't make Wisconsin jokes anymore?

I mean I have a whole routine about how Aaron Rodgers has a special helmet and rides the short bus and....oh wait wrong thread.

Meade said...

What we can't make Trooper York jokes anymore?

Trooper York said...

Of course you can make Trooper York jokes.

Just wait. Soon you are gonna be making a whole lot of them. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

Of course it helps that we have nothing to do but bust each others chops in the middle of the day.

Some people have to work.

Poor bastards.

Sixty Grit said...

Shit, Troop, we have been waiting for months. Get on with it already.

Living in Wisconsin is an oxymoron.

edutcher said...

Quaestor said...

So J-Lo referred to lake Michigan as "the ocean," eh? I believe it. She's stupid enough

Actually, she may be closer to the truth than you might think.

There are a lot of boating mishaps on Lake Erie in the Cleveland area. The Coast Guard is forever telling boaters with regard to the Great Lakes, "Don't think big lake. Think small ocean"

DADvocate said...

I'm interested on pottery because some of it is worth a lot of money, like this butter churn made 175 years ago in Maysville, KY that sold for $55,200 at auction a few weeks ago.

Trooper York said...

Be a little patient Sixty. Things are moving fast. You will have a lot of fun with it. I promise.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, do they make butter cookies with ammonia in Green Bay? Because I was at an away Green Bay Game I first tried them. A pharmacist made cookies similar to these. We had a tradition that anyone bringing food to the potluck/tailgate followed a theme based on the opposing team. They were very crisp and light, which is why ammonia based baking powder is good. But because it is ammonia, you can only bake very thin things with it, to avoid any ammonia smell in the product (so ammonia bisquets would probably not work).

Anyway, if these really do have a Wisconsin connection, that is something foodie beyond beer, brats and cheese.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I think the wheelchair fiance guy is actually from ill annoy. Maybe a suburb of Chicago?

MadisonMan said...

I missed Idol last night, but two friends had relatives try out. I wonder if they made it.

I was at a meeting at the Discovery Center, just south of the Calatrava, and a person with me asked what the water was. (Forehead slap). And the person was a Dean. Now former Dean, but still.

peter hoh said...

My grandparents retired to Lititz. Beautiful small town, and the home of the Victor mousetrap.

In what seems like a former life, I worked in Bethlehem at a Moravian institution. Fond memories.

Whenever friends mention that they are traveling in eastern Pennsylvania, I recommend the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, even though it wasn't founded by Moravians.


Trooper, ask me sometime about the fish breeding program at the Wisconsin DNR.

rhhardin said...

Moravian composer Janacek is rated as "a Czech egnius" in a comment to Intimate Letters.

Egnius is how they disguised themselves.

MadisonMan said...

My brother worked in Lititz one summer during college, doing landscape work.

David R. Graham said...

Moravian! Now that makes sense, the old blood does tell (embodiment of the Protestant Principle, the principle of aseity, et al). Related to Zinzendorf, perhaps, the friend of Wesley. My favorite hymn tune: Mit Freuden Zart/Bohemian Brethren

Anneliese Dickman said...

I recommend the pesto french toast on the museum cafe's brunch menu.

BJM said...

@DADvocate

Thirty years ago I bought a box of assorted pickle crocks and four salt-glazed stoneware jars at an estate sale for $25.

My heart beat wildly as I paid for them as I knew the glaze and jar form was 19th century Moravian. They turned out not to be terribly valuable examples, $300-500 each.

However, I enjoy using them in the kitchen stuffed with utensils, flowers and dried herbs, still as handsome and useful.

abeer ahmed said...

For the latest news visit us on cnn.com
http://whois.domaintasks.com/cnn.com