Author Archives: Village Lane

This Spring, Visit the National Museum of Mathematics!

by Village Lane

Welcome to the National Museum of Mathematics

Mathematics illuminates the patterns and structures all around us. Our dynamic exhibits, gallery, and programs will stimulate inquiry, spark curiosity, and reveal the wonders of mathematics. MoMath has innovative exhibits that will engage folks from 105 to 5 years old (and sometimes younger), but with a special emphasis on activities for 4th through 8th graders.

The Museum is located at 11 East 26th Street in Manhattan and is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, seven days a week, 364 days a year (MoMath is closed on Thanksgiving Day). Special note: MoMath closes early the first Wednesday of every month, at 2:30 PM.


Find detailed directions and parking information here.

MoMath Goes to Washington!

Join MoMath for a not-to-be missed three-day extravaganza in the nation’s capital during the first-ever National Math Festival!  Make sure to check out all three events.

Guess who made it to MoMath?

MoMath was thrilled to welcome Bill Nye the Science Guy!  See the pictures from his visit to the Museum.

Apply for the 2015 Rosenthal Prize

Attention, math teachers!  Teachers who submit their best hands-on lessons could win a $25,000 grand prize for the single best activity, plus up to five additional $1,000 awards for other innovative activities.  Learn more at

Register for the 2015 MOVES Conference!

Registration is now open for MoMath’s 2015 conference on the Math Of Various Entertaining Subjects.  This year’s conference is held in honor of three seminal figures in game theory: John Conway, Elwyn Berlekamp, and Richard Guy.  See more at

Upcoming Events

Learn more about exciting events happening at the Museum soon!

Become a MoMath intern!

Share your love of math with others.  MoMath is now accepting applications for summer internships for current college students.  Please note that internships are unpaid.

Now open: Robot Swarm

Interact with two dozen small, glowing robots at the most ambitious robotics exhibit America has ever seen.  Groundbreaking new developments in motion control and positioning systems provide an experience you have to see to believe.  The Swarm is here!


Explore the fun of math-themed stories and songs at MoMath’s afternoon program for toddlers and preschoolers.


Reinvent math class with Expansions, MoMath’s after-school program for gifted students.

Take a field trip to MoMath!

MoMath is now offering reservations for field trip slots. Click here to learn more and book your field trips and group visits today.

Teachers: bring exciting math exhibits to your school

Visit to learn more about Math Midway 2 Go!

Shop Additions online

Shop at Additions and help support the nation’s only Museum of Mathematics.

Time Warner Cable Supports Family Fridays

See a PSA about MoMath’s Family Fridays from Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds campaign.

Astronaut Eileen Collins talks about math

Watch Eileen Collins talk about the importance of math education!

Voted Best of NY by New York Magazine

MoMath tops the 2013 list of museums for kids!

Watch CBS News‘s Sunday morning coverage of MoMath

CBS News‘s Mo Rocca explores MoMath in this television feature!

Become part of the MoMath team

MoMath is seeking enthusiastic individuals to join its efforts to create North America’s only cultural institution devoted to mathematics. See current listings.

Math Mondays at Make

The National Museum of Mathematics has partnered with Make Magazine to produce Math Mondays, a weekly column on Make: Online featuring fun, experiential, and puzzling items that explore different aspects of mathematics.

– See more at:

My Christmas Eve — Retired OSP Trooper Bob Welsh

by Village Lane

This poem comes from Retired OSP Trooper Bob Welsh.  Since his retirement, Trooper Welsh has been an inspirational speaker.

You Tube

My Christmas Eve
By Bob Welsh

The hours late, should go to bed
Near midnight I believe
But memories keep me wide awake
This snowy Christmas Eve

Yes, memories of my kids moved on
Each has their separate life
And how the holidays have changed
Since angels took my wife

The toys, the food, the Christmas cheer
My wife would bear the load
Because I work most holidays
State Trooper on the road

Just sitting in my easy chair
So many years retired
I reminisce of times gone by
And all that has transpired

Of all the many happenings
That seem to come to light
A multitude of them occurred
Right on this very night

A drunken woman in a wreck
Died on Christmas eve
Leaves memories of a tragic case
Most people won’t believe

I had to drive to where she lived
To tell her next of kin
And found the rundown mobile home
She had been living in

The person answering the door
I still recall today
A little girl about four years old
She said “I’m Sue McKay”

I asked her if her dad was home
And felt the longest pause
She said “My daddy ran away”
“You must be Santa Claus”

“My mommy said you’d come tonight”
“If I just stayed in bed”
“And bring a pretty doll for me”
“That’s what my mommy said”

I broke the law that Christmas Eve
Did not call child’s care
They’d merely put her in a room
And that I could not bear

I picked her up and took her home
My wife tucked her in bed
And wrapped a pretty doll for her
Just like her mommy said

Adopted by a loving home
And soon they moved away
I won’t forget that Christmas Eve
And little Sue McKay

Another bitter Christmas Eve
A blizzard to behold
Had left a family in a ditch
Just trapped there in the cold

By grace of God I spotted them
All cold and guant with fright
I drove them to a motel room
To safely spend the night

One Christmas Eve a homeless man
Shivering and wet
Was trying hard to get a ride
I’m sure he’d never get

I picked him up and drove him
To a diner on the hill
To warm his bones I left him with
a five dollar bill

Strange how when your all alone
What memories you recall
Your think of everything you’ve done
And was it worth it all

I think about my God, my job
My children and my wife
Would I do it all the same
Could I re-live my life

Then comes a knock upon my door
This late who could it be
A neighbor or has Santa Claus
Come to visit me

The figure standing in the cold
Gives me a sudden fright
A trooper with that solemn look
Dear God, who has died tonight

I’m flashing back to bygone years
How I’d often stood
On someones porch to bring them news
And it was never good

Is this how life gets back at me
For misery I’ve induced
Where pain I’ve caused some other folks
Has now come home to roost

But looking in the troopers eyes
My mind is in a whirl
I see a pleasant countenance
The trooper is a girl

She reached and smiled to shake my hand
And silence wasn’t broke
Until a tear rolled down her cheek
And then she softly spoke

“I’m sure you don’t remember me”
“But thought I’d stop and say”
“God bless you on this Christmas Eve”
“I’m Trooper Sue McKay”

Fire Dreams by Carl Sandburg

by Village Lane

from Cornhuskers  (1918)
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 (Written to be read aloud, if so be, Thanksgiving Day)

I remember here by the fire,
In the flickering reds and saffrons,
They came in a ramshackle tub,
Pilgrims in tall hats,
Pilgrims of iron jaws,
Drifting by weeks on beaten seas,
And the random chapters say
They were glad and sang to God. 

And so
Since the iron-jawed men sat down
And said, “Thanks, O God,”
For life and soup and a little less
Than a hobo handout to-day,
Since gray winds blew gray patterns of sleet on Plymouth Rock,
Since the iron-jawed men sang “Thanks, O God,”
You and I, O Child of the West,
Remember more than ever
November and the hunter’s moon,
November and the yellow-spotted hills.

And so
In the name of the iron-jawed men
I will stand up and say yes till the finish is come and gone.
God of all broken hearts, empty hands, sleeping soldiers,
God of all star-flung beaches of night sky,
I and my love-child stand up together to-day and sing: “Thanks, O God.”

Betsy Ross would be proud: See the world’s “tallest tribute to freedom”

by Village Lane

We proudly fly this flag because we are blessed to live and work in the United States of America.”

 Ben Salzmann, President and CEO, Acuity

In Sheboygan, Wisconsin, American individuals and companies have created the world’s “tallest tribute to freedom” in the form of a giant American flag.

Learn how this extraordinary project was built.

[Credit: ACUITY and ARUP for this video.]

Mortensen Flag Facts:

  • 400-foot flagpole weighs approximately 420,000 pounds
  • There are two versions of the 60- by 120-foot flag:
  • 220-pound flag is flown during normal conditions 
  • 350-pound flag is flown during harsher weather
  • Each star is 3 feet high and each stripe is 4 1/2 feet wide
  • 680 cubic yards of concrete used in foundation
  • Over 500 gallons of paint cover the pole
  • 11-foot diameter at base tapers to 5 1/2-foot diameter at top
  • Three pendulum-style tuned mass dampers reduce movement and vibration
  • Designed to withstand a low temperature of -42oF

Read more:

Photo of painting: The Birth of Old Glory, Percy Moran, artist, copyright 1917.


Report from India: Defiant bikers as horse riders of jihadi Islam

by Village Lane

By Sh. R.K. Ohri

Jihadi Islam is in fast forward mode. Not only in India, but across the globe. The soldiers of Islam are waging a jihad against the so-called ‘kaffirs’ (read the non-Muslim) from America to the Phillipines via Europe, Middle East and Indian sub-continent. The fast-forward epidemic of rowdy bike-riders have managed to hold the citizens of Delhi for ransom during the last two successive years. There is a method in their madness. They are conveying a warning to the Indian masses (read Hindus) of the coming clash of civilizations.

In June 2013 the denizens of Delhi, especially the motorists and pedestrians on Delhi roads had to wade through a harrowing experience of lawlessness throughout the night of the Muslim festival of Shab-e-Barat . Th unsuspecting motorists and commuters were caught in a frightful melee caused by thousands of skullcap wearing jihadi motorcyclists. Many of them were gesticulating at motorists, especially to frighten the lone women car drivers, while performing stunts on the roads of New Delhi. Their shameful antics and rowdy behaviour was roundly criticized by the media which faulted the police for the monumental breakdown of public order on the fateful night.

This year, too, on June 13, 2014, which was the night of Shab-e-Barat many teams of skullcap-wearing bikers tried to stage a repeat performance of lawlessness and disorder unleashed last year. In a desparate bid to dissuade the defiant jihadi bikers from creating mayhem across the city on the night of Shab-e-Barat, the Delhi Police went out of their way to seek help of several so-called ‘moderate’ Muslim leaders, including 21 Imams of various mosques. But their endeavour ended as an exercise in futility

Interestingly despite the assurances given by the Imams and leaders of the Muslim community this year, too, the jihadi bikers chose to defy the law and the police. Caring two hoots for the warnings given by the Delhi Police Commisioner and unprecedented extensive deployment of police force at nearly 180 strategic points several determined groups of biker warriors of Islam came out in large numbers in a bid to create chaos in the central and south-east Delhi. They tried to create an atmosphere of lawlessnes in certain Muslim-dominated areas of East Delhi like Seelampur and Usmanpur. They succeeded in disrupting the orderly movement of traffic on a number of roads during the late hours of night and early morning hours. The police measures failed to stem the onslaught of rowdy bikers and there were multiple traffic snarls due to erection of multiplebarricades on major roads


Mercifully the police were able to prevent the jihadi bikers from going berserk. They challaned nearly 15 00 to 2,000 defiant bikers and impounded more than 300 motor cycles. Even then after idnight many bikers tried to confront the policemen by throwing stones at them. Many roguish bikers could not be caught and challaned on the spot despite best efforts of the police personnel detailed to arrest them.

There have been sporadic reports of skull-caps bearing bikers trying to create similar lawlessness in some other cities and towns of the country. Unfortunately the intelligence agencies and police officers have failed to read the tea leaves of the fast approaching ‘faultline conflicts’ forecast by Samuel Huntington in a seminal essay in 1993 which was subsequently elaborated in his famous tome on the clash of civilisations.

Our intelligence agencies have refused to learn any lessons from the havoc played by jihadi bikers in several parts of the world. Well known proactive members of Islamic outfits in several countries have been organizing Muslim bikers gangs. Some of them operating in Sydney and other twons of Australia call themselves as ‘MBM’ or Muslim Brotherhood Movement. Apparently the bikers claim to represent the ideals and goals of the notorious Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt. There is another gang of Muslim bikers, known as ‘Soldiers of Islam’, or “Sons of Islam” who have been operating with impunity in Australia’s Gold Coast, nearabout Mermaid Beach.

Similarly in the United Kingdom there is a bikers gang organized by Jamal Richards who had also founded an outfit called ‘Concerned Muslim Citizens’. Jamal is also the organizer and leading light of a devout Muslim bikers gang called ‘Deen Riders’ which was established 5 years ago in the year 2009. The Deen Riders ultimately plan to ride on motor bikes to Hajj in Saudi Arabia. According to Jamal Richards his group of the faithful proposes to call the bike journey to Hajj as “Enduring Hardship for Allah’s Pleasure”. He claims that people love to see the shining bikes of Muslims.

The Muslim bikers phenomenon has now surfaced in the USA. One such organization is known as United Muslim Bikers (or UMMA M.C.).They have branches and chapters of bikers in California, Oakland, Las Vegas,Atlanta and East Coast, etc. A number of hard-nosed Islamic preachers like Hasan of Oakland, Naim of Las Vegas and Dawud of Los Angeles are associated with the bikers movement across America The United Muslim Bikers also try to impress on their members that Prophet Muhammad was an excellent horse rider of his times. In Today’s world motorbike is a substitute for horse. The UMMA Club is meant for the Muslims who love to ride motor cycles.

The Muslim bikers of the USA had also tried to organize a ‘Million Muslim March’ on 12th anniversary of 9/11 jihadi attack. The American Muslims Political Action Committee was behind the proposed Million Muslim Rally and its avowed objective was to counter the unfair fear of Muslims caused by 9/11 terrorist attacks. But their attempt to cow down the Chritians was thwarted by a determined nationalist group who threatened to organise a two million bikers march against ‘Fear’ caused by Islamists. Though falling short of the 2 million mark, several thousand Christian bikers road into Washington D.C. on September 11. After thwarting the Million Muslim March, the national coordinator of the Christian bikers march Belinda Bee, announced that they plan to be present on 9/11 every year.


Interestingly the Muslim bikers also promised to return for a bigger show next year on anniversary 9/11. So a race for supremacy appears to have been joined by the bikers of the two communities, namely the Muslims and the Christians

It is time that the Indian police officers and intelligence agencies woke up to the reality of the bikers menace seen in Delhi for two successive years and tried to learn lessons from the growth of Muslim bikers gangs in several countries. Equally important it is for the Hindu leaders to awaken the masses of the danger posed by jihadi bikers. As explained by the United Muslim Umma of Motorcyclists, they are going to use motor-cycles as the 21st century horses of jihadi Islam.

In Delhi the gangs of Muslim bikers try to gather in the infamous ‘No Go’ areas where entry of police is invariably resisted by aggressive rowdies. During the UPA regime the number of ‘No Go’ areas in Delhi and several Indian cities has grown manifold, especially after the Intelligence Bureau, NIA and CBI shifted their focus from Indian Mujahideen and SIMI to the so-called threat of ‘saffron terrorism’ as exemplified by Rahul Gandhi in December, 2010, during a meeting with the US Ambassador,Timothy Roemer. More importantly this allegation was repetitively emphasized by Digvijay Singh, a heavy-weight political guru of Rahul Gandhi and the former Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde.

The truth, however, is altogether different. India’s intelligence agencies like the Intelligence Bureau and the Research & Analysis Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat, including the top political echelons of the Indian government are fully aware that the Inter Services Intelligence of Pakistan has a long term plan to overrun India, i.e., Bharat, annihilate its Hindu population and establish a powerful caliphate in this part of the world.. Their ultimate goal is to convert the entire sub-continent into Dar-ul-Islam. For achieving their sinister objective the ISI has managed to plant thousands of fifth columnists and fellow-travellers of militant Islam across the country.

According to a news published in an obscure corner of Times of India, New Delhi on June 20, 2014, a Hindu activisit, S. Suresh Kumar who was President of Hindu Munnani’s Tiruvallur unit was killed by four assassins who came on motor-cycles on the noight of June 18. The police authorities suspect them be members of extremist outfits. The murder led to outbreak of violence next day during which 17 buses of State Transport and shops were damaged.1 [Source: Times of India, New Delhi, p.4, a news item titled ‘Munnani Neta’s murder sparks violence in TN’]

The notorious terrorist of Indian Mujahideen Yasin Bhatkal was arrested on Indo-Nepal border near Dharbhanga. His interrogation by the NIA revealed that Yasin had planned to carry out multiple jihadi attack across the country with help of his close associate, Waqas, who was an expert bomb maker and an active participant in the notorious Hyderabad blasts. Among other things it was admitted by Danish Mohammed Ansari, another member of the I.M., in a statement got recorded by the NIA under section 164 Cr. P.C. before a Magistrate that in 2010 Yasin Bhatkal had confided in him that the I.M. had already enlisted nearly 33,000 volunteers for carrying out subversive activities and terror attacks in India. The point to note is that a statement recorded under Section 164 Criminal Procedure Code is admissible as evidence during trial. Unfortunately thereafter the trail went cold.

Interestingly neither the NIA nor the Intelligence Bureau were able to make any break through for identifying and arresting thousands of fifth columnists and militant volunteers who had joined the Indian Mujahideen.

The threat posed by the skullcap-wearing rowdy bikers of Delhi and other cities and States needs urgent attention of the intelligence agencies and security experts. The gangs of bikers have become a major threat to the maintenance of law and order. It is time to remember that today India is under siege of thousands of fifth columnists. Could it be that the rowdy bikers operating in Delhi and many other cities and States part of the 33,000 members enlisted by Yasin Bhatkal and his associates for subverting the Indian nation?

In any case, the time for stringent action against the growing menace of skull-capped militant bikers has arrived.


[Originally printed in India Tomorrow]

Photo credit: RadioKafka/Shutterstock

The Spoleto Festival of the Arts Highlights Renowned and Emerging Artists

by Village Lane

Every spring, for 17 days and nights, Charleston, South Carolina hosts the Spoleto Festival. Featuring classical chamber, symphonic and choral music, jazz, opera, theater, dance, and other artistic expression, the Spoleto Festival has well earned international recognition as a premier showcase for the renowned and emerging artists who perform there.

In 1977 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, Christopher Keene, and others founded the Spoleto USA festival as an American counterpart to their annual Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy.   They selected the lovely and cosmopolitan city of Charleston — replete with gardens, wonderful hotels and restaurants, stunning architecture, and a warm climate — as their choice to host Spoleto USA, where over 200 American and international premiers have  been featured.

According to its organizers, the the Spoleto Festival’s mission is “to present programs of the highest artistic caliber while maintaining a dedication to young artists, a commitment to all forms of the performing arts, a passion for contemporary innovation, and an enthusiasm for providing unusual performance opportunities for established artists.”  The fulfillment of their stated mission has brought Spoleto USA yearly international acclaim.

This year’s performances include:




Tony Award-winner Garry Hynes makes her operatic debut directing one of the great 20th century operas




Sci-fi, art history, and a little conspiracy theory mix to challenge how we treat each other in this twenty-first-century opera




A “Messiah for the modern age” (Los Angeles Times), this beautiful retelling of the nativity story focuses on the voice of women and the miracle of birth




A mother-and-son duo tell a heartwarming story of family, arranged marriage, and the quest for the perfect bride




The incomparable Gate Theatre returns to Charleston with Daphne du Maurier’s spellbinding thriller.

Physical Theater



Australian acrobatic ensemble executes breathtaking feats and pushes the boundaries of human physicality



Finnish aerialist challenges the boundaries of movement in a spellbinding program featuring animated projections, trapeze, and aerial ballet



This unconventional tap troupe challenges the notions of tap in a new and exciting way 



South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma draws inspiration from his ancestral past in the vibrant work Exit/Exist



This sleek contemporary ballet company presents a diverse repertoire of adventuresome choreography




Popular twice-daily concert series features 11 fresh and distinctive programs performed by a talented roster of artists



The Festival’s acclaimed choir-in-residence performs works by Daniel Elder, Eriks Esenvalds, Brahms, and Durufle.




Westminster Choir presents two exquisite settings of this timeless hymn of praise




The unofficial “first family of the banjo” combines powerful vocals and revolutionary instrumental techniques




This young singer/songwriter‘s music walks the line between jazz and pop




A trio of banjo, guitar, and bass expand folk music and embody the spirit of exploration with their innovative and original music




Rising star Joseph Young leads the Festival Orchestra in a showcase of orchestral splendor with works by Barber, Adams, and Bartók




John Kennedy leads the Festival Orchestra in a program comprised of Beethoven’s seventh symphony and two homages to the masterpiece




The film score composer for The Piano andGattaca is joined by Festival musicians for an evening of his compositions




An all-day party including picnicking, a beer garden, fireworks, and a mainstage concert by Charleston’s own Shovels & Rope

Wells Fargo Jazz



Guitar, piano, and percussion explore the sublime possibilities of popular music from their native Argentina and other parts of South America




A finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition, this young singer is a rising star on the American jazz scene




A Mandolinist-led ensemble brings to life the rich syncopation and counterpoint of Brazilian choro music




This British pianist and composer moves effortlessly between classical and jazz




This Louisiana-born singer/guitarist blends country, R&B, and blues-rock in her scuffed, rootsy songs




One of the Festival’s most popular jazz vocalists returns to Charleston in a performance paying tribute to the legendary Eartha Kitt




Part saxophonist, part opera tenor, Hakon Kornstad is not to be missed

All photographs courtesy of the Spoleto USA.  For further information, please visit Spoleto USA’s  website.

Father Keith Roderick, Human Rights Hero

by Village Lane

Father Keith Roderick

Father Keith Roderick

Earlier this year, a great human rights leader, Father Keith Roderick passed away with little notice from the media.

Father Keith served as Secretary General of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR).  The Coalition has since become a consortium of over fifty-five organizations working together to protect the rights of minorities living in Islamic countries. Members of the Coalition include Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Assyrians, Armenians, Bahai, Copts, Lebanese, Indonesians, Iranians, Pakistanis, Indians, Sudanese, Nigerians, and others.

Father Keith fought for Soviet dissidents in the Soviet Union and also served as the Co-Director of the International Task Force, formerly The Task Force on Soviet Jewry, and as Executive Director of the Sudan Campaign. He co-chaired the Coalition to Save Iraq’s Christians and Other Defenseless Minorities.

An advocate for the persecuted and oppressed of all faiths across the globe, Father Keith fought the battle for international religious freedom with courage, diligence and grace.  He earned the respect, affection and loyalty of people of many faiths who saw in him a leader of extraordinary commitment to principle.

Thomas Birch, American painter

by Village Lane

Thomas Birch, Country Road

Thomas Birch, Country Road

Thomas Birch (1779 –1851), was an English-born American artist.  He  came to America in 1794 and helped his father, William Birch, also an artist, prepare a 29-plate collection of engravings, Birch’s Views of Philadelphia.  President John Adams and Vice President Thomas Jefferson subscribed to the series.

Birch was known for his maritime paintings, winter scenes, portraits, naval battles, engravings of city locales, and an unfinished engraving of the U.S. Capitol. His work can be viewed at museums including the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts PAFA, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Wendell Minor’s America

by Village Lane

Artist Wendell Minor

Artist Wendell Minor

Rockwell Museum Exhibition Looked at 25 Years of Work by Nation’s Premier Historical Picture Book Illustrator

Information from Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA:  

Award-winning illustrator Wendell Minor drew his way through childhood in Aurora, Illinois, inspired by the richly illustrated magazines that were so much a part of American life during the mid-twentieth century. Today he is considered one of our nation’s premier historical illustrators, traveling throughout the United States to research, draw and paint on location, and immerse himself in the subject at hand. Last fall Norman Rockwell Museum celebrated the artist’s four-decade career, highlighting his many cover illustrations and 25th anniversary illustrating children’s books, each inspired by his love of history, art, science, and the natural world—”Wendell Minor’s America.”

Wendell Minor, "Abraham Lincoln Comes Home," 2008.

Wendell Minor, “Abraham Lincoln Comes Home,” 2008. Cover illustration for “Abraham Lincoln Comes Home” by Robert Burleigh, Henry Holt and Co. Watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©Wendell Minor. All rights reserved.

“Wendell Minor’s America” traced the personal and artistic journey of the acclaimed book illustrator and admirer of Norman Rockwell, through original artwork, artifacts, and references from Minor’s expansive visual chronicles, as well as commentary about his collaborations with our nation’s most prominent authors, scientists, and historians; highlights include original work from such books as “Reaching for the Moon” and “Look to the Stars” by Buzz Aldrin; “Sitting Bull Remembers” by Ann Turner; “Abraham Lincoln Comes Home” by Robert Burleigh; “Arctic Son” by Jean Craighead George; “Shane” by Jack Schaefer; and “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by many of the noted authors and editors with whom Minor has partnered.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, who has collaborated with the artist on such books as “1776,” “John Adams,” and “Truman,” who spoke at the exhibition, recently remarked that “Minor is always showing what he loves—the great outdoors, crystal night skies, the moon in all its phases, the plain vernacular architecture of American small towns and remote farm houses… showing what you love to your audience is the heart of effective teaching.  Besides being a supremely gifted artist and natural storyteller, Wendell Minor is a very great teacher—which is another reason why his work is of such value.”

“I always looked forward to a Norman Rockwell cover,” says Wendell Minor. “Somehow I felt he brought people and places to life. I distinctly remember his ‘Saturday Evening Post’ cover, ‘Breaking Home Ties’—in 1954 I looked at that painting and said, ‘I’m going to go away someday, to school and learn how to draw. I think every Rockwell painting that I saw gave me that sense of wanting to find that America.”

Presented through Norman Rockwell Museum’s Distinguished Illustrator Series, “Wendell Minor’s America” took museum visitors on a journey through history, from sea to shining sea, reflecting on the artist’s love of our country’s varied landscape and a deep respect for the environment.

About Wendell Minor

Since his childhood in Aurora, Illinois, Wendell Minor (b. 1944) has had a romance with America. And as he explores more regions more closely, his love of the country grows with a vision that celebrates the beautiful, the lyrical. After completing his studies at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, Minor began creating original designs for Hallmark Cards, as well as book publishers in New York City. His cover illustrations have enhanced more than 2,000 works.

The artist draws upon his lifelong affinity for environmental issues to create illustrations for children’s books, which he finds especially satisfying. They allow him to combine his love of the outdoors with his independent pursuits— including painting the landscape from life, in the tradition of classic American painters such as Homer, Hopper, and Wyeth. His wish is to inspire children to go out into the fields and woods and mountains to see wildlife in its natural habitat, and to give the children a positive perspective about the beauty that abounds in the world.

To research his children’s books, Minor has traveled from the tropical Everglades to the Arctic Circle to the Midwest to the Grand Canyon. He loves bringing the scenes of nature to children and is particularly close to the children’s books he has illustrated. Minor has said, “A picture invites the viewer into it and offers a sense of mystery. It lets the viewer become part of the process.”

His award-winning books have frequently been named on the annual lists for Notable Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies, Outstanding Science Trade Books, and IRA Teachers’ Choices. His books have also received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio and Parents’ Choice Awards and been featured on PBS’s The Reading Rainbow.

Wendell Minor has had numerous solo exhibitions, and his work can be found in the permanent collections of Norman Rockwell Museum, the Illinois State Museum, Muskegon Museum of Art, Mattatuck Museum (of Connecticut), the Mazza Museum at Findlay University, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Museum of American Illustration, NASA, Arizona Historical Society, U.S. Coast Guard and the Library of Congress.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, he serves on the Advisory Council for the Connecticut Center for the Book, and is a member of The Children’s Book Council (CBC), a non-profit trade organization dedicated to encouraging literacy and the use and enjoyment of children’s books. Referring to himself as a “recovering dyslexic,” he speaks in classrooms across the country, sharing with students of all ages the difficulties he experienced with reading as a child, and for those who have similar difficulties, how they too can overcome them.

Minor lives and works with his wife, Florence, and their two cats, in rural Connecticut.

Autumn Country Chic: Hitting the Right Note at Thanksgiving

by Village Lane



Some families dress up for their Thanksgiving celebrations — others prefer a more casual approach.

What to do when you don’t know the “dress code”?

Chic but timeless, classic styles in fall colors will safely take you from discussing stock picks over sherry, to passing the cranberries at a candle-lit table, to tossing a football around with the kids into the late afternoon and early evening.

Layer quality pieces in browns, greys, and other fall tones in garments made of pure fabrics such as wools, cashmeres, cotton — this will give a welcome warmth and texture to your look.

Then let accessories express your personality:  beautiful muted, autumny-color in a hat, belt, scarf or gloves can add interest.



Photo credit: Shutterstock