Allerton Treasures Revisted

How about we keep up with the non-birding theme for today’s post.  I’ll even switch it up a bit and break with the Chain O’ Lakes State Park shoots and go with another of my favorite locations – Allerton Park.  This park located in Monticello, Illinois is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors.  It doesn’t matter if you are a birder, flower enthusiast, hiker or even an admirer of the eclectic art scene, Allerton will assuredly entertain you.   The spotlight today is on the art elements contained in the park.

Allerton Park 2015

Allerton has actually been featured several times on this blog including quite a haul on a birding outing last year (link here).  This post is a companion piece to the previous art segment back in December 2012 (link here).   Robert Allerton was an odd sort filling his 1500 acres with all kinds of interesting art pieces.   With the exception of the special setting for the pinnacle piece,  the Sun Singer, most of the pieces are scattered about the park in the flower gardens or out along the various walking trails.  To this day, I probably haven’t found all the pieces he put on display – that is one of the reasons this place is so appealing to me – there is always something outright new or new conditions to capture in the tin.  I believe this particular piece is called Adam (a reproduction of Auguste Rodin’s Adam sculpture from Paris).  Like the Centaur in the previous post, I tend to prefer these in their black and white treatment.

Allerton Park 2015

Hit the link to see a few more shots from Allerton.

I should probably point out that the various features in this park tend to display “all” the features.  If you are uncomfortable with that starkness (in which case I’m guessing you do not spend a lot of time at art related events) or if you don’t want to answer possibly difficult questions from the youngsters you might want to opt for another place to walk.  Case in point…

Allerton Park 2015

This guy can be found tucked away against the wall to the right facing away from the visitor center.  Interesting enough, there doesn’t seem to be any pictures of this statue readily accessible on the internet – the trusty Google searches came up empty, but like I said, it was kinda tucked away.  Ron and I came up on this statue while we were hunting down a bird singing in the area.

In contrast, there are plenty of shots of these stone fishies.  There are number of them in and around the sunken gardens.  I should probably go back and convert this one to black and white and see if I can pull out some contrast in those scales.

Allerton Park 2015

There is definitely a strong Chinese theme through the park.  In multiple areas you can witness various ornate Fu Dogs.  The ones in the Fu Dog garden are a bright purple/blue and are quite stunning if not a bit creepy to look at.  This particular one is actually over by the hotel and conference center.  I can’t remember for sure what building it is up against, but if you are looking at the front of the hotel it will be to your right.  Ron and I spent about 20 minutes in that area trying to locate a bird that wanted to be heard, not seen.  Don’t think we ever got that bird in the tin, but I did locate this statue so didn’t come away empty handed.

Allerton Park 2015

That is all I have for this Allerton session.  However, I do have a bonus for you!  While cleaning up in the digital darkroom, I noticed a shot that I had worked up for last year’s fair competition.  I ended up entering a different shot and forgot all about it.  I happen to really like it, but was struggling to get it the way I wanted for the competition – to keep with the spirit of the photography contests, only standard enhancements are done – some cropping, exposure and color correction are usually about it – in this particular shot, was hoping to blacken out everything but the bench in the far background (I spent a lot of time getting that composition and didn’t want to lose that element, but didn’t need the choppiness in the black on the left and slightly up to the right of her head.

Denver Botanical Gardens - May 2013

I’ll probably cut that out with Photoshop and put it to paper the next time we send prints out.  Oh, almost forgot to mention – this statue actually came from the Indianapolis Botanical Gardens.  You can see more from that shoot as well as the color version of this shot here.

That’s all I have for you today.  Hoping you are enjoying the break from the birds.



2 thoughts on “Allerton Treasures Revisted”

  1. Yes, with all the +1’s you amassed last month I’m really happy to see the break from birds!

    I also like the black and white versions of the statues better. I’m not sure why, but it gives them a classical, timeless look and brings out the texture of the material. I didn’t know that piece was a reproduction of a Rodin statue called “Adam.” How in the world did you find that out?

    I think that bird we were looking for was a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher that we eventually got elsewhere in the park. That was a +1 for both of us.

    I like the idea of blackening out the background in the last picture. I think that will look great!



  2. See all you bird haters out there … sending me all that hate mail and cursing my name for wasting your time with bird posts… see what I had to sacrifice to bring you all these non-birding posts, giving my brother a chance to put some distance on me in the bird count. The horror, the horror.

    I had to search far and wide for that Adam reference. Every path I went down would lead to a nameless picture or a recommendation to buy an Allerton book – ended up finding it on some lady’s architect/sculpture blog.

    Yes, the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher – luckily we got it later during the river loop on the backside of the park, because I totally screwed up the shots the first time we saw it.

    Will let you know how the manipulation goes with the last image!


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