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Multiple toes: photographs of statue feet with kaleidoscope lens

Hercules and Lichas (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
Hercules and Lichas, c. 1600/25, Italian
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1968.613
European Painting and Sculpture, Gallery 206

While photographing the feet of a sculpture of two naked men wrestling, at the Art Institute of Chicago, a guard stopped me. She asked what the clip was on my camera.

I walked over to her, and showed her how the clip is a kaleidoscope lens for my iPhone.

Holding my phone up, I showed her the screen and what it looked like when the lens is over the camera. Pretty trippy stuff. (Here’s a 13-second video)

She was astonished by the awesome effect. She asked if that’s how the photos actually appear. So I showed her some photos on my phone. Actually, all the photos in my camera roll were of sculptures’ feet from the museum. All feet. All the photos.

Photos of feet in my iPhone camera roll
Nydia, The Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii
modeled 1855–56, carved 1858 by Randolph Rogers
Art Institute reference number 1896.77 • American Art, Gallery 161

Heh, kinda strange, right? I felt like I had some explaining to do.

What photographs well with a kaleidoscope lens

  1. bowls of fruit
  2. flowers
  3. toes

Basically anything that has multiples. So um, yeah, that’s why I have tons of foot photos in my camera roll. 😉

She was amazed at how the detail remains in the photo, even with the kaleidoscope effect. Yeah, it IS pretty cool.

That day I photographed the feet from 19 different statues at the Art Institute of Chicago.

By the end of my visit, I was quite footigued.

Nydia, The Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii (foot through kaleidosco
Nydia, The Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii
modeled 1855–56, carved 1858 by Randolph Rogers
Art Institute reference number 1896.77 • American Art, Gallery 161
The Solitude of the Soul (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
The Solitude of the Soul
modeled in plaster 1901; sculpted in marble 1914, Lorado Taft
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1914.739 • American Art, Gallery 161
Jephthah's Daughter (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
Jephtha’s Daughter
1874, Chauncey Bradley Ives
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 2001.418 • American Art, Gallery 161
Truth (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
Truth” by Daniel Chester French, 1900
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1984.531 • American Art, Gallery 161
Statuary Group of Leda and the Swan (foot through kaleidoscope l
Statuary Group of Leda and the Swan
Roman 1st/2nd century
Art Institute reference number 240772
Statue of the Muse Melpomene (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
Statue of the Muse Melpomene
Roman, Asia Minor About 2nd century
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 5.2014
Nydia, The Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii (foot through kaleidosco
Nydia, The Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii
modeled 1855–56, carved 1858″ by Randolph Rogers
Art Institute reference number 1896.77 • American Art, Gallery 161
Bacchante with Infant Faun (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
Bacchante with Infant Faun” Modeled 1894, cast after 1894
Frederick W. MacMonnies; Cast by: Jaboeuf et Rouard
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1984.571 • American Art, Gallery 161
Bacchante with Infant Faun (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
Bacchante with Infant Faun” Modeled 1894, cast after 1894
Frederick W. MacMonnies; Cast by: Jaboeuf et Rouard
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1984.571 • American Art, Gallery 161
The Sun Vow (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
The Sun Vow” by Hermon Atkins MacNeil
Modeled 1898, cast 1901
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1926.1503 American Art, Gallery 161
The Solitude of the Soul (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
The Solitude of the Soul
modeled in plaster 1901; sculpted in marble 1914, Lorado Taft
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1914.739 • American Art, Gallery 161
The Freedman (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
The Freedman
1862–63 John Quincy Adams Ward
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1998.1 • American Art, Gallery 171
The Boy (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
The Boy“, 1900-1902
Artist: Elihu Vedder American, 1836–1923; Modeled by: Charles Keck
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1978.295 • American Art, Gallery 161
Statue of Bacchus and Pan (foot through kaleidoscope lens)
Statue of Bacchus and Pan
Roman, about 2nd century
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 59.2015
God Shiva as Lord Who Is Half-Male, Half-Female (foot through ka
God Shiva as Lord Who Is Half-Male, Half-Female (Ardhanarishvara)
14th century India, Tamil Nadu
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 2002.631 • Asian Art, Gallery 141
God Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles (foot through kaleidoscope len
God Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles
9th/10th century Artist: Indonesia, Central Java
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1996.673 • Asian Art, Gallery 142
Bodhisattva Simhanada Lokeshvara (foot through kaleidoscope lens
Bodhisattva Simhanada Lokeshvara
Pala period, about 11th century, India, Bihar
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 2019.729 • Asian Art, Gallery 140
Buddha Shakyamuni Seated in Meditation (foot through kaleidoscop
Buddha Shakyamuni Seated in Meditation (Dhyanamudra)
Chola period, about 12th century, India, Tamil Nadu, Nagapattinam
Art Institute of Chicago reference number 1964.556 • Asian Art, Gallery 140

Lots and lots and lots of toes. Lots of foot for thought.

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