Beau Cul Nu De College
Plus belles rues de Paris (The most beautiful streets of Paris) filled one side of the lobby with mannequins dressed by various Surrealists. The main hall, or the Salle de Superstition (Room of Superstition), was "a cave-like Gesamtkunstwerk" notably including Duchamp's installation, Twelve Hundred Coal Bags Suspended from the Ceiling over a Stove, which was literally 1,200 stuffed coal bags suspended from the ceiling. The floor was covered by Paalen with dead leaves and mud from the Montparnasse Cemetery. In the middle of the grand hall underneath Duchamp's coal sacks, Paalen installed an artificial water-filled pond with real water lilies and reeds, which he called Avant La Mare. A single light bulb provided the only illumination, so patrons were given flashlights with which to view the art (an idea of Man Ray), while the aroma of roasting coffee filled the air. Around midnight, the visitors witnessed the dancing shimmer of a scantily dressed girl who suddenly arose from the reeds, jumped on a bed, shrieked hysterically, then disappeared just as quickly. Much to the Surrealists' satisfaction, the exhibition scandalized many of the guests.
Beau Cul Nu De College
This Neo-Dada, which they call New Realism, Pop Art, Assemblage, etc., is an easy way out, and lives on what Dada did. When I discovered the ready-mades I sought to discourage aesthetics. In Neo-Dada they have taken my readymades and found aesthetic beauty in them, I threw the bottle-rack and the urinal into their faces as a challenge and now they admire them for their aesthetic beauty.
On leaving this place we passed for a dozen miles through a rich agricultural country, some fine farms having been established upon the fertile alluvial bottoms. For the first nineteen miles we had a tolerably level country, having had to pass only three locks. The Bignonia radicans was everywhere abundant and showy. Five miles before arriving at Monocasy Creek, a calcareous breccia occurs dipping to the east, in broad beds; these are sometimes separated by seams of red shaley argillaceous sandstone, which on the other side of the Monocasy we found in places without any breccia, dipping equally to the east. This breccia, which has furnished the beautiful columns of the Senate-Chamber at Washington, again occurs near to the Point of Rocks, dipping to the west, and completing the anticlinal axis.
The country and river here were both very beautiful, and the district we passed through was singularly fertile, teeming with heavy crops, whilst the scene was much embellished by the fine limestone escarpments on the right bank of the river. On our arrival at Shepherdstown, there being yet some daylight left, I walked to the escarpment, which contained large proportions of hydraulic lime, of a good quality, that had been made serviceable in the construction of the canal. Shepherdstown is an old Virginia village, built upon the fertile limestone valley that traverses the country, and which is filled with rich farms. The Potomac is deep here, and wound in a pleasing serpentine course. It was too evident, however, that every advantage was not taken of the great fertility of the soil, and that slovenly farming kept down its productiveness.
As we approached Cumberland the calcareous beds became very slaty and fossile, and alternated with shale and sandstone, the beds being often contorted and disturbed. Having alighted at a tolerable hotel, I sallied out to look at the place. Cumberland is an old village, and was a post of some celebrity in the time of the Indian wars, in the middle of the eighteenth century. It lies close to the Potomac, in a depressed basin, surrounded by lofty hills, and the situation is quite beautiful. To the west rises a lofty ridge, about 900 feet in height, called Will's Mountain, with an immense gap, through which flows a stream called Will's Creek. East of this mountain a smaller ridge, with a valley on its west and east side. The waters that have in ancient times come down the Potomac, and the various valleys and gorges, have washed away more than a mile and a half in breadth of this ridge, the continuation of which is seen on the other side of the river. Being composed of shale and limestone, the first friable mineral would easily give way, as
Having made a very humble sort of breakfast, our party re-assembled, with the intention of returning to Cumberland, keeping, as far as we could, the left bank of the Potomac. The scenes around us were picturesque and wild; the streams came rushing down from the mountains; and at every turn a new object full of amenity and beauty presented itself. We had to travel about twenty-eight miles to get to Cumberland, and kept a pleasant path close to the edge of the river, which sometimes flowed between narrow gorges, at other times through ample and fertile bottoms teeming with heavy crops of wheat and maize. Sometimes the hills came down with a sharp slope to the river, leaving no room for a path, and then we were obliged to ford the Potomac into the state of Virginia, to be in an hour or two driven back into the state of Maryland from the same cause.
The environs would be beautiful but for the smoke, which defiles every thing. The irregularities of the surface are of the most graceful kind; charming wooded knolls and hills, with lovely vales, are all around, and beautiful rivers flowing between lofty banks.
BEFORE I left Pittsburg devoted one day to a visit to Braddock's Field, about nine miles distant, in the valley of the Mononghahela river, and universally known in the neighbouring country by that name. After going about six miles on the turnpike-road, I turned down on the right to the valley, which is generally about two miles broad, including the beautiful slopes on the north or right bank, that terminate in frequent intervals of rich bottom land close to the river, most of which were covered with fine crops, the whole presenting one of the sweetest scenes I ever saw. The summit of the bank is perhaps 350 feet above the level of the river, and distant from it about 2000 yards, sloping for the greatest part of the way gently down, interrupted by a somewhat flat sort of terrace, about two-thirds of the distance from the river, along which there is now a road; and from it the ground goes by an easy descent to the water. At the period when General Braddock attempted to reach Fort Duquesne, the whole distance from the summit to the stream was densely wooded.
On leaving Braddock's Field I called to see a Mr. Oliver, who lives in the vicinity: he accompanied Mr. Morris Birbeck when he emigrated from England to America, and seems to have finished his Transatlantic Adventures by opening a seminary for young ladies here, which is very usefully and respectably conducted by his wife and himself. From thence I returned to Pittsburg along the banks of the Mononghahela through a charming country, and amused myself collecting freshwater and land shells, some of the last of very great beauty, with fine specimens of encrinital limestone, the beds of which are in some places well exposed in the banks of the river.
HAVING remained longer in this very dngy town of Pittsburg than was quite agreeable, and having visited the principal coal localities in its immediate neighbourhood, I determined, before I left the Ohio, to pay a visit to the celebrated George Rapp, at his colony of Economy, about eighteen miles below. I embarked, therefore, early one fine morning, in the steam-boat Beaver, which was going down the river. The view of Pittsburg and the junction of the Alleghany and Mononghahela, at some little distance from the town, is very peculiar and pleasing; and the banks of the Ohio, which are frequently 300 or 400 feet high, with veins of coal in the rocky ledges far above the level of the river, and beautiful slopes coming gently down to the alluvial bottoms, bearing heavy, crops of grain, present a succession of engaging objects to the traveller, amongst which the fertile islands that are rapidly passed are not the least interesting.
For the first few miles the road ran in the valley of the Big Beaver, near the stream, and was very beautiful. We could see bituminous coal amidst the ledges of the opposite bank very distinctly. There is a canal here, which extends to Newcastle; and they are now projecting a junction from thence into the Ohio Canal. We soon rose upon the table-land of the country, about 800 feet above the level of the navigable streams, in a rather fertile, but very monotonous country, abounding in sordid and filthy taverns, where dram-drinking seems to be the principal branch of business. The distance to Poland was thirty miles, and we reached it before sunset: and, the country not being attractive, I continued my journey all night in the stage, and in the morning reached Ravenna, a large village in Ohio; a point which is almost the summit level of the country, at an elevation of 1140 feet above tide-water. Here I breakfasted, and then continued my journey sixty-four miles to Cleveland, on Lake Erie; the country sloping the whole distance, and containing vast quantities of boulders of primary rocks strewed upon the surface, which appear to have been transported there when the waters of the western lakes extended to the neighbourhood of Ravenna. The land appeared very fertile; new villages were springing up in various places, each one with its neat meeting-house; and evidences, abounded of a resolute, industrious, and orderly population.
This very beautiful flat country requires to be seen only once to produce the conviction, that at no very remote geological period an immense area of country in this part of the world, including part of the shores of the Niagara river, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, with all the flat territory adjacent to them, was covered by one vast body of fresh water, and that the fertile soil now above the level of these waters is a deposit from that ancient lacustrine state of things. In passing up from Detroit here, I have had two or three opportunities of examining the earth brought up from fifteen to twenty feet below, where they were constructing wells, and in each case it was mixed up with shelly matter, but so decayed and broken that it was very difficult to identify the species. There was now a good prospect of finding a natural section, where the shells might be taken out in an undisturbed state, and of settling the point whether they belong to the same families that live in the lake waters at present.