Cool Stuff

Watch of The Day – Van Cleefe & Arples

P-1_22-Place-Vendome-1906_vancleefarpels

   Van Cleef & Arpels have been making exquisite jewelry inspired by their love for each other since 1906. Daughter of dealer in precious stones, Estelle Arples and Alfred Van Cleef, who was the son of a Stone-cutter married in 1985, the beginning of a dazzling journey. The young enthusiastic couple whom had a passion for precious stones found the Maison of Van Cleef & Arples in Place Vendome in Paris. Over the years they achieved success in making beloved jewelry that has been accompanied by an enchanting love story.

U-B1-V_Estelle-and-Alfred_vancleefarpels

Estelle Arples and Alfred Van Cleef

We have a deal of the century here at the Dina Collection, just in time for the holidays too. Give someone you love this brilliant Van Cleef & Arples Pendant Diamond Watch.

Get it now on our eBay Account 

$_57

Auguste Rodin “Pioneer of Modern Sculpture”

French sculptor Auguste Rodin is known for creating several iconic works, he surpassed a turbulent and discouraging beginning and is now considered one of the “Pioneers” of modern sculpture .

Auguste_Rodin_fotografato_da_Nadar_nel_1891

Because of poor vision, Rodin had trouble seeing figures drawn on the blackboard in school and struggled to follow lesson especially in the more academic courses, this excluded him greatly. Being that he was nearsighted, Rodin developed an evident talent as an artist after finding comfort in drawing. Discouraged and doubtful after receiving little validation and encouragement from instructors and classmates, his disappointed continued after being denied twice at the prestigious art school in Paris; Ecole Des Beaux-Arts. Feeling rejected and having to earn a living, Rodin began working as a decorative bricklayer.

gates-hell

Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin

Two decades later, Rodin made the bold decision to embark in an artistic career. Soon after “The Vanquished”, which was later named “The Age of Bronze”, was completed. Although this piece earned Rodin some recognition, it was not until he was in his early 40’s that he was established for his distinctive style as a sculptor. A Bronze sculpture “The Brurghers of Calais,” depicting the war during the Hundred Years war between France and England was made a public monument. This was one of many commissioned pieces that Rodin made. Sadly, Rodin did not live to finish “The Gates of Hell”, an intricate monument which consisted of various figures, including “The Thinker” (1880) and “the Kiss” (1886) but he did live to see that his talents were greatly appreciated. Considered a pioneer of modern sculpture, Rodin’s work continues to be studied and admired by scholars, artist, students and the “average joe.”

Here at The Dina Collection we are fortunate to have one of his timeless pieces “The Eternal Spring”. Rodin Strongly believed in being one with nature, this philosophy can be seen through many of his works.

"Eternal Spring"

“Eternal Spring”

“There are unknown forces in nature; when we give ourselves wholly to her, without reserve, she lends them to us; she shows us these forms, which our watching eyes do not see, which our intelligence does not understand or suspect.”

Happy Birthday Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly – Well known TV actress during the Golden age of Television, Golden Globe and Academy award Nominee and winner, and of course Princess would have celebrated her Birthday today!

MV5BMTgzNjI4MzY1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMTM4MzQ2._V1_SX640_SY720_

Her exquisite, pearl like beauty, her restrained sexuality and her regal presence helped make Grace Patricia Kelly the star that she was and continues to be. She decided at a young age that she wanted to become an Actress and moved to New York City to pursue her aspiration at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, although her affluent father did not necessarily support it.

Embarking in an acting career in the 1950’s also known as the Golden Age of Television, she was featured in over 40 episodes of live drama productions and various theatrical productions. She gained stardom once she started to make appearances on film.

Winning an Oscar for Best Actress in Mogambo, Three Golden Globes and a multitude of other nomination and wins, she was able to dazzle the heart of the Prince of Monaco who made her Princess!

Today we celebrate her radiant aristocratic ways and her serene highness. Happy Birthday Grace Kelly!

Wednesday Wisdom – Neil Young

“Rock and Roll can never die” 

Neil Young hands Matt Furman for The Wall Street Journal

Neil Young is one of the most enigmatic, brilliant and accomplished musicians to have emerged in the mid 1960’s. Co-founder of the band Buffalo Springfield and being one the most influential song writers and guitarist of his generation, he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice! “Hey Hey, My My (into the  black)” “Old Man”, “Harvest Moon”, Rockin’ in the Free world” and “Heart of Gold” , a Number 1 hit, are all time-transcending songs and he continues to create.

Today Neil is 69 years young, 2014 was another amazing year for him too; two albums released, a film premiered, his 2nd book published and the Crazy Horse Tour!

Although he is known to be a loner and often a dark soul there is no doubt he is a wise one. Here are a couple of wise quotes taken from his songs.

“As you go through life, you’ve got to see the valleys as well as the peaks”
“As I get older, I get smaller. I see other parts of the world I didn’t see before. Other points of view. I see outside myself more”
“The ’60s was one of the first times the power of music was used by a generation to bind them together”
“If you follow every dream, you might get lost.” – The Painter
“Respect Mother Earth and her giving ways or trade away our children’s days. – Mother Earth
‘Some get stoned, some get strange, but sooner or later it all gets real.’ –  Walk On
‘Imagination is my best friend.” –  Razor Love
“It’s going to take a lot of love to make things work out right.” – Nicolette Larson, Lotta Love

Celebrating Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

r-KURT-VONNEGUT-GAME-large570

On November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the most influential American Novelist of the twentieth century and one of the great Humanist of his time was born. “Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishments after you are dead.” Kurt Vonnegut, Jr exerted this energy and you can see this sort of selflessness and light attitude throughout his works and his life.

Vonnegut enlisted in the United States Army while attending Cornell University, majoring in Chemistry, the army transferred him to Carnegie Institute of Technology and later to the University of Tennessee. During this time his mother, whom many claim, is to be the only women he truly ever loved, committed suicide the night before Mother’s Day. This is only the beginning of his compelling life.  Once World War II came around he was reassigned to a combat because of lack of man power. Vonnegut was imprisoned in Dresden where he was captured. Fortunately, he was part of a group of American prisoners whom survived the bombing in an underground slaughterhouse where he was being sheltered which the Germans called Schlachthof Fünf (Slaughterhouse Five). Having to witness the allied firebombing of the city and complete devastation of its outcome, these experiences inspired his famous novel Slaughterhouse-Five. He would not write this novel for another 20 years or so. He notes “I thought it would be easy for me to write about the destruction of Dresden, since all I would have to do would be to report what I had seen,” He claimed this work to be a “failure” but it is clear that the audience disagrees, it quickly became a bestseller and helped recognize Vonnegut as an exceptional writer.

Report on the Barnhouse Effect was Vonneguts first published short story, around the same time he moved to Cape Cod to fully dedicate his time to writing. His first Novel Player Piano (1952) depicting a dystopian era in which human workers are replaced by machines, an ironically relevant theme in our current society, is also theme that has makes a constant appearance in all his works. The Sirens of Titans(1959), Cat’s Cradle(1963) as well as various other short stories shortly followed. When the 1960’s came around his style of writing started to morph and had more autobiographical approach. This is when Slaughterhouse-Five came along as well as other renowned works like Breakfast for Champions (1973) which also became a best-selling novel.

Vonnegut distinct and persuasive writing style combined satire, humor and science fiction to create some of his best works. His novels were celebrated and even closely studied; various universities had courses that analyzed Vonnegut’s writing in depth. Little do his fans know but he too had a career as a graphic artist beginning this career with the illustrations for Slaughterhouse-five and continued to develop with Breakfast for champions.  Some of his other works were exhibited at the Margo Feiden Galleries Ltd in New York. Nanette Vonnegut, Vonnegut’s daughter, published a book of her father’s drawings in May of 2014 entitled Kurt Vonnegut’s Drawings.

Also recognized for his political views, Kurt Vonnegut was a lifetime member of the American Civil Liberties Union and was known to frequently address many moral issues. In 1968 he signed the “Writers and Editors war Tax Protest” pledge which vowed to refuse tax payment in protest against the Vietnam War. He was also not shy in voicing his opinion which did cause controversy at times. Isn’t this what we love about Vonnegut though, his true to self comments.

Vonnegut’s influence extends beyond literature, his wit and artistic bohemianism accompanied by his political point of view have made the audience recognize him as a strong intellectual character that abandons social conventions and although has gone through hardships he has been able to stay optimistic and true to his beliefs and craft.

Happy Birthday Kurt Vonnegut and thank you for your influences

Happy Birthday Kurt Vonnegut and thank you for your influences

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning to do afterward.” — Kurt Vonnegut

And in Celebration of Veterans day or in his case Armistice day, here is a quote from Breakfast of Champions.

“So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel in time back to November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.”

– Breakfast of Champions (1973)

Richard Burton for today’s Man Crush Monday

2033_118395489332

Today’s #ManCrushMonday will go to Birthday boy Richard Burton. Although he is recognized for his turbulent lifestyle alongside the numerous marriages he has had, Richard Burton is still one of the more celebrated actors from the post-World War II era. Well known for his infamous marriage, divorce and then remarriage to Elizabeth Taylor, Burton was definitely a ladies man back in his day. Nevertheless, Richard Burton established himself as a Shakespearean actor in the 1950’s especially in his role in Hamlet. He practiced his talents in many mediums like film, TV, Radio, stage and Commercial and was nominated seven times for an Academy Award! Check out this short Documentary on our Man Crush today and celebrate his birthday and accomplishments!