Albert Lea

December 3, 2013

When I came to Minneapolis from NYC in 1975 I had the pleasure to be a tourist in the state of Minnesota. Each weekend I would travel alone or with friends to new communities and explore them with a camera. Soon my life became tangled in the weekend frivolities of the Twin Cities and my local tourist adventures took a back seat to seek broader adventures and visits requiring airplanes. Here it is 38 years later and once again I am excited to be a Minnesota tourist visiting post offices and their communities.

This is not the first post office I have visited since we started the project, (those P.O.s will come later) but Albert Lea is the most recent.

On Black Friday I was on 35W passing by Albert Lea. I took the opportunity to take the time to find the Albert Lea Post Office. It stands as a well-preserved stalwart matron at 141 S. Newton Ave, 56007.MN near a lake.

The interior is pleasently formal with a friendly air of official authority and public service. It has an inviting table and chair to pen a note, address a package, or other mailing activities.

Its lighting is as elegant as a Sunday hat. The fixtures infuse the room with a pleasant glow, throwing subtle shadows of the metal lace work on the ceiiling.

Had a “Chic” salade at Nancy’s Café and admired many of the displayed objects.

Leaving town I found many other enjoyable visual public features.

Albert Lea is named for Albert Miller Lea

Lea was a topographer who surveyed southern Minnesota with the US Dragoons. Nathan,
a son of Daniel Boone, scouted for their unit.

According to Wikipedia , Rockabilly Musician; Eddie Cochran, Actress; Marion Ross, Congressman; Tim Penny and Writer/Director/Actor (Creature From the Black Lagoon); Richard Carlson, Wrestler; Perry Saturn, Basketball; Ben Woodside, Football; Tom Brown and Vinny Cerrato all hail from Albert Lea.

Two heavy hitter artists also claim Albert Lea as their home town.
Alexander Grinager 1865-1949

Grinager participated in exhibits of the Minneapolis Art League and the Artists League of Minneapolis between 1887 and 1915. He exhibited at the Minnesota Industrial Exposition in 1891 and in 1893. He supported himself as an easel painter, stage designer and muralist.

Self Portrait - 1919 and Boys Bathing - 1894

Mary Kelly Conceptual Artist - project-based work

MARY KELLY studied at St. Martin’s School of Art in London. Currently, Professor of Art, UCLA. Recent exhibitions of her work include the 2004 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and, forthcoming, Documenta XII, Kassel.  She is the author of Post-Partum Document, Generali Foundation, Vienna and University of California Press, 1998 and  Imaging Desire, MIT Press, Boston, 1996.  A survey of her work, Mary Kelly, was published by Phaidon Press, London, 1997.
Her web page is an excellent survey of her career and her art.
The following link is an interview with Mary Kelly at 70 years of age

Vox Manet, 2006
Mickey,1 of 3 works
Compressed lint
49 x 73.5 x 2 ins
The Burger Collection, Hong Kong