The 6-6-6 on Haunted Locations in the U.S.

Halloween is just a few weeks away now, not that we’re counting or anything. In the coming weeks there will be a slew of TV specials about ghosts, Halloween attractions and haunted sites. We’ve weeded through the pumpkin patch of purported haunted restaurants, hotels and attractions around the country to bring you a list of the top 6-6-6 haunted locations around the United States. Most of these venues have special events, tours or haunted houses during the months of September and October.

Top 6 Haunted Attractions & Museums

1. Winchester Mystery House (San Jose, CA)

The residence of Sarah Winchester (widow to the rifle fortune) was built with the guidance of the spirit world, with the warning that the ghosts of those who died at the hands of her family’s weapons would seek their vengeance if construction ever stopped.

2. Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, PA)

Eastern State was in operation from 1829 to 1971, housing inmates in dark, solitary cells for 23 hours a day. Some of the ghosts at this prison include former guards and inmates, such as Al Capone and Willie Sutton.

Photo courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary.

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Art Top 5: Fall 2011 Photography Exhibitions

We hereby present our new column–the Art Top 5. Every month we will publish a list of exhibitions or art events in the SF Bay Area that we find the most interesting. Our first column will be dedicated to photography, since this fall is going to be rich with good photo exhibits.

More American Photographs, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, October 4 – December 17, 2011

The CCA Wattis seems hell-bent on exploring America’s psyche. In the recent past it staged a series of shows focusing on particular states (“Americana: 50 States, 50 Months, 50 Exhibitions”) as well as exhibits dedicated to American literary classics such as Moby Dick and Huckleberry Finn. “More American Photographs” is a no less ambitious undertaking: the CCA Wattis asked twelve contemporary artists to follow the footsteps of Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and others who documented rural poverty as part of the Farm Security Administration’s Depression-era photography program. The “lineup” of those who were chosen to picture the precariousness of 21st-century American life varies wildly: from Martha Rosler, whose name is associated with razor-sharp social critique, to Larry Clark, who is famous for his sleazy photos of youngsters on the loose. The contributors’ list is indeed a “who’s who” of contemporary US photography, featuring also Catherine Opie, Stephen Shore, Katy Grannan, and Alec Soth. I am particularly interested in what the latter came up with, knowing his gift for spotting madness in seemingly insignificant stuff. A number of works by the FSA photographers will also be presented.

Catherine Opie, Bravo, 2011. 15 x 20 inches. Inkjet print. Courtesy the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles

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The Art of the Anatolian Kilim: Highlights from the McCoy Jones Collection at the de Young Museum [Review]

To tell you the truth, I am far from a specialist in the field of textiles, but what I can say for sure is that the Anatolian kilim exhibition currently on view at the de Young Museum is well worth a visit. Every expert would agree with me on that: those in the know claim that the de Young’s collection of antique rugs and carpets produced by nomadic tribes in the Asian part of Turkey is among the world’s finest. And not only that – you hardly ever get a chance to behold a crafts show in such a setting.

Kilim, 18th century Turkey, Anatolia Wool, cotton; slit tapestry weave 142.2 x 350.5 cm (56 x 138 in.) The Caroline and H. McCoy Jones Collection Gift of Caroline McCoy-Jones.

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The Steins Collect at SF MOMA – [Review]

This year’s big summer exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art zooms in on the collections of the writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) and her brothers Leo and Michael. Having spent a large chunk of their lives in France, the American-born siblings are counted among the earliest supporters of Parisian avant-garde art. At the SF MOMA’s “The Steins Collect,” the Parisian avant-garde is exactly what you’re going to see.

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