Saturday, 20 July 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM BERMUDA

The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse stands on the highest point of Bermuda in Southampton Parish, southwest of Hamilton (32° 15' N 64° 50' W). The 40.5 m (133 ft.) round white cast iron tower is the second oldest cast iron lighthouse in the Americas.
Bermuda limestone, which had been intended for the lighthouse base, was too soft to support the weight and size of the lantern purchased from England to light the tower. Instead, Alexander Gordon designed a cast iron base; 135 concentric cast iron plates in a base of 20 feet of concrete. The plates were fabricated and shipped to Bermuda where the lighthouse was pieced together and first lit on May 1, 1846.
The current optic consists of a 1st order Fresnel lens installed in 1904 and its light beam can be seen 40 miles out to sea. The lighthouse was electrified in 1952 and on June 4, 1964 new electrical equipment was installed and since then the entire operation works automatically. A radar antenna for marine shipping was installed atop the lighthouse in 1987. The optic lens system was damaged by Hurricane Fabian on September 5, 2003 and the tower went dark for three weeks. The Fresnel lens was taken out of service while four fixed halogen lights were temporary lit. After three months of repair, the original lens was replaced on May 2004. 
The Bermuda Post Office released on July 12, 2012 a set of six stamps named “Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art: 25th anniversary”. The stamps depict paintings of international artists who came to paint Bermuda landscapes, its people and cultural heritage. This unique period started in the 1860s, when a number of American and British artists used their time in the winter months painting in the sub-tropical climate of Bermuda. Most painters were of the school of American impressionism including Thomas Anshutz, author of “South shore” the oil on board (1910) depicted on the stamp.

The permanent collection of the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art began with twelve paintings depicting Bermuda. Today, after 25 years the collection consists of over 1500 pieces of art covering all mediums including painting, photography, and sculpture, all drawing inspiration from the beauty of Bermuda. 

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