Monday, May 25, 2009


Today, Memorial Day, instead of burying myself in a book, I decided to accompany my visiting sister to the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland ME. It was a glorious, sunny, postcard perfect day, and we could not resist being able to take our time lingering through five gorgeous exhibits. It was the last day for an exhibit called Four In Maine, featuring among other things the pinhole photograry of Chris Pinchbeck, and the shell (as in sea creatures) art of Brian White. If you ever get a chance to see his work don't miss it. Hill Country House girl has a great blog on her site complete with pictures. There were several other exhibits that left us with a mind-boggling appreciation of a wide variety of talent: The N.C. Wyeth illustrations sent me scavenging as soon as I got home to find those books we own with his works in them. The pictures are of such a vibrant and lifelike quality, that they still entice readers of all ages. I have set them aside for our grand-daughter's visit later this summer. The exhibition of Jamie Wyeth's Seven Deadly Sins was displayed with an explanation of the historic philosophy of these concepts, along with quotes from various works discussing them: Dante's Inferno, Chaucer, Thomas Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation, Bertolt Brecht's Seven Deadly Sins of the Lower Middle Class, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, and Spencer's Fairie Queene. A feast for readers to complement the artist. There was even a movie playing that showed Wyeth painting his famous Inferno. What was most moving for me however on this Memorial Day were two small etchings by an artist who was new to me: Kerr Eby. These were in the exhibit American Arts between the Wars. Artillery Train and Shadows were done as part of his series of war prints. On the wall next to them was mounted the normal museum blurb about the artist, the techique, the provenance, etc, but it was the quote from a book entitled War published by Yale University Press in 1936, that brought home the true meaning of Memorial Day. I may not have been reading, but this magnificent collection made as much impact as any book could have. I leave you with
Can't (we) do something that will allow them to become more than a all those ghastly acres of the dead?


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