Monday, March 29, 2010

A Quick Look at Some Examples of American Art

Last week I dropped off a "mini masterpiece" painting for the 10th Annual Fundraising Gala at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

A few days ago I shared a video of the beautiful art benches that are strategically placed in the galleries so visitors can rest and contemplate the art.

Today I have a short video to share with you of what else caught my eye on this recent trip.

Here are a few things I found really interesting. This painting is the original artwork by N.C. Wyeth for an illustration in Treasure Island.

If you thought that illustration was tight and mechanical and something less than fine art...take a look at a detail from this painting...

Painted in 1911, here is the caption that goes along with this piece, "One more step Mr. Hands, said I, "And I'll blow your brains out". Exciting stuff! Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson was my second favorite of his books, the first being Kidnapped, which I read for the first time when I was 11 or 12. It kept me enthralled for days!

With childhood memories already bubbling up I encountered one of the museum's most recent acquisitions that took me further down the path of memory.

Places of the Heart #17, Prilla Smith Brackett, 2009

detail of above

This series of paintings according to the artist explores the intermingling of the domestic and the natural. Semi-transparent furniture from another era mixed with forest imagery.

"Forests have long been places on civilizations edge, places of refuge and hidden secrets, of solace and spirituality, of make believe" ~Prilla Smith Brackett

This painting struck such a chord in me because it reminded me of something in my young childhood. Bear in mind that I grew up in a time when it was safe to send your young children out to play for the day in the neighborhood without a worry in the world.

At the end of my street (the boundary set for me at 5 or 6 years old) there was an empty lot between the last two houses. It was overgrown and weedy. Someone had dumped some old furniture and appliances there, they were near the center of the lot and well hidden by brush, trees and vines. Of course we weren't supposed to go into the empty lot, but in we went none the less. The abandoned furniture and appliances were the perfect setting for playing "house" as young children have done for time immemorial. I spent many, many happy hours with the neighborhood children in an imaginary world fueled by by someones domestic castaways.

This painting brought this memory right up to the front of my mind and made me smile.

There's quite a bit more to share, but I will save that for another day!

1 comment:

AutumnLeaves said...

What a lover of life you are, Jan. Always full of interesting tidbits here and I always enjoy the ride with you. Your memories echo my own...