Saturday, October 24, 2009

APPRECIATION

My house is adorned with artwork hanging on the walls. These are paintings we have been collecting, for a lifetime. Most have more sentimental value than monetary. Some of them belonged to my in-laws, before they died... some, to my grandmother, others were my husband’s and there are a few that were mine. Now they belong to us. At the time we acquired them, there was a story attached to each one, that we mulled over. As the years passed… they just hung there, pretty much ignored, except for dusting… until the other day. Our four-year-old granddaughter was here, and she started asking questions about them... which proves, art appreciation starts at any age. Looking up at a colorful painting of a symphony, behind our sofa, she wanted to know what it was? My husband told her, “ It is musicians playing their instruments.” The same was true of the next two paintings she examined. “More musicians.” One of a trio… the other, of the conductor and orchestra. “What does this one mean”, she asked innocently, walking across the room and pointing out a cityscape of Chicago. I told her it was a painting of the Chicago skyline. “What about this one”, she inquired. “It’s pointillism of a house and flowers, poppies to be exact.” “And this one”, she whispered. I explained that picture was painted by her aunt. It was a pot of gold, at the base of purple mountains, majesty. Temporarily satisfied with the answers she pressed on. Looking quizzically at a bright red and black abstract painting, she wanted to know what the ‘books’ in the picture were. This surprised her grandfather, who always thought the blocks drawn in the painting, represented a street scene in Detroit. So he told her that. “BUT”… she said, “What does it mean? It’s Books.” Out of the mouths of babes… ART interpretation is, all in the eye of the beholder. Forget Woodward Avenue, grandpa… from now on, BOOKS, it is.

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