Friday, February 10, 2012

Art and What it Means to Me!

(photo taken back in September 2011 by me)
We are so lucky to have this amazing art museum here. I have been going there since I was a little girl. My grandpa loved to paint and often did reproductions of famous paintings. Especially by Van Gogh. In fact, for the longest time, I thought my grandpa Pete was Van Gogh because we had so many copies of his paintings hanging in our house :)
When I was in high school, I once again started spending time at the museum. Especially with one of my best friends, Linda. It was such a peaceful place for me. Somewhere, I could go and just walk around in the quiet. I always had my few favorite pieces that I loved to visit while there. Number one on the list was this sculpture by Rodin...
 (Photo definitely not taken by me - lol)
"Despair". For a teenage girl in high school going through all that teenage angst, it spoke volumes to me. Although I will never forget the first time I saw it. My friend Linda and I had stopped by and as we walked up to the sculpture she said "Awwwwww" and reached out to pat him, just being silly. The docent on duty exclaimed in a loud voice "Don't touch the sculpture". Well after that we never touched the sculptures or anything for that matter.
But this piece became one of my favorites. It really expressed something that I knew in all my trials and tribulations I had yet to truly experience. Thankfully. 
And then one day it was gone.
I went looking for it and couldn't find it anywhere. 
I just figured it was moved to another museum.
Until today!
Erin and I were driving through the park on our way home from lunch with Mike. She was recalling the flag display (shown in the first photo from the 9/11 tribute) that we had seen last September. At first I couldn't figure out what she was talking about and then it clicked. The Art Museum. She asked if we could go and I said why not. The flags are no longer there, but I was looking forward to walking around the museum with her. It is under construction right now so a lot of exhibits are closed or moved around.
But I still enjoy the quiet and peace. The chance to share one of my favorite places with Erin. 
And then there it was. As we left the little cafe area, right in the next gallery. Despair. 
Can you believe how happy it made me to see this sculpture that represents something quite the opposite of what I was feeling.
Apparently after fifteen long years, it is back.
I didn't have a camera with me today, but I plan on going back.
Because in addition to Despair, I want to get a photo of this painting
Loch Lomonde by Gustave Dore - love this painting! Always have.
And one of my favorite Van Gogh's
Stairway at Auvers. Yep, I had a copy of it hanging in my home by my grandpa. I think I will always have a special place in my heart for Van Gogh because of my grandpa. And standing there staring at the original painting in our Art Museum just fills me with awe. I feel a little bit the same way when I am at a U2 concert and Bono or the Edge or Adam are standing right there making their music (lol) It's amazing!

And I wonder sometimes if my love for art, and the fact that I have been taking my kids to the art museum since they were babies (especially Evan), plus the talents of my grandpa and mom have been a little bit of the force behind Evan's need to draw and create and want to be an artist or architect someday.
Can you imagine the world without art? I know I can't :)


  1. Great post! No, I couldn't imagine a world without art! My daughter is about to start college and is studying art. It is a BIG part of out daily lives. I think it makes us see everything differently.

    1. I totally agree! Even with having two older family members *into art*, it has been amazing how much more I have learned through Evan!

  2. Lovely post. I'm sure your past memories and associations affect your feelings about the art museum today. How wonderful to have one so close by!

  3. I'd love to be closer to an art museum like that--and I'm happy that your much loved piece is back on display!

  4. I'm so glad you were able to find that sculpture again. This was such a wonderful post. I agree, I can't imagine a world without art and creativity, it would be so boring!

  5. great blog post~wanted to TY for the visit toady!!!

  6. Wonderful post! I think a trip to my local art museum is in order.

  7. That's what is so cool about art, all of its different forms. I'm glad you are able to take your kids to the museum, so many kids don't get to see that. Cool post today:)

  8. Great post! I never thought that Art History would become one of my all time favorite college classes -- but it was! It wasn't my major, it wasn't anything I thought I was interested in, it was just an elective. And it started a love that continues today. Love hitting any museum in any city to spend a few hours wandering among the paintings. You are lucky to have such a great resource so close!

  9. I think Art is like Music - it is a universal language and part of the human condition. I, too, had a talented artist grandfather though he copies ads instead of van gogh. I recently found all those sketches and have taken great joy in scanning them all in for my family to enjoy (I am giving the originals back to my grandmother and have no idea where they will end up down the line)

  10. I remember your 1st photo, its stunning.
    So happy you found you statue again. I could imagine the warmth you felt when you saw it again.
    A world without art...I wouldn't even want to try to imagine it :(

  11. These are wonderful photos! Thanks so much for sharing your love of art. I agree...what a drab world it would be without it!

  12. Very cool post MJ! And what a sad place this would be without art!

  13. I love your post! Loved reading about your family and how you thought your Grandpa Pete was Van Gogh. I really enjoyed reading this and seeing the photographs.