I've been feeling quite depressed for the last few days. It occurs to me that a trip to NYC might be a good antidote. And since I've been thinking about taking out a one-year membership in one of New York's fine museums, perhaps this would be a good time and place to look into their upcoming exhibitions.
Having looked last week at quilts, it seems only logical to take a look at samplers this week. Google Art Project has a total of 230 examples of this quintessentially female art form. The great majority of those come from the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum.
Quilts have been recognized as a long under-appreciated women's art form. I was therefore excited to find that the Internatiional Quilt Museum has 96 entries at the Google Art Project site. To me it's very moving to see all this painstaking, attractive work done by women in bygone decades.
Again and again I'm drawn to the idea of the Americans Who Tell the Truth project. I'm not crazy about the artist's style but something deep within me responds to the basic idea of offering visual and narrative portraits of admirable Americans. Artist Robert Shetterly began this project after 9/11, in response to all the lies that were being told to the American people at that time. May we someday be worthy of greatness again.
I'm always a little uneasy around the word 'gratitude." Gratitude is a feeling and it's axiomatic that we shouldn't be told how to feel. I'm generally more comfortable with the word "appreciation" which seems to me more an attitude, an orientation, almost an action, than gratitude.
Nonetheless, I will share for today two quotations that seem pretty worthwhile to me - even though they use the G-word.
Contemporary author Melody Beattie says: "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
Still more impressively, Lutheran minister and World War II martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer had this to say on the subject: "In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."
". . . it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." -- Powerful stuff!
Not long ago I was trying to find (or re-find) this painting and was disappointed at not being able to locate it. Tonight I opened up the Google Art Project site and there it was -- Meeting Street, c. 1925, by Alfred Hutty.
This work is owned by the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, S.C., which strikes me as an excellent regional art museum. You can check it out either at the museum's website or by perusing the 43 items it has placed on Google Art Project.