Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Torn in Transit

Yesterday, Erica's blog post got me thinking. Nothing out of the ordinary in that. But it also made me remember. I remembered the first piece of art that really spoke to me--this piece. It's called Torn in Transit, by John Haberle (1890). I saw it at a local art museum, the Brandywine River Museum, when I was growing up. I didn't know much about art; I still don't. I didn't know if it was 'good' or not. But it spoke to me. Haunted me. I couldn't keep my eyes from it. I'd try to leave the room to see other paintings, but it called me back. I wanted to keep it--to own it--but alas, there were no postcards of it at the museum. And now, here it is.

In Erica's post, she posed the question: Is art a conversation?

I thought of the conversation that I had with this painting, over fifteen years ago. And I thought about what I'm writing now, and I realized that this painting is there, in that writing. Not literally, of course--but the idea of why this painting fascinated me is in my writing. And yet, I didn't remember this painting at all, until I read Erica's blog post. And the best thing? This painting will be in Connecticut in the beginning of December, at the New Britain Museum of American Art. I don't have to trek back to PA. It's traveling to me. Coincidence, I think not.

Continue the conversation. What art has inspired, questioned, stretched you? Anyone want to road trip to Connecticut?

6 comments:

  1. Brandywine has Andrew Wyeth. One of these days . . .

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  2. Yes, a many Wyeths at the Brandywine. Funny enough, I went from seeing Wyeth paintings in PA to seeing Weyth paintings in ME (where I went to college). Good stuff.

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  3. I can't begin to name all the books that have inspired, questioned and stretched me.

    But other art: There is a print by Winslow Homer of a man in a row boat in heavy seas and everytime I see it, it moves me, evokes a feeling of possibility or adventure. I used to have a copy of it but don't anymore. Maybe I'll try to find one. It really made and continues to make an impression on me.

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  4. Paul, I imagine that the images you see in Alaska are like art in and of themselves. I would love to see the Winslow Homer print. I am an absolute sucker for anything involving boats and the ocean.

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  5. I can see why this piece spoke to you. I see tantalizing hints of stories suggested by the "torn" wrapping, mail stickers, as well as the partially revealed picture underneath.

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  6. Hi Stephanie, welcome. Yes, my brain goes in many directions at once when I see this painting. I'm glad you saw something too.

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