Tuesday, April 6, 2010



We have gone to many art museums over the years, and when the Van Gogh exhibition was scheduled to be in Columbus, we were very excited to go.

At the museum, we were packed very tightly together and I could understand people wanting to take their time to view the pictures, because that's exactly what I wanted to do also, but it was very frustrating to have only a few seconds to enjoy the paintings.

We saw "The Potato Eaters" and other less-famous paintings and then, finally we were in front of "Starry Night" and a woman that I had been shoulder-to-shoulder with for an hour put her young son in front of us and the little boy said, "Boy, he must've been crazy when he painted that!"

I said, "Your son has a distinguished career ahead of him as an art critic!"


When the Armand Hammer Collection was scheduled to be exhibited in Cincinnati, I especially wanted to attend because of the paintings of my favorite artist, Corot, but I was awestruck by a John Singer Sargent painting, "Dr. Pozzi At Home". I had never been a Sargent devotee, but I kept returning to the painting time and time again. I had noticed an older man sitting in a wing chair off to the side. At that time, I was 37 and he was at least old enough to be my father. After about the fifth time of viewing the painting, the man arose from his chair and spoke to me, "I see you're a Sargent fan." I answered, "Well, I wasn't before today." We discussed Sargent's work and then he asked my favorite in the exhibition and I said, "Jean Baptiste Camille Corot." He said, "You even know his entire name." I said, "I've loved him since I was a girl." He said, "That couldn't have been too long ago." I laughed at the old man's obvious flirtation.

Then he asked, "What kind of work do you do?" I said, "I build trucks." If I had slapped him in the face I don't think he would have looked as shocked as he did. He said, "I meant what kind of art medium!" I laughed and said, "No, I'm not an artist." He said, "But you are so knowledgeable!" I said, "I'm just an appreciator; artists need appreciators!" He told me that he was an artist and mainly worked in watercolors. He and I discussed other artists in the exhibition such as Boudin, Sisley, Morisot, and Bonnard, and then he said, "You could come to my studio if you like." I asked, "When?" and he said, "How about after the exhibition today?" I said, "I'll have to ask my husband; he's over there fascinated by the da Vinci items." The old rascal answered, "Oh, your husband--your husband's with you--I didn't mean for your husband to come." I squealed, "Oh,
no--this is like in the movies--if you have ETCHINGS, I'm going to die!"

That was the first time I'd ever been propositioned in my life and he moved away as quickly as a DIRTY OLD MAN could!

1 comment:

monalisa_lagiaconda said...

One of the biggest thrills of my life was seeing the Mona Lisa (aka "la Giaconda"; thus my name)when it was in New York on loan to the U.S. from the Louvre.