First Night Boston Copley Square: top crowd at Man At Wheel ice sculpture…by far! And Boston Public Library

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There were also large ice works of a lighthouse, clipper ship and sea serpent (live sculpting work in progress while we were there)

Across the street a favorite spot with more public art and large crowds– the ever stunning Boston Public Library. An art post for another day: for now some interior details. Here are a Kitson marble bust of Longfellow and a tease detail from the Sargent murals. (My sons said they like the Sawyer Free teen room more but this Boston Library was something to be proud of, too.)

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Art of fatherhood: Gloucester artists and writers

A small selection of images and words about and by fathers, with Gloucester ties. What would you add? Happy Father’s Day!

Edward Hopper portrait of artist's father
Edward Hopper, portrait of artist’s father, Whitney Museum

 

Air

They took my father’s father from the mines

and laid him, broken, on the kitchen table,

the wake singers lifting their lines

above the water heater he had often mended.

 

My father always dreamed of him alive,

able to whittle an oak peg for every split thing.

all my father lost at the age of nine

enclosed his life, his air.

 

In my flood dream, I carry my father

piggyback–easier than a kid’s coffin–

to safety from the Susquehanna River

as light as a dollhouse, now, or violin.

Joseph Featherstone, from his book of poems, Brace’s Cove

 

Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman's son
Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman’s son.” Library of Congress, FSA collection

 

Caitlin

To be seven when a brother dies–

to have shared a room.

Her silence frightened us.

 

One night she rose from the table

and climbed to the top of the stairs.

We heard the small voice

 

singing each of the songs

from the funeral service.

The next morning in school

 

she announced to her class,

“I am ready for questions now.”

by Joseph Featherstone, from Brace’s Cove

 

Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father's home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration--including the chosing of an Imperator, and
Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, MA. Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home…” Library of Congress

full title for the Gordon Parks photograph above: “Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration–including the chosing of an Imperator, and visiting, eating, drinking, and worship in the home, culminates in a parade and blessing by the priest–originated with ancient Portugeese fisherman, drought-stricken, who prayed for assistance and received it.”

 

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John Hays Hammond with daughter, Natalie Hays Hammond. collection Library of Congress

Captain’s Courageous was published in 1897. “During the winter of 1897-98 I made another trip to South Africa, and on the same boat with me were Rudyard Kipling (Rudyard was named after a place where his father and mother first met), his wife, and his father, Lockwood Kipling, the artist. They proved excellent traveling companions and we have maintained our friendly contact ever sense.” – John Hays Hammond 

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John Lockwood Kipling and Rudyard Kipling

The Kiplings collaborated: the artist John Lockwood Kipling illustrated many of his sons’ books.

John Lockwood Kipling Jungle Book

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John Lockwood Kipling White Seal
John Lockwood Kipling, The White Seal

 

William Foster Biddle Cecilia Beaux PAFA gift of Sandwith Drinker
Cecilia Beaux, portrait sketch of William Foster Biddle, Pennsylvania Academy Fine Art, gift of Sandwith Drinker  (Biddle like a father to Cecilia)

 

William Morris Hunt Prodigal Son Brattleboro library
William Morris Hunt, Prodigal Son, Brattleboro Library

Hunt purchased a former barn and adjoining carpenter’s shop in Magnolia. “…in three weeks the old, unsightly buildings were converted into a picturesque structure with galleries on the outside, one of them ending in a seat in an old willow-tree. The carpenter shop was turned into a studio, the chief light coming from the wide-open door…The barn was two stories in height, the lower portion being occupied by the van, a phaeton and a dog-cart, as well as by stalls for two or three horses. The upper room was known as the “barracks”, and half a dozen cot-beds were arranged around the sides, as seats by day and beds by night…In a single afternoon his celebrated Gloucester Harbor was painted, and he returned to Magnolia aglow with enthusiasm. “I believe,” he exclaimed, “that I have painted a picture with light in it!…Go out into the sunshine, and try to get some of its color and light. Then come back here, and see how black we are all painting!”

William Morris Hunt Gloucester Harbor MFA 1877
William Morris Hunt, Gloucester Harbor, 1877, MFA Boston

 

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John Singer Sargent portrait of the artist’s father, Sargent House Museum

 

Paul Manship and family Isabel Manship xSarah Janet x Elizabeth x Pauline x John Paul x Paul
Family portrait: Isabel Manship, Sara Janet, Elizabeth, Pauline, John Paul, Paul Manship

 

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Lee Kingman, Peter’s Pony, 1963, with illustrations by Fen Lasell

 

Leon Doucette
Leon Doucette, portrait of the artist’s father

 

Milton Avery March drypoint 1933
Milton Avery 1933 drypoint (March, his daughter)

 

Winslow Homer captures the waiting and watching experienced by so many families in Gloucester. Homer’s father, Charles Savage Homer, left for extended start-ups: to California for gold, to Europe.  Winslow Homer’s mother was a professional and gifted artist who raised three stellar boys solo, a lot. The Homer family remained tight knit.

Dad's Coming, 1873, NGA
Winslow Homer, Dad’s Coming, 1873,  National Gallery of Art

 

Friday Nights at the A&P

By Ruthanne “Rufus”  Collinson

When I was a kid

there were Friday nights to get lost in.

There was Mama

to take me shopping,

the smell of outdoors on her wool coat.

There was the A&P on Main Street,

the long spread out time

to wander the rolling floors

and smell the oranges and the coffee grinding.

There was no talking with Mama and me

She chose the food and I thought,

the long time of thinking away from Mama

in the A&P.

I watched the women

with heavy faces and deep frowns

weighing out their fruits

I thought about how bad they looked,

but I knew they didn’t want to die

because of the way they cared

about stacking the apples.

Sometimes I lost Mama and her sadness

but she would find me and take me

to the check out

where I picked up Daddy’s Pall Malls

and then stayed close to her wide sleeve

as we carried our lumpy brown bags

past Paul T. Reddy’s Dancing School.

I heard people dancing upstairs

Shadows in the window suggested music

and the end of time laid out like that.

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Motif Monday: Memorial Day, Gordon Parks, Poppies

 

Five reds five  whites five blues
Donald Sultan Five Reds, Five Whites, Five Blues, 2008 color silkscreen with enamel, flocking and tar like texture

Respectfully thinking about art that helps us celebrate, remember, remind and reflect every family who has suffered a loss in service.

 

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Gordon Parks, Library of Congress, 1943 photograph, Gloucester policemen, Memorial Day Ceremonies

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John McCrae, 18721918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place, and in the sky,

The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the dead; short days ago

We lived, felt  dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

in Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe!

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high!

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields. 

Veteran of the Boer War and WWI, a teacher, and doctor, Canadian John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields in the spring of 1915 while still at the bloody battlefront in Ypres, Belgium, in an area known as Flanders. The Germans had already used deadly gas. Dr. McCrae had been tending to hundreds of wounded daily. He described the nightmare slaughter: “behind it all was the constant background of the sights of the dead, the wounded, the maimed.” By this time he had already devoted his life to art and healing. He couldn’t save his friends. How could anyone?  Twenty years prior, he sketched poppies during his medical residency in Maryland. He published poems and stories by the time he was 16.  I’m not surprised he noticed the brilliant fragile petals and horror. He wrote for those who couldn’t speak and those who had to see. Meningitis and pneumonia killed him January 1918 after several months battling asthma and bronchitis. His poem and the emblematic poppy continue to inspire and comfort.

A few poppy images follow. I was thinking about their poetic illumination before and after WW1 and layers of meaning and beauty.

John McCrae sketch book 1896, Maryland
John McCrea sketchbook, ca.1896, Maryland

Continue reading “Motif Monday: Memorial Day, Gordon Parks, Poppies”

This is what Gloucester looks like at the WHITE HOUSE and CITY HALL: it’s all local!

Cat Ryan submits-

There’s a magnificent permanent art collection displayed throughout Gloucester’s City Hall, its public buildings and many outdoor locations. In an effort to promote, encourage and share current local art and artists with the public, Mayor Romeo Theken showcases a wide variety of media on temporary loan throughout the Mayor’s office. I took some photos back in February. She requested that buoys painted by our local youth at Art Haven be featured in Kyrouz Auditorium, along with the ‘Downtown Quilt’, the 13th panel from the Gloucester Neighborhood Quilt Project. These quilts are made by residents creating art with Juni Van Dyke, the Art Program Director Gloucester Council on Aging at Rose Baker Senior Center. (Twelve panels were prominently displayed for the 2014 Inauguration for former Mayor, Honorable Carolyn Kirk.)

 

Donna Ardizzoni, business owner, GMG contributor https://ardizzoniphotography.wordpress.com/about-2/

 

Ana Connoli, photograph, Gloucester from Port. Hill

 

Phil Cusumano, painting, http://www.philcusumanoart.com/

 

Tina Greel, statue, https://www.facebook.com/tina.greel

 

Jennifer Johnson, photograph

 

Ken Knowles, painting, http://www.kenknowlesfineart.com/ken_final/home.html

 

Marty Luster, photograph, GMG contributor

 

Bridget Matthews, photograph

 

Sam Nigro, painted oar, http://www.gloucestertimes.com/news/local_news/talk-of-the-times-gloucester-man-grows-a-squash-for/article_76b0f29b-1e05-527f-b676-889ee7768aa9.html

 

Shelly Nugent, photograph

 

Eileen Patten Oliver, painting, http://eileenpattenoliver.com/ and here https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/14-works-by-eileen-patten-oliver-at-island-art-and-hobby/

 

Premier Imprints, tea tray, http://www.premier-imprints.com/

 

Louise Welch, photograph City Hall

 

The local art on display had me thinking about the collection at the ‘People’s House’ for our Nation: what’s the best art inside the White House? No matter what is your artistic preference, Gloucester and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts could top the charts as the City and state with the best and most art ties featured at the White House. Let’s break down a selection of that Massachusetts list currently on display at the White House room-by-room, shall we?

 

In the Oval Office:

Not one, but two Edward Hopper paintings, lent by the Whitney Museum of American Art, are installed one over the other, Cobb’s Barns, South Truro and Burly Cobb’s House, South Truro.  There are more than 100 Edward Hopper works inspired by Gloucester, MA. The Childe Hassam’s painting, Avenue in the Rain, and Norman Rockwell’s painting, Statue of Liberty, remain on view.

 

In the Blue Room:

Fitz Hugh Lane’s Boston Harbor gifted by Lew Wasserman

 

In the East Room:

Gilbert Stuart’s Washington, John Singer Sargent’s Roosevelt

 

In the Green Room:

Sargent’s Mosquito Net, John Marin’s Circus, George Peter Alexander Healy’s painting of Adams and Polk and Louisa Adams by Stuart

 

In the Red room:

Martin Johnson Heade’s Sunrise, Bricher’s Castle Rock Nahant, more portraits by Stuart and Healy

 

In the State Dining room:

Healy’s portrait of Lincoln

 

In the Ground floor corridor:

Healy’s Millard Fillmore portrait, Thomas Ball Daniel Webster sculpture, a craftsman chair attributed to Samuel MacIntire, and Charles Hopkinson’s portrait of Calvin Coolidge

 

In the private quarters:

William Glackens Pavilion at Gloucester, and two Maurice Prendergast’s paintings, Boston Harbor and Revere Beach

 

More examples in the collection and in storage such as: Augustus Saint-Gaudens bronze bust of Lincoln, John Henry Twachtman’s oil painting, Captain Bickford’s Float; Henry Hobart Nichols painting, Gloucester Dock; and Worthington Whittredge oil painting, Thatcher’s Island off Rockport, MA.

 

Several artists are represented by more than one piece. How does the White House collection work? It is unusual for the White House to accept art by living artists. There are more than 450 works of art in the permanent collection. New art enters the collection after its vetted and is restricted to works created at least 25 years prior to the date of acquisition. For the public rooms, the Office of the Curator works with the White House advisory committee, the First Lady serves as the Honorary Chair, and the White House Historical Association. The private rooms are the domain of the First Family. Works of art from collectors, museums, and galleries can be requested for temporary loans and are returned at the end of the President’s final term. The Obamas have selected contemporary art, including abstract art, from the permanent collection, and borrowed work for their private quarters. Besides the Hopper paintings and John Alston’s Martin Luther King sculpture, they’ve selected art by *Anni Albers, *Josef Albers, Edgar Degas, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, *Robert Rauschenberg, Edward Ruscha, and *Alma Thomas. * indicates works that have been donated to the permanent collection. The Obama Administration upgraded the website so that anyone unable to visit in person can have open access. I encourage visits to the website https://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house/art. I love the diverse rooms and all the interconnected doors such as the splendid Green Room installation with the Marin and the Jacob Lawrence activating the threshold.

 

My gratitude to Chris Pantano, Office of the Mayor, Gloucester, MA,  and the Office of the First Lady and the White House Office of the Curator for various courtesies shown to me while I prepared this entry.