things to think about

today, briefly, i am thinking about: ART AND COPYRIGHT
October 29, 2009, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am in Springfield attending to my grandma’s death. She died Monday; she was buried yesterday at 2pm. Everyone is home, mostly; not me, not my dad, not his brother, not my cousin.

And so my grandma was buried and eulogized, and now I hope she is off somewhere big enough to hold her. There are meetings after a death, and there is eating, and there is sitting and grieving. And I got restless, and so – I am looking at art again, this time at the Springfield Museum of Art.

Everyone keeps saying my grandma was a lady before her time. She started businesses and she ran things and she was done up just right. She acted. She went to New York and took her boys to shows. She loved the theater. She grew up in a big city – St. Louis – and I wonder how she ever dealt with Springfield, MO.

This is what she did – she brought Broadway to Springfield with the Broadway Performance League, which she helped found. She started and ran businesses, a breast cancer survivor’s organization, a diet program. She wowed people. This is how they talk about her: dropping their head, shaking it. “She was quite a woman,” the real estate man said, “The first women’s libber I met, even before they had women’s libbers.”

The Springfield Art Museum is not the art museum I have grown used to. There is an exhibit of paintings about the circus that are largely big romantic wistful oils of clowns putting on their makeup. There is a lot here, but it’s jumbled and without context. I want to talk to the curator about how they put it together but I worry it would sound judgemental.

I want things to shine: a set of oil pastel tromp l’oeils that look like photographs. A Ben Shahn original. I turned the corner and there was a set of Warhol’s soup cans. I want this art to have context and definition, not just be jumbled together. I don’t mind doing the work but I want to see the story. There is so much i don’t know about art – way more than I do know, I don’t even know if I am spelling Shahn’s name right- and I can do the work for Ben Shahn but not all these other people.

I think my grandma, if she is paying attention, is probably glad I’m back at the museum. I think she is probably frustrated too about this exhibit and the ways in which neither of us can fix it. If I take one thing from all of this, it is that living boldly, like my grandma, is a great idea.

There is a lot more to be said, but I have to finish looking at art.

1 Comment so far
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Hey, there’s no good way to say this, so I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry for your loss and I hope things are going as well as they possibly can for you and your family. My grandmother is slowly falling apart and it scares the hell out of and there is nothing to do. We just watch.

Comment by Bond

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