Monday, June 16, 2008

Art&Sun Days - A Serendipitous Day - Part II

Part I of A Serendipitous Day is here.
Continuing our adventures with Dorothy, the Chronicler and the Bronzeman

Rock On, Norman!

When you grow up with Saturday Evening Post covers peering out of magazine racks, sliding across coffee tables and slipping from your sleeping grandfather's lap, it is difficult to imagine that they would be important enough for an art museum exhibit. Oh, I know all about how folks have decided that the illustrations created for these covers is now considered to be "Art with a capital A." I know how the painter is considered to be the Chronicler of American life -- the way we all wished it were and the way it often was. And I know that my friend, Starkey, respected both the work and the man.

But when it came to taking time to actually go to see an exhibit of Norman Rockwell's work, I wondered if it would be 'worth my time.' Linda and Karen seemed to feel the same way. We circled the parking lot, looking at the buildings of the wonderful complex where the Orlando Museum of Art is located.

Suddenly, Linda pulled into a parking place and we raced for the entrance in hopes of getting in before closing. Amazing how the decision fueled our desire! We paid our money and entered the galleries. We noticed a few other paintings and spotted some work we wish we had done. Then we saw the Rockwells. There were 41 originals just hanging there for an almost nose-to-glass look. There were 373 pristine framed covers. Technique, design, inspiration in an amazing legacy of painted stories; it was all there.

Oh my, I think my life flashed before my eyes. I think it did for others as well. I watched as a man with a familiar profile leaned in to get a better look. I pulled out my iPhone and captured an image or two -- mostly of the other people who seemed mesmerized by the art. (Linda and Karen told me the sign said, "No photos." I put the phone away.)

But what I think I saw and felt was just the same as years ago when I had a chance to see a Post cover peering out of a magazine rack or sliding across the coffee table or slipping from my grandfather's lap -- maybe hope, trust, faith.

Hope you are listening, Norman. Your Chronicles of our lives still rock!

The Bronzeman

We ended our day of serendipity with another unplanned stop. It was after hours but there was a caterer's truck . . . just unloading. . . . We knew we were on the grounds of a sculpture garden, but nothing about the sculptor. . . . Maybe we could slip in for a few minutes.

The late afternoon sun bounced off the bronze of a large nude figure and we began to wander in that direction. We suddenly realized that we were being followed and thought perhaps we would be asked to leave.

On the contrary, we were greeted by the horticulturist for the gardens who shared anecdotes and information about a place he obviously loves. We were properly impressed by the delicate figure called "Unfettered" which he explained depicted a woman reaching for her destiny and freedom from ignorance and superstition.

There on the shores of Lake Osceola, the breezes seemed to guide us along the paths and past the sculptures of Albin Polasek. The spirituality of his figures is strengthened by his ability and by his Czechoslovakian heritage, but it is in his "Man Carving His Own Destiny" that his spirit soars.

We almost missed it. We were blinded by the nude Bronzeman.

Serendipity. Indeed

Art & Sun Days
BushStrokes (c) AAB


Anonymous said...

Thank you for documenting the trip so well,

Linda S.(remembering the little "bird")

Martha Marshall said...

Glad you enjoyed the Rockwell exhibit. I would have too! Such a huge piece of our everyday lives at one time. I'll bet my sister still has a bunch of those covers.