Friday, April 11, 2008


I've been spending a lot of time thinking about interior design and redecorating as we consider moving. The most important part, being the apartment, hasn't been decided upon... but I still plan what I would like to do with the space when I have it.

Stefan gets annoyed with my collection of design magazines and I confess it is time to part with them. I tear out the things that I like and neatly organize them into transparent folios for future reference so the magazines don't take up space.

While looking through the pages, I came across an ad about there not being enough art in our schools and it said 'no wonder people think Caravaggio is a guy on the Sopranos'. The art enthusiast in me makes me read the entire ad, agree, and then think back to my own art education, which I absolutely loved.

My entire life I have been blessed with interesting characters as art teachers. They are usually an eccentric bunch with right brained mentalities. I even had a theory growing up that tempera paint had something to do with pregnancy, because my elementary school went through so many art teachers who became pregnant and moved on.

Something I miss about attending a university are the dynamic professors. Of course they are few and far between, but once you have class with them you never forget. My philosophy of art professor has had so many professions in his life including aerospace engineer, patent lawyer, and professor. He also had fascinating stories about growing up in an orphanage, having a best friend there that murdered his entire family, teaching himself to read, surviving a plane crash, nearly going blind 'so everything looks like a Monet painting' - it goes on and on.

His lectures were always filled with random comments, like 'if I were a homosexual I'd say Michelangelo's David was pretty well hung', or stating that in college 'you party and have fun, but then you search for something more to life, which is when you find art'. I would always write down his strange quotes along side my notes.

Needless to say I went on to double major in art education and art history. It was my art history teachers in college that I loved the most. They were personable, creative, articulate, and very observant. Even with their PhD's, they always insisted you call them by their first names.

One of the best teacher's I've ever had was Roger. He was studying to be a lawyer when he decided to take an art history course and then found his true calling. He always would remind us to stop and consider who the patrons were and how ideas and materials were transfered through trade routes. We would discuss the processes of making art and paint during the Renaissance versus today and there was never a dull moment.

So as I looked at this Caravaggio ad and think back to Roger, since his specialty is Italian art. Now it seems ironic to me to look at interior design magazines knowing I will most likely pick the majority of furnishings, upholstery, and decorations, while the paper trail leads back to my husband. Sometimes I have to laugh at how history repeats.

I love art history's ability to connect cultures and time periods, which unites humanity in the search for what life is about.

Interestingly there are many replicas of Michelangelo's David around the world, including the one above, which we were surprised to see in Copenhagen. I'm sure he never imagined his works would be replicated and made into kitschy tourist mementos.

Now I'll have to send that ad to Roger.


JoernandAllison said...

There is really a defecit in schools at home when it comes to the arts. I worry that it is the same or even worse here.

That was a sweet story about Roger. It is such an amazing thing to look back on your schooling to those who really made a difference. You have to hope that somehow, you make a difference to others too :)

Aisling (aka LoopyNoodle) said...

That is a really lovely post!