Thursday, April 17, 2014

A bit of culture

Last night I got me some culture.
Some say I need it.

It was a beautiful Spring evening with just a bit of chill in the air as my wife and I walked across the manicured grounds of the Woodmere Art Museum yesterday, arriving precisely at the designated time. I'm very punctual.  I did not have my work boots on, I dressed appropriately. You see, we were invited to a showing of the paintings by Jessie Drew-Bear, a well known Philadelphia artist. 

It was a private showing.

Yep, that's how we roll.

We spent a few hours strolling from room to room looking at her work, with wine glass in hand. We were interrupted various times by people walking around with platters full of delicious appetizers. I thought I was in a James Bond movie.

 I came to be there because one of my wife's personal training clients, Sam,  just happens to be the great grandson of Jessie, and he was nice enough to include us on this special night. After the showing we sat down to dinner with about 20 others, the group made up of a mixture of Sam's family members and friends. We ate as we were surrounded by her beautiful paintings that hung on the walls.

In a nut shell, here's the story. Jessie Drew-Bear was born in England in 1877. In 1938 she was living in Philadelphia and began painting when she was nearly 60 years old. She went on to establish herself as an important member of the Philly art scene, until she died in 1962. In her 70's she learned to scuba dive, because she wanted to be able to accurately portray underwater scenes in her paintings.
I think I would have enjoyed hanging out with this woman.

Anyway, years later a family member comes across many paintings of hers in the attic of her home. Phone calls were made, friends were contacted and after much work, her paintings were removed from the dark attic  and hung appropriately in this beautiful museum for the public to see.

It was great fun and I met and talked to some very nice people. At the dinner table I found myself sitting next to a film maker, across from me was a art restorer who came to the dinner from London, and next to her was the Director of the Wilmington Art Museum. Oh, I was right in my element.
I had the urge to shout, "How bout them Yankees!"

Anyway, if you're still with me....the reason I tell this long, never ending story, is this.
I have never been to this museum before. My wife has been. Recently she took my daughter Keely, who is an artist / teacher, to see the work of a highly regarded Philadelphia artist named Peter Paone that was showing at this same museum. Peter Paone is a surrealist. Keely fell in love with his work. She too is a surrealist.

Anyway, last night Peter Paone came to celebrate the opening of Jessie Drew-Bear's show. My wife and I met Peter, told him how much he has inspired Keely, bla bla , and the next thing you know he is signing his catalog and taking  a picture with my wife. I instantly forwarded the photo of Peter and my wife to Keely who resides in Phoenix.
Keely freaked out.

This is what he wrote on the inside cover,

"To Keely, one of us surrealist
Peter Paone"

It was a very cool night.


Susie said...

Mark, I can just imagine how thrilled your daughter was, with the signed book and photos. Way to hob-nob. ;):) Those Yankies LOL.. You cracked me up. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Busy Bee Suz said...

How freakin' fun is that?
Oh, wait, I mean, this sounds like such a divine evening with art loving, intelligent people.
I love the crossover here from one artist to another and your family being in the middle!!

Karen said...

Awesome, and you must be so proud.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

Very cool story. Isn't it fun the freak out your kids?

Marilyn said...

I would say that is a very "cool" night. Love, love the story of the artist that learned to scuba dive in her 70's and meeting an artist your daughter loves. How awesome is that!

sharon oler said...

I was going to say awesome! But Karen said it first! So double awesome to you and your especially awesome wife! Truly a fun night for all! And for that daughter so far away too!

Joey said...

This is a really fun story. I especially liked the ending because well...REALLY cool.

Formerly known as Frau said...

Wow what a cool night and story! Bonus on meeting someone that inspires your daughter! Hard to top that night for sure!