Saturday, August 10, 2013

If You Take Them, They Will Learn

Since my daughter was an infant, we have taken her to art museums.  At first she didn’t know any better.  As we strolled her through the galleries, the stone floors and big spaces were just rooms where she could test out the expansiveness of her voice -- its timbre, tone, and loudness.  She relished in the echo of her existence.

As the years progressed, in pre-school, she started to notice the objects in the space and on the walls.  She would run from room to room to discover the next find -- never really lingering long enough to drink in the beauty and the masterwork of a single item.  She was on a fast fix, quickly searching for the next play on color, light, form, and stroke.

Her early elementary years were filled with feigned interest -- a willingness to go because of the opportunity to spend time with me.  And she’s been to some fine art museums from the Cummer here in Jacksonville to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

She’s 10 now.  And on a recent trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., she stumbled upon a series of paintings that she glanced at 4 years ago.  She was slightly intrigued then.  This time, she was captivated.

The series of paintings by Thomas Cole called “The Voyage of Life” are full of allegory -- and she sees it and gets it!  She even said to me, “Mom, I now know why you love art museums so much!”

It’s a reminder to me that we must continue to re-look at everything in our lives.   As our life station changes, so too does our perception, our understanding, our actions, and reactions.   What remains constant is the Truth.

The next 4 blogs are about each one of the paintings.  Enjoy!  And get out and re-visit your favorite places on Earth!  Illumination!  Illuminate!

first published online at  copyright 2006   Lisa A. Long