Go for Renoir, (re) find Chagall


On what I’m told was one of the hottest days on record in Philadelphia, I ventured to the Philadelphia Art Museum. Back home, Berkeley visual artist and one-time Philly resident Gail Gove had tipped me off on the Philly museum’s ‘great collection,’ and my visit coincided with “Late Renoir” a special exhibit which had rounded up 80* or so lovely Impressionist pieces from Renoir’s later decades. Along with some pieces by Matisse, Picasso and other contemporaries, admirers and collaborators of Renoir thrown in for good measure, it was a pretty full-meal day of art viewing. So with images of languid days in the French Countryside and musicals salons in my head, I walked downstairs only to be floored and delighted at the site of “A Wheat field on a Summer’s Afternoon,” a 30 feet x 50 feet tempura on fabric piece by Marc Chagall. Completed in Mexico on commission for what is now the American Ballet Theatre in 1942 it was stunning. Granted Chagall is, well Chagall, I was totally surprised by its exceptionally high *Truth! Beauty!* quotient.
The entry guard on duty had to my mind what was the best seat in the house. The view of the city from the museum entry was none too shabby either. Inspiration, yeah, I’ll take it anytime.

* I was happy to see this very late Renoir self-portrait in reality. My late great Aunt Charlotte, a visual artist, and one of my great inspirations had a copy hanging in her home for much of her latter life.

Deborah Crooks
Deborah Crooks (www.DeborahCrooks.com) is a writer, performing songwriter and recording artist based in San Francisco whose lyric driven and soul-wise music has drawn comparison to Lucinda Williams, Chrissie Hynde and Natalie Merchant.

Singing about faith, love and loss, her lyrics are honed by a lifetime of writing and world travel while her music draws on folk, rock, Americana and the blues. She released her first EP "5 Acres" in 2003 produced by Roberta Donnay, which caught the attention of Rocker Girl Magazine, selecting it for the RockerGirl Discoveries Cd. In 2007, she teamed up with local producer Ben Bernstein to complete "Turn It All Red" Ep, followed by 2008's "Adding Water to the Ashes" CD, and a second full-length CD "2010. She's currently working on a third CD to be released in 2013.

Deborah's many performance credits include an appearance at the 2006 Millennium Music Conference, the RockerGirl Magazine Music Convention, IndieGrrl, at several of the Annual Invasion of the GoGirls at SXSW in Austin, TX, the Harmony Festival and 2009's California Music Fest, MacWorld 2010, Far West Fest and many other venues and events. She toured the Northwest as part "Indie Abundance Music, Money & Mindfulness" (2009) with two other Bay Area artists, and followed up with "The Great Idea Tour of the Southwest in March 2010 with Jean Mazzei.
Read More Share

Recent Author Posts

Join Our Community

Connect On Social Media

Most Popular Posts

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

We Blog The World