Some parents strap skis on their kids as soon as they can walk, and hit the slopes. Mine hit the art museums. Growing up in Cleveland, that meant I was exposed to some of the greatest art in the world at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I have very clear memories of viewing works there and forming my tastes about art. For example, at around age six I remember being bored by a Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin exhibition. I am still bored by him today. I thought every town had a May Show that explored the boundaries of Contemporary Art. I remember the vivid primary colors I used in my Saturday morning art class sculpture. Those colors now decorate my home. And maybe the 1971 addition designed by Marcel Breuer where the art classes were held explains my love for stripes...
The Breuer entrance to the museum designed by Marcel Breuer. Photo by Heidi Strean.
Last Friday, the museum hosted Dr. Edgar Peters Bowron for a lecture titled "Best in Show: The Dog in Art from the Renaissance to Today." Dr. Bowron is also co-author of a book with the same title that I have featured here and used as a reference in my film "Dogs in Art". In conjunction with the lecture, the museum posted some of their dog artworks on their website. It got me thinking that even though we were a cat family and I didn't like dogs when I was young, this institution might have been where my passion for dogs in art all began. Here are some highlights:
Chushingura: Act VII of the Storehouse of Loyalty by Kitagawa Utamaro, late 1790s
I've said before that art matters. For some children, it might mean everything.