We have endured two weeks of vitriol, smearing, posturing, misdirection and…fill in the blanks. And all that followed on much of the same in the House hearings since September. Please, no, this isn’t a political post; I wouldn’t do that, but for which ever side you favor it can’t have been very enjoyable. So, on Saturday my buddy, Barbara Zimmerman, and I drove to the Michener Museum in Doylestown and immersed ourselves in beauty and niceness. What a pleasure.
We’ve gone there off and on over the years because of my love for their collection of impressionism: the New Hope school, the Bucks County School, and Saturday I heard of the Pennsylvania Impressionists and American Impressionism. Wow, who knew? I’m also fond of the French impressionists as well as the music of Debussy who originally objected to the characterization but grew to accept it. (For another peaceful interlude see this post of the sea and his music.)
The opening image above is of a 1926 twenty-two foot wide painting by Daniel Garber which was recovered and restored by the museum. It now dominates a softly lit gallery for quiet contemplation. Entitled the Wooded Watershed the image is my capture for my personal enjoyment, shown here under Fair Use and not for sale, and the original is, of course, the exclusive property of the museum. The painting sets a wonderful tone for the entire museum. Click on the image to see a larger version for study. Note the bark and rock details, the deer on the left, and the light on the island in the river. Other items in their collection can be seen here including wish-I-owned-paintings by Fern Coppedge, Edward Redfield and more by Garber.
A PLUS…THE NAKASHIMA FURNITURE
Another feature of the museum is a small sun room decorated in Japanese style to show off the furniture of New Hope’s George Nakashima. (Image credit: Michener Art Museum.) He was known for creating large coffee tables from cross sections of tree trunks, particularly of walnut burl. His furniture is all graceful; again, balm in a troubled world. I believe the room was decorated by a daughter. It features sliding shoji screens and I went through that phase, too. Here’s a pair that I built for the windows of our first (civilian life 1959) apartment. The rice paper shielded hot afternoon sun and provided privacy at night but could be slid back when we wanted to see the world.
The museum was established by the Bucks County philanthropist Hermann Silverman with Michener. SIlverman was a Doylestown resident who also introduced Michener to another famous Doylestown resident, Oscar Hammerstein: the result? Tales of the South Pacific as a great musical and movie. Bucks County in those romantic years was full of art and artists and still is. Beautiful to begin with, playwright and resident George S. Kaufman has been quoted as saying, “Bucks County is what God would have done if he had money.”
Having healed our psychic wounds we headed home through New Hope. On the way was another favorite stop, a gardening and landscaping company I’ve patronized since they were in downtown New Hope on a hillside above the canal, The Living Earth.
It’s almost always a source of some take-home pleasure as can be suggested in this image from their web site.
A couple of these began to whimper as I started to leave so what could I do? I brought four of them home. Here are a Rieger Begonia and a Valentine’s Day Red Anthurium now receiving visitors in my sun room. More balm.
Almost completely cured we returned to a comfort food dinner of my daughter, Sigrid’s, meatloaf accompanied with a baked potato and fresh green beans garnished with french-fried onion strips. Ahhh, recovery.