I know a lot of my New York friends got a tid bit miffed at Wal-Mart money buying up American treasures like Kindred Spirits for $35 Million. I know there was controversy.
But can I say it’s been a real joy having the next major art museum an hour away in Bentonville? I mean, the place features all sorts of American-born art from the 15th century onward. This was the first time I have ever felt connect to an American heritage older than 200 years.
Okay, second time.
The first time happened when I went to Brooklyn to check out Forefront and volunteered at this soup kitchen / clinic for the homeless, a nonprofit named Brooklyn Jubilee. They volunteered at the Dutch Reformed Church.
…whose motto was:
Doing good in the hood since 1633.
Yeah, okay. Felt connected then.
Anyways, seeing the original Rosie the Riveter, stuff by Warhol and other modern painters in addition to paintings that were on nearly every history and social sciences book the public school system handed me since the first grade.
Suddenly it meant something, and I actually cared again — I remembered my own people, the people who need my love as much as my enemy and neighbor and foreign guests, and I found myself feeling sorry for George Washington and John Adams as I stared at their paintings. And I wasn’t bitter anymore about the native american art, but rather stood there with a sense of loss — as if I’d misplaced something on a tour in a foreign country and knew if I went back to find it, I myself would be lost forever. There was no going back, but rather the basic confession that something had gone missing.
I was moved — and that’s what art should do, move us.
In any case, here are some of the photos from our tours:
Hugs, Kisses, and ‘Merica,