Sunday, November 03, 2019

Artnotes: Maintaining the Light

Cycling By Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 13 x 18" 33 x 45 cm 275.00

Palermo (a welcoming city until 1491) Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 12 x 12" 30 x 30cm 250.00

 Hat on Chair/Paris Apartment (moving) Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 14 x 20 37 x 50 cm 275.00

 Together in the Park Winter Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 12 x 12" 30 x 30cm 225.00

Pont Royale Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 13 x 16" 33 x 41 cm 225.00

Let's Go Fly a Kite Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/wood 10.5 x 5" 26 x 13cm 120.00

It is wonderfully foggy here:  so foggy one can’t see across the street.  Great billowing clouds of fog swirl beneath the streetlights.  It’s dark very early, and when I take Harika for her evening walk the grocery store is still illuminated.  When the door opens, a bank of fog poofs in our direction.

Its ok, this weather, for the moment; provocative, even.  I am keen to drive down to Stimigliano, but Blair has doctor appointments that make it impossible.  Harika is (perhaps unwisely) getting her hair trimmed on Tuesday.   Our house here in Roccamalatina is cold – going outside somehow makes me feel warmer.

Saturday we went to Ferrara to the Italian Jewish Museum.  I saw an article on it in the New York Times, from a while back, and so we drove there.  It was a little difficult for me, because the Jewish people have had such difficulties, and I am always a Pollyanna.  I see the bright side.   In fact, difficulties for the Jewish people were less in Italy than in other parts of Europe, but life wasn’t a bowl of cherries. 

The museum has only been open since 2017, and is in a state of development.  It is in the former Ferrara Prison.  New additions will increase the exhibition space, which currently has mostly interactive exhibits.  Ferrara and the Duke d’Este welcomed the Jews and encouraged them to settle in the Ferrara area, when they were driven from Sicily.  Livorno, Ferrara and Venice had fairly large Jewish populations.  But the ascendency of the Catholic Church kiboshed that.

A large extended family was touring the museum with us.  They surrounded us at the movie, which elaborated on topics I never really thought about:  how Jews kept themselves separate and felt that their particular way of life had something special to offer others.   I learned that in losing all their belongings, even their temples, they maintained the essence of the Jewish way of life inside of them.  And that made sense about how there were few actual items in the museum.

We are headed to a more traditional museum today.  I love to look at things, to see the physical manifestations of an individual.  But now I have a greater appreciation for maintaining the light inside.

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