Category Archives: Art

Sister, Sister

The first time I heard my sister’s voice, I remember feeling like a failure. It wasn’t really my fault – my parents lied to me and my brothers. They said that if we would just keep it down, we wouldn’t teach the new baby to cry so much. Then when they called to say I had a sister I could hear her crying. Obviously something went wrong.

Then I met her. That was also a bit of a disappointment, too, but only because she turned out to be a baby. I was seven and I wanted a sister to play with. Continue reading Sister, Sister


ART: The (mostly) Affable Ladies of the Boston MFA

Good portraits are ineffable – they capture not just a likeness, but an expression, a gesture, some small glimpse of personality. In the faces below I see boldness, thoughtfulness, crotchety sarcasm and flirtatious friendliness. Some seem amused, others sad – a few merely private, content to keep their own counsel.

These ladies drew my attention in my recent visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, made me wish I could gather them together in one room (or hallway, à la Hogwarts?) where they could converse together while I eavesdrop  to see how well they match up to my perceptions.

Most seem like they would enjoy each other’s company, or at least be quite capable of making some incisive observations on the parade of visitors that come before them each day.

What would you have them thinking or saying? Continue reading ART: The (mostly) Affable Ladies of the Boston MFA

Cinderella – Aschenputtel – Popelka

While wandering through the Art Institute of Chicago, I happened upon a beautiful new acquisition in one hallway and spent a happy twenty minutes or so staring at it before I started taking photos to let me enjoy more details later. I’d like to share it with you, along with some of the source material.

Eugen Napoleon Neureuther's Cinderella, 1848

Retold fairy tales are one of my favorite genres of literature – I enjoy seeing the familiar core storylines and basic archetypes reinvented through new author’s imaginations, interpreting motivations and backstories that are usually left out of the original tales.

While new versions often introduce narrative elements that suit our modern tastes, they usually also leave out details that are disturbing to us. If you’ve only met Cinderella through Disney and other modern incarnations, you’ll be surprised to see the very different ending of the story below. Continue reading Cinderella – Aschenputtel – Popelka