The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

May 5, 2013

What would artists think of today’s lifestyle?

Of this group of people — Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Edgar Degas, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Gustav Klimt, Edouard Monet, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch and Georgia O’Keefe — which visual artist would you prefer to spend time with?

I can assure you of my preference without a second thought. It would have to be Mary Cassatt, an Impressionist artist who was the first woman to become part of the Impressionist art circle of painters.

I was dreaming during the day and thinking: What fun it would be to spend a day or two with Mary Cassatt, whose work I had always admired. What would make this experience even more exciting? Why, to have the artist come with me to present-day society and reflect on the importance of his or her work in our world.

I could only imagine Mary Cassatt’s face as she walked down one of our busy streets anywhere in the country and see the general population in their eternal “rush.” What would she think of the glaring lights, the noisy traffic, the look of the traffic, as well as the people themselves? Would she think we had lost our minds, and where was it we were going in such a hurry? Would she wonder why there were not more families involved together in these mad rushes, or why was everyone going their separate ways?

Would Mary Cassatt admire the turn architecture has taken with our new and modern buildings? Would she think our children polite, our older citizens treated with kindness? Would she even come close to understanding the language of the streets that most of us hear on a daily basis? Would our fast food appeal to her, would a bag of chips entice her, or cause her to want to return immediately home? Speaking of refreshment, perhaps now would be a good time to make a cup of tea.

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