Romancing Northampton—A Historical Perspective
Historic Northampton Museum, Northampton, MA
Feb 10-March 5, 2017
These watercolor paintings are based on black and white archival photos from the museum’s collection. Through these images I create a world which is lively, optimistic and colorful. In my mind’s eye, the photos seem to be about a simpler time, of hope for and belief in America and the future. This seems wonderfully quaint and reassuring indeed!
For sure life in days-gone-by was not perfect, but it appeared, from these pictures, a gentler world. Children played with bow and arrows, young people took hay rides, and grandma sat in her room at night and knitted while kittens played with a ball of string. For a deep reassuring moment, this world is like inhaling something sweet. It seems to me that everyday life can be humdrum, often even absurd. Looking at an idealized past can lend me much-needed context, perspective, and direction. It reminds and reassures me that my life (and that of others) is rooted in a narrative, and that there have been—and will once again be—meaningful moments and experiences. In certain ways I am reminded that life for all of us does not really change, in spite of technology and instantaneous media. The imaginings of times gone by strengthens me and I hope it does so for others.