May Day

A wedding to celebrate May Day.

On May day, they used to dance around poles to which ribbons had been attached.  Lots of flirting.  Lots of close observation by adults of  young men and women ready for pairing. 

No poles left.   Or to put it more precisely, our poles are the intermediaries of wires strung across the country.   The wires are carrying invisible people whose voices have been fragmented into bits and pieces.   Like our lives.

These poles are alive with wires and bolts and great  steel canisters and ticking boxes and iron steps.   Some of them have warning signs.  There are poles along the edges of busy roads and superhighways.  The dancing around these poles has been monopolized by electro-magnetic waves which only the squirrels like.

But we humans still have our weddings and here is a May Day wedding.

 Music and feasting.  And everyone eyeing everyone for all kinds of human reasons. 

Spring has definitely sprung.

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Spring, 1900-1902, opalescent and painted glass and lead.  John La Farge, designer and inventor of modern opalescent glass: 1835-1910, American; assembled by Thomas Wright: 1858-1918 and born in England;  Juliette Hanson: painter who was active from 1881 and died in 1920, American.   Philadelphia Art Museum

 

The birds are all atwitter and the polka-dot feline is out sniffing the flowers.

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Detail of a bedcurtain made in the 18th century in New England.  Cotton linen twill embroidered with wool and silk.  Boston Museum of Fine Arts. 

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Detail of a bedcurtain made in the 18th century in New England.  Cotton linen twill embroidered with wool and silk.  Boston Museum of Fine Arts displayed at Winterthur, Delaware in 2016.

 

A wedding on May Day.

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The Engagement Ball installed as an apartment window,  painted and leaded, 1885, Passy France. Luc Olivier Merson, 1846-1920 and Eugene Oudinot, 1827-1889, both French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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Details of The Engagement Ball installed as an apartment window,  painted and leaded, 1885, Passy France. Luc Olivier Merson, 1846-1920 and Eugene Oudinot, 1827-1889, both French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Flowers everywhere and notably in the conservatory 

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Bouquet, oil on linen, 2000.  Maria Tomasula, born 1958.  Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia

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Still Life with Roses in a Fluted Vase, 1889, oil on canvas.  Henri Fantin-Latour, 1836-1904,  French.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Camelia in An Old Chinese Vase on a Black Lacquer Table, 1879, watercolor on paper.  John La Farge, 1835-1910. Private collection.  Displayed in 2015 at the Philadelphia Art Museum

 

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The conservatory at Winterthur, Delaware filled for Spring  2016 with flowers the favourite colour of its proprietor, Henry Francis du Pont, 1880-1969, American

 

Music, wine, dancing and song

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The Concert, oil on canvas, 1631; Gerrit Van Honthorst, 1592-1696. Dutch.  National Gallery, Washington, DC

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Details of The Concert, oil on canvas, 1631; Gerrit Van Honthorst, 1592-1696. Dutch.  National Gallery, Washington, DC

 

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Untitled (Dancer), c.1922, matte opaque paint with gold and silver metallic paints over graphite on board; Emilio Amero, 1901-1976, Mexican.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

The mother of the bride is dressed in an off-white to match her daughter as though she did not want her family affiliation mistaken.  It is a happy day for her.

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Portrait of A Woman, and detail, 1917-’18, oil and charcoal on canvas; Gustav Klimt, 1862-1918, Austrian.  On loan in 2016 to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the Lewis Collection

 

The mother of the groom, a Freudian psychoanalyst, is outright melancholic and wishes she could stay at home with her parrot and her murderous habit with daffodils.

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Veronica Veronese, and detail, 1872, oil on canvas.  Dante Gabriel Rosetti, 1828-1882, British.  Delaware Art Museum

And  the birds have joined the Cardinal who officiated at the wedding for the wedding reception.    All kinds of food

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Reception, 1958, egg tempera an oil on campus; Honore Scharrer, 1920-2009.  On loan to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts by Adam and the late Perez Zagorin

 

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Foodscape, and detail, 1962, oil on canvas; Erro, born 1932, Icelandic.  Exhibited in Philadelphia Art Museum’s International POP exhibition, 2016

 

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 Detail of Salads, Sandwiches and Desserts,  1962, oil on canvas; Wayne Thiebaud born 1920, American.  Exhibited in Philadelphia Art Museum’s International POP exhibition, 2016

 

People ate and drank and gesticulated as though they were politicians

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Philip Pearlstein (born 1924), oil on aluminum cutout painted front and back,1978; Alex Katz, born 1927, American.   Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

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