Welcome to my blog!

I used to blog here mostly using local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and then found myself posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. These involve fabric recycling or re-use and refashioning of clothes, or other frugalities. I've left up the previous blogs and may occasionally revert to those topics again. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

GIrl Calling

The Dinner Horn (Blowing the Horn at Seaside), 1870, oil on canvas
              At a recent visit to the National Gallery of Art I stumbled into viewing this image of a a girl calling on a horn painted by Winslow Homer. I found it wonderfully sweet and strange all at the same time. The subject matter is so dated that I wonder if YOUNG PEOPLE today really know what this is about or do they think it is some quaint summer picnic thing or do they realize that on a farm -- where nearly everyone was living in the 1870s -- everyone who was out harvesting or working the land would be called in for dinner by someone blowing on a horn. These days if everyone wants to get together to eat it's by Email, or an Evite invitation or a call on cell phones or something. Who's got a horn in their house now? Who would think to Get On The Horn and call someone to come and eat together. I do recall living in the old country and hearing people use "the horn" metaphor for making a phone call, as in "get them on the horn" but I think that referred to an early telephone mouthpiece which was shaped like, well, a horn.  Maybe that phone mouthpiece was based on a common everyday farmhouse object like the horn blown to get the farm workers in for dinner. The second name for this image, "blowing the horn at seaside," seems like someone tried to re-label it. The provenance story says the first owner paid $150 for it but you can be sure that the Mellons, who own it now, paid a lot more. Who would think that a somewhat romanticized depiction of a farm girl executing a normal everyday chore would be worth so much a hundred years later? Maybe this delightful little painting reminds us that it is the everyday things that take place that are the valuable things if we could just see them in that light..

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