One Regret

Spring                                                              Passover Moon

Goya, Dr. Arrieta
Goya, Dr. Arrieta

In one way I regret moving from the Twin Cities. Yes, it made me sad to lose regular contact with the Woollies and my docent friends, the folks at the Sierra Club, too. Yes, the memories attached to 40 years of physical objects like the Mississippi, its bridges, the Minneapolis skyline, all the metro lakes, the State Fair Grounds, even the grounds of United Theological Seminary, were no longer triggered by frequent or occasional visits. Yes, I even missed the weather, crazy as that may be. But, I expected these and any move has such losses. That doesn’t mean their loss wasn’t hard, but here there are new friends, new places to make memories-the Rocky Mountains, after all-and the weather here has its own charm.

But. The art does not compare. The MIA (not Mia for me, not ever) and the Walker are two exceptional museums. The MIA’s encyclopedic nature made it a home for me as I learned the broad scope of art among the nations and cultures of the world. The Walker is simply a great spot to see and to learn about contemporary art. The sculpture garden there is a joy, too. Though I attended the Minnesota Orchestra only very occasionally it was there and well-known. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, after seventeen years of annual subscriptions and attendance, grounded me in their particular, intimate music-and gave me my wife. The Guthrie Theater is one of the great regional theaters in the United States.

DoryphorosThese are only the most visible, too. There is Penumbra, of course, the Children’s Theater, the Northeast Art District, various jazz venues (Denver has excellent jazz.), Theater in the Round, the Cowles Center and many, many more.

What I’m writing about here is my difficulty in continuing my immersion in the art world. There are all the online art offerings and they are amazing. The Google Cultural Institute, the online exhibits of many, many of the world’s iconic museums, new art and artists, all are easy to access and require no travel at all. I have my books, my art books and their exceptional illustrations, books on art history and art theory. I have my own, small art collection both hung and still to be hung or stored.

We have frequented the Curious Theater here. It features plays of contemporary playwrights and we’ve gone many times to jazz clubs in Denver and they’re wonderful. There are, too, world class festivals in the summer at Aspen, Vail, in Boulder, at Red Rocks.

Jade MountainEven with all these though I miss the relationship I had with Goya’s Dr. Arrieta, or the Bonnard, the Doryphoros, the Chinese and Japanese collections so important to my own aesthetic. Germanicus, Lucretia, the Rodin, Caillebotte, Beckman’s Blind Man’s Buff and the Kandinsky. I guess it’s the aesthetic equivalent of Toffler’s notion of high tech, high touch. That is, the more we use high technology, the more we need regular interaction with other people. I need regular interaction with actual works of art and they are simply not available here.

This is a problem I want to solve. I thought maybe writing about here would prompt me toward a solution, but it hasn’t happened, at least not today. A continuing challenge.