Thursday, December 9, 2010

Exit 2010, galloping to the end

 James McNeill Whistler, Old Battersea Bridge, 1879. Etching with
drypoint, part of current show at the Legion

Wow - the year is galloping to a close. What is the stage direction -- exit left (or in the case of the US), exit right, pursued by a bear? It's been quite a year for me with the first half taken up with moving my mother to a senior facility and getting her house ready for sale.

That meant dealing with a lifetime of "stuff," which included four closets overflowing with expensive clothes, a shoe collection that rivaled Imelda Marcos' and enough jewelry to drape every member of the House of Windsor with bling and have gew-gaws left over. Everything in the house reeked of cigarette smoke. We had to have the house professionally cleaned and then, repainted - and it still hasn't sold. Oh well, maybe we will become renters. There is only so much one can do in this crappy housing market.

What has been a joy and a constant amazement is how my life has changed since I became a blogger and last year, a journalist, writing for the I don't have any illusions about those who run that site or any expectations for my fellow journalists. When I read what a lot of them have written, I understand the dismay of "old fashioned" journalists at the low standards, poor writing and sloppy reporting. But the Examiner's lack of oversight has allowed me to set my own standards (high, I hope), and build my own reputation, I don't get a free pass because I work for a respected newspaper. Unfortunately, those are few and far between. I get in because I work hard to cover shows fairly, make nice to the behind-the-scenes people that do so much of the work (that's not difficult because they are NICE people) and keep up a schedule of several posts a week. I even interject a bit of humor now and then and I am decidedly not a cheerleader for every art whiz-bang show that opens in the Bay Area.

I've planned several "treats" for my faithful (and not so faithful) readers. There will be a report on Judy Chicago's talk, a piece on the Arthur Szyk show at the Legion, a look at the various shows with ecological themes around town and for a grand finale, another batch of revisiting the collection with a look at Annunciation and Nativity paintings at the Legion. I'd also love to find some images of Saturnalia but the Bay Area doesn't have much in the way of Greek and Roman art. If anybody knows of any, just e-mail me at I think that 2010 won't be complete with a statue of a frolicking nymph or a drunk Dionysus.

Utagawa Hiroshige, Kinryzan Temple in Asakusa, from the series One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo, 1856. Color woodcut with “lacquer” and embossing,

So, Happy Hannukah, celebrate Saturnalia, look for the upcoming posts and enjoy the season. 


Carl said...

I haven't seen the exhibition you are refering to (I live in New York), which must include some prints from the Kisokaido series by Kuniyoshi as you describe. But the print shown here is of Wada (No. 29) from the Kisokaido series by Hiroshige (1797-1849), and created in the mid-1830s.

namastenancy said...

Thanks for the correction - I had Hiroshige at first but when I "googled" 69 Stations, Kuniyoshi was the artist that came up. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the reference in the catalog but I'm still looking.