Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Great, Great, Great, Great Surprise In the Mail

Don't you just love Family?

Today I received a mystery package in the mail. Right away I saw it had come from my Grandpa Pete in Portland Oregon. At fist, I must admit, I was a bit down hearted, thinking it was for my dad who often gets letters from him. Well, it did end up being for me, and the package was heavy and huge, perhaps another novel? He's all ways getting rid of novels, German beer mugs from travels and exotic rocks he had collected over the years. To fully understand my Grandpa Pete, you should probably know that he is a proud German decedent, stamp collector, active chronicler of the Bosserman family line and active traveler. He all ways has funny/long stories of his travels to Germany, parts of Europe and once, Japan.

Well, the package contained the book A World History Of Art, by Sheldon Cheney. "Great, I'm an artist and old book lover, this is a sweet gesture" Was all I thought, then I opened the cover, and a letter from my grandpa slid out with lists of names and dates. The letter said that he had picked up this book in California during 1971, and that the author was my Great, Great, Great, Great Grandpa Sheldon Cheney. How cool is that? It turns out he wrote 7 books on art, architecture and stage design, my three favorite subjects! As I started reading the preface, he states how odd it is that historians of art bury the essence of that which is beautiful under heaps and heaps of technical terms, dusty dates, and other bland technicalities. he says "I should like to feel the grandeur of El Greco, of Michelangelo, be immersed in the unearthly loveliness of a Sung landscape or a Sienes gold-and-rose Madonna. Why don't the books tell me the things that will split the prison of my mind and open my faculties to that transcending experience?"

Well Said Gr,Gr,Gr,Gr, Grandpa!

"Art is joyous, if one can get at it."

What a wonderful philosophy!

The farther I read the more I see similarities in the way we both view art, incredible isn't it?

I had no idea that generations so far apart could share such similarities.

For those of you who don't know your family history, I encourage you to dig around. You never know what might come up!

~Sarah

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