We all remember our first love, the intensity, the drama, it stays with us forever. How a certain song or place will always remind you of those precious feelings. But what about your first ART love? That one painting or sculpture or photograph that drew you in and made you long for more?
My hubby George & I took advantage of the Free Family Day at the Cummer Museum of Art in Jacksonville on Saturday and walking through its beautiful rooms & gardens reminded me that the Cummer is where my real appreciation for art first blossomed.
Image of the Cummer Gardens via Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
The stately, elegant rooms and gardens seemed alive with history and mystery. To me, there is something so lovely and enchanting about old stone, brick and iron in a garden. The Cummer Garden paths lead me down a lane of memories that aren’t my own.. memories of others who have walked these gardens before, of Ninah Cummer lovingly attending her flowers, of characters in novels who walked similar garden paths, of lovers declaring themselves forever.
Inside the Cummer, the beauty of the architecture draws me in but it is the artwork that keeps me coming back again and again. As a young girl, my first memory of visiting the Cummer is the enchantment I discovered there, focused upon one particular piece of artwork, “Before Her Appearance” by Frederick Carl Frieseke.
Image via Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
I’m sure it is no surprise that this Impressionistic painting would be the early favorite of a young girl who loved the romance of dancing and all things girly. I wanted to BE her, to be the talented beauty preparing to take center stage. When I look back at this piece as an adult, I still love the feminine glory of it all. The pink toe-shoes, ruffled dressing gown, floral vanity skirt and draperies.. In an age where showing this kind of feminitity seems sometimes verboten, it is lovely to think back to a time when it was truly celebrated. ( Not that I would want to go back to other aspects of being a woman in that age! )
Each time I revisit the Cummer, I am drawn back in time to my younger days, of sitting and gazing upon this lovely piece, waiting for her to stand up from her stool and begin pirouetting around the room. As with any first love, there are others who have come behind, touched me in different ways, but that first passion will stay with me always.
Do you remember your first ( ART ) love? Please share in the comments, I adore a good ( ART ) love story!