CharlesTON of Beautiful Art

If you run into me and I’m speaking a bit differently and saying “y’all” a lot, it’s because I just got back from Charleston, South Carolina! You won’t recognize the dialect exactly because my southern accent sounds a lot like my British/Australian/Irish accent. It didn’t stop me from using it the whole three days I was there. And the two days since I’ve been back. I think it’s charming and enduring and my family? Doesn’t.

This was my first trip to Charleston and it was so fun! I loved the history, food, architecture, scenery, and of course- the art. We visited the Gibbes Museum of Art, which was full of beautiful art AND had a scavenger hunt on hand for my daughter. You know art museum scavenger hunts are among my favorite things in this world, so that was a huge win right off the bat.

It’s always so hard to pick my favorite piece of art, but I force my kids to do it, so I must as well. Here was my favorite:

The Green Fan (I, for one, am a fan. Of the fan.)

Isn’t she stunning? She was painted by Robert Henri, who was fascinated with Spanish culture. He visited Toledo, Spain (Not to be confused with the less exotic Toledo, Ohio. Which actually wouldn’t have been such a stretch because Henri was born in Cincinnati.) in 1912, which is where he painted this young lady. Henri was into realism like Picasso was into cubism. “Boisterous realism” is how one article put it. He was a member of “The Eight”- eight artists who were bucking American Impressionism and faux-Classicism. Henri’s motto was “Art for life’s sake.” He went on to be a renowned art teacher, in addition to a prolific painter. His book “The Art Spirit” has been described by young artists as life-changing. That’s a pretty good review, if you ask me. I trust his book is full of lovely quotes like this one I read: “Your work will be the statement of what have been your emotions.” And “The stroke is just like the artist at the time he makes it.”

Just for fun, here is another painting he did of Felix Asiego, who was a horrible person and happened to be Rita Hayworth’s father.

Portrait of El Matador, Felix Asiego (or Portrait of El Jerko)

So next time you’re in Charleston, let me recommend the Gibbes Museum of Art. It gibbes me all the feels, y’all.

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