Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the art collector

Society needs artists, just as it needs scientists, technicians, workers, professional people, witnesses of the faith, teachers, fathers and mothers, who ensure the growth of the person and the development of the community by means of that supreme art form which is “the art of education”. Within the vast cultural panorama of each nation, artists have their unique place. Obedient to their inspiration in creating works both worthwhile and beautiful, they not only enrich the cultural heritage of each nation and of all humanity, but they also render an exceptional social service in favour of the common good.

-- from Pope John Paul II's Letter to Artists, 1999

I was pleasantly surprised when my kiddos came home from the library with The Art Collector by Jan Wahl.  This sweet and simple story conveys the profound message that art is for everyone, not just for those who create it.

As a very young boy, Oscar watches a little magic happen as his great grandmother takes a piece of paper and a crayon and draws some straight and curving lines.

Delighted at the site of great grandmother's illustration, Oscar tries to draw a chicken, too.  He becomes frustrated when his drawing does not turn out the way he imagines and instead crumples up his paper.

Still enchanted with art, but not satisfied with his own attempts at drawing, Oscar purchases his first piece of art at a flea market.  He gets a new frame and glass, better backing, and a wire and then hangs the etching in his bedroom.

As Oscar grows up, he continues to fill every wall in his bedroom with more artwork.

Years pass and a museum is built to house his growing and now famous collection.

As an older man with a great granddaughter of his own, Oscar still delights in the one illustration that long ago ignited his passion for collecting art.

Tell me ... what special art do YOU collect?

What particular piece of art or artist has inspired you?


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