Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Painting and Government
I really like ceremonies. They mark the beginning, the end, and that’s very soothing. Especially when it’s the beginning of Obama and the end of Bush.
Regarding yesterday’s inauguration, aside from Obama’s address, and the Reverend Joseph Lowery at the end, I was especially taken in by the fact that before the luncheon began, someone introduced a painting – Thomas Hill’s “View of the Yosemite Valley” on loan for the occasion from the New York Historical Society (very much like this Hill painting above).
All these politicians stood looking at an image as a useful vision, as something to respect as a way of seeing things. In this case, they were being asked to look at a long perspective, a landscape, a vision of the unknown, but not without hope (it is green, after all, and beautiful).
That was very cool, I thought. I guess that’s what they mean by integrating the arts into the way we function as a society.