Thursday Doors: The Present Past

It’s Thursday! It’s time to share some doors! It’s been almost a month since my last Thursday Doors (again). Lately, time has been warping like I’m Han Solo with Chewie in the Millennium Falcon, switching into hyperdrive, AND I’ve been exhausted — growing new bones in one’s arm is tiring! But I’m now also determined that I will complete this post and MY DOORS SHALL BE POSTED!

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Back before my wrist started growing new parts, I had a weeklong vacation. One day during that week, I decided to head to the quaint borough of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where I visited the James A. Michener Art Museum. The museum’s collection is filled with the work of Pennsylvania Impressionists (and it hosts special exhibitions as well). What really made me want to go now was an exhibit by an artist I’d not heard of before, George Sotter.

George Sotter (1879-1953), Light and Shadow.  The pictures of his work on the museum’s website showed some night scenes. Despite my imitating a normal human being by getting up early to go to work during normal business hours, night and I have always been BFFs. And since I can’t visit night in reality, lest I show up at work completely useless and grumpy, I could now visit it again through paintings that are almost/about a hundred years old. The museum site says Sotter’s “best known for his magical winter nocturnes, scenes made even more enchanting by the blanket of snow that is a recurring motif in his work.” That cinched it — I figured we’d become good friends because I love snow as much as night, and I like art, too, so…

To the Bucks County Jail I’d go! WHAT?

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This is one of the entrances to the museum grounds, a castle-like structure that used to be the Bucks County Jail, hence the stone and big red prison-ish doors.

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Once inside, I wandered around the always-on-display collection.  Below is one of the paintings I saw. I had written down which artist this was, but it’s been so long, my notes don’t make sense to me now. So, sorry, artist whose lovely painting this is. I did love it, though, enough to say to the “no photos” cards on all the walls, I’M IGNORING YOU! No flash, though, so you’re welcome.

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I made my way into the Sotter exhibition space and lingered for some time. So many night scenes, so much snow. I was enjoying it so much, I gave the evil eye to two volunteers who thought they were whispering, and they left the room shortly thereafter, leaving me to enjoy quiet scenes, you know, in quiet.

There were many that I lingered near, but this one and I spent a good amount of time together. (From the museum website here).

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Silent Night, circa 1932

I liked this one so much, I bought postcards, a notecard, and an 11×14 print in the museum’s gift shop. (I also bought a Mondrian notepad and other artsy things — it was the most reasonably-priced museum gift shop I’d ever been in.)

The whole exhibit, you could say, was a door, one that opened a dialogue between me circa now with an artist who lived in the same region as me circa more than 60 years ago. Some of the scenes he painted were from a creek I know well. Others were from New Hope, Pa., a town in which I’ve spent more hours in than I can count, and other areas nearby that I’m more than familiar with.

I just kept thinking how cool it was that he saw the same things as me (well, the same places — some of the open space, I’m sure, has been paved with blacktop). Art really is about connection, and walking through the museum’s doors brought me through a door to the past. It also opened a door to revisit aspects of myself, ones I happen to have in common with this guy I’ll never meet any other way.

… … …

He and I had quite the discussion.

/end philosophical-ness

After spending time with George and buying half the gift shop, it was time to leave.

Walking out, I passed this guy. We had a staring contest. He won.

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This post is one of many through Thursday Doors by Norm Frampton. See other doors — from around the world — on his weekly linkup and/or on the Twitter at #ThursdayDoors. See more of my doors here.

6 thoughts on “Thursday Doors: The Present Past

  1. I like the prison door, especially as I’m not on the side of it that doesn’t open. 🙂 I also like your choice of artist and “Silent Night” made me happy. You found a reasonably priced art shop? Get out of here! That’s amazing. You just had to stock up, I completely understand.

    janet

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  2. I’m a little bit freaked out by those imposing doors. What a way to enter an art museum. I like Silent Night, circa 1932. I wonder where that building stood, and if it’s still there. Maybe near that creek you mentioned?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seriously. The history of the whole place is weird. The museum’s named after the writer, James Michener, who donated money for an art museum. Then they put in where the old jail was. Odd all around. 🙂

      It’s in the sprawling hills of Solebury Township, near New Hope, Pa. I’m not sure, but the house could still be there. We have a LOT of historical structures around here. Perhaps I shall go looking for it on one of my wanderings…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought to, too. Aw, I’m sorry you miss museums. I think I’ll go to some more often again. There are quite a few near me. Thank you! And thanks for commenting!

      Like

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