Monday, June 23, 2008

Lovely Surprise

My husband is often full of surprises. He surprised me two Christmases ago by giving me the book Monet in Normandy, which describes the paintings that were in a special exhibit at our North Carolina Museum of Art during the fall of 2006When I asked where he had found it, he casually replied that he had been to the museum to see the paintings on his lunch hour one day by himself, and had purchased the book for me in the gift shop. I was rather astounded to hear that he had done such a thing. Although he willingly accompanied me once to the MOMA in New York, he is not generally a culture vulture when it comes to art. Well, many people went to see that astounding Monet collection that do not normally visit art museums, including son Dave and his wife and friends. They made an evening out of it, enjoying wine in the museum's Monet Cafe while waiting for their turn. Oh, yes, you had to have admission tickets and were given an entry time to see the Monets. I saw the exhibit with my quilting friend Jean from Arkansas, who cracked me up with some of her observations.

Anyway, I loved my book and his thoughtfulness.

Fast forward a year and six months to my birthday yesterday. One of my gifts from Charlie was a matted print of my favorite piece from the exhibit, The Garden at Sainte-Adresse. (1867, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.)

He bought it at the same time as the book, hid it in his closet, and forgot about it. Hey, that's usually my trick!

Actually, my print would still be among the missing, except that when we returned from the beach last week, the wire shelving in Charlie's closet had collapsed, dumping all this clothing on the floor. He had to clean out his closet (possibly for the first time in fourteen years). Bad luck for him, good luck for me, for voila! There was my gift. So this time he only had to hide it for another week, and I got it for my birthday.

Love it!

Perhaps one reason I loved the jewel tones on cool blues of this delightful seaside view is that is reminds me of a painting hanging in my living room. It is actually a print of my father's painting, Wildflowers on the Blue Ridge.

I am off to my favorite frame shop!


Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful husband. Your fathers paintings (I checked out his website) are beautiful. I saw the Monet exhibit when it was at the MoFA in Boston. There are a few there on permenent disply. I made a quilt from his "Artist Garden in Giverney".
I got the hook that I hang my bags on to photograph at

Cathie said...

Well Jeanne - s very Happy Belated Birthday to you. What a wonderful surprise in your husband's closet. But most of all -- what a treasure this lovely, lovely painting done by your daddy is. It is really beautiful -- what a talent he has for capturing beauty. Sabrina gave (just before the concluction of the school year) a presentation on Monet at Normandy - we went to Ed McKay used books and picked up several brand new beautiful books on him - one of which was Monet at Normandy and Monet's Garden. What a fascinating man he was. Almost as fascinating as Van Gogh (but not quite!!)
Again - Happy Birthday dear Jeanne!