Berthe Mother

When we were 19, we wanted to be Berthe Morisot. After having accepted that we had little (although not no) talent for visual art, we learned that Morisot was a very famous and beloved enabler. In our neutered art books at school, she was merely "kind" and "wealthy," leaving food and paint outside Picasso's Left Bank garret door, thus making many of our favorite paintings possible. It was the only way we could think of to be in the art world without making art, being a nameless model, or worse, being someone's girlfriend and inhabiting the dreaded "muse" role. Morisot's mother hen thing worked better for us. Sadly, we never got "wealthy," so it didn't work out, and plus we learned later that everyone involved was deformed by the rise of fascism and fucked up on drugs. Still, we admire the strong, stout lady of our imagination, trudging around with baskets of painter-feed. Imagine our surprise at learning about "Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond." She painted? Although we don't like our independent-seeming Morisot lumped with the incredibly boring Cassatt (OK! Grudging respect!), the exhibit still ranks high on our summer art list. The lady could paint, it turns out, and you know what that means: There's still hope for us, too.
June 21-Sept. 21, 2008

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