Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Wyeths and the Trinitarians (A Very Long Story, Part Six)

Day Five

A rainy Thursday sent us driving south to Rockland, ME (and all points in between, via US 1) to visit the Farnsworth Museum of Art. The Farnsworth, started in Rockland by Lucy Farnsworth, upon her death, in memory of her father and brother, prominent members of Rockland's eighteenth century citizenry, generally tries to keep the spotlight on Maine artists (those that were born there, live or lived there, or painted there at some point in their careers). They have a rather large collection of, and a good relationship with, the Wyeth family, three of whom, NC, Andrew, and Jaimie, comprise successive generations of renowned American artists.

The museum was greatly changed (for the good) from the last time we were in Rockland. They are still connected to the Olson House, sight of some of Andrew Wyeth's most famous paintings ("Christina's World," for one), but in town, they have expanded their physical space as well as their holdings. We, once again, did not have enough time to make it out to the Olson House (it's in Cushing, not too far way), but we had to leave a few things for future visits. Some highlights included some early water colors by Andrew Wyeth, some oil book illustrations by NC Wyeth, a very early Thomas Cole, and a really spectacular exhibit of banners and flags sewn by hand by the late Jamien Morehouse (who also has a wing named after her). I was not expecting to find the banners and flags very interesting, but they were amazingly whimsical, masterfully made, and clearly one-of-a-kind. Good stuff.

The town of Rockland was also greatly changed (for the worse). Coming into town on US 1 South, the traveller is greeted with all the accoutrements of the thriving American city simulacrum: Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Best Buy, Ruby Tuesday's. It was just like not leaving home. We hated it. None of that was there eight years ago, but, inexorably, time marches on.

In some places, however, time marches a hell of alot slower. On the way back, we stopped in a little town, Castine, that was touted by a tour book as an archiutectural marvel. It was quaint, and much of the architecture was, it appeared, original eighteenth century structures. The central part of town was very small. At the top of one of the streets we found this red-doored Trinitarian Congregational church. Subsequent research has not uncovered exactly what the difference between the Unitarians and the Trinitarians may be, but it seems reasonable to assume that the Trinitarians have at least two more of whatever the Unitarians have. And what about the Duotarians? Whatever happened to them? Perhaps they worshiped in Atlantis.

After returning home and getting some grub, Monkey started to show the effects of too much rain on vacation. I was beginning to worry, too. What would tomorrow bring? More rain? We might be looking for a place to rent some Scrabble if the rain kept up.

That night, I dreamed I was a character in one of Jaimie Wyeth's Moneghan Island paintings. A fisherman, mending a net on the wharf, I looked up in the late afternoon and saw the sun filling the western sky with a reddish glow. Under my breath, with my Meerschaum stuck firmly in my teeth, I nodded my head and muttered to myself, "Red sky at night; sailors delight."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a fan of the quincunxicarians.

Do they play scrabble or do they not? I can't wait to find out in episode seven!