Unless you are going to the Danforth Museum of Art, I do not recommend ever going to Framingham (traffic issues, strip mall issues).
But I am very glad I finally made it to the Danforth today because it is a lovely museum with a community outreach effort that I admire.
The exhibit I went to see was described in the Boston Globe by by Sebastian Smee.
“One of the things you notice first in ‘Eternal Presence,’ a terrific career survey of John Wilson at the Danforth Museum of Art, is how attentive Wilson is to the faces of children. From his earliest days sketching his brother to his most recent large-scale drawings in charcoal, the impulse has remained the same: It is an impulse toward clarity, toward truth. He doesn’t sentimentalize or caricature children. …
“What you notice later is the high number of pictures showing children in the arms of adult men and women. … Wilson is after something elemental and profound. But the resulting image is not just another mother and child, or dad with young kid. There is instead, each time, something tender and hard-won about what you are looking at. A hope, a promise, a lament all in one.
“Wilson, 90, is one of Boston’s most esteemed and accomplished artists. He was born in Roxbury, the son of parents from British Guiana (now the nation of Guyana), was admitted to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1939 after developing a natural aptitude for art at the Roxbury Boys Club, where he attended classes taught by SMFA students.”
Smee goes on to describe Wilson’s long career, including a stint in France, his interest in the Mexican muralists, and his sculptures of Martin Luther King Jr. (one is in the Capitol rotunda).
Amazing that the artist is around and will be giving a talk at the museum. Try to go. The show is up until March 24. And you may enjoy as much as I did the African American sculptures by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller from the permanent collection and the joyful Harlem watercolors of Richard Yarde.
More at the Globe.
Lithograph by John Wilson