Friday, August 22, 2014

What A Life this Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday

Isn't this Cascade Venezia Sport just gorgeous?

"If you lay off the 'parallel lines on the canvas,' the 'balance of light and dark,' and other art history shibboleths, if you really look at the painting or sculpture or photography or installation work or video and pay close attention to the ways the images resonate with your own life, then the world of your experience and the world of the artist's experience have a chance to connect." (p. 161)

"My job was becoming increasingly difficult. The challenge was to maintain a very clear vision for the museum in terms of inquiry and scholarship while also attending to the real necessity of balancing the budget and raising money - and to create an organizational climate that was highly productive and efficient but was also fair, compassionate, and human." (p.148, emphasis in original)

As I wrote in this post, I'm reading (and have just completed) Marcia Tucker's memoir A Short Life of Trouble: 40 Years in the New York Art World. What an inspiration! Feminist (although she wouldn't use the moniker until later in her life), artist, curator, museum founder, mother, wife (twice), Marcia Tucker challenged conventional wisdom pretty much from the opening bell. Tucker's experiences are a perfect mirror of the social changes we've seen since the early 60s: she eschewed law school and became the first female curator at a major New York museum - The Whitney (she was in her mid-20s) even though her father wanted her to join him in his law practice; she dealt with ageism and sexism inside (as well as outside of) the workplace; she was the first woman to be fired from a curatorial position at a major New York museum, first woman to found her own major New York museum (The New Museum of Contemporary Art); Tucker faced head-on her own museum's institutional racism (much to the chagrin of her Board of Directors); her second marriage was to a man 17 years her junior, she didn't give birth to her daughter Ruby until after 40, and died of cancer in 2004. Phew! There may have been trouble, but it was surely a jam-packed life. 

As someone who, more times than not, finds myself going against the grain, Tucker was not only a breath of fresh air, but someone in whom I saw a kindred spirit (except for the marriages and kid parts). In every instance of egalitarian or inclusive thinking she exhibited, I kept saying yes! out loud to the page. It is no small feat to be in conflict with the social norms of one's day and still live a principled life. Tucker did it in fantastic fashion and left a legacy of artistic mentorship and vision that continues to meaningfully impact long after her death. 

We should all be lucky to have so much trouble.

As I continue to work on crochet designs (and some knitting ones as well!) set for future publication, I take heart in knowing that even though there are times when it feels like relevant crochet design gets undercut (for myriad reasons), persistence and a healthy dose of laughter can win the day. 

Since my persistence and laugh are still present and accounted for, I'm feeling pretty darn good.

Now head on over to Andrea's blog - the Wonder Why Gal and see what's present and accounted for on the farm this week.


  1. I like the two passages you posted. I will have to check the book out.

    1. I hope you get it - it's a surprisingly quick read. I think you'll like it a lot.