“Artist Unknown.” That phrase always leaves a rather poignant feeling in my heart whenever I’m in a museum and see those words on the title cards. We were up at the Cantor Center for the Arts on Stanford Campus last week and enjoyed some of the historical exhibits as well as contemporary. I loved this little whimsical clay figure, created by some artisan 1000’s of years ago. Someone had a sense of humor and I also felt a tenderness toward his/her subject matter. I wonder….who was it? Would we have been friends? Or these beautiful moccasins – who was it who lovingly chose the colors and design and then patiently stitched them together? I imagine we might have enjoyed sketching together out on some prairie path, appreciating the beauty of God’s designs. (By the way, I got called out again by the museum guards for using my pocket watercolors. ONLY pencil, I was told!! And then watched like a hawk. !!)
The Cantor has an amazing collection of Rodin sculptures in the front yard of the museum and so afterward I sketched (and watercolored!) in front of his amazing “Gates of Hell”, two bronze doors that were commissioned for a Paris Museum that never opened. He created it as an interpretation of Dante’s Divine comedy. Adam and Eve stand on either side. And, I never knew that “The Thinker” sources from a perch above those doors and initially was called “The Poet.” It is hard to describe, so here is a link to Wikipedia in case you want to see for yourself. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gates_of_Hell.