A few weeks ago, my family spent a sunny Friday playing hooky from regular daily life and instead visiting two terrific temporary art exhibitions in downtown Washington, DC. As usual, I had books in my backpack just in case a few minutes appeared in our schedule--but the day was packed with images of reading and books completely aside from the ones I was carrying.
The first exhibition we attended was the Norman Rockwell showing at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Rather than being a general retrospective of the artist's work, this particular exhibition draws from the Rockwell collections belonging to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to point out how much Rockwell told complete stories in his individual paintings.
Rockwell told stories with his images, but he also illustrated the fact that stories create our images. I especially love this painting of a young boy reading his way into the chivalric book he holds:
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After a wonderful bento lunch at my 11yo son's current favorite restaurant Teaism, we headed down to the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art to take in their amazing Arcimboldo exhibit. Arcimboldo painted in the sixteenth century, but his pictures of people entirely created out of vegetables or flowers or fish seem entirely modern. While most of his pictures used natural elements to create his fantastical portraits, I am especially drawn to his painting of a librarian, made from books. Check out those bookmark fingers!
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I love checking out what C.B. James finds for his "Picture Reading" series, whether they are paintings or photographs, serious or funny. Do you have your own favorite pictures of reading? Please feel free to provide links in the comments!