“Sight For Sore Eyes”

The news has been an unending source of pain as we are reminded of the horrors of war. Human beings seem capable of doing grievous harm to one another. Meanwhile, many onlookers seem to be astonished at the cruelty of war. There is sadly nothing new about depraved behavior in conflict, and Americans have taken part in it ourselves. We can claim no moral high ground, but merely weep with those who weep. Beyond that, pontificating about atrocities by the light of the television screen helps no one.

This week we took a break to be reminded of the enduring beauty of the natural world as painted during the nineteenth century. Called “The Hudson River School,” these artists, tired of the ugliness of so much of the recently industrialized Northeast(particularly New York and Connecticut,)left their portrait studios and went “plein air”, carrying their tools into the forests.

Our local New Britain Museum of American Art already displays a sizable collection of these works on a permanent basis. But this spring they are hosting many additional works from the New York Historical Society’s collection. We went to soak up these new works, a true feast for the eyes. In a text from my faith we are told to focus on “whatsoever things are lovely.” This week we were able to do just that. Humans are capable of astonishing works of beauty. We aren’t only a murderous race.

17 thoughts on ““Sight For Sore Eyes”

  1. My dream would be to have an original Hudson River School painting. Our home is filled with plein air paintings of up and coming artists. I am so happy you found some beauty in this dark and trying world.

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      1. We feel the same. We took a trip to Sedona and bought a red rocks piece there. I would love to go to the Grand Canyon one September for their plein air event. The canyon paintings are spectacular. We have also been to Easton, MD for their plein air event – usually in July. But nothing since Covid.

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