by Mark Schrull
3/8/2013 Lorain Ohio – Yesterday, LifeInLorain traveled east into Cuyahoga County for a visit to The Cleveland Museum of Art.
I worked at CMA for about a year and a half, shortly after retiring from the water department. My position was Customer Service Guard; a job which among other things, requires standing in the galleries, answering questions, giving directions, and protecting the fantastic collection of art on display.
I have always been fascinated by this sculpture. It is truly beautiful. The information placard explains art scholars believe the sculpture is of a female. It is titled
“The Stargazer” because of her head being tilted toward the sky.
Imagine an artist some 5000 years ago carving with primitive tools a piece which delights the eye so wondrously. Such a fragile thing to find buried in the sand. Who, I wonder, carved this? What was the artist’s intention?
Now while I worked at The Cleveland Museum of Art I kept a small leather-bound journal I wrote in during slow times. I would record my thoughts, sometimes random, sometimes about a certain piece of art which would interest me; or sometimes just a note of something interesting which happened that day. Yesterday looking at this piece reminded me of a little story I recorded in my journal which I want to share…
One morning when we weren’t too peculiarly busy, a small group of very young children on a field trip with their teacher were being given a tour. They were a mix of boys and girls perhaps in the first grade, no older.
Now the group comes along and gathers around the case containing the Stargazer and the tour guide says to the children, “Class, do you think this is a male or a female?”
“It’s a girl!” a young boy blurts out excitedly.
“You’re right,” the guide answers. “It is very, very old and was found buried in the sand.” Preparing to explain to the children about buried artifacts the tour guide continued, ” Why do you suppose someone would bury such a thing in the sand?”
The cutest little girl with pigtails offers her idea. With innocent, wide eyes she said, “Maybe the statue was someone’s true love and they died so the statue was buried by the person with a broken heart.”
The tour guide was for a moment speechless. The children’s teacher looked at me and I at her. We exchanged smiles. It is just one of many memories from my time there. I will be sharing more in posts to come.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the finest art museums in the world.
No matter how excellent and crisp a photograph is, it doesn’t compare to standing before a master piece. Do yourself a favor and visit CMA in person.
Renoir, Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and so many more masters are all there waiting to delight your eye.
For more information about “The Stargazer” (and better photos) you can visit the museum’s “Art On Line” here:
For all information about The Cleveland Museum of Art, visit their website: www.clevelandart.org