Grief by Augustus Saint-Gaudens is a stunning sculpture created by the artist on commission from the writer Henry Adams in memoriam of his wife who committed suicide in 1885. The original stands in
The other piece, which, regrettably, I cannot find an image of online, is entitled “One or Two Spoons, Two or Three Forks.” It’s a curious photo by Wegman of an arrangement of one spoon and two forks with only the handle of a fourth utensil in the field of view. As the title not-so-implicitly states, the identity of that fourth utensil determines the meaning…the way we perceive and think about…the entire photo, yet it remains unknown. Isn’t this life? Isn’t this how it truly is? Meaning is always decided at the margin, at the very edge of what we can know. We constantly go through life ascribing meaning and making decisions based on the assumption of knowledge, but we often forget that we’re working with a vastly limited set of ideas. Those ideas, that knowledge, that truly matters…that will lead us to right decisions and true perceptions…always lies just outside of our field of view. What a curious and wonderful little piece of work by this “Funney/Strange” artist.
So if you’re in DC and looking for a place to step out of the muggy weather and into a wonderful world of imagination and creativity, check out SAAM. These are just two of the many, many wonderful works that stuck with me even a few days later…maybe you’ll find your own.