Autobiographical Essays

Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD (1910 - 1995)

Craft Show, Mattatuck Museum

I do not know how many of you visited the craft show in Waterbury. It is definitely worthwhile. Though the exhibit is small, and comfortably fits into two rooms, I vividly recall certain art pieces, since one is not overwhelmed with too many exhibits unlike shows where object are so numerous that few if any are recalled after visiting the show.
The drive to Waterbury along route 63 in Connecticut meanders through a lovely landscape of rolling hills, forests, and sparsely populated areas. The tree tops were reddish, as if shrouded in a light red blanket: an early sign of spring.
The museum is situated on the town’s green. Waterbury once had factories; these surround the commercial and residential area, but for the foremost are now empty and the whole town has an air of neglect.
When I see an exhibit I often ask myself whether I would like to own and live with any of the art works and many times my answer is NO. Though I may admire al piece of art I would not like to possess it. This was not the case here. E. McDonald’s relief composed of clay tiles was large scale, more than nine by eleven feet, depicting moving clouds in semi-abstract forms on a bluish background. Another of her wall reliefs consisted of a garish clay tiles. In the center was a niche with a window through which a night sky was visible. However, when looked at up close, you realize that the surface is flat, and your eye has been cleverly deceived. I have often seen similar illusionistic trompe l’oeil effects in older paintings, especially in ceiling paintings, I but have never seen it made of tiles. I was glad to find out that this artist won the exhibition’s first prize.     

Another artist who impressed me was Priscilla Porter, who worked in glass. She too won a prize for her work. The piece I wished I could own was a glass unicorn that measured about three by four feet. For the most part it was clear glass but the artist fused the transparent substance with color in certain areas. What was especially striking was Porter’s skill—and imagination: her unicorn appeared to float weightless in air.

There were other interesting and very original pieces. Among them were Alexandra Friedman’s large tapestries; one depicted a view of the Adirondacks, the other, the flower cyclamen on a sunny porch.

All in all there were 160 entries, a number that were quite small. Lovely silver jewelry was also displayed. I really enjoyed this exhibit and can highly recommend it.


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