Sunday, November 9, 2008

Art Nouveau Lady

In the town of Haarlem, two ceramic tile ladies stand on either side of a door that faces the Spaarne River. Most of the day, they are lost in the shade of the arched stone entryway, which is flanked by dragon downspouts. For over one hundred years, the lady on the right has been holding an apple, which catches the rays of the ceramic sun behind her. She and her left-hand friend are advertisements for businesses that met their demise long ago. What optimism it shows, to have commissioned these two women in as permanent a medium as ceramic tiles. Would a business owner do that today, in our time of banking crises, mortgage crises and economic recession? I hope that we can regain some of the optimism of that previous era.
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