4 thoughts on “Currier family art exhibit at the NAG”

  1. As I have said twice before on this site, I am NOT a reporter. I guess that I also don’t consider myself to be an artist. For me, art is just one of life’s important skills, like reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic.

    I guess it started with my father, Benjamin Atkinson Currier III. Although he was SVP, EVP and CEO of a number of national and international insurance companies, he had one accomplishment that, at least for me and my friends, always stood above the rest. He can draw a perfect Bugs Bunny. In fact, he continues to impress his grandchildren with this skill.

    It continued with my grandmother, Editha Borden Currier. She was the first woman admitted to the Rhode Island School of Design, back around 1909 or so. When she graduated, people didn’t want to have a woman as an art teacher (maybe she’d have to draw a nude or something) so she taught high school shop class in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Whenever we visited her, we’d do art projects. When she’d visit us, we’d visit art museums in D. C. or Boston and she’d tell us stories about the artists.

    When I was in school, I loved reading history, particularly about the American Civil War. I also enjoyed biographies, including generals and presidents. I learned that when the many Civil War generals who went on to become president attended West Point, there were only five required courses. One of them was drawing.

    Finally, when I was the project manager on a $20 million adaptive reuse of a historic warehouse in Lowertown, there was an eye-opening construction meeting. The architect was from Pakistan, the engineer was from Mexico, and the masonry contractor was from Poland. For all of them, English was their second language. They were having trouble communicating about a construction detail. Then one of them sketched a picture on a piece of paper. They started handing it around, each adding more details. When they were satisfied that they’d reached a shared understanding, they all nodded, smiled and got to work.

    As I was saying, art is just one of life’s important skills. Good thing they still teach it in the Northfield Public Schools.

  2. Ross:

    That design meeting is exactly what some architects mean when they refer to the charette process. I am given to understand that at the Sorbonne or some other old French design school, architecture students were required to build elaborate models and present them to a faculty jury. These models were moved from studio to auditorium on small carts — charettes — and during the move lots of last-second work was still being done, with groups of students helping each other. Thus the use of the term for a collaborative, hands-on design process.

  3. Jim:

    Interesting that you should bring up the charette process. There’s a rumor that the Library Board might initiate just such an approach to exploring concepts that would enable the library meet its space needs while still keeping it in its present (historic) location.

    We’ll keep our ears open and our fingers crossed!

    Thanks much,

    Ross

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