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Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

The 1893 Chicago World's Fair and Joaquin Sorolla

1893 Guide to the Art Pavilions

Yesterday I found this book, a 110-year old guide to the art pavilions at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, at the used book sale at the fire hall which benefits our local library.

I have recently begun reading Erik Larson's book, The Devil and the White City, about the architects and the serial killer at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

I thought it would be fun to have something from the actual event while reading the book.  I was curious about the notes that the owner of the book, Eva Scramsburg, had written about what she had seen.  She had marked certain paintings that had made an impression on her.

Plus, when I looked for Joaquin Sorolla in the "Spain" section,  he was listed with 5 paintings, and I thought that was pretty cool.  I have Sorolla on my list of artists to learn more about.
 Another Marguerite (Otra Margarita)
When I got home, I was looking up what paintings he had shown, including one called Other Marguerite, discovered that Sorolla had won the equivalent of "Best in Show" at the fair!
Sorolla's Portrait of President Taft
He became very popular afterwards, made many connections, one of which led to a portrait of President Taft.

Two months ago, I didn't even know who Sorolla was, I will admit.  Lea Wight had raved about him at her portrait workshop, and showed us a book of his work.
Hispanic Society of America 
She also talked about going to see his work at the Hispanic Society of America and how fabulous it was.   I put going there on my mental list of "Things to Do" the next time I go to NYC.

So, today I googled him to learn more.  He is known as the painter of sunlight.  A contemporary and friend of John Singer Sargent.  He was wildly popular in America and in Europe during his time.  He died in 1923.

 link to Sotheby's description of Sorolla 
It was exciting to learn that he studied with a photographer and that is one of the reasons that they think he was an extraordinary painter of light.  (Click about to hear a short video about him.)
There is an upcoming show on him at the San Diego Museum of Art, from May 31st - August 26.  (which is on my I'd love to see that show! list)   This video does a good job explaining him, and how he handled paint to capture the effects of sunlight.
(Click on image above)

I look forward to seeing his work in person someday.  And I am glad I bought the art catalogue from the World's Fair.

BHB

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