The Lure of the Ocean

love-opera-victoria-baker“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever” said the famed explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

It’s true. The sea with its bottomless waters and the endless rhythm of its waves holds more questions than answers and can seem like a metaphor for life. Even when the waters grow wild they always calm down only to grow angry again, making us realize we are all just floating along on the waves of destiny.

The Bruce Museum has chosen to celebrate the mysteries of the sea in its current exhibition entitled Lure of the Ocean: The Art of Stanley Meltzoff. The exhibit features approximately 30 oil paintings by Meltzoff, many that are three to four feet long that portray fish in their environments from the New Jersey shores to the shallows of the Caribbean and the deep Atlantic waters. The paintings will be supplemented by specimens primarily of fish, turtle, shell and coral selected from the Bruce Museum collection.

The labels will touch upon not only the artist’s comments, but also an appreciation of the marine life and the current state of our oceans. For more information log onto

Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006) is considered the master of fish painting. The first to realistically depict major game species in their natural habitat he brings the water world to life.  Born in New York City he became an illustrator during World War II and his works graced the pages of illustrious magazines. But when photography started to eliminate the demand for illustrators like himself he changed directions and combined his painting skills with his love of diving and spearfishing thus bringing to life, with the skill of only his paintbrush, a world of beauty and mystery unbeknownst to many.

If you have a love of the ocean and the many life forms within it then this current Bruce Museum exhibit may be for you. From now until June 2, you will have a chance to explore the ocean through the eyes of great underwater specialists like Stanley Meltzoff and Cousteau. For both these men shared more than just a love of the ocean, they understood their true calling was to share this passion with others.

Cousteau said “When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life he has no right to keep it to himself.” Our gifts are not our own, they are meant to be shared. So if you have a talent but are afraid to use it, remember you’re doing those of us around you a disservice by keeping it to yourself. Every one of us has our own unique talents and we were born to share them.



Victoria Baker, of Greenwich, is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 203-531-7499 or e-mail [email protected] 

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