Birthday Celebration

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young” said Henry Ford. What a fantastic notion, these are truly words to live by. Perhaps age really is a state of mind and we are all free to make of it either a terrible burden or an incredible opportunity.

The Greenwich Art Society turns 100 years old this year, Happy Birthday! It’s a time to look back and also to think forward: a very opportune moment to take note of Henry Ford’s advice and it looks like this organization is doing just that! To celebrate they are hosting a 2012 Juried Art Exhibition throughout the month of March.

Known originally as The Greenwich Society of Artists, its pioneer members in 1912 included many distinguished patrons. Its first president was Edward Clark Potter, sculptor of the two lions which sit on the front steps of the New York Public Library. Many early members were associated with the famous Cos Cob School, several of them leaders in the American Impressionist movement like the inimitable Childe Hassam. Exhibitions of the Society were initially held in the hilltop house of Robert Bruce, which would become Bruce Museum.

The juror selected for the 2012 Juried Exhibition is Marla Prather, Curator of Nineteenth Century, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Formerly Curator for American Art at Tate Modern, London she will be selecting approximately 60-70 art works in all media from among the numerous entries to this prestigious exhibition. For more information log onto

Art history is a very curious thing. It forces us to delve back into the past and reach out to the future. We spend years analyzing historical trends, how society has been changing the face of art and what we can expect next generation artists to do. But ultimately the artist at the moment of creation is neither in the past or the future but, always and only, in this moment. When Leonardo da Vinci was creating his greatest masterpieces I doubt he was contemplating the limitations of his predecessors or he might never have dared to go beyond the confines of the past. And one could argue that he was looking to the future knowing that his works would live on for countless generations but that would be arrogant and I don’t believe art, in its truest form, can have even a hint of a selfish purpose to be as extraordinary as Leonardo’s was.

I don’t envy Ms. Prather her job of adjudicating the 2012 Juried Exhibition under the auspices of the Greenwich Arts Council. Judging talent is an impossibly difficult task and I wish all the participants best of luck. And to the Greenwich Art Society I’d just like to wish you a Happy 100th and remember the words of Mark Twain “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter!”

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