Haunting Paula Rego
Here’s one that got away. I always wanted to acquire a print by Paula Rego for the museum’s collection. For some reason I was always drawn to this image from the series The Pendle Witches. Something about the lone figure afloat in an precarious, upturned tub (in my mind it's an umbrella) really spoke to me. Maybe it’s the feeling of being lost in the chaos of the world as it floats by.
This print is from a series that accompany a group of poems by Blake Morrison, which are based on the true story of the Pendle witch trials in England in 1612 (years before the Salem trials). During the trial of multiple alleged witches, the main testimony came from a young girl who was the daughter of one of the accused. There’s more to it, obviously, but the case is held up as an example of the problems that attend depending on one so young, scared, and incapable of understanding the import of their actions. For me, the drifting figure captures the feeling perfectly.
I wasn't able to acquire it for the museum, but I still love it.
You may be interested in a recent podcast episode from Alan Cristea Gallery featuring Rego and others speaking about her long career and work. An excellent listen. https://cristearoberts.com/podcast/
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Ann's art blog
A small corner of the interwebs to share thoughts on objects I acquired for the Baltimore Museum of Art's collection, research I've done on Stanley William Hayter and Atelier 17, experiments in intaglio printmaking, and the Baltimore Contemporary Print Fair.