Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Winter Harmony
20 x 24   Oil on Linen

John Adams, our second present, was raised with strict Puritan values. Hard work and uncompromising morality were the foundations of good character and the guide to living well he was taught. The arts were to be cautiously appreciated as something to refine one's taste but could also lead to laziness, corruption and debauchery. This view softened when he was living in Paris as the American envoy to France during the American Revolution. There he began to grasp the power of the arts and the importance of culture. He enjoyed the concerts and museums so much that he feared he might be neglecting his negotiations. He redoubled his focus on his duties but in a famous letter to his wife Abigail he wrote "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain." He came to believe it was worth the hard work of generations to produce a magnificent piece of music, a beautiful poem or a great painting.....