Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bagley Wright.

I was hired by the Seattle Art Museum board to launch a full bore public affairs/press office for the King Tut exhibit in the late 70s.  That's me talking to a line of people about how long a wait they would have to get into the exhibition, which hosted over 1,100,000 people in the six months that it visited Seattle.

I met Bagley Wright when I briefed the board on our plans for media coverage and VIP visitors.  He and his wife, Virginia Bloedel Wright,  helped form more of the current collection at SAM than you can imagine. After Tut, I stayed on to create a grants office, and aggregate some other functions like publications and public relations into my responsibilities.  That's when I got to know Bagley better -- he stepped in during a long search process for a new museum director to be the interim director.  And we all loved it.  We would have walked through fire for him.  It was during this interim period that ten of his friends got together to name the new repertory theater after him.  "Usually," he said, "they only name theaters after dead people."

When I left the museum after 7 years, he and John Hauberg took my husband and I out to dinner at Canlis.  I was nearly nine months pregnant, and not very hungry -- but will forever remember an evening spent with two of the greatest philanthropists that Seattle will ever know. 

I had wanted to find the black and white photo of Bagley and former Mayor Charles Royer and myself, conferring after an acrimonious meeting on what was eventually to be a new downtown museum.  I have looked through many files and scrapbooks, but cannot find it easily without lifting more boxes with my bum elbow.  So I'll hold it clearly in my mind and lift a glass instead, as I recall this amazing man -- erudite, witty, a lover of arts and culture, and (as he liked to call himself) an old newspaper man.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Family photographs.

I am working at what feels like snail's pace to scan the thousands of photos that we've collected over the years. I have managed to get some of the more memorable of them re-framed and on the wall of my former study, now called "The Snug."  It's where we moved our reading chairs and small television when I moved my office into the front dormer.
Cassandra and Sabrina, pictured above, in earlier years,  can attest to my years of working with a camera, and to the boxes of photos I've got tucked away in various spots of the house.This is a first effort to take studio photographs and others that we especially love and get them displayed.

You can see that I have whole walls I have not yet touched, so there is more to come.  Just getting out the boxes of framed photos alone is a large project -- I'm doing it that way on the assumption that I never put a photo in a frame unless it was exceptional -- and one that will take at least the rest of the summer.

I like looking at the years spanned by the photos.  It's where we have been to get where we are.  And there will always be new photos.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gardens and their keepers.

 I fancy myself to be a better gardener than I am.  But I so love the role and the garden gives me so much visual pleasure that I keep at it.  And gardening, like walking, is a wonderful means to think through and solve problems.   Above: small rockery to left of our driveway.

You can see from this photo of the front rockery that my rosemary bushes came through the cold winter just fine, with a bit of pruning of deadwood. I have had tendonitis of the left elbow since late April, which makes me a one handed gardener this year.  Since it's really impossible not to use your left arm as support or to gather, every time I try to garden with one arm I set myself back in terms of elbow recovery.

This lemon wreath for the front porch was purchased rather than made this year, as was the large cleanup effort undertaken in both front and back gardens by Antonio Silva. 

So here's a view of the back garden, cleaned up, with Peruvian Lilies blooming madly.  They have been in the garden for as long as we have lived here.

Gardens are a whole world unto themselves, and gardeners are a special breed.  I have run out of things to say about my garden, but I will never get tired of looking at it.