The woman portrayed in this painting is Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline. The contours of her body follow the outline of the southern French mountain, Sainte-Victoire. Her right-hand forms the abrupt western most face of the mountain, where Picasso had just purchased a château. Pablo Picasso painted Nude under a Pine Tree in 1959. So, it was painted too late to have appeared in the Armory Show that occurred in 1913 and whose centennial was the basis for this year’s Picasso show at the Chicago Art Institute. A hundred years ago Picasso was a relatively unknown artist and also a strikingly unconventional one. In 1913, at the advent of his first American tour, no New York museum was willing to host his show. His work had to be displayed at the NYC Armory, hence the name given to the event, the Armory Show. Recognizing an important new artist, the Chicago Art Institute interceded and became the first US museum to host Picasso and they’ve been rubbing New York’s face in it ever since.
Our great snowfall came to an end some time late last night. I awoke to about 10” of wet slushy snow on the ground, heart-attack snow. The first thing that I did was to call the employee emergency hotline. Anne and the rest of the Saint Louis educational system had bagged it last night. Even Scott, our neighborhood Air Force base was offering delayed start times, but there was no joy for me. After I was showered and dressed, I tried the hotline one more time. The message had changed and for a brief moment my heart soared, but the update pertained to a site in Virginia and there still was no joy for me.
I bundled up to dig out and clean off the snow. I got both vehicles fired up and then proceeded to clear all the walks. With a broom I swept off the cars and moved them out onto the already plowed street. What was I thinking? If my little street had been plowed then the way to work had to be clear too? And so it was. Work was half-staffed, giving me a quiet start to the work week. Risking the wrath of the Black-Ice Police, I hadn’t salted the walk, deciding to let nature take its course. When I came home, there was dry pavement to greet me. I felt both vindicated in my judgement and ecologetic too. Afterall, there was no reason to kill off yesterday’s freshly spread grass seed.