Art of the Month Club: Jonathan D. Secor
The Art of the Month Club is a regular feature on the WCMA blog. Each month we invite someone special to write about a work from our collection. We enjoy engaging with a variety of people through this feature. Find your own favorite WCMA artwork by searching our collection database. You never know, we may invite you to be the next Art of the Month Club member. Today, please welcome, Jonathan D. Secor, Director of Special Programs at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center.
Eyes (nine elements)-
“I will meet you at the eyes” was what the nice Irish woman speaking from her office in mid-town Manhattan said shortly after Hurricane Sandy had devastated large swaths of New York, ending what had already been a somewhat bizarre conversation about post storm logistics of picking up eleven year old girls from Brooklyn, Manhattan and Westchester. “I will meet you at the eyes”.
As a long time fan of WCMA, and as a long time believer that WCMA was this gem that was hidden from the larger community, I could not have been happier then to see Louise Bourgeois’ Eyes begin to appear out of mounds of dirt in front of the lovely brick building that alas looked not unlike so many other lovely brick buildings at Williams. Now people would see what is there!
The Eyes are buried in the most wondrous brows, mounds of mini hills, not unlike the Berkshires. Some seem bright eyed and ready for new beginnings, some seem as weary as Friday after a week of long work. But all are welcoming, all have a playfulness about them that begs for you to come closer, to climb, to pose in front of.
A few years back I took a group of MCLA students to Art Basel in Switzerland. There in one of the nicest booths, surrounded by some of the nicest art, were two Bourgeois Eyes…for sale. And at a very nice price.
While still lovely, they seemed so out of place, as the only real place for them in my mind was on the rolling hills of the WCMA lawn.
A few weeks ago my daughter Alegra and I went to the Eyes to meet a nice Irish woman who was caravanning eleven year olds from New York to the Berkshires for birthday celebrations. While we waited we climbed the Eyes and threw a ball back and forth from mound to mound. The eyes kept us company as we waited for the nice woman to meet us.
Front of WCMA, featuring Eyes (nine elements), 2001, by Louise Bourgeois. Commissioned on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the museum with funds from the Museum Fellows, friends, and museum endowments © Williams College Museum of Art.
Photos by Arthur Evans, A. Blake Gardner