This is a collection of stories about art works—whether an oil portrait, a wilderness explorer's sketchbook, or a Tiffany lamp—and how the author fell under their spell. Few people are aware of the work, the emotion, and the obsessions of a curator's job. Exhibitions come and go; they are forgotten after a few years, but they live on in the curator's memory. In these fifteen essays we encounter artists falling in and out of love, family tragedies, the creation of the Stanley Cup, the secrets of Tiffany, Antiques Roadshow, a rootless baroness, the design craze for aluminum, small Japanese boxes called kogos, watercolour sketchbooks of the Canadian north, a beautiful prayer room in Montreal, gondolas flying through windows in Venice, and Moscovites who love Goldfinger. Archival black and white photographs and colour plates—including Edwin Holgate’s Ludivine, one of the most beloved and recognizable Canadian portraits ever painted—make this book a must-have for art lovers, students, academics, museum-goers, and readers interested in the role art plays in the creation of our lives.
About the Author
In a career spanning over thirty years, first as Curator of Canadian Art, and then Senior Curator of Decorative Arts at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Rosalind Pepall helped to plan and organize dozens of major exhibitions and authored several exhibition catalogues. Based in Montreal, she is a consultant, conference speaker, and writer in the field of art.