"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." (-Twyla Tharp)
While I was attending the watercolor workshops this past week in the North Carolina mountains, I wanted to go and see the Moses Cone mansion in Blowing Rock. I'd read about it before, but had never visited it until this past week.
Moses Cone and his brother were very wealthy, and they made their fortune during the era when textiles were important to North Carolina's economy. The brothers were very smart, because they recognized the importance of proximity of their raw materials (the local cotton plants) to their final product, (the textiles they manufactured.) Moses Cone became known as the "Denim King." Their mansion is still there in Blowing Rock (see below) but is now a Craft Center for artists' works from six neighboring states. Lots of beautiful pottery, jewelry, woven fabrics, quilts, glass work, etc are for sale in this building.
Two of Moses Cone's youngest sisters, Claribel and Etta, were fortunate enough to be able to travel, and they befriended Gertrude Stein and her coterie of ex-patriot friends in Paris. The sisters met a young man named Pablo Picasso and liked his art work. It happened that Pablo was enamored of cartoon comic strips, and they traded some of these cut-out comic strips for some of his art work! Over time, they amassed a huge collection of paintings by the likes of Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Gaugin, and they ultimately donated a fortune in their art to the Baltimore museum of art.
It's a tribute to their sense of taste that they gravitated towards these artists before they were known as "artists." They just liked what they saw and wanted to enjoy it! (Below is the view over the hillside from the Cone mansion porch.)
The grounds around the mansion are now a park with walking trails. We saw people riding horses along the hills as well. It's a beautiful spot--if you ever visit the area, you should go see it for yourself. It's a lovely place!
"Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in." (-Amy Lowell)
Tomorrow is my older sister, Mary Kate's birthday--Happy Birthday, MK!! xo sue