Thursday, December 6, 2012

David Becker Day 2012

Last year in this blog I suggested that everyone observe David Becker Dayon December 11 in honor of the late print scholar, curator, collector, and philanthropist. Well, that day has rolled around again, presenting the perfect occasion to interact deeply with a work of art (preferably, a print or an illustrated book), and particularly a work of art that speaks deeply to your personal values or beliefs.

As a scholar, one of David’s specialties was the French eccentric printmaker Rodolphe Bresdin, whose works feature fantastical scenes rendered in painstaking detail. Here is one example of Bresdin’s etchings, donated by David to SCMA in honor of his mother, Helen Pillsbury Becker, class of 1928.

Rodolphe Bresdin. French, 1822-1885. My Dream (Version II),1883. Etching on dark cream-colored wove Japan paper. Gift of David P. Becker in memory of Helen Pillsbury Becker, class of 1928. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2002:20-1

David’s enthusiasms as a collector were significantly broader. One opportunity to get an idea of the breadth of his interests is an engaging exhibition drawn from the 1,500 objects he donated to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine. On view until March 24, 2013, Printmaking ABC: In Memorium David P. Beckershowcases significant prints in beautiful impressions made between the 16th and 21st centuries.

However you decide to observe David Becker Day, I hope you will take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the things you love and the people that have nurtured and mentored you. While I see this day as an opportunity to encourage people to engage directly with works of art, ultimately, the day also honors someone whose ability and desire to share his knowledge and passion impacted many people (myself included) on a deep and lasting level. Pass on what you know and love, and have a wonderful David Becker Day.


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