Sir Alfred Munnings/ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

David's Writing

This afternoon I went downtown to poke my head in Zach’s new apartment.  Also on the agenda was a visit to Cary Street and The Watermelon Festival.   But the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is right in the middle of these two things and so I was distracted by it and ended up in it for a few hours.

I didn’t realize that you can take photos of about 99 percent of the exhibits in there.  So I picked out a few things that I found interesting and took photos of them.  Then I took photos of the signs on the walls that told a little bit about these exhibits.  And I also decided to find out more about them on the internet and do some posts about them.

It’s pretty cool to see something that’s very famous and “bring it home” in a photo.  It might be just like the excitement people feel when they take a photo of someone famous.  I don’t know.  I never took a photo of anyone who was or is famous.

But I did find out about Sir Alfred Munnings.  Sir Alfred was actually still living when I was a child.  He died in 1959 after a long life.  During his life he suffered several difficult setbacks.  When not yet 21 he  was lifting a puppy over a thorn bush when a branch snapped back and a thorn punctured his right eye leading to blindness in that eye.  And his first wife tried to kill herself on their honeymoon and succeeded two years later in 1914.

During this time we see how dark clouds can have silver linings.  Because of his blindness in one eye Sir Alfred did not end up in the army and on the front lines in France.  In spite of problems with depth perception he was a wonderful artist and enjoyed painting the countryside and horses in particular.

Here is the painting that caught my attention.

Recently we went to the horse races at Colonial Downs near Richmond.  And one of the things most enjoyable about that visit was seeing the colorful uniforms worn by the jockeys and the matching regalia worn by the horses.

Sir Alfred once said that he began to live when he experienced these things.  Here is a lovely blog that writes about Munnings

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