Arts Inspire Action, says Obama


President Barack Obama has declared October 2009 National Arts and Humanities Month. The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe wishes to share with you gentle readers some of the President’s words, illustrated with images from the National Gallery of Art’s “Exploring Themes in American Art: Scenes from Everyday Life” series.

In the official declaration released from the White House press office, the President draws attention to the value of the arts in America’s history. “Throughout our Nation’s history, the power of the arts and humanities to move people has built bridges and enriched lives, bringing individuals and communities together through the resonance of creative expression. It is the painter, the author, the musician, and the historian whose work inspires us to action, drives us to contemplation, stirs joy in our hearts, and calls upon us to consider our world anew.”

Obama’s declaration continues, “The arts and humanities contribute to the vibrancy of our society and the strength of our democracy, and during National Arts and Humanities Month, we recommit ourselves to ensuring all Americans can access and enjoy them.”

Bravo, Mr. President. And thank you for championing the arts and humanities for today, and for the future.

Click here to download President Barak Obama’s Proclamation declaring October ‘National Arts and Humanitie Month, 2009″ form the White House press office.

Read more about “”Exploring Themes in American Art: Scenes from Everyday Life” at The National Gallery of Art website here.

Editor’s Note The images on view this week were created by three American artists, Winslow Homer, George Bellows and Red Grooms. Each man painted scenes from everyday life of the America that they knew. As I was preparing this blogpost, I noticed how little I have in common with Homer, Bellows and Groom. I have never fly-fished from Homer’s canoe; I recoil at the thought of attending Bellows’ boxing match; and my aesthetic sensibilities are not at all drawn to the naive illustrations of Groom. Yet as an American I share in their heritage and their history. If I do not see reflections of my personal everyday life included in the National Gallery’s collection, whose fault is that? It would be mine. And so off to the studio I go.

On View: Homepage masthead and above: Winslow Homer, Casting, Number Two, 1894. Gift of Ruth K. Henschel in memory of her husband, Charles R. Henschel

1975.92.2. Homepage Daily Episcopalian: George Bellows, detail from Club Night, 1907. John Hay Whitney Collection. 1982.76.1 Homepage Speaking to the Soul: Red Grooms, Slushing, 1971. Gift of the Woodward Foundation, Washington, D.C. 1976.56.48 All images courtesy, National Gallery of Art.

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