Nothing earth-shattering, yet a nice parallel. On Thanksgiving Day, my sister Emily brought over a needlepoint of a bird perched on a rosebush. It’s in a gorgeous antique wood frame that once hung in our house in Kew Gardens. Once my Mom moved to an apartment, the needlepoint somehow landed in Emily’s possession. I guess it was time to return it to the rightful owner, the “artiste” herself (moi) who stitched it free-hand in 1963 for an assignment in Novelty shop class at Russell Sage Junior High School. (Yes, they still had an assortment of shop classes we were forced to take. Sewing was my least favorite.) However, I managed to produce this slightly pregnant-looking bird by copying a print that contained the miniscule boxes I used as my guide. I was thrilled that Emily brought it back, but I am now saddled with the feng-shui of where to hang it. This should be the least of anyone’s problems and I am exceedingly thankful for that.
This needlepoint bird alights just as Donna Tartt’s novel, “The Goldfinch” is hitting the best-seller list and just as Carel Fabritius’s painting of the same name is being exhibited at the Frick Museum, along with Vermeer’s “The Girl With the Pearl Earring” and several other Dutch masters on loan from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague. The new novel centers around a mother and her son who are at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, viewing “The Goldfinch” when a terrorist bomb explodes, killing the mother. And it goes on and on for about 700 pages. I just read that the artist also died in an explosion in his native city of Delft. I trust my needlepoint bird will be safe and sound once I find a place for it.