I have never possessed an artistic soul–not consciously, at least. I like action moves and adventure stories. Give me some Louis L’Amor and Jack London, and I’m good to go. For movies, the Mummy and Independence Day. I thought Alien was high art, and Tremors is genius. Excuse me…
Honey, if you keep rolling your eyes, they’re going to freeze that way.
I’m back. I was going to say, before the interruption, that as artistically challenged as my soul may be, I am genuinely moved by the art that adorned my high school. You read that right. Lane Technical High School towers like a Dickensian factory over the well-traveled route to Chicago’s Wrigely Field. Today, its student body hovers over 4,000. In my day, almost 5,000.
Lane has a 100 year+ history, glorious both for academics and athletics. But one feature in its history has gone almost overlooked, until recently:
Yep. Gigantic murals, 20 feet long, adorning the hallways of an ancient Chicago Public High School. I remember feeling small when I looked at them. Sixty-six works that captured in freeze-frame the dawn of the industrial age. The murals date to the 1930’s and before. The pictures on this page don’t do them justice. Check here for more details.
Each one tells a story. Each one triggers memory. The murals were restored in the 1990’s, and are currently on display in the Chicago Cultural Center (itself, an architectural work of art). I have thought of them lately, and found some online. I find them moving. I’m sure there’s a touch of nostalgia here, but that’s not all. I love them. Maybe because they tell of an era when everything seemed possible and we were all optimists. Maybe because they’re amazing expressions of talent. Or maybe because they’re simply beautiful.
Maybe, I dig art after all, and have never realized it. Maybe, as I’m growing older, I’m also growing more mature.
Yeah. That’s it… I do have an artistic soul. Excuse me…
Thanks, Babe. Be right there!
American Idol is on. Gotta run.