Surprised by Art #9 Social Harmony
Shortly after the recording of this episode, Luc Travers posted this to the facebook group: "Oh man, that episode recording was a wild, emotional ride!
I went from warm nostalgia, to eager hope, to anxiety, to confused anger, to relief, to relative serenity in the space of 45 minutes!" Kirk agrees. This was an intense episode that dealt with a very heavy topic. What is social harmony? On this episode, you'll hear a variety of different answers, including two radically different approaches by two different artists. Special thanks to our voice recording volunteers: Alexandra Hartline Heather Schwarz Mike Dartt
Below is the painting chosen by Luc Travers. We recommend that you take a moment and look at the painting for yourself.
Give it a title. Doesn't matter if you are correct. Just think, what is the first word that comes to mind first?
Then, give a literal description of everything in the painting.
In the show, we have various audience members doing exactly this, and if you listen to them this can help give you ideas on how to accomplish this investigation.
Lastly, interpretation. You can do your best on your own or listen to Luc and Kirk's exploration.
Ok here comes the painting! Remember: DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE ARTIST'S NAME OR THE TITLE OF THE ARTWORK UNTIL AFTER YOU SEE THE PAINTING!
New Neighbors by Norman Rockwell
The Little Black Boy
BY WILLIAM BLAKE
My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child:
But I am black as if bereav'd of light.
My mother taught me underneath a tree
And sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And pointing to the east began to say.
Look on the rising sun: there God does live
And gives his light, and gives his heat away.
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning joy in the noonday.
And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love,
And these black bodies and this sun-burnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.
For when our souls have learn'd the heat to bear
The cloud will vanish we shall hear his voice.
Saying: come out from the grove my love & care,
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.
Thus did my mother say and kissed me,
And thus I say to little English boy.
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:
Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear,
To lean in joy upon our fathers knee.
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me.
Plate 1 from William Blake's "Songs of Innocence & Experience."
Plate 2: From William Blake's "Songs of Innocence & Experience"