American Art Meets Desperate Housewives
December 1, 2006
I was watching a backlog of Desperate Housewives episodes on TiVo the other evening and suddenly I noticed something familiar. When Bree is confronting her new husband Orson, there in the background hangs The Girl I Left Behind Me by Eastman Johnson. The original painting hangs in SAAM's second floor galleries.
We at SAAM like to make our artworks accessible, but this "placement" was a new one for us. The gallery label for the painting states:
Eastman Johnson imagined a soldier's wife standing on the hill where they parted. The crimson lining of her wind-whipped cape suggests their passionate love for one another, while her wedding ring, appearing almost at the center of the painting, ensures the young bride's devotion.
Knowing that nothing in Hollywood happens by accident, I wonder if the writers were making an editorial statement? In this scene Bree ultimately reconciles with her new husband—an interesting way of weaving American art into our weekly visits to Wisteria Lane.
With that possibility in mind, I'd like to suggest additional American art placements from our collection for the rest of the cast. Susan, who almost made it to Paris with her boyfriend Ian, might enjoy Jardin du Luxembourg by Loïs Mailou Jones. If her daughter's welfare prevents her from getting to France, this would be the next best thing.
Poor Lynette who has had to endure her husband Tom's long-term quest for his dream job plus the out-of-the-blue arrival of his former girlfriend, Nora (and her untimely death in this very episode), might enjoy John Hultberg's Road through the Labyrinth. Edie, that vixen, would appreciate Stuart Davis' Babe La Tour hanging on her wall when her next beau comes to call.
And finally, Gabrielle. What will become of her? Perhaps Philip Evergood's Dowager in a Wheelchair might remind her that ultimately true happiness is not defined by what we possess, but by who we love.
Mary Alice, our dearly departed narrator on DH, couldn't have said it better.
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