Félix Vallotton, La Valse, 1893

It was the end of summer, and the adults overindulged in wine and food and the golden light of the sun setting on the lake. They danced to the quiet music of the water lapping at the shoreline and the gossipy whispering of the tree leaves. We kids stole sweets from the tabletops and sneaked … Continue reading Félix Vallotton, La Valse, 1893

No. 21: What’s Missing

Artist: LifeTitle: What's Missing/Absence/Loss/Memory/TimeDate: TimelessCulture: Metaphysical, PhilosophicalProvenance: I wish I knew. I haven't written in a long time. Largely that's because I've been short on time, but it's also because I've been short on motivation. There's a theme of absence here. I've been absent from my writing self because of a lack of other things. … Continue reading No. 21: What’s Missing

No. 20: My Violin

Artist: UnknownTitle: ViolinDate: 1950s?Culture: AmericanProvenance: Handed down to EAH via her mother and grandfather. At the back of my closet, hidden behind a curtain of long-unworn dresses, is a brown-canvas violin case with a worn leather handle. The violin has schlepped with me to each of the thirteen residences I've had since college, not finding … Continue reading No. 20: My Violin

Cynthia W. Iliff, Untitled (Men Playing Cards), 1942

I wonder how long I waited there, as the clouds slowly moved in and obscured the sky, first dropping scattered raindrops and then eventually pelting the world with hail. I had gotten so used to the briny smell of the sea that I was surprised to notice it that morning. Sloshing and crashing against the … Continue reading Cynthia W. Iliff, Untitled (Men Playing Cards), 1942

No. 19: Miniature Embroidered Doll

Artist: UnknownTitle: UntitledDate: Early 20th Century?Culture: American?Provenance: Ended up with EAH's Christmas things after the death of her mother. My Christmas tree is a minefield of memories, adorned as it is in ornaments given to me over the years and ornaments I've given to my children since their first Christmases and ornaments that used to … Continue reading No. 19: Miniature Embroidered Doll

Leopold Graf von Kalckreuth, Children by the Christmas Tree

After I woke up from my nap, there was an unusual noise and bustle in the house and the smell of cookies. Marta took me and Anna on a walk and brought the sled so that she could pull us when we got tired. I loved the distinctive squeak-crunch sound the snow made as we … Continue reading Leopold Graf von Kalckreuth, Children by the Christmas Tree

No. 18: Spencer Tunick Photograph

Artist: Spencer TunickTitle: Photograph at the Piazza NavonaDate: 2001Culture: AmericanProvenance: Signed copy given to EAH as "payment" for being a subject in the photograph. Currently hanging in her bathroom. In 2001 I spent a glorious semester in Rome. Classes were held in villas and palazzi and museums. I spent my afternoons wandering the city, down … Continue reading No. 18: Spencer Tunick Photograph

Wouter Johannes van Troostwijk, The Raampoort in Amsterdam, 1809

After a night of half sleep in damp straw, I sneak out of the falling-down barn into the thick, white air. My feet are still wet and cold. My back still aches. But I barely feel these discomforts anymore. They are no more than nagging. What I can't ignore—what flashes bright and insistently at the … Continue reading Wouter Johannes van Troostwijk, The Raampoort in Amsterdam, 1809