Degas is worth your time
To the editor:
Van Gogh, Monet and Degas are coming March 17 to the Frick Art and Historical Center, located at 7227 Reynolds St. in Pittsburgh. It is a collection of French art from the Mellon collection, on loan from the Virginia Museum of Arts.
The historical arts center once was home to the Gilded Age’s pioneering industrialist Henry Clay Frick and his new bride, Adelaide Howard Childs, who purchased what would become known as the Clayton.
The Homestead strike of 1889 had won the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steelworkers a favorable three-year deal, but in 1892, Andrew Carnegie was determined to break the union. Frick stepped up production, “like the proposed termination of the inventory tax in 2018 in West Virginia.”
The Frick is among my favorite haunts, allowing a clairvoyant imagination to transcend time as I climb the steps at Clayton on what must surely be my 100th tour. I am an Edgar Degas fan. His famous “The Little 14-year-old Dancer” is his most famous sculpture and will be on display. It’s something I have read about and watched on TV for years.
Marie van Goethem was the model of one of the “Petits Rats” of the backstage of the Pain Opera of the 19th century. The ballet opera of that time was risque, with the ballerina seeking the protection of wealthy, older patron men.
About two-thirds of Degas is about dance, and much of that involving ballet and ballerinas has been depicted on HBO, PBS and in countless books and novels.
The place is the Gilded Age of Pittsburgh at its finest. You should come and see the show — it is with your time. Degas is coming.