Food, Flowers, Giant Ants and Warhol

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sometimes you need to take a step into the past. Go see those places you haunted long ago. Find out how they have changed. My recent sojourn into the past was a pleasant afternoon spent re-exploring Cheekwood. It was a hot summer day, and what says summer more than viewing Andy Warhol’s Flowers and David Roger’s Giant Bugs.

As I roamed the gardens, I remembered the many concerts I had enjoyed on the back lawn when an ad agency I worked for had Cheekwood as a client. And, as I walked through the house, memories of an “amusing” night making hors d'oeuvres as fast as I could for a corporate event with an overabundance of participants came to mind. Lunch in the Pineapple Room reminded me of Christmas tours of the house and grounds with my mother.

Cheekwood was as I remember, and yet different. The giant bugs decorating the lawn and gardens were pretty cool. I liked being able to walk under the Daddy Longlegs. Did you know that they really are not poisonous? That is just an urban myth. I also liked the ants and the spider in its web. All of the bugs are made of different woods. I suggest taking the time to look at the construction of each piece, and read the description. I learned a lot about wood sculpture construction and bugs.

Besides the bugs, there are some other art pieces on the grounds. Some of the pieces offer a place for kids to play, like a tree house. And some are restful places to reflect, like the masonry gate leading to one of the shaded ponds. One gate made me think of a French castle garden I saw in Europe.

After strolling through the real flowers, I popped into the house to see the Warhol collection. I have to admit, I adore his stuff. I was lucky enough to see the retrospective of his work at MoMa in New York right after his death. He was what my father would call “a character.” There was controversy over most of what he did. His flower prints were no exception. His first prints were actually made from a photo in a book without the permission of the photographer. Yes, he got in trouble. He started taking his own flower photos after that.

I enjoyed the beauty, the art, the food and the learning I found at Cheekwood. It was good to chill for an afternoon. I suggest, that before the summer fades, you take a trip to enjoy the bugs and flowers, real and artistic. Be sure to top the day off with a quiet lunch at the Pineapple Room. Sometimes you just need to stop the rush through life and smell the flowers.

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