I have presented papers on the relation of art and life in public seminars at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, a not-for-profit educational foundation located at 141 Greene St., NYC 10012, (212) 777-4490. In my paper, "What Is Courage—In Love, Economics, With People?" I write about the life and work of Paul Strand in relation to courage.
Paul Strand - Tailor's Apprentice   "... Courage, I learned, is not defiance of reality, but accuracy about it. Abraham Lincoln didn't run away from the ugliness of slavery—he wanted to know the forces behind slavery and to end it. Aesthetic Realism taught me that in every instance of true courage there is a feeling in a person "that the way things are is not against oneself." What I learned from Eli Siegel, the most courageous and kind man who ever lived, I proudly tell the men of America: we can make choices every day that are truly courageous: good for ourselves and for the world. ...
"I think of all of Strand's portraits this one of a tailor's apprentice in Italy affects me most. ...This young person, who has to make a living in a tailor's shop, looks old before her time; her youthful face has a hardness, a guarded tightness, so different from the sweet, bright curve of that large round straw hat she is holding which brings an element of softness.  She seems hardly aware of the delicate branches near her.  If she had not had to spend hours each day just to get enough money to help feed her family, her eyes could be bright, her expression eager. ..."
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 Copyright 1999-2016 by David M. Bernstein