Thursday, April 11, 2013

Buckminster Fuller

This is my half of a conversation on facebook, which began when I wrote the following:
I remember once, when I was a high school kid, coming home and finding Buckminster Fuller in our living room, holding court among adoring college students. The memory is vivid. I guess he was impressive.
One of my facebook colleagues asked, not unnaturally, what Buckminster Fuller was doing in my family's living room. I wrote:
My father was director of the Walker Art Center, back when it was not the huge and famous place it has since become. Fuller must have been there giving a lecture. I remember a geodesic dome was built behind the Walker, I think by the college students.
The facebook colleague then asked what it was like to be the daughter of the director of the Walker. I replied:
I met a lot of artists, most of them local to the Twin Cities, and most of them pretty interesting. I got to hang out in an art museum. It was not as glitzy as museums have since become -- a strange mixture of the founder's eccentric collection and contemporary art and design. T. B. Walker's Chinese jades are now at the Minneapolis Art Institute, and the jade mountain is in a glass case. When I was a kid I used to walk my fingers up the mountain's steps.
She asked if I had kept in touch with any of the artists.
No. They were my parents' friends, not mine. Most are gone now. For me, they are fragmentary memories. Some brief meeting or other that stayed in my mind. I guess what I got from them was the idea that art was serious and worth doing -- and being smart and arty and intellectual and eccentric was rather neat.


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