July 2, 2021

4th of July

         As we in the United States of America enter a long weekend to celebrate July 4, here are a few appropriate wood block prints to get you in the mood.  One of my favorite things about the 4th of July is the fireworks.  For the second year in a row our town will miss its fireworks show, so I am looking wistfully at this first piece, which shows the fireworks in Washington, D.C.  D lived there for several years before we married, and I would visit him in the summers and enjoy the huge fireworks displays over the National Mall and all the monuments, as shown in this piece.  It looks to have four different blocks: red, yellow, dark grey, and also a greenish color on the buildings to the right (although perhaps that's just the color of the grey ink on top of the yellow ink).  I especially like the glowing lights of the Lincoln Memorial on the left, and the wood grain in the sky.
        We haven’t gone to our town’s parade since the kids were young, but here are a couple of cute pieces showing the best kind of parade of all: happy people coming together to celebrate their togetherness.  These are printed with two blocks each, and although unfortunately I couldn’t find any higher-resolution images, you can probably make out enough of the details to make a guess as to their era!  I don’t have much information about these pieces, either, but they seemed appropriate enough to my theme that I wanted to share them anyway.
        Returning to fireworks, this last piece silhouettes the Statue of Liberty against a sky alight with sparkles.  Although I’m generally not a fan of pink, I do love the choice of it for the sky in this piece.  It’s so unexpected, and so magical.  I also love the use of the Statue of Liberty in a 4th of July celebration, because while she stands for the USA’s liberty from Britain, she also stands for much more than that.  “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”  She stands for why this country is still, despite everything, worth loving and celebrating.  Because we do still have a dream.  Let’s make sure we do all we can to light up the night that sometimes seems to press from all directions, and that we light it up with welcome, and truth, and justice, and hope.  Let’s see those sparklers glow, people!

[Pictures: 4th of July, D.C., 1986, color woodcut by Bobby Donovan, 1986 (Image from National Gallery of Art);

Parade I, and Parade II, woodcuts by Margery Niblock (Images from WorthPoint and ChesterCountyRamblings);

Statue of Liberty July 4th, woodcut by Su-Li- Hung, 2006 (Image from The Providence Art Club).]

1 comment:

Pax said...

Thanks! The homily with which you end is much needed and much appreciated. May we all heed it.