Once again, I was reminded just how our Cincinnati Art Museum is delivering innovative programs and truly exceptional experiences for our community.
As part of the Monet exhibit in town, Dr. Benedict Leca, Curator of European Painting, arranged for James Priest, Head Gardener of Monet’s Garden in Giverny, to speak at the Women’s Luncheon. This is an experience to share.
Dr. Benedict Leca conducted the interview “James Lipton” style. This very casual, Q&A made James, who seemed to be a very down to earth man, very comfortable. The one-hour conversation was one of a kind. And, like Monet, James left his own impression on hundreds of women yesterday by sharing his perspective on Monet, his gardens and what it’s like to be living first-hand on the grounds in Giverny. Here’s a few highlights:
1) When asked about the gardens being organic, he shared with us that they have a full-time gardener that on a weekly basis picks about 1,700 snails per year throughout the gardens. (Thank you Benedict!)
2) Who knew, that us Americans were responsible for Monet’s fame and fortune. It was Monet’s agent who marketed Monet to a young America and the impressionism era evolved.
3) Mr. Priest lives on Claude Monet’s grounds. Tending to the gardens is a lifestyle it seems. Does he ever get rid of family, is what I want to know.
4) The fine line between gardener and artist. As Monet grew his gardens to paint, Priest now studies his art and original documents to ensure his gardens are preserved and represented as they once were.
5) While purchasing a copy of Benedict’s book, I asked what he has liked most about his trip to Cincinnati during his four-day stint, “the people.”
What a fun day! Here are a photos from the afternoon:
Here’s James signing Benedict Leca’s new book, Monet in Giverny.
Lavender table linens and ivy. Simple interpretation of Monet’s Water Lilies.
Renee and her team at EatWell Catering, as always, provided a yummy boxed lunch.
And, oh yes, the wine. For a moment, we were in France. And then, moments later we were rushing to car line.
P.S. – Get up close and personal with Monet at the Cincinnati Art Museum. The exhibit is here until April.