I received a nice Easter gift today from my brother John. It was a snapshot he had taken of a photograph, an artwork that he has owned for several years and that features none other than: the Manse! The photograph is by well-regarded Canadian landscape and architectural photographer Simeon Posen, whose biography and gorgeous portfolio you can see here.
John acquired the picture more than a decade ago, when it was in a show at Toronto’s very famous Jane Corkin Gallery (now called the Corkin Gallery), a pre-eminent place in the photography world. I don’t know if the photograph had or has a name, but John wouldn’t have needed a name to recognize what the picture was the instant he first saw it at the gallery; it is, after all, the house he grew up in. (How Simeon Posen happened to find little Queensborough and the Manse is anybody’s guess.) And now John owns it. And I knew that, and have admired – and yes, I’ll admit it, coveted – the photograph every time I have seen it at John’s house.
(One thing that makes me love the photo is the evidence it gives – thanks to the large shadow in the foreground – of the huge and beautiful maple tree that adorned the front yard in our childhood days but decayed and died and was cut down several years ago. You can read here about how Raymond and I got rid of the carcass, and here about the new maple tree we planted in its place.)
Anyway, yes, technically I knew that this very interesting and close-to-home piece of art existed, but in the general hustle-verging-on-frenzy of this past Manse-owning year had quite forgotten about it.
So what a pleasant surprise as I was waiting for the 80 bus home from work here in Montreal this evening to get a text from John with his picture of the picture, and a brief message saying “Just adding to the story.”
It is such a good story, is it not?