One of my fondest childhood memories is of being outside at night star gazing with my grandfather. We were sitting on the back porch and the night sky was showing off all of her spectacular summer stars. I had just learned the story of the Milky Way and some of the myths of the summer constellations. Grampy pointed to the bright summer moon and said, “Can you see the moon rabbit?” Of course THAT got my attention and yes, for the first time I noticed that there was, indeed, a rabbit in the moon.
I recently visited the Peabody Essex Museum and saw their exhibit Lunar Attraction, which is what has started all this talk about the moon in the first place. On the drive home I wondered if I could create a small display featuring prints and artwork of the moon from the art collection of the Manchester City Library. Well, when I got started I can tell you that putting together the display was both easy and difficult. It was easy to find beautiful Japanese prints, and paintings of the moon painted by some of the great masters. What was difficult was trying to decide what to include and what to pass by.
Vincent van Gogh painted his Starry Night the way he did, with those funny ripples around his moon and stars, because he believed that the moon, the stars and planets make music as they move through space. I’m not sure if he was right, but I do know that the spell of the moon and her “music” has inspired me to seek out some of the art that she has inspired and to share a little bit of it with you.