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Episode 1
Author W. Barksdale Maynard & Artist Bo Bartlett

  • 2 min read

Episode Description

01:24 - Author W. Barksdale Maynard discusses his new book "Artists of Wyeth Country: Howard Pyle, N. C. Wyeth, and Andrew Wyeth"

22:40 - Artist Bo Bartlett discusses his contemporary work, as well as his years working alongside and documenting the everyday life of Andrew Wyeth

64:42 - Art headlines



Craig: [00:00:10] This is Art Sense, a podcast focused on educating and informing listeners about the past, present and future of art. I'm Craig Gould. Each art sense episode is divided into three parts. First, a discussion about a topic from art history. This might be a conversation with an author about an artist's biography, or perhaps a conversation with a curator about a current exhibit. From there, we move on to a discussion with a contemporary artist about their life and work. In this first episode, we're lucky to have these two segments intertwine in a beautiful way. First is my conversation with author Barksdale Maynard regarding his new book "Artists of Wyeth Country: Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth. In segment two. I speak to artist Bo Bartlet about his contemporary work, as well as his years working alongside in documenting the everyday life of Andrew Wyeth. At the end of the episode, I'll be wrapping things up with some of the week's top art headlines. But first up, a history lesson about the Wyeth's in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

Craig: [00:01:23] Barksdale Maynard, thank you for joining us today to talk about your new book, "Artists of Wyeth Country: Howard Pyle, NC Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth"

Barksdale: [00:01:35] Thanks very much, Craig. Great to be here.

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Craig: [00:01:36] Yeah, and so can can you give us a little bit of background about just kind of an overview  of what you talk about in your book and what what you have found about the Wyeth's and their relationship to this part of the country?

Barksdale: [00:01:53] Well, thanks. I had written a previous book about the Brandywine Valley that's incorporating parts of Delaware and Pennsylvania, and the Wyeth's are forever associated with the Brandywine Valley. They are the most famous artists this region has ever produced. And so I really have tried in both of these books to remind people how important the Brandywine Valley has been for our culture, our national culture just 20 miles outside of Philadelphia, but very, very beautifully preserved, very rural. And it's here that Howard Pyle and the Wyeth's flourished. They painted the rural countryside, especially the colonial aspects of that for collectively more than a hundred years.

Craig: [00:02:42] So Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, they both were part of a rich tradition of illustration. Nc Wyeth was kind of the premiere illustrator for classics in his day. Correct?

Barksdale: [00:02:56] That's absolutely right. And Howard Pyle set up a summer art school along the Brandywine Creek in order to take his students out of Philadelphia and immerse them in the countryside in the colonial countryside. So you've got old fences and old houses and cows trundling down these dirt roads, and Pyle wanted his students to be able to paint those things, be able to depict those things because in the 1890s, a lot of illustration was illustrating historical stories, historical novels increasingly about American subjects. And Howard Pyle said, "I'm going to found a school of true American art, and it's going to happen right here along the Brandywine."

Craig: [00:03:44] Sure. And so is part of that related to the specific topography of the area, I mean, is there is there a variety of landscape in terms of valleys, pastures, thickets, rivers? I mean, is it the variety that attracted them out there or was it the history attached to the the area?

Barksdale: [00:04:07] I think it's very largely the history Chadds Ford, where Andrew Wyeth grew up, where his father N.C. Wyeth painted and lived. That's the heart of the Brandywine Battlefield. The largest land battle of the Revolutionary War was fought right along the Brandywine and to a remarkable degree that countryside was unspoiled and unchanged, even up to the time that Andrew Wyeth started to paint there in the 1930s and 40s. It was really quite old fashioned, lovely traditional and you could reach this area. It's an easy train ride or later car ride going west from Philadelphia? So the Brandywine attract artists, writers, poets in a steady stream for many, many generations.

Craig: [00:05:00] And so is the area today how Andrew Wyeth, NC Wyeth would have seen it 40, 50, 100 years ago? Has the 21st century caught up with the Brandywine, or is it in many ways as we see it in the depictions?

Barksdale: [00:05:19] This is one of the themes of my new book, "Artists of Wyeth Country". My book is not only a short biography of Andrew Wyeth, but it's also a guidebook. You can take this book in the car drive around, and you can see for yourself that in fact, the countryside has changed dramatically. It is quite extraordinary how much it has changed. I've got aerial photographs in the book that have never been reproduced before, but they were taken in the 1920s and 1930s, and they show agriculture limitless agriculture to the horizon. That's changed. Agriculture has faded away, and suburbanization has washed across the landscape so that really it's hard to see in some cases exactly what was it that appealed to NC Wyeth? What was it that appealed to Andrew Wyeth? Increasingly, those landscapes are blurring and fading away not only from housing developments, but also from the growth of trees and the growth of invasive plants that are filling in the landscape, it's no longer that rolling wide open countryside like you think with an Andrew Wyeth painting. Increasingly, it is. It is a much more densely developed and densely vegetated landscape.

Craig: [00:06:41] And so, you know, your your book, you know, it sounds like it's really in in two parts or how how should I say it's two has to focus one kind of biographically in the second kind of providing a tour of the landscape and maybe how the family or these three artists, you know, are intertwined with the landscape. And, you know, maybe you can tell us, you know, it sounds like you did a lot of really in-depth research in talking with with people in the area about their experiences with Wyeth to kind of get firsthand accounts. What were some things that you learned in the process of doing this book that maybe you had never come across in reading other Wyeth biographies?

Barksdale: [00:07:35] Well, I think one of my goals with this book was to talk to people who knew Andrew Wyeth, and this has to be done right now because people who knew him well, they are, of course, fewer and fewer every year. Andrew Wyeth died in his 90s about 12 years ago, so the number of people who were close to him, they're increasingly hard to find. But I talk to probably 50 people just guessing who knew him or were in some way close to the Chadds Ford community, and the goal was to try to paint a picture of him as he actually was. For one thing, how did he work? How did he paint? This is very much a walking painter, as I call him. He liked to be outdoors. He liked to wander through the hills of Chadds Ford. And so it was fascinating to talk to people who saw him do that and observed his working methods. So I have to say my goal really with this book was to preserve the memories of people who knew him. Now, in the future, they're going to be biographers that are going to be given more access to the archives than I was. I was not granted access. But those archives are going to be there in the future. What's not going to be there are these living memories of people who actually knew the artist. And so that was what very largely I was trying to preserve.

Craig: [00:09:04] Well, that's wonderful. So that collective paints a picture. And from your perspective, beyond the the walking painter, what what other aspects come into focus for you in relation to Andrew Wyeth?

Barksdale: [00:09:21] Andrew Wyeth is an extremely perplexing, in fact baffling figure. I find him very, very unusual. I've studied American art and read the biographies of lots of artists. He is not like really any other artist. He is very, very unusual. In fact, Andrew Wyeth himself says, "I'm not an artist at all in the usual sense". Now what an extraordinary statement that is to make for a man who painted every day of his life to say, "I'm not an artist at all". What does that mean? I really wanted to get to the bottom of that statement. And I think part of what he's saying is, and this is my idea. This may be right. This may be wrong. But my idea is I think he loved nature more than he loved art. He really was almost a modern day Henry David Thoreau. He goes out into the landscape. He studies nature. He almost worships nature. He sees something in nature. And he thinks I've got to record that. It might be a hornet's nest. It might be an oak tree. It might be a mushroom. It might be flowers. It might be the Brandywine River flowing through the landscape. He sees something. He rushes back to the studio to record it. Now this helps explain, I think, why Andrew Wyatt's artwork is so extremely lifelike, so extremely realistic. That's what he's aiming for to preserve nature as it actually is. Now, the problem is for a lot of 20th century art critics, that's not what art is about. You're not supposed to be slavishly admiring the work of nature. You're supposed to be advancing the frontiers of art. That's. Very much not what Andrew, I was interested in doing. And I think this helps explain why the public generally speaking adores Andrew Wyeth and the critics generally speaking detested his work.

Craig: [00:11:38] Interesting, your hypothesis is that he's trying to capture... I mean, it almost sounds like the 19th century painters who were trying to capture the sublime what we see like up in the Hudson River Valley, his love of nature, trying to capture that, the beauty and essence of what we're looking at. And I guess, you know, a lot of art historians talk about how much of that faded away with the advent of photography. Right. Because, you know, at that point, this is something you know, why slave over trying to depict the sublime and an image, you know, as a painting when you could just take a photograph? And did Wyeth take photographs? You know why? Why would he choose this subject and laboring that way versus photography if he's trying to capture? Is it a more romanticized version or is it just, you know, this was his craft?

Barksdale: [00:12:47] Well, that's very important. Almost. That's almost the crucial question to understand. How does an artist in the age of photography continue to paint the way Andrew Wyeth paints, as if he himself is the camera lens as if he's ever even heard of photography? I mean, that is it is extraordinary. Photography is 100 years old by the time Andrew Wyeth even starts painting, and yet he ignores photography. He is emphatic. He says it again and again. I hate cameras. I don't know how to work cameras. He says if you base your art on photography, your imagination has no chance. That's what he said. And frankly, I think that's a good message for a lot of realist painters today. A lot of realist painters today who greatly admire Andrew Wyeth. I think over rely greatly over rely on photography. Andrew Wyeth warned against it. Don't use photography. Use your eye. Use your hand. Record what you see. Photography does not factor in. Now, why is this? I think because he is really the last 19th century painter. He's the last of the Pre-Raphaelites. He's the last of the early Victorian artists, you know, living years out of time, essentially. But he follows very old traditional means of art, deliberately anti-modern. That's the word I use again and again. He is anti-modern. He doesn't want to be in the 20th century. I think he wants to be, you know, watching the Battle of Brandywine unfold in 1777. He really is very much a a. modern figure, which is unusual, isn't it, in American life?

Craig: [00:14:38] Mm hmm. So is there one story of these 50 odd people that you spoke to that they kind of stuck with you or kind of encapsulated or added to the mystery? I mean, I imagine that there was somewhere in there. There was a story that was surprising or especially revealing. Is there one that kind of sticks with you?

Barksdale: [00:15:01] That's a terrific question. I have to say. When you talk to that many people, you build a composite picture, and I didn't find that any one person had the answers. Everyone seemed to have a piece of the puzzle. And it's interesting as a biographer, the person I think is going to be so helpful and so essential turns out to be the person who doesn't help at all. Or, it turns out, doesn't really know that much. And then the person you think, how? How's the how's the guy at the local garage going to know anything? And then then the fella says something like, Wow, that is so revealing about this man. So cumulatively, they build a picture. But I think one of one of the revelations to me, if you read the authorized biography of Andrew Wyeth that was written in the 1990s, which is an intimidating book in its bulk and in the level of research. You come away with the picture that Andrew Wyeth was a kind of brooding, troubled man haunted by the premature death of his father in a car accident in 1945. I have to say that talking to people who knew Andrew Wyeth, he was not a brooding, haunted man. He was a happy man. He was a person who was allowed to engage in his favorite activity, painting, daily. Responsibilities were very few. Someone commented to me, you know, he never even wore a wristwatch. He didn't know what time it was. He didn't have to know what time it was. He's living in really his own world. He goes out in the morning early. No one knows where he goes. He wouldn't even tell his wife where he went for lunch. It's very, very secretive, protecting his privacy, protecting his ability again, like Thoreau, to be entirely alone so that he could work his method in the landscape. His method was he has to be alone. He's observing nature. Then something strikes him. If someone's talking to him that whole time and interrupting him, the process doesn't work.

Craig: [00:17:09] And so your book is it six tours? What can you tell us a little bit about kind of the the maps and the road trips that you lay out for folks?

Barksdale: [00:17:20] I've got six tours in the back of the book. But what I think is kind of interesting about this book, this book is almost experimental. It's an attempt. It's asking the question Can you write a biography of someone through the the vehicle of tours, walking and driving tours? So as you read the book, don't be surprised. There are some extraordinary revelations about Wyeth that appear in the course of those tours because he's very much a painter of place. He's our preeminent painter of place. He's part of the regionalist school, I guess, of American Painting in the 1930s. But I call Andrew Wyeth the micro regionalist because his region is about two miles across is basically from one side of this little village of Chadds Ford. Over to the other side. It's about a two mile span. That's his region, and I would point out that's about Thoreau's region in Concord. You know, when he walks to Walden Pond, it's about a two mile walk. That's the world of Andrew Wyeth. It's predicated on how far could he walk? And what would he see as he walked around? Now, as far as the tour is, it's extraordinary to me. There's never been a guidebook to Wyeth country. There's never even been a map of the country, which is, you know, almost almost dumbfounding, right? Given that these artists are so much about the places that they choose to paint. Absolutely. So you take the book around six tours. You can either walk, some of them drive some of them. You're going to learn about the landscape, you're going to learn about how it's changed over 100, 150 years, which also are going to immerse yourself in the biography of these three fascinating artists.

Craig: [00:19:06] Well, Barksdale, I really appreciate your time today. And again, the book is "Artists of Wyeth Country: Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth", and I assume folks can find the book wherever they normally find books. Correct?

Barksdale: [00:19:22] That's correct. Bookstores support your local bookstore. Have them order a copy. That would be terrific.

Craig: [00:19:27] Wonderful. Well, I really appreciate your time today, sir.

Barksdale: [00:19:31] Thank you. Greg, thanks so much.

Craig: [00:19:38] I have a question for you. What is your favorite painting? You know, I've been asked this before and it always kind of trips me up. I love so many artists. I've seen so many paintings. I love Anselm Kiefer, David Salle, Caravaggio, Velasquez, van Gogh. I love them all. But you know, when it comes down to like picking one, that's just overwhelming. I've never known exactly how to answer that question, but recently I think I've come across my favorite painting. At least it is right now. And it happened a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for artwork to display on my Canvia. I was in the mood for Gustav Klimt, "The Kiss", "Adele Bloch-Bauer". It could be a little cliche, but I'm a sucker for gold leaf. And so I started playing a Klimt playlist and those aforementioned paintings roll through and then a painting that honestly, I really wasn't that familiar with a painting called "Judith and the Head of Holofernes". It's a subject that's been painted many times before Caravaggio gentiles they always painted Judith with with a sword beheading Holofernes here in this painting. We see her triumphant holding Holofernes' severed head while looking directly at us with an expression that somewhere between pride and something sensual and it's amazing.

Craig: [00:21:15] It's Art-Nouveauish, it's got gold leaf. It has this Tiffany and Co. blue, and my daughter keeps asking me when I'm going to change it to a different image on my Canvia. She really wants to see a playlist of Degas ballet dancers. But you know, the point is, I love this painting and I found it on my Canvia. And so the Canvia is a digital art display. It's it's 17 inches by twenty eight inches. It's 1080p High definition. The detail is amazing. You can see every brushstroke and that's the way it's intended. There's a technology called Artsense just just like this podcast that samples the ambient light in the room and automatically adjusts the display to heighten the sensation that you're looking at a real painting. Unlike a framed TV, the goal of the Canvia is an authentic viewing experience. Your Canvia provides you access to thousands of historic artworks and premium members, have access to a host of contemporary art as well. And so if you want to learn more about Canvia, head over to and check it out. And now, my discussion with the always insightful Bo Bartlett.

Craig: [00:22:40] Thank you for being willing to take time out of your day to to speak with us about you and your work. Maybe we should start at the beginning. You, I heard the stories of you growing up in a church pew, drawing images from messages on on the back of of bulletins with little short pencils. Is that kind of where your story begins?

Bo: [00:23:07] I'm not sure exactly where it begins, but that's an early part of it. You know, we were I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church, and so as a as a kid, you know, it's all you know, you dress up in a bow tie and go to Sunday school and church on Sunday mornings, and church was boring. It was long. It was an hour, and I didn't necessarily care about what they were saying. You know, it was a lot of, you know, singing and rigmarole and holy, holy, holies. And just as I am and you know, and then people are being saved and stuff. So, you know, I would just sit there up in the balcony with my family. And you know, the only way they could keep me occupied was to give me a the church bulletin a pencil. So, you know, I had a free hour of drawing. And I think it did. You know, some of that stuff seeped in there. Those stories seeped in as I was drawing. And so, you know, it did become a part of my DNA, I guess. 

Craig: [00:24:12] Maybe you can kind of take this on a little bit of your journey. You, you started the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Is that right?

Bo: [00:24:21] Yeah. So yeah, when I was 18 in high school, I was going to a small private high school in Georgia, and one of my English teachers gave me the book. "My Name is Asher Lev", which was, I don't know if you know what it's Chaim Potok. It's a it's a great, great book. It's a great read. It's an easy read. But in that story, Asher goes to Florence to study art, and I knew nothing about art. I knew nothing about what art was or where the art world was or anything. So I just did what this fictional character did. I went to Florence at 18, and there I met Ben Long, an American expatriate painter who was a Vietnam vet, and he was studying with Pietro Annigoni. And while I was there, I got the list of some Americans that I could study with because I was coming back to America because I was going to be getting married at 18 to my high school girlfriend who was pregnant. And so I, you know, I was there in Florence for about five or six months, and I learned to draw from Ben, he was a great draftsman. And there were only they weren't.

Bo: [00:25:27] It was a list of 10 people. But, you know, there just weren't many realistic representational painters at that time, right? So two or three of them were in the Pennsylvania area, Philadelphia. So Nelson Shanks was on that list and Andrew Wyeth was on that list. So I moved to Philadelphia and I started school at Philadelphia College of Art and started trying to find these teachers that I could study privately with because I just felt like having learned to draw from Ben Long that that would be the easiest way to learn to to paint representational since they weren't teaching it really anywhere at the time. They weren't all of these ateliers or academies at the time. I switched over to the Pennsylvania Academy because they were the focus was on painting. And even though there was a lot of ab-ex things going on at the time, and meanwhile, I went out and tried to study with with Andrew Wyeth, I'd actually called him on the telephone and he picked up the phone. And back then you could just call, was it 411? Or I think you could just call the information

Craig: [00:26:32] And I think there was even like 555-1212 back in the day, there's there's a number of or just pick up zero as the operator thinks exactly people. You know that age before the internet, right?

Bo: [00:26:45] Yeah, yeah. Yeah, there was actually this great service in Philadelphia where you could just call the free library and ask them a question, and they would go say, hold on and they would go, look it up in the dictionary encyclopedia and they'd come back and answer any question you had, which was amazing service that was back when we had like Ma Bell and your telephone was, you know, wired up to the wall and everything. Anyway, so I called Andrew Wyeth and he picked up the phone and his wife, Betsy, was in the background. And, you know, I could hear a clang in the dishes that she was washing, the dinner dishes at the sink and and he said, Oh, I don't take students, but but come out tomorrow and, you know, we can meet. And so I, you know, borrowed a friend's car and drove from Philly down to Chadds Ford and and tried to meet him. I asked if Hank's where he lived and they sent me down to his house, which was the mill down Route 100. And I went down and knocked on the door and Betsy, his wife, answered, I. You have to realize it was the 80s. I mean, it was the 70s, it was the late 70s, 77, maybe, and I looked like Rasputin or something, you know, like, yeah, it was scary. It was pretty scary. You know, long hair, long beard, everything. And I terrified her as she sort of like, slammed the door quickly. I said, Is Andrew Wyeth here? And she said, No. I don't know where he is. She closed the door. And so I, you know, I felt sort of jilted, I guess, because we had, you know, had a meeting. What I didn't know is that a studio was across the other side of Route 1, a block away and, you know, he was there painting Helga or something, but I didn't meet him at that point. And I went and found Nelson Shanks and studied with Nelson for a few years and basically learned how to paint from Nelson Shanks privately. Right? I was just, you know,

Craig: [00:28:28] Nelson, you know, I just don't know how many people in. I don't know how many people know who Nelson Shanks outside of the world of portraiture. Right, right. But inside of the world of portraiture, he's kind of at the top of the hierarchy, especially in the U.S. And even when I've been an art instructor, you know, I've made a lot of references back to how Nelson would set up the lighting for the scene with, you know, primary and secondary light sources, warm and cool and just master's hand. And so it's amazing that you had these these influences.

Bo: [00:29:09] Yes, Nelson had an uncanny ability to, you know, to see the color of light and to capture that in his paint. And I studied with Henry Hinchey up on Cape Cod, and he also studied with Peter Annigoni. So he had a strong drawing background and a strong color, you know, sort of American impressionist color background. So he brought those two things together. So when I was asking around the Pennsylvania Academy, which is where I was in school, who I might you know, who would be best to study with outside of there, which they were all saying, No, no one, just stay here, which I did. I stayed in, graduated, but while I was there, I was studied privately. And so, you know, they were saying, you know, I would say to them, you know, but he paints basically the world the way I see it, you know, nobody else is doing that. And I said, Oh, no, don't don't go study with him. But I did. And I spent two years right by his side. The only way he would teach was he would just paint. He'd he'd be painting a subject, whether it was a portrait or, you know, painting for himself, a nude or something. And he didn't say a word, and I just watched him mix his colors and watched him paint. I would paint right beside him, and so it was just learned experientially.

Bo: [00:30:15] It wasn't a theory or anything. I was just learning how to mix the colors by looking at his palette at the end of each break, how he how he got there. So it was a fantastic education. And so, you know, and I did it. I studied with him. When he was still painting on the North Window out in New Hope, Pennsylvania, before he had moved over to the barn at Andalusia. And that was before it really started working with the with the lights so much and I but I he did use lamps, sometimes just sort of like as a sort of secondary, you know, kicker kind of thing. But I really...through the henchy way of looking at the actual not the local color, but the actual, you know, affected color of the light from the light source. That's how I really learned to understand color. And, you know, then I left there and combined it with my own things and, you know, my own kind of narratives and things and ran with it. But I always, you know, credit him for teaching me free. You know, he taught me free how to paint. And yeah, it was quite a gift. I mean, I was this indentured slave, but I, you know, I had to stretch his canvases and stuff, but it was great for a start young starving art student to be able to do that right?

Craig: [00:31:29] Did you apply the rabbit skin glue and in prime them and everything?

Bo: [00:31:33] No, he was actually by that time, he had switched off to gesso, you know, acrylic, gesso. So I was priming with gesso.

Craig: [00:31:40] Sure.

Bo: [00:31:41] So but I learned all that. I learned how to stretch. I learned how to do all the things in a real kind of apprenticeship kind of way.

Craig: [00:31:50] And so Betsy slammed the door in your face. At what point did you decide to to go back and knock on the door a second time?

Bo: [00:31:58] Well, I actually I met him for the first time. I was at the Pennsylvania Academy. I think I was in my senior year or junior year, and Jamie had was having a show at. If I remember correctly, Jamie was they were planning to have a show of Jamie's at the academy. And Andy and Jamie were around one day and and I heard, you know, we had studios, private studios up in the upper floors on Chestnut Street, the Peale House and word quickly spread that Andrew Wyeth was downstairs. So I flew down. And Andrew Wyeth was not highly regarded among the faculty at the academy. I mean, they called him, you perhaps a fine draftsman. That's the quote, if I remember correctly, perhaps he's a fine draftsman. You know, he was a painter, and so but anyway, so I flew down and met him and shook his hand, and I remember calling my mom on the payphone and put, you know, a dime or quarter or whatever it was, and to put it, you know, called her and said, I'm never washing my hand again, you know? And so but, you know, years later, after I started showing in New York, I showed in Philly first. Then I showed in New York it was P.O.W. And I'd had a bad review. In The New York Times. Roberta Smith gave me this really bad review, and I had many worse ones since then. But at the time, that was the worst that I had, and it really shook me. And Betsy Wyeth, Andy's wife, had read that review in the Times, and someone had given her a catalog from that show. And so she called me on the phone and just said, you know, she'd really like to meet me. And it was, I think I didn't realize it, but I was becoming one of her projects.

Bo: [00:33:34] I mean, Betsy Wyeth always took on projects. Andrew Wyeth was one of her projects. Right? She would take on projects and, you know, see them through whether that was a book or a museum show for Andy or whether it was a person or an island. You know, she would take on these projects and she would see them through. And so unbeknownst to me, I was becoming a Betsy Wyeth project. I was just going out to meet them because I was honored. And so she invited me out and I started buying paintings from me and which I was happy at the time and because of the review in New York hadn't helped career-wise. And so then she she was looking at my bio and she said, I see you've gone to film school and I had I'd gone to NYU to Tisch for film. And she said, I see you've gone to film school. And even though I'd never finished a film before, she said, I want to make a film on Andy. Would you help me? And I said, "Sure, I'll do it." So she hired me. So for five years I worked for, you know, this was in the middle of it. I was still showing it in New York with P.P.O.W. I was helping. I was actually not helping. I was making this film on Andrew Wyeth. It became "Snow Hill". The film was a documentary, and so I was spent every day with them for five years. At the end of the day, I'd go over and have dinner with them and with Andy, and we'd talk and draw. And so we became best friends and we were best friends until the end of his life until he passed.

Craig: [00:35:00] Wow. And so what? What were some of the more meaningful tidbits? Well, I mean, there's...musings that Andrew gave you that maybe you carry with you in your practice today.

Bo: [00:35:18] You know, it's interesting because I had sort of been ensconced in the Pennsylvania Academy and the art world and I had been trained out of me. I mean, I liked Wyeth a lot when I was a kid. I mean, he was the only artist I knew, you know, I mean Rockwell and Wyeth and Picasso, maybe. But because they were famous, you know? And so I had grown up liking Wyeth a lot. And then, I mean, it was a nice and an honor to meet him, but I was still carrying this baggage from hadn't been trained that, you know, he wasn't really a painter, he wasn't a real painter. And that, you know, sort of he was sort of a country bumpkin, you know, regionalist. And so, you know, even though I went and I met him and spent time with him, initially, I was, you know, on my high horse. And I remember when I was working on the film, I had this Steenbeck flatbed when I was putting this film through the reels, and I was looking at some of his old paintings and I was just I was there alone. I spent several hours one day just going through some old footage she had, that Betsy had and and I was one day it just hit me. I stopped on this frame and I can't remember which painting it was. It might have been "Snow Flurries" or one of the landscapes, but I stopped on this painting and I was like, Oh my God, that's a good painting.

Bo: [00:36:41] You know, it just it was like a light went off. It's like, Wait a second, you know, I've been sold a bill of goods. I was told he wasn't a painter. And I flipped to the next one. I was like, Oh my God, and that's a good painting, too. You know, I just I was becoming deprogrammed, really. And then and I realized what a great painter it was. And so as we became friends and spent a lot of time together, you know, he really encouraged me and encouraged me to not worry about the reviews because he'd gotten so many negative reviews over the years and to, you know, just paint your life and paint your story and paint what you're excited by. And you know, I've said this but before. But you know, one time I was with him, I said, How do you stay motivated? You know, year in, year out, you know, you've had such a long career. How do you how do you do that? And he said, "Oh, I'll just be going along and I'll see a piece of barbed wire. Piece of horse's mane stuck in it, and it'll just keep me going." You know, it's like he gets excited by something as simple as a piece of barbed wire. I mean, that's like that is a kind of meditation that we're not used to. You know, we're like, you know, one millisecond edits. If it's not exciting, we flip to the next thing or, you know.

Bo: [00:38:02] We don't have the patience and we're just not contemplative enough to to slow down enough. And and I mean, I learned so much from him because I really learned how to draw from Ben Long and how to how to paint from Nelson Shanks. But I didn't really know why to paint. And Andrew Wyeth taught me why to me. And it's, you know, it's it's to tell your own unique story, and we all have our own unique stories. And so it's a universal. And he would he would start in his own backyard. I mean, he wouldn't didn't have to go off somewhere far to find a subject matter. He would just wander off into his own backyard. I remember seeing him. I worked on the film in a little schoolhouse across the way from their mill, their house, and I would see him leave in the morning to go to a studio and he'd be driving his jeep down the driveway, and all of a sudden it would just pull off to the side and stop like, like he had died or had a heart attack or something. And I was like, What's going on, you know? And he would just sit there for hours drawing like he wouldn't even get out of his driveway before he'd see something that excited him. He would be drawing some fence line or something. And then the next day, if he liked it, he'd come back again and, you know, bring his watercolor anyway, you know, and eventually he would get out.

Bo: [00:39:17] And if he liked it again, he would eventually get tempera and take it to the studio and take all his studies and make a painting of it. But but, you know, he wasn't just painting some random thing. I mean, he was painting. He knew the tree that had been felled to make that fence. They knew the farmer that had, you know, cut that tree down. And it was a whole life. It wasn't just a scene, you know, he was painting everything inside and out. So he took the microcosm of his life and made it universal so that when people see it, they don't know why they're attached to it or drawn to it. But they are because it's got his own genuine voice and his own genuine life in it. And he's not doing it for anybody else. He's doing it for the right reasons. And that's that's what's so rare. I think it's really rare it's inward, you know? And he said, you have to be in-grown to be any good. That's what he told me, you know, it's like, OK, you know, you just think about that. And he says, I never show anybody anything I'm working on because if they like it, it's a bad thing. And if they don't like it, it's a bad thing. So you realize you really just have to maintain this kind of contemplation and focus like a zen master. And that's what that's what he told me.

Craig: [00:40:32] So I mean, that's it's almost like his art making was a meditative practice. 

Bo: [00:40:39] Completely.

Craig: [00:40:39] You know, in the Christian tradition, there's this idea of pray without ceasing, like live your life as as, like a prayer, right? And so he was it sounds like he was, you know, it wasn't a matter of going somewhere and, you know, spending X amount of hours with a brush in hand. It was like his total experience all day was him processing.

Bo: [00:41:11] Yes. And it was, you know, he wasn't, he said, "If you sit there long enough, the life will appear." And so, you know, I didn't really understand what that meant at the time. But it's like if you go out into nature and you sit there for more than about 20 minutes, all of a sudden, like the bugs and the birds and the chipmunks and the foxes and everything will start to just come back because they realize you're not there to hurt them. And it will. But we don't do that. We just pass through and, you know, we see it and point at it or we shoot it or something. You know, it's, you know, it's not a we don't become fully engulfed in life, you know, we don't allow ourselves to that. I had a story which he didn't tell me I didn't paint with him, we drew a lot, but I didn't paint with him. But he had a friend whose name is escaping me now. But who who I was talking to about this, about painting how Andy painted. And he said that, you know, he was with him on the Chadds Ford at the Brandywine River.

Bo: [00:42:15] One time, Rea Redifer was the guy's name, and Rea said that he was painting right beside him with watercolor, and they were both looking at the Brandywine River and painting the grasses on the side. And, you know, he was trying to sort of mimic Andy and be very, sort of detailed and like paint every blade of grass. And and then Andy was over there painting and huffing and puffing, and all of a sudden he reached over and grabbed a handful of mud from the. Riverbank and scrubbed it across this painting side to side. And just like to get the riverbank quickly, you know, like to get the whole thing down and Rea Redifer said it just blew his mind. He said he was never able to think about painting or what Andy did the same again because it was like he understood that it was becoming elemental. It was actually becoming the thing. It wasn't a representation of the thing at that point, it was actually becoming the moment.

Craig: [00:43:06] Wow. So let me ask you. So when when I look at your work today, which you know you were, you know, you're approaching in five or six years, probably the age Andrew was when you met him. Um, and you know, when we look at your body of work which falls, I guess some people will will categorize you as maybe magical realism. I see a lot of references in your work to specific art historical paintings. There's a whole cacophony of influences, but there are a lot of these art history references, you know, whether that's in your painting Leviathan or, you know, this painting or that painting, can you kind of compare and contrast that versus what we see in in Andrew? You know, I guess one of those knocks that they were placing on Wyeth was that, well, these are pretty pictures, but they don't have those references. Can you compare and contrast who you observed versus who you became as your own artist?

Bo: [00:44:16] Yeah, I'm not sure I can answer directly. I can answer it indirectly. Maybe. I mean, you know, Wyeth, even though he, you know, loved tempera and love the Renaissance Masters and love Bruegel, you know, he was a true original, I think. And I think part of that was this being ingrown, you know, growing up in Chadds Ford and not in the middle of the art world, even though Howard Pyle had been his father's teacher, N.C. Wyeth's teacher and N.C. had obviously, you know, shown Andy, all of the, you know, the history of art, you know, through books, and they would go to the Philadelphia Museum together and study the paintings there, especially the Bruegel. But I think that I put together a show at the Moore Gallery, a gallery in Philadelphia back in the 80s in no one was listed as after I'd been studying, after I spent time with Andy. Let me see when that was. I don't remember what it was that, so I did it. Maybe in the 1990s, sometime late, 1990s put together a show and I kind of included all the Philadelphia painters, you know, whomever they were. Randall Exon or Nelson Shanks or Sidney Goodman, Martha Erlebacher, you know, Scott Noel and myself and some others. And I included Andy and Jamie in that group. And the other people had large oil paintings, for the most part. And Andy had a small tempera. And then Jamie had a small oil. But what was amazing in that show was how different their work was.

Bo: [00:45:53] The it's just stood out so much. And I mean, it was like just another language completely. And everybody else was sort of in the canonicle of like art American art history. And we were all, you know, referencing American art history and one another. And there was just a language, you know, it was like more like a dialect, actually, visual dialect. And but Andy's and Jamie's, when you stopped, you just like, "Oh my God, it was like, I've never seen anything like this before." I mean, because it was just so different, even though we think of it is so conventional in so traditional. When you actually see them out of context then of a museum show or, you know, a solo show when you see them separate with other things, you're like, holy smoke, this is an original thing. I mean, this isn't something that's like trying to look like art. This is something that's genuinely unique and original unto itself. And I think, you know, I came along, I just happened to come along at the time that I came along, I was wanting to paint representationally realistically because it was, you know, just it wasn't an agenda and it wasn't a plan. It was just it worked with my worldview and with the kind of storytelling that I wanted to tell. I wanted to. I wanted to just be real, right? And so postmodernism happened to come along at that same time. I mean, it just coincided with it.

Bo: [00:47:22] So it suddenly became OK to paint any way you wanted to paint. One could. One didn't have to go by the rules of what had been, you know, that sort of evolution of art said. You could go without it being a retrograde choice, you could go back into realism, and part of that had to do with a kind of pop art visuals. And, you know, Warhol and that were in photography where, you know, representation sort of came back into in photorealism, which was sort of descendent from Rockwell, but that all sort of became OK again. So I just sort of happened to come along at a time when it was OK to be painting representation. And it may have been sort of thrown into the camp of postmodernism, but it was never really that in my mind. But I did draw from all different sources and it was OK to draw from all different sources. And so, you know, that's the distinction. I think that for me, I was sort of aware that I could pick and choose from here or there, wherever that was, you know, Eakins, Sargent, the Renaissance, modernism, Hockney, whatever. And it was all OK to sort of reference those things. And so mine isn't so much like a pastiche. It just sort of I tried to eat all that food and digest it, you know, and then but it nourished me and become one with the art and let go of what I didn't need. 

Craig: [00:48:52] So, so your your body of work is, you know, you have several different themes that you you go down there, the water paintings, the magical, the magic paintings. But I feel like a lot of them kind of share this a mutual point of view where your horizon line is quite low. There's a lot of beautiful sky. That's the backdrop, usually multiple figures. Where do the where do your ideas come from? Do you start with specific inspiration from art history or do you, you know, letting it seep up from the roots like Wyeth said?

Bo: [00:49:36] Yeah. Well, you know, you do it from all. I do it from all different sources. So because the paintings operate on many different levels and you can come in on whatever level you want. You know, there's the kind of art historical level or the personal history level or the psychological level or the scientific level or the religious level or the spiritual magical level. These things are all sort of coexisting, right? The real world of politics, the social aspects, they're all these are all coexisting. And so they all need to be in the painting somewhere on some level. But, you know, so ideas can seep up from dream life. You know, I keep a dream journal and I write down every dream that I have, and I keep sketchbooks everywhere. So if I see something, I just grab it and make a notation. And then that can sometimes be the seed of an idea, although not ideas of a feeling. And then then that grows and swells. And I, you know things I'll see you in the real world are some photojournalist photograph of some world event or something. But I try. I travel a lot. I try to get out of the studio as much as possible. And so that's what I'm doing now. I'm traveling across the country. I drove out, I drove from Georgia to New Orleans in New Orleans to New York, and from after my show opened from New York to Oregon and Seattle.

Bo: [00:50:56] And then now I'm driving back and back in Ohio now. But you know, when I moved through space, I see a lot of things really quickly, you know, and sometimes it might just be barns or farm after farm. But you know, you're seeing the horizon, you're seeing the sky, you're getting a sense of what reality is. And you also get a sense of, you know, the social aspects of what, what, how humans interact with that reality of the environment. So, you know, you want the paintings to be elemental. You want it to be about Earth and sky and fire and water and the spirit. You want it to be about all these things. You want those elements, all have to be in there sort of all quadrants, all levels from a sort of holistic point of view, but you want it to incorporate what it really feels like to be alive. And so that's my my goal is to make this image or an object which holds that feeling of what it feels like to be alive at that moment. For me, you know, in time it'll be dated and in time it, you know, it might already feel somewhat nostalgic because that's I'm incorporating my whole life.

Bo: [00:52:02] I'm not just incorporating just the moment, like a snapshot, but like my whole heritage and what it felt like when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s and 70s and 80s. So I'm bringing not just the present, but also the past along with me, because that's that's when you've got the full picture in there. But, you know, I don't know where it's going to go, either. I mean, I have no idea, like, I don't know what the future looks like or what future art looks like. And so for me either, so I just try not to... I try to be free and stay free. Andrew Wyeth always said, "Keep yourself free, Bo." And that's, you know, that's a that's quite a mantra to try to live by is to keep yourself free because, you know, there's hegemony, there's just a million different things that'll keep you enslaved without even consciously knowing it, you know? So we have to, you know, and I'm not necessarily subversive and that I'm, you know, want to try to break norms or anything. There's no reason to just do that just for the sake of doing it, but to to not be enslaved by the culture or by what we're expected to do and just do what you really want to do is quite a challenge because you have to trust yourself and you have to really know yourself well enough to trust yourself and trust your instincts to go down that road when maybe other people haven't done that.

Bo: [00:53:26] So and we're all we're also unique, and we're all our stories are all worth telling. So regardless of what culture you grew up in or what your experiences are, you know, I don't believe in any kind of style of art as being the one better than another style. I love all art. So whatever your inclination is, is true. And so just, you know, you have to trust that, you know, Andy would paint what he was excited by. That was sort of his way of knowing whether he wanted to do it. If he was excited by it. You keep doing it. You know, and I think you have to, you know, you have to monitor whether that's, you know, your inner child and if that's your good boy or your bad boy, you know, being excited. But you know, that's part of the discernment you have to make day to day in your in the choices we make in our actions and what we bring to the world and manifest into the world. And you know, the goal is to try to make the world a better place than it was when we found it.

Craig: [00:54:22] Sure. Well, I'm I'm a huge fan of your work, Bo, and I mean, there I feel like I could spend a whole other hour, you know, talking to you about compositions where there are things kind of being referred to even off-canvas where, you know, who's "The American" pointing his gun at? Where's the ladder in "Dreamer Awake" going? You going? I love those sort of things that are taking us off the canvas, but I think one of my favorite paintings of yours. I can't let you go without asking you about "Habeas Corpus". There's a lot there was a lot of stuff going on in that painting, but I love it. Can you give us a little bit of a tour through that painting?

Bo: [00:55:12] And that was a difficult painting. It was a very difficult painting. I mean, I think that was I was going through, you know, midlife crisis at the time. And midlife is a real thing. I mean, you know, it's just like the terrible twos or, you know, old age, you know, it's a phase we all have to go through like adolescence. And so, you know, if you're not there yet, prepare yourself,

Craig: [00:55:35] Well, I'm there, I'm there.

Bo: [00:55:36] Yeah, yeah, you know, and how you get through that makes all the difference. It really does. And I think that painting was a little bit about that, that tortured aspect. It was like teenage angst, but in mid-life, you know, like trying to deal with all of the struggles and all of the different things that you've done up to that point. And then, you know, where where are you ultimately going to go and what's the second half going to look like? And so, you know, I think that how we move through midlife really is what sets the trajectory for the rest of our life and, you know, for better or for worse. And you know, I think that you reach a point where you realize, is this it?, you know, is this what there is? Or do I push on and see if there's something else in this for me and what it's like. What's the loving thing to do for the most number of people involved? You know, you have to you have to consciously, constantly make these kinds of decisions in our life and a kind of moral way and in a kind of esthetic way, you know, because there is a difference between moral goodness and aesthetic goodness.

Bo: [00:56:54] So we have to make these decisions based on on the whole, you know, sort of a holistic way. So I was struggling a lot when I did that painting, and it must have been a little after 2000. I don't remember the exact date, but 2004, probably. And I was in Seattle and I had a big warehouse down in Georgetown and had been separated and was getting divorced and I had met Betsy, my wife, Betsy Eby, and I was really figuring it out and trying to figure out how to get through it. And so the painting represents that internal struggle where you know, there's a gallows involved and there's an angel involved and there's, you know, protagonist antagonists and everyone's pushing and pulling on the central figure. And but it's a it's it's a fiction, you know, to because everything's a construct. So and you have to realize that when you're making a painting, you know, earlier you mentioned the the horizon line, the horizon line. I mean, it's like a stage play. And I think, you know, Hopper was very aware of that. And you know, Hopper was was one who was constantly sort of nodding to the fact that he's, you know, telling a story and that it's a play of sorts and that we're all players.

Bo: [00:58:21] And I think that, you know, that painting in particular does that where there are literally on a stage and it's playing out before, you know, the vast horizon of a desert and a mountain scene and and but what looks like a boxing ring almost becomes the canvas stretched over a stage and you start to realize that perhaps the whole thing is just a like a Carnival Sideshow canvas, painted canvas, where it's just a it's not even what you're really the viewers in the foreground that are looking at it, you thought might have been watching this. Right. Staged play or actually perhaps just looking at a painting. In that period, I was definitely dealing with the different realities and and how there's a multiverse of realities, and we all have our different points of view. And so that's that's, you know, it takes that form where, you know, we all are in our different worldviews and our different silos. And the thing is to try to, you know, just crack that door and punch a hole in our neurosis, Is that a word, neurosis?

Craig: [00:59:33] I think so. Well, we'll say this right

Bo: [00:59:36] Neurosis and, you know, punch a hole in it and and see the light, you know, from not just from our own little point of view, but, you know, from the universal broader point of view. And and if we can start to do that and connect with others, then we will have done something, you know, for the world at large.

Craig: [00:59:54] So I can't let you go without asking you about your directorial debut "Things Don't Stay Fixed". So how did how did that project come about?

Bo: [01:00:10] I had started dreaming back when I was at the Pennsylvania Academy. I started dreaming that my paintings were moving and I thought, "Wouldn't that be cool if you could have moving pictures like motion pictures?" Then it dawned on me that there is such a thing as home movies, the cinema, film. And so I went to film school shortly after graduating from PAFA to NYU and had an idea for a film about a southern character. And I wrote it with Sandra Deer, a southern playwright, and we wrote it way back in the '80s and I was going to make it. And then, you know, one thing led to the next. And instead, the first film that I made was "Snow Hill" about Andrew Wyeth. And so I, after spending time with Andy, all I wanted to do was paint again. I was so charged and so I sort of shelved it, and I had this screenplay just sitting there all those years. And when I moved back to Georgia to open the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, then the film industry had moved to Georgia. So it was all around us. And, you know, so I was like, Hmm. You know, they were offering money to make films and offering interns, free interns, the Georgia Film Academy.

Bo: [01:01:19] And I was like, I've got a screenplay, you know? And I've made short films and documentaries before. But but to have a feature film was had always been a lifelong dream. And I still now that I've, you know, I've got the bug, I just that's all I want to do is just make more movies. But I, you know, had the screenplay and I had to do a lot of work to sort of chisel it back down to where it needed to be to to actually make it to make it somewhat contemporary. Although I do think it's a timeless piece that it's not something that's just of the moment, you know, it's definitely sort of set in a timeless dream world. But I loved making that movie and I'm pleased with the movie. I mean, you know, and it's got distribution, which is all, these are all great pluses. It's not that easy to make a film, and it's easy to make a decent film, and it's really hard to get the film out there. So all those things are great successes, I think with it and I'm happy with it and I hope people will watch it. Things don't stay fixed on a streaming service near you.

Craig: [01:02:19] Right. I think I saw that it's it's in my prime watch list, and so I'm going to have to we're going to have to send you six dollars through through Amazon

Bo: [01:02:29] Yeah, thanks. But I don't know how much of that I see, but a distribution company, I think. But still, you know, it's like a moving picture. It is, I mean, it's like it's like paintings that everything that's set up like a painting compositionally and every detail is paid attention to. And you know, what's so great about film is I just have so many different aspects going at once that, you know, that's, you know, the dialog or the the music and just changing point of views. And it's so great and it's such a great medium. And I like going back and forth between the two. My newest painting at the gallery, Miles McHenry Gallery is the newest painting, so actually a scene from the next film, which I haven't even made yet. So it's like a giant storyboard. It's called Hurtsboro, and so I'm excited to finish that screenplay and get that film made. But the painting, which is at the gallery, is the last scene in the film.

Craig: [01:03:32] Well, Bo, I really appreciate your time, and if folks want to learn more about you and the center and your work, where's the best place to find you online?

Bo: [01:03:49] Well, there's Instagram, it's @thebobartlett. And then there's the website, which is just, and I'm sure that it's pretty deep there. There's lots of, you know, there's there's a rabbit hole you could go into for for a long time if you just oceans. I would say, don't go too long. I take a quick glance at it. Get back to painting

Craig: [01:04:12] Right. Well, exactly. All right, Bo I really appreciate your time and how generous you've been with sharing your life and what's inside of your head. And what you've created. It's been a real pleasure.

Craig: [01:04:37] And now the news. So do you recognize the name Mackenzie Scott? Maybe, maybe not. But she studied under Toni Morrison at Princeton and later served as research assistant to her. She really had a passion for being a writer. Supposedly, she wrote a hundred and forty two page novel when she was only six years old, which has subsequently been lost to a flood. But after Princeton, when she was trying to make it in New York as a writer, she needed to get a straight gig, something that us in the art world are perfectly familiar with. And for her, she saw an opportunity to get a job at a hedge fund in New York. So she goes in for the interview. The associate at the hedge fund finds her appealing probably in more way than one because they eventually wind up getting married. That associate at the hedge fund was Jeff Bezos. So they wind up, both working at a hedge fund in New York and in '94, he says to his wife, Mackenzie, Hey, I've got this crazy idea for a startup. What if we quit our jobs, move to Seattle and give it a go? And she's like, You know what? You should follow your passions. I totally get it. I'm crazy about books. Let's go. So she's driving. He's writing a business plan on a laptop in the passenger seat, and the rest is pretty much history. For a long time, Mackenzie Scott was just known as Jeff Bezos's wife, the mother of their three children, and the author of two well-received novels. But if we fast forward to 2019, I'll spare you all the details, but there was a divorce and it was the largest divorce settlement on record. The settlement of the divorce in 2019 resulted in Mackenzie Scott owning roughly four percent of Amazon, which at the time was worth roughly $60 billion. So with that $60 billion, Mackenzie Scott has decided I want to be a philanthropist, but a philanthropist like no one has ever seen before. Let's start giving away money, and let's start giving away money to people that are doing good work. So let's find people that are doing good things already. We're going to vet them and we're just going to start writing checks. I don't have time to make phone calls if we can see that they have results. If they're doing good work, this is somebody we should give money to. Mackenzie Scott gave away an overwhelming $6 billion in 2020. And this week she sent out a quarterly note to the world on Medium, outlining how in the first quarter of this year, she gave away another $2.7 billion and on average, these checks are $10 million. The reason this is of note for the art world is that this latest round of donations the arts were a big component, and I'll quote from her quarterly letter here. In Mackenzie Scott's words, "arts and cultural institutions can strengthen communities by transforming spaces, fostering empathy, reflecting community identity, advancing economic mobility, improving academic outcomes, lowering crime rates and improving mental health. So we evaluated smaller arts organizations creating these benefits with artists and audiences from culturally rich regions in identity groups that donors often overlook."

Craig: [01:08:20] It's almost as if she's become the NEA, right? And so, according to Hyperallergic's Hakim Bishara, who wrote a great article on this, he detailed some of the organizations that were receiving donations from Scott. He quotes, "One of the biggest donations went to the California Community Foundation, which received $20 million to support small and midsize arts organizations in the L.A. area. El Museo de Barrio in Harlem, New York, received $8 million, the largest single gift received in the museum's history. The nearby Dance Theater of Harlem received $10 million and the Museum of Chinese American Downtown, which is still recovering from a devastating fire that damaged its archives last year, received $5 million. The nonprofit Souls Grown Deep, which supports black artists in the south, received two million. It goes on and on, but again, Mackenzie Scott is a different kind of philanthropist. When we think of Bill Gates, Gates is a technocratic philanthropist. What that means is he believes he can leverage his business knowledge to fix the world. Scott doesn't think she can fix the world. She wants to enable the folks that are already out there doing it, but have been underfunded and she's not slowing down. She intends on giving it all away. She makes it perfectly clear. I'm not going to be done giving this money away until I'm out of money. We're talking about 2020, it was $6.1 Billion again in the first quarter of this year, $2.7 billion. But here's the crazy thing as I mentioned earlier at the time of her divorce, her net worth that four percent of Amazon that she gained as part of her divorce settlement was worth $60 billion.

Craig: [01:10:10] She's given away almost nine billion in the last year and a half in her net worth is now $58 billion. That math doesn't make sense unless you take into consideration that Amazon stock is growing at roughly the same rate that she's giving the money away. So, keep an eye on Mackenzie Scott. And if you're an arts organization, keep an eye on your mailbox.

Craig: [01:10:36] In a related story. A petition was started on last week titled We Want Jeff Bezos to buy and Eat the Mona Lisa. Seriously, the justification in the online petition reads, Nobody has eaten the Mona Lisa, and we feel Jeff Bezos needs to take a stand and make this happen. So far, the petition has over 14,000 signatures. That's all the time we have for this week. You've been listening to art since you can find the show on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. If you've enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe. And while you're there, please rates show and leave a quick review. Your feedback is the key to other folks finding us. If you'd like to see images related to the conversation, read a transcript and find other bonus features. You can go to and click on the podcast tab if you'd like to reach out to me. You can email me at Thanks for listening.

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