The piece below was written by one of our visitors, about one of her favorite pieces at the Museum. Please share with us, your own story inspired by your favorite piece of artwork.
John Steuart Curry (American, 1897 – 1946), Parade to War, Allegory, 1938, oil on canvas, 47 13/16 x 63 13/16 in., Gift of Barnett Banks, Inc., AG.1991.4.1.
Based on Parade to War
by Cheyenne Columbia Curran
It was before dawn when I rose, Richard was arriving home for the first time since deploying.
It’s been an eternity since seeing my dear and I wished to look my best best the day her arrived home.
I put on my best white dress and tied up my hair with a white ribbon. Everything was perfect today, the weather was bright, and the sweet piping of the birds gave me the happiest of thoughts that entertained my imagination.
I took my handbag off the coat rack that stood aside the front door, and as I walked out I glanced at the beautiful wedding portrait of Richard and I.
He looked so handsome and my mother’s dress was as lovely as it is on me. Starting to feel the years go back and my emotions water over, my eyes
blurred with glossy tears.
Walking down the street that lie only a block away from the port, I passed the recruitment station, where Richard enlisted, and only two month later they gave him a telegraph of acceptance, then a week after training they sent my dear Richard to fight in Germany.
I remember the letters he wrote, they were of his mission, and how much he missed me and my cooking.
The letter I remember most was that of what he saw of the Nazi imprisonment camp.
He saw naked bodies of emaciated Jewish women and children, and there was nothing he could do about it at that time, until the final raid had been carried
out by the Airmen, and that ended the mission.
About a month ago his letters stopped coming, then a week ago I received a telegraph that said “Due to the successful Operation, all infantry service members will be returning, however all mail out posting will be cut off, thank you.”
So I’m expecting to see him march in ranks, and I’ll be the woman to greet him and be by his side.
“When I arrived, there was a big crowd of women, children, older men and women, all waiting for the same thing, “Our heroes”.
The USS Hamilton sounded a loud horn, and let down its ramp.
Unloading the long awaited passengers. What we’ve all been anticipating for was the opening of the hatched that kept
our men from us.
The crowd watched in silence as policemen who held back the crowd watched in silence as well.
The door was a heavy steel and when turned it shrieked like a banshee.
An ominous air let out, and I saw among the infantry men who’s faced were drained from the sight of war, was the uniform of my ghostly husband, who’s cheek bones stuck out, and eyes sunk in.
The battalion commander sounded a marching cadence, and I thought “Even in death our love will go on”.
So I marched alongside my love as he grasp my side and swung in rhythm holding the butt of his gun.
That was beautiful, I saw that painting over the summer at the Cummer and just loved it. Thank you for sharing, I will be looking for others.
That was really awesome! I look forward to reading more of your stuff!
I am glad you enjoyed the post! I hope you are inspired to write about a piece in our collection too.