So I have always named my car. There has been, in order: Bernie, Oscar, Evinrude, and now Os-Car (I think my current vehicle is somehow a grandchild of Oscar). As far as I can tell it seems the activity of naming your car is quite a common endeavor in America in the 21st century. Perhaps we name our cars as our ancestors named their horses. I have even discovered as of late that many of my students have named their computer. The closest I have gotten to a name is saying “Good Puter,” or “Bad Puter,” to my Mac.
As mentioned in an earlier post, while on sabbatical I am reading a book a month on a given artist. I have discovered an interesting phenomenon, that of the three artists I’ve read up on so far, two of them have named their homes.
Pierre Bonnard, an artist whose paintings flicker with light was a French painter whose work falls on the line between the impressionists and post-impressionists. Bonnard was about “decoration,” creating shimmering surfaces of paint and light. In his prime he had two homes to paint in so he could capture two different types of light; one in the north of France in the countryside of the Seine Valley Normandy, and one in the south in Saint-Tropaz.
The house in the north was bought in 1912 outside Vernonnet and was named “Ma Roulotte”. It was a short distance from Monet at Giverny. Another impressionist Signac was attracted to the light in the south as well and called his home “La Hune” or the crow’s nest. I can’t find if Bonnard named his home in the south as well, but my guess is he did.
Reading up recently on Frederic Edwin Church a Hudson River school painter following in his mentor’s Thomas Cole’s footsteps in the 1800’s, I was struck that he too had named his home as well. It was named “Olana.” and was a Persian style home in upper New York State. You can check out the website for the estate at: http://www.olana.org/index.html.
What strikes me is that these artists named their homes. I’m wondering did all folks named their homes particularly in the 1800’s and around the turn of the century?
Well, when purchasing my current home in Oregon I looked at the archives found in city hall and found in about 1940 my home (that was built in 1908) was referred to as the “Bartholomew Estate”. So I guess if this place ever had a name there it is….
How about yours? Does your house have a name?