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Quote of Note | Robert Motherwell

(Arnold Newman)“My mother was very literary. Also she had one of the greatest collections in America of eighteenth-century French Provincial furniture. She used to haunt auction houses for this and as a boy I often used to go with her. And there was a time when I could date any piece of French furniture within two years. I think it was a marvelous training of the eye because, you know, in the end the difference is the exact undulation of the curve, the materials, and so on and all the rest of it. All my life I’ve used earth colors a lot, especially yellow ochre and raw umber and so on; and I wouldn’t be surprised that a lot of it comes from constantly looking at waxed fruitwood furniture. She didn’t like the chichi town kind, you know, with gilt and all that, but the beautiful waxed fruitwood country furniture.”

-Artist Robert Motherwell in a 1971 interview conducted by Paul Cummings for the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art

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