Friday, December 17, 2010

Maira Kalman at the Skirball

I have two friends who are writing in the horror genre, one who has made a short and the other has several scripts floating around town that are garnering interest. So that may be where the vampire spark came from, or it could be the Monsters in the Movies program I went to in October still festering in my subconscious. In any event, when I saw the "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" book at Target, I was intrigued enough to throw it into my cart. (Never mind that I get to see his face regularly, as I will explain below.) I won't spoil it for anyone, but the book weaves historical facts, some twists on those facts, and some complete fabrications with enough intrigue that I had to take another looksie at what was known about Abe. In that exploration, I realized he and I had a number of similarities.

Abe Lincoln spent his formative years in Indiana, as I did. Me more years than him, but we're not quibbling over small details here. At 21, he left his small town for the big time in Illinois, with about a year of formal education under his belt. I left at 22 for NYC, the day after I graduated from college. Neither of us had a job, a place to stay, or more than a few coins (some of mine bearing his profile) to rub together at the kickoff to our adventures, yet we were able to land on our respective feet and launch our careers.

So how do Maira Kalman, the Skirball Cultural Center, and Abraham Lincoln connect? The Skirball currently has a delightful exhibition called Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World) up through February 13. If her name is unfamiliar, you'll recognize her wacky illustrations. And, Maira loves Abraham Lincoln; she wrote about him in her blog and painted a wonderful portrait in adoration. He definitely would fall into the pretend boyfriend league for her. (Any of you who have known me more than a few minutes know about my pretend boyfriends. As a single girl, mine range from Ewan McGregor to Peter Sagal of Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! fame, so I totally get Maira's thing for Abe.) Above, you see her homage on one of the exhibition banners. And since I now work at the Skirball, I get to see that face everyday.

Hopefully, I've now brought some illumination to the crazy world inside my head!

Click here to go to Maira Kalman's blog post about Abe.

Click here to go to the Skirball's Web site.

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