Write Around PAM: Maurice Denis

Image description: Maurice Denis. Color lithograph on tan paper. Image/sheet: 13 13/16 in x 10 3/4 in. A colorful cover of sheet music collection. A young child plays the piano, reading the music by candlelight. At the end of the piano another child plays a violin. Blue letters at the top read “Concerts du petit frère et de la petite soeur”. Blue letters at the bottom left read “par André Rossicnol”. The piano is dark brown and the sheet music has red and black notes. Four canceles extend over the keys on rose and gold colored candle holders. The young pianist has wavy, chin-length blondish brown hair, light skin, is outlined in red, and is wearing a light colored long-sleeve dress with red polka dots. The child plays and looks down at their fingers. The young violinist has long wavy blondish brown hair with a red bow above the right ear. They are wearing a blue and white striped shirt with a large white color and solid blue body. They are outlined in the same red that makes up their violin. They play while looking up at the sheet music on the piano. The background consists of layers of blue and orange groups of short lines. Part of a divider or door is seen to the right, consisting of a red wooden frame with an x in the middle and sheer fabric. The floor consists of red, blue, and cream checkered tiles.

As many of us gather this weekend with our households, extended family and friends, or even just our furry companions, we will center time together, and may even take a moment to sing, play games, watch a movie, or go for a walk. This piece by Maurice Denis, featured in the current exhibition, Private Lives, offers a glimpse of a tradition in many households of playing music together. We invite you to spend some time today writing about the ways you gather and celebrate with your loved ones, and the traditions that you all carry forward together. 

We have two prompts to help you get started.  Choose one, both, or write whatever else comes. Set a timer for 12 minutes and just keep your pen or pencil moving.

We always play… / Gathered together…


Private Lives features a recorded piano piece as part of the exhibition. Come and listen, and see what new energy being in the space and hearing the music offers to these prompts.

Maurice Denis, Cover for music score: Concerts du Petit Frère et de la Petite Soeur (Concerts for a Young Brother and Sister), 1903, color lithograph on paper, Museum Purchase: Print Acquisition Fund, © artist or other rights holder, 2015.86.1a-c

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing posts every other week in the new year. Please share your work with us!  @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum  #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM

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