Jane Poston’s Unique Fine Art Collectionby Ben McNitt on Nov. 17, 2009, under arts
JANE POSTON HIT ON A CREATIVE WAY TO ACQUIRE FINE ART, deciding to reproduce in her own hand pieces that hold special meaning for her.
On a recent visit, she told me with wry humor that she couldn’t afford to buy the originals and certainly wasn’t about to steal them, so the best alternative was to reproduce them.
“I’m a great appreciator,” she says.
Her favorite is her rendering of a Picasso that hangs on the wall of her room at the Via Elegante assisted living home on the city’s Northwest side where she now lives.
Her eye and her imagination see a story in that painting: a woman boldly emerging from a jungle – some dark and foreboding past – her left arm strongly muscled with the hand clenched into a fist ready to fend off danger – her right arm and hand in a nurturing, cradle-like arc – an iconic image into which one might even read the whole 20th century struggle of women for a place of equality in a world of strife and conflict.
At age 86 that’s a struggle Jane Poston knows something about. Whether it’s a story Picasso intended in the original, who knows, but it’s one she sees there and that makes the painting her favorite.
While she no longer paints, the paintings she loves, her acquired collection of fine art and the stories it tells to her continues to adorn the walls of her room and the corridors of the home she shares with others.
Her collection is as eclectic as her own experiences in life.
She’s lived in Beirut, did a stint in the Peace Crops, served in the WAVES, resided in Java, Bali, Germany and Guam and with her husband even had a brief jig as a jitterbug dancer in Bangkok when that was the rage. She’s taught yoga and English, was drawn to Buddhism while living in Cambridge and for 40 years has counted Tucson as home.
She’s drawn to color and imagination and says of cubism, “The invention of the camera changed art dramatically. After the camera they had no use for narrative realism.” She loves a hidden tiger in a Klee, the drapery of a huge eucalyptus tree in a village scene, the warmth of color that glows from several of the pieces she’s chosen to make her own.
“I’ve put more into these pieces and gotten more out of them than I can describe,” she says in a comment on her paintings that could as well be a comment on her experience of life.