June 15, 2014 | Alyson Stanfield

An Appreciation of Fathers and of My Dad

Here's to the fathers who are artists.

And to the fathers who raise healthy, informed artists who make the world a better place.

To My Dad

Neil Stanfield's love of animals has led him to feed, neuter, and spay the feral cats in downtown Oklahoma City for two decades. Just don't ask to put anything in his trunk because it's full of cat food.

Who loves history and culture and encouraged this curiosity of the world for me.

Who paid for all of my extracurricular art lessons that Mom found for me.

Who praised my art.

Who paid for my undergraduate and graduate degrees in art history, even when I didn't know what in the world I was going to do with them.

Me at the Musée Rodin in Paris. 1989. Thanks, Dad!

Who sent me to France for two weeks while I was in graduate school so I could see Paris and more.

Who lined up interviews for me with arts leaders as I was writing my thesis.

Who asked me nearly every day as I was writing my thesis, “How much did you write?” Without his nagging, I don't think I would have finished. I didn't want to disappoint him.

Who subsidized my original museum job‘s paltry salary.

Who got a big kick out of the art book I asked for one Christmas: Giotto and the Language of Gesture.

Who, for my 30th-birthday “surprise retrospective” of my art, wrote labels for the pieces. They were hilarious!

Who took drawing lessons in his 60s for the first time.

Who is the best museum visitor ever. He's far better than I am – reading every label and soaking in as much as he can.

Happy Father's Day!


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