The Suitcase Lady


February 6, 2018, 8:04 pm

The New York Times recently ran a front page article in its art section entitled “Your Art Twin is Out There”. A large portion of the piece was devoted to a new and wildly popular Google Arts and Culture app. Simply upload your selfie and facial recognition software does the rest….it finds your doppelgänger portrayed in a painting or sculpture.

The article also reported on an older gentleman who visited an art museum to actually view the art. Serendipitously, he came to a 17th century portrait and suddenly realized that the subject bore an uncanny resemblance to himself.

I believe the serendipity route is the way to go. I do not visit art museums to find myself. But then again, I don’t have to. Many years ago, a group of my very young students found my art twin for me.

In my younger years, I was the art teacher at a Montessori and Creative Arts school for preschool and kindergarten age children. When our “big kids”, the kindergartners, graduated, we took them on a field trip to The Chicago Art Institute. These trips were always joyful experiences. I followed my rule of “no more than two hours in the museum”. In other words, leave when the kids still want to stay.

As we were wandering amidst the fauvistic paintings, an excited group  of children came up to me exclaiming, “Mrs. Tooley, Mrs. Tooley, we found you in a painting!”

I gently explained to them that I had not posed for any paintings by Matisse. They, of course, were absolutely convinced they had found me and led me to my picture. I can assure you, dear reader, that even though Matisse and I share a birthday, I have not done any time traveling.

On the other hand, I am the mother of Vincent Van Gogh. Don’t try to tell the kids at another creative arts school in California that this man is anyone else than that famous Dutch painter. They are believers.


1 Comment for this entry

  • eve robillard

    Amazing and uncanny. I am so very jealous. I didn’t do that online, either. I want to come across my own, in the same magical way you did. What a lovely happening!