“What hope there is for us lies in our nascent arts, for if we are to be remembered as more than a mass of people who lived and fought wars and died, it is for our arts that we will be remembered. The captains and the kinds depart; the great fortunes wither, leaving no trace; inherited morals dissipate as rapidly as inherited wealth; the multitudes blow away like locusts; the record and barriers go down. The rulers, too, are forgotten unless they have had the forethought to surround themselves with singers and makers, poets and artificers in things of the mind.” ~ Maxwell Anderson, “Whatever Hope We Have” from Michael Eisner’s book Work in Progress
I finally saw the movie The Monuments Men, the story of 7 brave men who recovered 5 million works of priceless art that were stolen by the Nazis during World War II. The movie passionately and astutely raises the questions, “Does art matter, and if so, why? And is it worth dying for?” At one point an answer is clearly articulated: if we lose our art, then we lose our culture and history; and if we lose that then it’s as if we never existed. As someone who started a career in the arts, had a career in business, and now is determined to combine the two, I couldn’t agree more. Art matters because it holds our essence, the very seed of who are and what we care about. It is us. Creating art is the only thing we can do that lets us connect across the generations, long after we’re gone. It’s the only mark we can truly leave with the world.