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Unlikely Partners: “Song of the Lark” and Bill Murray

“Song of the Lark” by Jules Breton

My mother grew up in Chicago and frequented the Art Institute of Chicago. She often wrote about the art there in her diary and poetry. The Song of the Lark, the painting by Jules Breton, was one of Joan’s favorites. Today, on what would have been her 98th birthday, I would like to share a moment from her diary and a brief interview with Bill Murray. This interview is one my husband shared with me today and brought a tear to my eye. Please give it a listen–Bill Murray is quite moving. And my mom’s diary entry belongs to a different mode of thought–still, the painting is very familiar to her!

Sunday, May 30, 1938 [age 15]

. . . Friday night Mom and I went to Lake View to see Il Trovatore—given by American Opera Company. Mom went to sleep during it and I had to hold my eyelids up! Are we cultural!

Mom and I went downtown and I got me a new peasant—dusty pink—dress. I look like the Song of the Lark or something. It’s a dirndl and awfully cute.

B.B.B.B. [Beautiful blue-eyed boy in Biology class] didn’t come Saturday as I told him not to. Vera got walked out on by a boy again. She’s going to start using Lifebuoy soap.


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