A weathered, creased print of Manet’s Olympia has lived on my bedroom wall for nearly eight years. I found her in an antique store in Hoboken called Fat Cat which no longer exists. I fell in love with her immediately and bought her for under $20, she in her non-descript frame and worn cardboard.
Well, a few months ago she fell off the wall because the cardboard couldn’t hold any longer. There was nowhere to affix the hardware to hang her on the wall. I brought her to a framer and started asking myself questions about whether this battered print was worth the investment of a mat and new frame.
I told this story to a man in a cafe, explaining how I loved the print and how it was a highlight of my recent trip to Paris that I saw the real, breathtaking Olympia at the Musee D’Orsay. She is a high level prostitute known for her frank gaze and and Manet captured her in beautiful detail. She is also one of several pieces of art in my bedroom that features a lounging woman, I recounted to the man.
The more I spoke to him, the more I realized I had my answer. Of course I should make the investment. If I can spend 20 minutes talking about a piece of art, if it means that much to me, it’s worth preserving in a nice frame. Duh.
So Olympia went back on the bedroom wall last night. She is shown off perfectly in a light mat and black frame. She’s home.