As you know, my husband and I recently took a trip into the mountains. As it turned out we were able to re-visit Gatlinburg, TN with my sister and her husband. Years ago, we went to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with the kids. I’m not a huge art buff, but I wandered into an art gallery back then and saw a painting I have never forgotten.
You know how it goes, I wanted that painting but couldn’t part with the amount of money it cost. It would be hard to pack it into an already full car and blah, blah, blah. I didn’t get it. Regularly I have thought of the painting and the impact it had on me. I have told people about it and totally regretted not getting it.
All these years later, I find myself back in that area. We had seen the original painting in a gallery in Pigeon Forge. This time as we were ending our shopping in Gatlinburg, I saw an art gallery. On a whim I asked my husband if we could stop in. Before we could stop and head toward the gallery, I decided – never mind. He reminded me that we had seen it in Pigeon Forge. As he’s talking, I change my mind again and headed toward the gallery. My sweet husband joined me as we stood looking around. There were abstract painting and landscapes. The owner asked if she could help. We said no and left the gallery.
Just as we were passing the last display window, THERE IT WAS! Well, a print of it anyway. I rush back in, work my way into the display to grasp the print. It was much smaller than the original painting, but I found it. As I checked out (very excited) she told me that she had another the same size but already framed. You know I bought the framed one!
Again, as I’m checking out she began to tell us how the artist is no longer painting so all you can find now are prints of his paintings and that she bought all the artwork in his gallery in Pigeon Forge last year when he closed it. She told us that the artist used this as sort of a self portrait when he painted this piece. My husband remembered talking with him all those years ago and how it may have come from the artist playing this role in a play.
I hope you find this as remarkable as I do.
“The Helmet of Salvation”
by Spencer Williams
And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. Mark 15:39