https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/166496157623/frozen-lives-karl-and-anna-kuerner-andrew…Now it was just her and Karl locked together in a miserable dance of conflict and rage…
A beautiful and striking cover, as well as a quality-constructed cloth-bound book. Magnificence that immediately draws interest. Of course, the great painter Andrew Wyeth already had my attention, and being enamored with his paintings now for quite some time I wished to learn more about what perhaps inspired him to paint such lovely representations of what he saw and felt around him. I was in ways intimately familiar with Wyeth’s Helga Paintings
which were the very first works of art I ever viewed first-hand. An opportunity I credit my wife for providing me when we attended together an exhibit of Wyeth’s work at the Speed Museum in Louisville, Kentucky over thirty years ago.
Reading about the life of the Kuerner family was disheartening. The incessant cruelty of father Karl, perhaps typical of the time when immigrants were escaping Europe in droves for a better life in the United States. Mother Anna remained emotionally unstable and her mind reacted violently to a life she did not want in this new country. Plus she had far too many children given her state of mind. But there was not much of Andrew Wyeth in this biography which was a major disappointment. Basically the book was a reporting of negative events and incidents based on the disturbing adult memories of the Kuerner children and other close friends and relatives. Nearing the two-thirds mark Streeter’s exposé becomes tiresome and feels as if there is some vindictive or harmful agenda at play. Obviously Karl Kuerner was guilty of spousal abuse and was extreme in his lording rule over his children. But all the blame and ridicule that emerges as the major impetus driving Streeter’s rhetoric forward eventually makes this biographical sketch not art, but a wounded bore. And a sad waste of the rare publisher who is obviously still willing to produce an elegant artifact to hold in our hands.
To be fair, the last twenty pages did provide a brief glimpse of the Kuerners’ relationship to Andrew Wyeth. But that too offered little to change the tone derived from a perpetual sadness driven by the lives of all who suffered and felt robbed of what is deemed a normal upbringing.