Living a bit hand-to-mouth? Not particularly flush with the rush of economic recovery? Feeling singularly unappreciated for your artistic contributions?
Wander over to the new exhibit at the George Peabody Library, “For Love or Money: Art, Commerce & Stephen Crane.” You’re sure to be uplifted when you see that you are not alone; moreover, your problems are a cliché that’s a little more than 100 years old.
What better place than Baltimore, and what better time than now, to showcase the American literary genius who penned The Red Badge of Courage and saw himself as a soldier in the “beautiful war for truthful art?”
Crane, who was the quadruple threat of journalist, poet, short story writer and novelist, could have been the poster boy for the starving artist. In the turn-of-the century photographs on display throughout the exhibit, his lean, angular face has the faraway yet unflinchingly driven expression of an Amy Winehouse. It’s eerily, disturbingly familiar—almost as if there’s a genetic marker for the look of artists who die in their late 20s.