A Personal Reflection by Dr. Frank H. Boehm
It was a beautiful fall day in New york City two years ago, and i was making the most of it by walking down one of my very favorite streets, Madison Avenue. It is on this intimate street where you can find boutiques that specialize in almost anything from caviar to art. And it is in this unique part of the city where people shop with an eye for the beautiful, different, and unusual.
It was as I slowly strolled past the many small places of business that fall day that I saw a sign with one word above the door, Daum. I knew about Daum for it was one of my favorite pieces of glass art. But to help you understand how I came to be such a lover of porcelain and glass art I need to first tell you about my mother.
Ilse Boehm was born in Germany and came to America in 1938 with my father to escape the ravages of what was happening to the Jews of Europe. They were forced to leave most of their possessions behind when they fled to America, but my mother, a true lover of porcelain, brought with her many of her beautiful hand- painted plates and figurines. And so it was in a house that displayed many exquisite porcelain objects where I was born and raised.
As I grew older and developed my own taste in art, it should come as no surprise that I became a lover of porcelain and eventually glass. The very first pieces I remember purchasing were Boehm porcelain art sculptures. I placed these beautiful birds and flowers around my home just as my mother had in her home. I also fell in love with Herend hand- painted china and figurines, and Steuben and Lalique glass, which also became fixtures in many of the rooms in my home.
I love the way these art objects make me feel, and I love that I am surrounded by the essence of my beloved mother’s memory. My mother laid a foundation for me to find comfort in the beauty of art.
After I married Julie, her mother Dorothy gave us a gift of glass I knew nothing about called Daum. Dorothy had exquisite taste. She knew I would love this piece of art. Daum Crystal studio is in Nancy, France, and was founded in 1878 by Jean Daum. It is the only commercial crystal manufacturer employing the glass paste process for art glass and crystal sculptures that comes from an ancient Egyptian method of glass casting.
I obtained several other pieces of Daum, and my love for the beauty of this glass grew each time I noticed its presence in the room. And so, it was on this fall afternoon that I stopped in front of the Daum boutique and told my companions to proceed without me. I had to go inside.
It did not take long once I made my way around this incredible store of beautiful art for me
to see a Daum bowl, purple in color and reflecting light that shone above its place of residence.
As I stood in front of this unusual colored piece of beauty, I knew I had to have it and place it in my home near a window that would shine natural light onto its unique surfaces.
Clearly, it was an impulse buy, something I almost never do. But to this day, each and every time I pass this piece of beautiful art, a smile comes to my face and I am comforted. That is what art can do for all of us. It can bring a smile, a chill down the spine, or a tear to the eye, and it can bring a sense of the past back into our lives.