One of the pleasures of the holiday season is having the time to revisit family customs and traditions.  One of my favorites is going through old photo albums page by page. Celebrations are recorded in black and white and color, and old familiar faces smile back in different settings, outfits and hairdos.  This year I went through the various albums starting with the oldest album first.   Quite literally, as if I had a flip chart in my hand, I could see the years pass by.  The same friends joined my family for the major celebrations in our lives.  Marriages, graduations, birthdays were all played out through the decades.  But this year, I became aware of something new.  In each of those albums, the same painting showed up time after time, hovering above the heads of the faces being viewed.  It was one of my parents’ first major purchases, “The Truce” by Jack Dudley.  I remember the day they brought the painting home.  It is of three young boys in paper hats, with toy swords, huddling together as if in serious negotiation.  It hung in the den of our first home, one of the few paintings on the wall. And it hung in the living room of subsequent homes, surrounded by other pieces purchased over the years, still hovering over the heads of family and friends stopping for the random photograph to memorialize a special moment in our family’s life. The painting, like the photographs gathered over the years, is a family treasure shared with loved ones and passed down to future generations.

Special moments captured in photographs.  Special works of art enduring over time. Art is legacy.