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The Blossoming of the World
By Brian H. Peterson
“Think of all the words that describe what it’s like to be a living organism, then dump every word into a saucepan and boil them for a few hours until only the essential residue remains. Joy and terror. That’s what is left in the pan. This book is about making some joy marmalade and slathering it on the wheat toast of terror, then having a big crunchy bite every day.”
“I think I’ve been an artist since the zygote stage,” says author Brian H. Peterson in his new memoir The Blossoming of the World: Essays and Images. But his decades-
Composer, art critic, arts administrator, curator, scholar, teacher, photographer,
writer – Peterson has worn all these hats … not to mention janitor, salesman and
Peterson picked up both pen and camera once again for The Blossoming of the World.
More storyteller than philosopher, the author struggles to understand the terrifying
contradictions of life—beauty and violence, loss and joy—while trying to reconcile
his Christian faith with his love of science, creativity and spirituality. Full-
“We all tend to deal with contradictions by choosing sides. I think that’s a mistake,” Peterson writes in his prelude to readers. “Take religion for example. I’ll bet religion has killed more people than all the hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and lightning bolts that ever turned and twisted and rumbled and blasted around the globe. But I wonder if lack of religion can be just as deadly.”
An esteemed museum professional with more than 25 years experience as a leader in the Philadelphia arts community, Peterson is the Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His personal photography is in the collections of the Amon Carter Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Library of Congress, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the State Museum of Pennsylvania and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
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