Some people believe that because I'm no longer among you they know all there is to know about me. I beg to differ.

Some also think they've seen every work I ever created. How foolish! My advice to them: look again. I did not make public everything I created, because I also had a private life. I did studies that were never intended for the marketplace. I painted Americans at work and at leisure, and I painted for my own delight. Some things I created to externalize my thoughts and perceptions of myself and my life. How can anyone who was not there pretend to know them all?

I must confess I take somewhat personally that someone who never knew me, who was born after I was long departed from this sweet earth, believes they know more of me than I know of myself. You do not know me, you never knew me, how can you pretend to speak for me, to close my catalog of works as though you were as omniscient as He who created us all? You embarrass yourself.

Yet there are those who understand my life and work well enough to know me when they encounter me. For yes, I still live, there is a part of me in every painting. If your eyes and ears are open, you will hear me speak to you, you will see my spirit in those things I left behind. To deny me is to take my legacy unto yourself as though it were your own. I assure you, it is not yours, nor will it ever be. It belongs to me, and to humankind, and again I caution any who presume to interpose themselves between us.

Therein lies a tale...