institute for documentary studies

{the work: Diane Sternberg}

The Dead Cat Museum

“I actually did have a dead cat museum. But I called it a mummified cat museum because, really, who would be trying to sell views of dead cats? That is just disgusting,” Kyle Murdock laughed gently. We were looking at a reproduction of “Dead Cat Museum,” painted by Jamie Wyeth in 1999. Kyle, age ten, is the subject. “It’s all about the model, by the way. It has nothing to do with the artist,” Kyle added smiling.

Deep Pockets

I was sitting on the porch outside Daniel Beaton’s modest split-level house in Searsport, Maine. An unusually intense March sun was beating down, causing me to shift toward pockets of shade created by the surrounding trees. I watched his two small dogs chase each other around the backyard. Prompted by the cries coming over his baby monitor, Daniel had gone inside during our conversation to pick up his seven-month-old daughter. When he returned, she was resting against his shoulder. His eyes glowed with fatherly pride. As he set her down on a blanket on the porch, he turned to me and said, “I am glad that somebody is paying attention to this process.”

Sailing into the Dark

“I think a few of us are afraid of sailing in the dark,” Eric revealed to me as night was settling in.

“If it wasn’t safe, we wouldn’t do it,” I assured him. But I understood why he was skeptical. Eric was one of nine Outward Bound students I was leading across Florida Bay on a thirty-foot sailboat for a week. Our destination, Crane Key, was distinguishable in the distance only because its outline was a darker shade of grey than the water around it.

About Diane

After graduating from college in the Spring of 2000, Diane continued her education by sailing  around the country. She continues to seek out adventures by land and by sea, and always looks forward to coming home with great stories to tell.

Diane Sternberg
Spring 2012

view personal site »