The Patrick W. Costello
Art, Engrossing & Illumination
When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.
- African proverb
“I recently came across this African proverb. In a rather dramatic way, it describes a sad, stark truth about life and death. For the author, I assume the “library” represents the reservoir of skill, knowledge & wisdom accumulated during a lifetime of experiences, intangible treasures lost when a person dies.
I thought about this as it relates to PW. When the old man or woman is an artist, a tangible, often extensive body of artwork is left behind. Talent is likely to be passed on to descendants. The library of art, which poignantly reflects the life experience of the artist, also embodies his values, knowledge, wisdom and perception of the beauty he observed in the world around him. PW’s library survives, not passively, but with vitality and energy. Seven decades after his death, his art continues to inspire, enrich and instruct. In ways observable, in other ways more elusive and beyond the reach of human understanding, his art, and the beauty and truth it embodies and continues to evoke in the viewer, are eternal and will live on.
PW Costello was an extraordinarily gifted artist who discovered his innate talent at an early age, had no formal art education, overcame significant hardship against great odds, and went on to became a prolific engrosser and portrait artist, a master penman ranked high among his peers. In less than five decades, he created a vast library of masterpieces that inspire us now and will continue to inspire future generations.” Tom Costello, great-grandson of Patrick W. Costello
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