Ben Solowey, “Rae Seated (Green Dress)”, 1935, oil on canvas, H. 45 x W. 36 inches, James A. Michener Art Museum. Museum purchase funded by Anne and Joseph Gardocki. Courtesy of the Studio of Ben Solowey, Bedminster, PA.

Third Place was awarded to Penelope (Penny) Duran. Penny is a 10th grader from Willy Brandt School in Warsaw, Poland. She was inspired by Rae Seated (Green Dress) by Ben Solowey. When asked her how she discovered our contest, she replied:

“A couple of years ago, I identified another ekphrastic poetry contest, for which I enjoyed writing a poem about sculpture. That experience motivated me to search for more ekphrasic contests. I was over the moon when I found the opportunity with the Michener Art Museum.”

Lady in Green

All in town bear a great envy,

Toward guardant green-clad lady,

Lioness regaled in riches allegedly,

Due to a marriage gained by beauty,

Many resent her life made easy.


Behind a veneer of curtains of gold,

Deep scars obscured, despair untold,

Money warms not a heart turned cold,

From a love stolen before he grew old,

Imagined time together a broken mold.


Look on her face mistaken for a sneer,

Is but a veil for her sorrow, a veneer,

Despite absent townsfolk at perimeter,

Gossip eddies in a disembodied leer,

She pines for the life of departed dear.


A finger emblazed with silver ring,

Its prescient partner forever missing,

Alone with riches and extravagant things,

Memory her only compassion brings,

‘Til she’s reunited with her everlasting.


Learn more about our exhibit by visiting our website: 30 Years: Art at the Michener, 1988-2018. You can learn more about ekphrastic poetry by reading our first post.