Young Husband: First Marketing, Lilly Martin Spencer (1854)

I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art today for Holiday Monday. I had the museum almost entirely to myself, in part I suspect because many folks worked today and those who didn’t were outdoors enjoying the cool weather. The Holiday Mondays on which the Met tends to get the most traffic are Martin Luther King Jr and Presidents Days, when more people are off and everyone is trying to find something to do indoors because it is so cold out. Someone at the museum told me that next year the museum is going to be open every Monday, as I believe if once used to be. I cannot get enough of the New American Wing. I love the confluence of art and history, especially in the antebellum period before photography when realism was more important for our understanding of society.

I was at a public function last Wednesday where someone mentioned the beautiful Augustus Saint-Gaudens Farragut statue in Madison Square Park. She had recently read David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris and was especially moved by McCullough’s take on the sculptor’s efforts to bring the artwork to reality. (The short version is here.) This led to a discussion of how much thought, tim, and effort artists expend on and for their work. That conversation was going through my mind when I checked out Gauden’s mock-up for the larger piece:

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1879-1880)

Speaking of museums, in late spring I mentioned a trip a friend and I took to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The clip below is from an exhibit that opened this week at the New-York Historical Society about New York City during World War 2. I have always been entranced by this time period, partially because of my love for Woody Allen movies and Pete Hamill’s stories and non-fiction. Both saw the war and the city through the prism of young boys’ eyes. I have this one penciled in for Black Friday. It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is just six weeks away.

(images courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art, painting (top) promised gift)