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 Page 9 

THE MAY 2011  



By Carlton Hendricks


16 pages - 16,521 words - 33 photo pages

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Harvard Square and  University grounds

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Leavitt & Peirce 

Tobacco Shop

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Basketball Hall of
Fame, Springfield MA

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Harvard University Sports Trophies at Murr Center

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Yale Univ. Trophy Room
at Payne Whitney Gym

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Museum of 
Fine Arts Boston





Once it sunk in that was Paul Revere's silver work, directly as you enter the American wing...thee Paul Revere...the one that rode the midnight ride...it was emotional, as were the paintings of Washington...Revere, Washington, Jefferson...God's instruments of our freedom....


The paintings of George Washington were particularly meaningful to me...One you could never forget for it's size was titled the "Passage of the Delaware" c1819 by Thomas Sully 17831872...which depicted Washington on a white horse right before he dismounted to cross the river and engage the British at Trenton New Jersey. When I say British, they were actually German troops hired by the British. The event took place on Christmas day 1776. 


Washington's crossing of the Delaware River, which occurred on December 25, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, was the first move in a surprise attack organized by George Washington against the Hessian forces in Trenton, New Jersey. Planned in partial secrecy, Washington led a column of Continental Army troops across the icy Delaware River in a logistically challenging and potentially dangerous operation. -Wikipedia


The work measured an incredible 207 inches wide by 146 1/2 inches tall....Just think of the size of your average double garage door plus tahoecrp.jpg (12832 bytes) add about five feet to the top. Actually maybe this will give you a better idea...a 2011 Chevy Tahoe SUV measures 79 inches wide...so you could drive two Chevy Tahoes' thru the painting at the same time and still have 16.33 inches between and on each side of them. Please note the MFA may frown on that so please don't try it.



I apologize I can not show you a photo of the painting. I took numerous shots until I WashDelaware.jpg (25732 bytes) got just the right one with a few people in front to illustrate it's behemoth girth...then the MFA said no can use. Sully's work should not to be confused with the more well known painting of the subject "Washington's crossing of the Delaware River" by Emanuel Leutze in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. That one shows Washington standing at the helm of a boat and was done more than thirty years later than Sully's. 


There was a matching pair of two paintings of George and Martha that were only partially finished by Gilbert Stuart 1755-1828. As I recall, the little card next to the painting said Martha didn't like the one of George....However the likeness must have been remarkable since Stuart ended up keeping it and using it as his model for many more paintings of him including our dollar bill. So from  that I would ascertain observing it is about as close as you'll ever get to seeing George Washington in person!


And there was a painting of Paul Revere by John Tom-Bosley1[1].jpg (19113 bytes) Singleton Copley which was very life like and clear...How many people would recognize the name Paul Revere? How many people would recognize Paul Revere?...I never knew what he looked like till I saw that painting....kind of like Tom Bosley, the actor who played Richie's dad on Happy Days...Hey I'm doing the best I can I have to improvise.



Another couple great paintings I saw were...The Torn Hat by Thomas Sully 1783-1872 of a young boy in a floppy hat...And Boys in a pasture by Winslow Homer 1836-1930...Some of the other great American painters represented were John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, and William Merrit Chase...in real time money....multi millions of dollars worth of paintings. Another painting that stood out was Boston Common at Twilight by Childe Hassam. It was of a street in downtown Boston at sunset at the turn of the century with snow on the ground. The scene was simple; of a well to do lady with two little girls. It didn't tell a story it just expressed a peaceful mood and gave a glimpse of Boston that period. Hassam added 1885-6 next to his signature so we know it was painted around December and January those years; an invaluable personalization. The description card said Hassam felt artists should paint there own time and surroundings. For the most part I think that argument has much merit; it lends a genuine quality and makes a painting more interesting. It was neat they had a copy of a cabinet photos of Hassam next to the description card so you could see what he looked like. 



There was a preliminary sketch for the water color painting "John Biglin in aThoEakins.jpg (160307 bytes) Single Scull" by the Philadelphia painter Thomas Eakins. Because of it's large size, and character I liked it practically as much as a painting. It measured around 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall. The original water color is in the Met in New York....and Yale University Art Gallery has a copy Eakins made to send to a teacher in Paris. To the left is a photo of  Thomas Eakins...not Robert Downey Jr....The Biglin Brothers John, James and Barney were renown professional oarsman from New York City in the late 19th century. Eakins did at least three rowing paintings with one or more of the brothers. I addressed two other Eakins painting in my 2007 National story which you can see here. The description card misspelled Biglin as Biglen with an e.



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