Category Archives: artandhistory

Whoo-Hoo! Got Quoted in New York Times

You have to read to the part near the bottom about Edmonia Lewis.


Lee B. Anderson filled a Manhattan town house with Gothic and Egyptian Revival furniture and Neo-classical statues of politicians and authors. Pinnacles and sphinxes sprouted from chairs, brackets and inkwells, and shelves were packed with busts of Patrick Henry and Washington Irving, among other luminaries.

Mr. Anderson, a retired art education teacher who died in 2010, often pasted labels onto his purchases, identifying makers and likely previous owners.

The collection is now being dispersed. On Sept. 8 and 9, Neal Auction in New Orleans will offer about 1,000 pieces from the estate, and about 1,000 more will appear in a Sept. 19 auction at Doyle New York. (Lots are mostly estimated at a few thousand dollars each in both sales.) More paintings and furniture are slated for Doyle in November and Sotheby’s in New York in January.

For Sept. 19, Doyle has placed a $20,000 to $40,000 estimate on an 1871 white marble relief of a gentleman in profile, sculptured by Edmonia Lewis. Mr. Anderson believed it represented Ralph Waldo Emerson. But Lewis, who had a black father and an Ojibwa mother, might have found Emerson distasteful; he considered nonwhites inferior.

Moreover, she apparently never met Emerson. “We haven’t found any record of a sitting,” said Albert Henderson, a historian who runs a Web site dedicated to the artist,, and is publishing an e-book about her.

Lewis had a busy workshop in Rome after the Civil War and often sculptured white activists, including William Lloyd Garrison and Robert Gould Shaw. Marilyn Richardson, an art historian who is writing a Lewis biography for the University of North Carolina Press, said the Doyle carving actually depicted the abolitionist Wendell Phillips.

He had flamboyant sideburns like the strands bristling on the 1871 sculpture. “She really captured him,” Ms. Richardson said in a phone interview.

[The medallion sold for $14,000.]

Harriet Hosmer

Harriet Hosmer: A Cultural Biography
by Kate Culkin

Just reviewed this for the May/June Women’s Review of Books. An interesting, informative read. We all need to know much more about pre-20th-cent. American women artists.

Another FB conversation I want to save

[ This is not a thread I started. I’ve tried to delete links that would invade people’s privacy.]

It’s the birthday of composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883).

The Ride of the Valkyries, by Richard Wagner, in a classic recording with Wilhelm Furtwangler and the Vienna Philharmonic. Illustrations are by Arthur Rackha…

    • A: I cannot celebrate the life of a rascist and influence on Hitler..
    • B: A discussion (one among many) of Wagner’s anti-Semitism is here:
    • C:  If I can’t listen to Wagner, must I also sell my VW (if I have one)?. Just sayin’
    • C: VW was, afterall, the Hitler car.
    • M. R.: It’s part of a complex conversation that will never end. Whatever the historical twists and turns, the music of Wagner causes emotional and psychological distress to many people in Israel and elsewhere. That pain should be acknowledged and honored. I, for one, will probably never sort out my feelings about the work of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound that I enjoyed and admired long before I knew of their anti-semitism. Some things even touch my way of seeing the world. What about those “Petals on a wet, black bough”?And lord knows, the entire canon of American lit. is shot through with casually vicious racist references to and descriptions of blacks, Asians, Native Americans, etc. And yet it’s part of the intellectual and cultural house in which I live.

Holy Acrobats


The Juggler of Notre Dame

Freed Slave Turned Boxer, Attributed Portrait of Tom Molineaux – Cowan’s Auctions

Freed Slave Turned Boxer, Attributed Portrait of Tom Molineaux – Cowan’s Auctions.

Globe art critic Sebastian Smee wins Pulitzer – Culture Desk – An Entertainment and cultural blog by The Boston Globe

Globe art critic Sebastian Smee wins Pulitzer – Culture Desk – An Entertainment and cultural blog by The Boston Globe.

An excellent choice. He’s a brilliant critic, full of information and curiosity, and a fine writer. I devour his pieces in the Globe.

30 perks of living in a college town in New England –

30 perks of living in a college town in New England –





Marilyn Richardson, Principal

Art + History Consultants

Watertown, MA