The Art of Winslow Wilson & Pico Miran: Two Artists – One Life
June 8 – July 8, 2019
Rockport Art Association and Museum
12 Main Street, Rockport, MA
There are about forty Winslow Wilson (1892-1974) paintings in the exhibit and a new catalogue. I look foward to considering his work in person.
Back in February 2017, I wrote about Wilson/Miran in response to a GMG query from the artist’s granddaughter, Claudia Wilson-Howard, and her painstaking research and writing about his mysterious life and forgotten art, and filled in more context. Her excellent work is the genesis for the museum show and rediscovery of the artist. Wilson was a member and teacher at the Rockport Art Association. For local readers, Claudia’s online catalogue about his work www.winslowwilson.com helpfully provides some Gloucester addresses associated with Wilson.
June 21, 1951: Bradford Building, 209 Main Room 208, Gloucester, MA
August 1, 1951: Marine Basin, E. Gloucester, MA
June 18, 1952: Bradford Building, 209 Main Room 208, Gloucester, MA
July 26, 1955: Bradford Building, 209 Main Room 208, Gloucester, MA
1967 maybe 195 Main Street, Gloucester, MA
1969 maybe 195 Main Street, Gloucester, MA
June 2, 1971: PO. Box 414, Gloucester, MA
I added these: 21 Est 15th Street, 154 East 39th Street, Carnegie Hall, 3 Washington Square North in Greenwich Village, Woodstock, N.Y., and Lime Rock, CT.
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“…I think a history of Christianity, which is a kind of story, serves us better if it has all the loose ends, the complexities, the multiple voices, the difficulties, the things that don’t add up, the roads not taken—all of that,” she says. “We need complexity for the complexity of our lives.”
“Karen’s book really shifted the discussion,” says Princeton religion scholar Elaine Pagels, Ph.D. ’70, LL.D. ’13, whose 1979 bestseller The Gnostic Gospels dislodged the idea of early Christianity as a unified movement and launched the conversation that What Is Gnosticism? later took up. “Karen’s book showed how those terms”—Gnosticism, heresy, orthodoxy—“were coined, how those concepts were shaped, and how late they came into scholarly discourse,” says Pagels. “It’s like clearing away the brush, so that people could look at these texts with a much more open mind.”
“As an undergraduate at the University of Montana in the early 1970s, King took a religious studies course from John Turner, one of the scholars working to edit and translate the Nag Hammadi texts. In class, she and other students read unpublished drafts of English translations that the wider public wouldn’t see for several years. It was electrifying. King had never imagined that there were early Christian writings beyond the Bible. “Why these texts and not those?” she wondered. And: “Who decided, and why?”
I was fortunate enough to spend another day at Endicott College photographing the Boston Cannons Major League Lacrosse game….this time against none other than the New York Lizards and their Paul Rabil. The Boston/New York rivalry exists on the lacrosse field as it does on the court, the rink, and in the end zones of other major league sports. Both teams were phenomenal to watch and at many points during the game the score was tied. After an unreal beginning to the 4th quarter, the Cannons were able to rally and finish the game up 15-13.
As with before, I was struck by not only the fast paced and action packed game, but also the incredibly fan-friendly environment. Lacrosse is no joke and the speed, agility, and fierceness demonstrated on the field is in stark contrast to the friendly and engaging fan experience that takes place on the sidelines after the game. Which simply adds to its appeal.
The two games at Endicott College were part of the Boston Cannons Cannons in Your Community initiative that’s goal was to bring Major League Lacrosse to both the North and South Shore areas. The South Shore games took place in Hingham.
Endicott was a spectacular venue for a large sporting event and nothing would make me happier than hearing that the Cannons will be returning next summer. That being said, I look forward to heading into Boston later this season to catch the action on their home field at Harvard Stadium.
The Cannons’ next home game is on Saturday, July 28th at 5:00 pm
Justice Lowy’s JUDGEMENT was released April 5, 2018. The Museum may sell Shuffleton’s Barbershop, and — via Sotheby’s– the remaining 39 works free of any restrictions.
“The museum has satisfied its burden of establishing that is has become impossible or impracticable to administer the Museum strictly in accordance with its chartiable purpose, thus entitling the Museum to relief under the doctrine of equitable deviation. Accordingly the court allows the Museum’s request for equitable relief to sell the designated artwork.”
Justice Lowy MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING
Reaction from Sotheby’s Auction House:
“We are very pleased that the court approved the agreement reached between the Berkshire Museum and the Massachusetts Attorney General. We look forward to working with the museum to ensure a bright future for the people of Pittsfield and Western Massachusetts.” Judge Lowy’s decision came in just in time to meet the auction’s press deadline clearing for art sales this spring, else sales would have been pushed back till the fall at the earliest. The catalogue pages are ready from last fall’s prep.
Reaction from Elizabeth McGraw, President, Berkshire Museum Board of Trustees:
“This is great news for the people of Berkshire County and everyone who visits the Berkshire Museum for one-of-a-kind experiences in history, art, and science. We recognize this decision may not please those who have opposed the museum’s plans. Still, we hope people will be able to move forward in a constructive way to help us secure and strengthen the future of this museum, at a time when our community needs it more than ever. “
“Save the Art-Save the Museum continues to oppose the sale of the Berkshire Museum’s art treasures and its unrestricted use of the resulting funds. We also regret the judge’s disregard of the public trust in which the museum held its collections. The impending sale will not only diminish Pittsfield as a city claiming to be of cultural import to Berkshire County, but will reverberate destructively for years through collections similarly held in trust throughout the state and country. As a group, we will make a more detailed statement after meeting in person to consider the loss to our community and its impact.”
Have a look back at an inspiring 1965 Berkshire Eagle profile about Berkshire Museum Director Stuart C. Henry, and an earlier feature from the Berkshire Evening Eagle, published Thursday, Aug. 20, 1953, heralding the Berkshire Museum’s 50th anniversary. Both convey the museum’s seamless blend of high art, science, community and education.
From the United States Hockey Hall of Fame printed matter, hockey player and stellar hockey coach, Ben Smith:
Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) served as head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team in 1998, 2002 and 2006, leading Team USA to the first-ever gold medal in women’s hockey at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. It was the crowning achievement in a storied coaching career.
Described by his players as a direct and passionate perfectionist, Smith compiled a 37-7 record in IIHF Women’s World Championship and Olympic competition during his tenure at the helm from 1996 to 2006, a span that included two gold medals, six silver medals and one bronze medal. And while Smith’s high-profile exploits as a women’s hockey coach gained him enshrinement into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2016, his hall-of-fame résumé extends far beyond a single brilliant decade.
The son of a U.S. Senator*, Smith was a standout hockey player at Harvard University in the late 1960s. After graduation, he served as an assistant men’s hockey coach at the University of Massachusetts Amherst while also coaching high school hockey in Gloucester. He eventually became a men’s hockey assistant coach at Yale University, where he served for five seasons before joining Jack Parker’s coaching staff at Boston University. During his nine seasons at BU, the Terriers made three NCAA Tournament appearances and won four Beanpot Tournament championships.
Smith’s first taste of international competition came in 1985 when he was named an assistant coach for the U.S. National Junior Team. He served in a similar capacity in 1986 and 1987 and was also an assistant coach for the 1987 U.S. Men’s National Team. In 1988, Smith was appointed as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. He soon earned his first head coaching appointment, taking the helm at Dartmouth College in 1990 and then moving to the same role at Northeastern University, where he led the Huskies to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1994.
Smith remains active with USA Hockey serving in a player evaluation role for many international teams, including the gold medal-winning 2017 U.S. National Junior Team.”
Christies, the New York auction power house is currently marketing the Peggy and David Rockefeller art collection across the (art)world–Hong Kong, London, and Los Angeles– before the spring 2018 live sale back in New York. The collection includes a painting by American artist, Edward Hopper (1882-1967), that was inspired by Gloucester: Cape Ann Graniteis one of the rare Hopper paintings remaining that’s not currently held in a museum. There are more than 110 Gloucester houses and vistas depicted by Edward Hopper.
Advance promotion of Christie’s upcoming Rockefeller auction have yet to illustrate the painting, although the artist’s recognizable name is mentioned in every press release and the painting is included in the world tour highlights exhibit. The catalogue for the sale is not ready.
Former owners of Cape Ann Granite have in common connections to Harvard, banking and art collecting
Billionaire and philanthropist, David Rockefeller (1915-2017), was a Harvard graduate and longtime CEO of Chase Manhattan bank (later JP Morgan Chase). His art appreciation began early, influenced by both parents and the Rockefeller family collections. His father was the only son of John D. Rockefeller, a co-founder of Standard Oil Corp. His mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874-1948), helped establish the Museum of Modern Art, and the fund in her name helped secure Hopper’s Corner Saloon for the permanent collection. Several family members were Trustees. After his mother’s death, David took her Trustee seat.
Like David Rockefeller, the first owner to acquire Cape Ann Granite was a Harvard graduate, art collector and financier, about the same age as Rockefeller’s parents, and Hopper. Benjamin Harrison Dibblee (1876 – 1945) was the scion of California businessman, Albert Dibblee. The family estate “Fernhill” was built in 1870 in Ross, California (later the Katharine Branson School). Benjamin H Dibblee was a Harvard graduate (1895-1899), an All-American Crimson football player (halfback and Team Captain), and head coach (1899-1900). W.H. Lewis, a famous center rush, was the Assistant Coach. (Harvard football dominated under this coaching team. See the standings below the “read more’ break.) In 1909, Dibblee donated his father’s historic papers concerning California’s secret Civil War group “The Home Guard of 1861” including its muster roll and pledge of loyalty to Lincoln and the Union cause.Dibblee was an alternate delegate from California to the Republican National Convention in 1912. As a Lt. Col. he was listed as one of five California committee members for the American Legion in 1919. He was a big wheel investment banker at EH Rollins & Sons, a firm impacted by the Wall Street crash of 1929.
Wikipedia photo of Dibblee from The Official National Collegiate Athletic Association football guide, 1899
It’s fun to think about Dibblee possibly visiting Gloucester during his time at Harvard, like so many students and faculty; then, decades later, acquiring a major Hopper because it was both a modern masterpiece, and a Gloucester landscape.
The Hopper Cape Ann Granite painting has me itching to research all Crimson team photos– not simply varsity nor football circa 1895-97– because of the (remote) chance of another Gloucester-Harvard and athletic connection. In 1895 Dibblee was involved with sports at Harvard at the same time as author and Olympian, James Connolly. In 1899 both were involved with football; Dibblee as the Harvard coach and Connolly as Gloucester’s athletic director and football player**. Maybe they scrimmaged. Maybe they scrimmaged in Gloucester.
Hopper’s artist inventory log pages for ‘1928 oils’ itemizes Cape Ann Granite as follows: “Sent on from Gloucester September 27, 1928, 3 canvases. Cape Ann Granite, 29 x 40, Green picture on hill with rocks. Fresh green in foreground. Slanting shadows cast by rocks and boulders. Sky blue with clouds. Small tree on R. BH Mr. Dibblee 49 Wall Streeet of San Francisco (Lived near 14 miles from San Francisco. Knows Alex Baldwin in Calif. (SanFrancisco) 1500 -1/3. 1000 on June 5, 194 ”
The pencil annotation “Modern Masters EH 1933” accompanying the thumbnail sketch for the painting on the right of this entry may be mixed up. There was a “Modern Masters” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) held in 1940 but it did not include this painting on the checklist. There was an Edward Hopper Retrospective held at MoMA October 30–December 8 in 1933 that did list this Gloucester painting, and the lender, Dibblee. (Incidentally, two other 1928 oils catalogued on that same inventory page, Manhattan Bridge Loop and Freightcars Gloucester, would both end up in the Addison Gallery collection at Phillips Academy.)
The Pure Landscapes
Excerpts from the 1933 MoMa Hopper retrospective exhibition catalogue:
“…When Hopper went to art school the swagger brushstroke of such painters as Duveneck, Henri, and Chase was much admired. Perhaps as a reaction against this his own brushwork has grown more and more modest until it is scarcely noticeable. He shuns all richness of surface save where it helps him to express a particular sensation…in spite of his matter-of-factness, Hopper is a master of pictorial drama. But his actors are rarely human: the houses and thoroughfares of humanity are there, but they are peopled more often by fire hydrants, lamp posts, barber poles and telegraph poles than by human beings. When he does introduce figures among his buildings they often seem merely incidental. Perhaps during his long years as an illustrator he grew tired drawing obviously dramatic figures for magazines. Hopper has painted a few pictures in which there are neither men nor houses. The pure landscapes Cape Ann Granite (9), Hills, South Truro (16), Camel’s Hump (22) occupy a place apart in his work. they reveal a power which is diconcertingly hard to analyze. Cezanne and Courbet and John Crome convey sometimes a similar depth of feeling towards the earth and nature…” Alfred Barr, 1933
“In its most limited sense, modern art would seem to concern itself only with the technical innovations of the period. In its larger and to me irrevocable sense it is the art of all time; of definite personalites that remain forever modern by the fundamental truth that is in them. It makes Moliere at his greatest as new as Ibsen, or Giotto as modern as Cezanne.” Edward Hopper, 1933
Yale owns a related watercolor by Edward Hopper, Cape Ann Pasture
Proceeds from the sale of the Peggy and David Rockefeller art collection at Christies next spring will benefit 10 selected charities. Perhaps a magnanimous collector might consider this Hopper Dogtown purchase for the Cape Ann Museum, a philanthropic twofer in this case, and needed. Cape Ann Museum does not possess a Hopper Gloucester painting and if any musuem should, it’s CAM. We need to eventually guide back the Hopper painting Gloucester Street, too.
To date Christie’s auction house has promoted primarily a Picasso and Matisse as the star lots from this collection of masterpieces because of their hefty valuation. The presale estimate for the Matisse Odalisque couchée aux magnolias (1923) is 50 million. The Picasso painting, Fillette à la corbeille fleurie (1905), a “Rose period Masterwork”, is estimated to top 70 million. The presale estimate for the Hopper is 6 million to 8 million.
The Picasso was diplayed in the libary of the Rockefeller Upper East Side mansion at 146 East 65th Street. Its first owners were Gertrude and Leo Stein. Gertrude Stein hated it though her brother bought it anyway. After Alice B. Toklas (Stein’s partner) died in 1965, MoMa trustees drew lots and were offered first pass on the legendary Stein collection. David Rockefeller won first pick, and selected the Picasso. I wonder how it will fare in this #metoo awakening. At the time of her death, Toklas had long been evicted from their Paris home as she had no legal standing nor benefit from any estate sales.
Riley James, a Junior at Barnstable High School and two time Boston Herald All Scholastic gave $1000 to a cause near and dear to her heart: Cape Cod Champs Special Olympics. She won the money from earning the distinction of Gatorade MA Volleyball Player of the Year. Riley went on to win the national Gatorade Play it Forward contest which awarded an additional $10,000! Riley wrote about her friend, Sara, and the programs in Barnstable schools and Cape Cod Champs where she volunteers. Sara is my goddaughter.
Coach Tom Turco led the Barnstable girls volleyball team to 18 Division One State Championships, the most wins in Massachusetts girls’ volleyball history. Turco established adapted physical education in Barnstable.
“Everyone has their needs, just in different ways,” (Coach) Turco
“You’re only as successful as the will of your players,” Turco said. “You have to practice and take time to develop the will of your players.”
Sara loves sports and manages the high school volleyball team. Here she is #16 with the Cape Cod Champs volleyball team at Special Olympics, Harvard, Boston MA.
Cape Cod Champs – team before game (riley speaking with sara)
Waiting for the next volleyball game Riley and Sara with Cape Cod Champs
volleyball Special Olympics Harvard field House Cape Cod Champs
The Cape Cod Champs Special Olympics equivalent organization here in Gloucester and throughout Cape Ann is Cape Ann SNAP. Learn more about the Cape Ann Special Needs Assistance Programhttp://capeannsnap.org/ Local friends and supporters include: CATA, Azorean, North Shore 104.9, Dunkin Donuts, The Bridge Cape Ann, Turning Point Systems, Maplewood Car Wash, Gloucester House, Beauport ambulance, Protective Packaging, Beauport Princess, George’s of Gloucester, Beauport Princess, USA Demolition, JM Vacation Home Rentals, Prince Insurance Agency, Jalapenos, Sudbay, Passports, Katrina’s, Destinos, Wicked Peacock, Lat 43, and microfiber greens towel. Support also includes Mark Adrian, Lone Gull, Kids Unlimited, Topside Grill, Marshall’s Farmstand and the Fish Shack
Read the fabulous Riley James Cape Cod Champs essay for Gatorade Massachusetts Volleyball Player of the Year, plus a bit more inspiration from amazing Coach Turco
“…Eliot’s father, Henry, who ran a company that manufactured bricks, took the family to Massachusetts every summer, and in 1896, the year Eliot turned eight, Henry built a big house on Cape Ann, in Gloucester, overlooking the outer harbor. Until Eliot went off to Europe, in 1914, he spent his summers there…”
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The Gloucester Daily Times published this image in 1923 with the photo caption: “Now Under Construction on the Southern Side of Western Avenue, this Project When Completed Will Give Gloucester one of the Finest Approaches of Any City on the Atlantic Seaboard.” The meticulously hand drawn credit within the drawing itself caught my eye as much as the drawing: “Proposed Treatment of Waterfront, Gloucester, Mass. Thomas W. Sears Landscape Architect, Providence RI”. Thomas W. Sears was a remarkable 20th Century landscape designer. The modern Boulevard work completed in 2014-17 gracefully carries out and returns to the original dreams for the Western Avenue highway and park that are more than a century in the making.
Thomas Warren Sears (1880-1966) preliminary designs for Gloucester’s future Boulevard
Thomas Warren Sears was born in 1880 in Brookline, Massachusetts, and grew up in this modest family abode at the corner of Beacon and Charles Street. This black and white house portrait was shot in 1897.
Here’s a Google street view photo for comparison today.
After being ousted from the New York City parks department, the ‘father of American landscape design’, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903), launched his business a ten minute walk from the Sears family home. The headquarters at 99 Warren Street was named “Fairsted” and was in operation until 1979 when it was declared a National Historic Site and transferred to the National Parks.
“There are two main approaches to cities: (1) On water by boat, and (2) on land by railroad. Along both of these lines of approach land should be taken for public use, and for very different reasons. Take first the use of water fronts: Unless some provision is made for the public, the whole water front, whether it be river or harbor, may be usurped by commercial enterprise and the public deprived of ever seeing the water except when aboard a boat. In certain cases, as in New York, where the water front must of necessity be utilised for dockage, a combination of commercial and public use may be successfully employed. There the docks are owned by the city and leased by the steamship companies; in this way their appearance can be controlled. At present it is planned to build on the tops of these docks huge recreation parks which may be used by the public.”- 1911 Thomas W. Sears
Mike Hale’s contemporary perspective shares a similar philosophy with Sears:
“An effort has been made in this paper to show clearly that landscape architecture is utilitarian quite as much as esthetic; that whatever one is designing, whether it be a city plan or any of the elements in a city, the design should be governed by use as much as beauty.” – 1911 Thomas W. Sears
By 1917 Sears was commissioned regularly and had a long, full career including notable designs for the Reynolda estate now part of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the wildly influential outdoor amphitheater for Swarthmore College, the Scott Outdoor Auditorium. His work in Gloucester is rarely mentioned.
Since the Gloucester drawing was marked ‘Providence’, I knew the drawing was done long before the 1923 construction. I tentatively dated the schematic ca.1910. Thankfully Thomas Warren Sears was a photographer, too. Turns out that this image is a Sears’ photograph of a lovely Sears’ design. The glass negative is dated 1908 which squares with his professional career timeline.
ALL NEW LED LIGHTS
One of the modern design elements is the welcome ornamentation of lights. They feel like they were always here because line is such an essential part of design and they add the vertical visual interest. When I saw the new light bases I thought of the line of trees in the Sears drawing. I love the mix of natural and formal design in his rendering, but am equally gobsmacked by the sweeping open vista. Both are sensitive approaches and part of the context of the Boulevard’s build.
Thomas Warren Sears photographed Western Avenue for his preparatory work. See the homes along the beach that were later removed for the construction of the Boulevard; distant vistas to the Surfside Hotel (built after Pavilion burned) and Stage Fort park; and Western Avenue street scenes looking east and west before the road was widened.
“This Saturday morning forum is offered in collaboration with Essex County Greenbelt, Friends of Dogtown, Lanesville Community Center and Mass Audubon and held at Cape Ann Museum. The forum will be moderated by Ed Becker, President of the Essex County Greenbelt Association.”
UPDATE: Cape Ann TV is scheduled to film the event!
Chris Leahy gave a presentation at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library on February 23, 2017: Dogtown- the Biography of a Landscape: 750 Million Years Ago to the Present A photographic history through slides presented by the Gloucester Lyceum and the Friends of the Library. Mary Weissblum opened the program.
Chris broadly covered the history of the local landscape from an ecological bent with a bias to birds and blueberry picking, naturally. New England is a patchwork of forested landscapes. He stressed the evolution of bio diversity and succession phenomenon when the earth and climate change. “Nature takes a lot of courses.” He focused on Dogtown, “a very special place”, and possible merits of land stewardship geared at fostering greater biodiversity. Perhaps some of the core acres could be coaxed to grasslands as when parts of Gloucester were described as moors? Characteristic wildlife, butterflies, and birds no longer present may swing back. There were many philosophical takeaways and tips: he recommends visiting the dioramas “Changes in New England Landscape” display at Harvard Forest HQ in Petersham.
“Isolation of islands is a main driver of evolution”
“Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester has the highest concentration* of native butterflies in all of Massachusetts because of secondary habitats.” *of Mass Audubon’s c.40,000 acres of wildlife sanctuaries statewide. “The fact that Brook Meadow Brook is in greater Worcester, rather than a forested wilderness, underscores the value of secondary habitats.”
“1830– roughly the time of Thoreau (1817-1862)– was the maximum period of clearing thus the heyday for grasslands…As farmsteads were abandoned, stages of forests return.”
Below are photos from February 23, 2017. I added some images of art inspired by Dogtown. I also pulled out a photograph by Frank L Cox, David Cox’s father, of Gallery on the Moors (then) compared with a photo of mine from 2011 to illustrate how the picturesque description wasn’t isolated to Dogtown.
Louise Upton Brumback (1867-1929), Dogtown- Cape Ann, 1920 oil on canvas
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I love the designs of the Papel Picado, especially the Dia de los Muertos skeletons doing everyday things. I found some at Nomad in Cambridge. Deb Colburn, the owner, curates gorgeous folk art for her shop from all around Mexico, and from all around the world. She’s a very sweet person to stop in and visit with, and is also very knowledge about Mexican culture. Nomad is located at 1741 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.
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There is a beautiful ofrenda at the Peabody Museum at Harvard, which is where I learned about the Mexican Purépecha indigenous people’s name for the Monarch butterfly, the “Harvester.” The altar is part of the Museum’s permanent collection and is on display year round.
The Peabody Museum’s exhibition of a Day of the Dead ofrenda or altar is located in the Encounters With the Americas gallery. The exhibit features pieces from the Alice P. Melvin Collection of Mexican Folk Art and represents the Aztec origins of the holiday and the Catholic symbols incorporated into the tradition, from skeletons to plush Jesus figures.
The altar is contained within a box covered with panels that were decorated by local students and regional and international artists. The altars were designed by the Peabody exhibitions staff and Mexican artists Mizael Sanchez and Monica Martinez.
Originating with the Aztecs, the Mexican Day of the Dead is a unique blend of Mesoamerican and Christian rituals. The holiday, which is celebrated on November 1, All Saints’ Day, is usually dedicated to children; November 2, All Souls’ Day, is dedicated to adults.
Traditions vary from region to region, but generally families gather at cemeteries to tend and decorate the graves of their departed loved ones and remember them by telling stories, eating their favorite foods, and dancing in their honor. Many families build altars at home, decorated with flowers and food, especially pan de muerto or “bread of the dead.” A festive and social occasion, the holiday welcomes the return of those who have died and recognizes the human cycle of life and death.
The Peabody’s permanent altar features items from the Alice P. Melvin collection of Mexican folk art. To see these items, click here.
Curated by Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America and Mexican artist Mizael Sanchez.
To watch a video interview with Mizael Sanchez, click here.
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Today is the first day of track and field at O’Maley Innovation Middle School. On this 120th anniversary of the first day of the modern Olympics (thanks Google Doodle), may our student athletes be inspired by James Brendan Connolly. Before he was a Harvard spurner, a Veteran, a Gloucester Master Mariner, a sea tales chronicler and beloved writer, James Connolly was one of 14 American athletes (5 were Bostonians) to compete in the international Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece, 1896.Twenty percent of the international competitors were from the United States.
Connolly medalled. Twice. On the first final of the opening day, Connolly won what is now the triple jump and came in 2nd in the high jump. He sailed home a champion, the first Olympic medal winner in 1500 years. This recognition no doubt helped his byline and he rapidly gained a reputation as a fantastic writer. The Boston Globe published his first war correspondence, “Letters from the Front in Cuba” where he served with the Irish 9th Infantry of Massachusetts. His career soars after writing about Gloucestermen from his days working in Gloucester. I’ll let Connolly take it from here, it’s so good: